Many of the Nationwide events I played in was as a Monday qualifier. When you are a member of the Tour you get a money clip with your name on it and that is your ID that gets you into the parking lot of the club and locker room.
When you are a qualifier, you get a badge that has the tournament name and “contestant” printed on it and that is your ID.
Three different times I had a run in with security and not having a money clip.
The first was on a pro am day, which like the PGA Tour was on Wednesday. Because I was a long drive champion, I often got requested to play with the tournament sponsor and this particular week was one of those times. The parking lot at the club was small, so amateurs had to go several miles away and be shuttled in. Typically, no other qualifier played in the pro-am, so security was not used to dealing with these temporary ID’s.
I got to the players lot, showed my ID and got this response, “Sir, this lot is for tournament players only, amateurs need to go to the other lot.”
I told him I was a pro, but was a qualifier. He asked to see my money clip and I tried to explain the money clip and qualifier badge to him. He repeated I needed to go to the amateur parking lot. I was going to miss my tee time if I did that so I just went past him, parked and went to the range.
The round was pretty uneventful, but I came back to the parking lot to find my car had been towed.
The second time wasn’t quite as humorous as having my car towed. The qualifier was rain delayed on Monday. On Tuesday Morning I finished my round with a 63 which was obviously going to make it. I really wanted a practice round that afternoon as the course is closed on Wednesdays for pro-ams. All of the officials knew me and I had done the Tour many favors by doing free exhibitions to help promote the Tour, so they went out of their way for me sometimes. This was one of those times. They OK’d me to come over to the course and play before the qualifier was officially over. Well, security didn’t have my name on “The List,” I didn’t have my temporary players badge and they wouldn’t let me through the gate. I had to go to the spectators parking lot, pay for a ticket, shuttle back to the course, check in, shuttle back to the spectators lot, get my car and drive back to the course.
The third time was my favorite. I had gotten a sponsor exemption this particular week in return for doing a long drive and trick shot show for a few thousand people on Tuesday. There were interviews on the local news and a very large picture of me on the front page of the sports section. After giving the exhibition, I was in the parking lot that could been seen from the entrance to the locker room where a security guard was standing. I was putting my bag in the car when several youngsters came to get my autograph and the security guard saw all of this happening. This was also in the days of metal spikes where you crunched when you walked in the parking lot.
An additional detail to the story was outside of every Nationwide and PGA Tour locker room, there is a sign with pictures of all the ID’s that get you into the locker room, including the temporary badge that qualifiers and sponsor exemption players get. This sign was about 12.37865″ from this guys face.
I crunched my way over to the locker room door and this guy asks me for my money clip. I showed him my badge and went to walk in. He put his arm in front of me and said, “Sir, I can’t let you in without a money clip.” I put my badge right up to the picture on the sign.
“Only players with money clips are allowed in the locker room.”
I looked at him like he had lost his mind and went to walk in to the locker room again. He put his hand on my shoulder and when I turned around he had gone for his holster and to my surprise, there was a gun there.
Well, I was young and angry and said…
“Go ahead and shoot me you ^(^%$%^&*(&^%$^&*(*&^%$%^&*(*&^%^&*(*&^%!@$^&*((*&”
The first two incidents were known by the officials and I didn’t get into trouble for this…which was new, because I got in trouble for everything else I did…LOL