Herald-Citizen Managing Editor
Saturday, Jun 20, 2009
COOKEVILLE — For seven years, Bobby Greenwood was a regular on the PGA Tour. A player who made several cuts and consistent money, Greenwood competed in a lot of PGA Tour events at several different courses.
More than 30 years since teeing it up in his last PGA Tour event, Greenwood is taking a walk down memory lane with his wife Elma and 10-year-old daughter Viola with a tour of the Tour.
There are 20 PGA Tour tournaments or courses where PGA tournaments are being played this year that Greenwood has played in or played on.
There are also four on the Champions Tour schedule.
“It’s bittersweet because I feel like without the injuries I would have won more,” said Greenwood, whose career was cut short by a wrist injury. “It hurts you a little bit when everyone knows what you could have done but I didn’t get to. At the same time I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I should have done a lot better.”
A winner of over 150 amateur and professional tournaments, including the PGA Tour’s Rhode Island Open, Greenwood has been giving his wife and daughter a first-hand look of what life was like on the Tour in the 1970′s.
“This is what my life used to be,” said Greenwood. “This is what I worked 25 years for.”
Greenwood and his family went to the Ryder Cup matches last year at Valhalla and the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda.
“Considering my background, where I came from, a third world country, you can only imagine how exciting it is for me to meet and talk with superstars in the world of golf,” said Elma, who is from the Philippines. “I enjoy watching Bobby meet old friends that he played with while on the PGA Tour, and to visit places and famous golf courses where Bobby Greenwood competed while on the PGA Tour is a rare experience.”
One of the best experiences for Elma and Viola came last month when Greenwood returned to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Fla., where Greenwood used to be the head professional.
“We took pictures where I used to give lessons on the range and we went down to where my condo was,” said Greenwood. “It brought back a lot of memories.”
Greenwood was recognized at a breakfast in conjunction with The Players Championship, which is held annually at TPC Sawgrass.
“When I was introduced, it thrilled Elma and Viola,” Greenwood said. Seeing Greenwood get the recognition from the former and current PGA Tour players makes his wife and daughter gush with pride.
“It is interesting that Bobby doesn’t realize the importance and great things that he accomplished during his playing career,” Elma said. “My husband is a very humble and kind man. Viola just enjoys everything and thinks her dad is a superstar.”
The next stop on Greenwood’s tour of the Tour will be in October at Harding Park Golf Course in San Francisco. The President’s Cup will be held there but Greenwood played the course when it was the San Francisco Open.
“It sometimes seems bittersweet to Bobby to revisit a tournament where he competed,” Elma explained. “As we visit various tournament sites, Bobby would share with me his experience and anecdotes that happened with fellow PGA Tour players. I really enjoy hearing the firsthand accounts of things that happened and being there at the spot.”
While Elma enjoys hearing the stories, Viola enjoys getting the autographs of current PGA Tour players. She got Jim Furyk to sign a flag at the Grand Slam of Golf and Phil Mickelson signed a ball at The Players Championship.
“Viola has turned into an autograph hound,” said Elma. “She said, ‘When I get Tiger Woods’ autograph, I will retire.’”
Until then, the Greenwoods plan on continuing their tour of the Tour.
Photo caption: Bobby Greenwood stands near one of the scoreboards at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Photo caption: PGA Tour golfer Jim Furyk signs a flag for Viola Greenwood at the Grand Slam of Golf.