Exclusive Preview of the Pete Dye Course!

In October, 2014, my brother, Terry, my son, Lucas, and my sister-in-law, Brenda had lunch in the atrium of The West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.

If you’ve never stepped inside the atrium of The Hotel, I’d suggest bringing along a caddie, friend, relative, or a very thick, soft surface, such as a memory foam mattress on which to land, because it takes your breath away.

The majestic dome of The Hotel is referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” If I ever travel to see the original seven, I’ll definitely bring along a caddie, friend, relative, or pack an air mattress.

Until the Houston Astrodome was constructed in the 1960’s, (source: http://www.historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/west-baden-springs-hotel/,) The West Baden Springs Hotel’s atrium held the record as the largest free-span dome.

After reviving myself with several refreshing glasses of sweet tea, I was able to stroll around the atrium on my own, without a spotter. I walked around in awe until something large and shiny caught my eye.

Whenever I see anything large and shiny, I mean PGA-related, I take photos and e mail them to fellow blogger and cyber-friend, Rick Williams PGA, Guru of what’s really important in life, and golf at https://mindbodygolf.wordpress.com/.

Rick Williams
Rick Williams PGA

Rick has a way of weaving golf, family, philosophy, gourmet gastronomy, and even fashion (he has quite the sock, and t-shirt collection) into his blog. It’s always a pleasure to read Rick’s words of wisdom, and I always learn a thing or two about golf.

So, when I saw a PGA display, I snapped a few pictures for Rick, not really paying attention to what I was shooting because, after all, Brenda and I had shopping to do. One of the stores in The Hotel sells the grooviest vintage-looking hats. A tradition was born that day; I never leave The Hotel without a new hat, or three.

Later, back at my brother’s house, I fired up my computer and was able to take a good look at the photos I had taken.

Without even realizing it, I had taken pictures of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy, sealed in a glass case, cordoned off with red velvet ropes.

The trophy display was there to promote the 76th Senior PGA Golf Tournament May 21-24, 2015 at the Pete Dye golf course, one of the most famous golf courses in the world.

Display of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy inside the dome of the West Baden Springs Hotel, October 2014
Display of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy inside the dome of the West Baden Springs Hotel, October 2014

Fast-forward to April, 2015:

Mom and I went back to visit our family in French Lick the week of April 5-12, 2015. We had lunch at the West Baden Springs Hotel again. Of course, my sister-in-law, Brenda, and I needed to go hat shopping.

After finding another hat, I thought we were all going our separate ways, when Brenda said, “Follow me!” We got in our cars and drove right up the driveway to the Pete Dye Mansion, situated at the top of Mount Airie, one of the highest elevations in Indiana. The view was spectacular.

Speaking of Mount Airie, I checked with many sources for its proper spelling, including Brenda, my new friend, Lucette, the receptionist at The West Baden Springs Hotel, and http://www.gurnellimages.com/keyword/pete%20dye/, A website about the Taggart Mansion, which then became the Pete Dye Mansion.

There are as many spellings of Airie online as the number of golf balls I would need to complete just the first hole of the Pete Dye golf course, but I’m fairly sure I’ve spelled it correctly.

Bronze sculpture of Pete Dye in front of the Pete Dye Mansion on Mount Airie
Bronze sculpture of Pete Dye in front of the Pete Dye Mansion on Mount Airie

As final preparations were being made to the course, we were allowed access inside the Mansion. If we had $10,000, we would have stayed the night, but between the two of us, Brenda and I only came up with $3.75.

Since no one else was in the house, we had the chance to look around at everything. And, I did. I ran from room to room like a four-year-old, if you can imagine me doing something like that.

Beginning Thursday, May 21, you’ll be able to watch televised coverage as 51-year-old Colin Montgomerie, from Scotland, defends his first ever U.S. Major Championship and the coveted Alfred S. Bourne Trophy he won last year at The 75th Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

All listings are in Eastern Time.

Here’s the broadcast schedule from:


The Golf Channel will broadcast live from 1–4 P.M, Thursday, May 21 and Friday, May 22.

NBC will broadcast live Saturday, May 23, from 1:30–4:30 P.M.

The Golf Channel will broadcast The Championship live from 2:30–3:30 P.M. on Sunday.

NBC will broadcast The Final Round live Sunday from 3:30–6:00 P.M.

According to Tim Etheridge of the Evansville Courier & Press, of the 156-player field, “Montgomerie is one of nine past Senior PGA champions in the field, led by four-time winner Hale Irwin.

There are aslo seven Masters champions (Nick Faldo, Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Mark O’Meara, Craig Stadler and Ian Woosnam), eight U.S. Open champions (Irwin, Lee Janzen, Steve Jones, Tom Kite, Jerry Pate, Corey Pavin, Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange), six British Open champions (Faldo, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Sandy Lyle, O’Meara and Nick Price), and six PGA Championship champions (Mark Brooks, Steve Elkington, Price, Jeff Sluman, Hal Sutton and Bob Tway).

Toss in nine Ryder Cup captains (Americans Kite, Lehman, Pavin, Strange and Hal Sutton, along with Europeans Faldo, Langer, Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam), and nine Golf Hall of Famers (Faldo, Irwin, Kite, Langer, Lyle, O’Meara, Montgomerie, Price and Strange) and you have likely the strongest field of golfers to ever set foot in Southern Indiana.”

To feel like you’re there, click the link below for the Senior PGA Championship Program.


The following is the first-ever SlideShare presentation I’ve ever made after the first-ever PowerPoint presentation I ever made in order to make the SlideShare presentation.

Click the link below to see all of the slides.


Cue the harp music as we go back in time to October 19th, 2014….



Lucas and I drove to Nashville, Indiana, to stay with my brother-from-another-mother, Terry, at the home he shared with my brother-from-the-same-mother, Paul.


Their house is in the middle of a 100 acre wood. Well, it’s 15 acres, but after three or four, who’s counting? Terry lives with Rudy, the cat, and Sky, the dog, and was dog-sitting his friends’ Corey and Brandi’s Cocker Spaniel, Lucy, for a few days while we were there.

Rudy, who is one of those rare, really sweet cats.
Sky, mid-belly rub

Lucy was happy, sweet, and allergic to everything. The poor dog scratched herself silly, releasing a rather pungent, odiferous scent. When I took her for walks, I tried to stay upwind. Ashamed of my inability to tolerate Lucy, I walked with my tail between my legs.

For supper (I love that word; it’s so ignored up north,) we made a small dent in the cooler full of food Grandma had sent with us.

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Terry went to work, Lucas caught up on his sleep, and I hiked around the property with Sky and Lucy.  Since we were in Brown County, Indiana, the colors of the leaves were every shade of magnificent. You couldn’t turn around without bumping into a tree. (Well, that can happen to me anywhere.)

For supper we made a small dent in the cooler full of food Grandma had sent with us.


Before we left town, I had made tentative plans to visit Iris Rosa, my favorite professor from I.U. that day, and watch the 2014-2015 African American Dance Company (AADC) rehearse. Because Terry came home from work early and Lucas was awake at 3:00 PM, they dropped me off on campus, and walked around town together.

When I was a member of the (AADC) in 1981-82, as Paul had been years before, we rehearsed in a small, old basement.


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The AADC has a new home: the Marcellus Neal and Frances Marshall Black Culture Center, named for the first African-American graduates of I.U. The studio is huge, with tons of mirrors and windows, and a vaulted ceiling with a skylight.

Watching the AADC rehearse brought back the best memories I have of being a student at I.U. “ProRo” and the dancers welcomed me like family.

I need to work on a more natural-looking smile.



The AADC of 2013-2014
The AADC of 2013-2014, Pro Ro and me

It was an honor to watch these beautiful, amazing dancers prepare for an upcoming concert. Their energy was palpable. I was itching to get up and dance with them, but didn’t want to risk ruining the rest of our road trip with an upper or lower body injury.


See Monday, except, Terry brought Lucy back to Corey and Brandi’s house because they were home from their vacation (I was still upset with myself for being Miss Judgy-pants.)


Thursday would have been Paul’s 59th birthday. The night before, Terry told Lucas and me that he had taken the day off from work and had a surprise for us.

A surprise for us? I imagined this day would be so hard for him, but he turned it into a really fun day that I’ll remember every October 23rd.

Terry’s last name is Briner, which will prove to be very important in this story. He has often told me about where he had grown up and how his family had settled in the area of Paoli, Indiana. I did some research one night at Mom’s house when Paul and Terry were visiting, and found tons of information about his ancestry, at which time I began to refer to his hometown as “Briner-ville.” I wasn’t too far off the mark.

Terry had the entire day planned out, including an itinerary of where we would go, and how much time we would spend at each place. We had been invited to Corey and Brandi’s house for supper at 6:00, and would need about an hour to get there.

Terry’s hometown was about an hour away from Brown County, so we tried to leave the house as early as possible. I am perpetually late, even when trying to be early, but managed to get up, dressed, and ready for our adventure.

Terry’s family settled in Orange County, Indiana in the late 1700’s. 1700’s! We visited Briner Springs, and the Briner family cemetery, high up on a hill, just as his great-great grandfather, George Briner, had wanted.

Terry came prepared with documents that led us to barely legible, weather-worn tombstones. Then he read to us the beautiful love-letter his great-grandfather, John, who was fighting in the Civil War, sent to his fiancee, Eleanor.

The tour continued to the Baden Springs Hotel with an atrium that looks as if it defies all laws of physics. We had lunch there, and, yes, I did lie on the floor in the middle of that great room to get this shot.




From there we drove a few miles to see Brenda and Jim, Terry’s sister, and brother-in-law. We were also introduced to Brenda’s pet catfish. Yes, pet catfish (who live in her pond.)

These were no ordinary catfish; they were so immense, they were like catfish on steroids. 


They were THIS big!
They were THIS big!

Before we left, Brenda gave me a set of hand-knit oven towels for my sister, Beth, and one for me. She also sent me home with this very cool puzzle.


Supper at Corey and Brandi’s was delicious, and their kids were adorable. Lucy smelled like a new woman. I felt like I had gained more family that day, not to mention all of Paul and Terry’s friends I’ve known and kept in touch with for years. I felt more whole than I had in the few months since the Recent Unpleasantries.

That night, I accidentally knocked my little makeup mirror to the floor, shattering it completely. Seven years of bad luck?

I don’t think so.

I just laughed. What could possibly be worse than this past summer? Nothing.

INDIANA ROAD TRIP PART II coming soon to a computer screen near you!