Friday, April 3, 2009

The Players, an inspirational tale

The Clubhouse, Tournament Players Club at Sawgrass and home of The Players, a PGA major which this year expects to see Tiger Woods return to challenge last years winner, Sergio Garcia, the first week of May.

The tournament is played over four days, Thursday to Sunday. While we are club members, the PGA Tour takes over the club for week to host the contest on the grounds. No special treatment for members: You're out of the clubhouse on your ear for the week unless you possess clubhouse passes. The idea, not my favorite one ever, is that the TPC actually belongs to the players/ pros and during that week the clubhouse is off limits without those gold-plated passes. I value the priority parking passes far more than the house pass because I am not getting on a bus to come down from the regular parking area, though.

Anyhow, we're lucky to be headed to the clubhouse for the tourney. Phew. Otherwise we would not be able to eat an $18 BLT named after Sergio Garcia (the previous years' winner wields the right to change the menu at the ol' club and he also gets some money - 1.7 million dollars - but I'm sure he is more psyched about the BLT). Below is the grill room. In the end, all clubs look similar in a few predictable ways at this level: Wood paneling, leather chairs, single malts, cigars, polo shirts. A bit too boys-clubby for every occasion.

We can always invite friends to the members rooms or tents to dine during the event but truth be told, we're young and fun. I have to bust out the pique and roll around in camphor before turning up for dinner at Champion's in the clubhouse. Besides, PGA events are an unmitigated zoo. I much prefer to have a private room for a Saturday celebration or have people in either for brunch before the leading party tee's off at 2 in the afternoon, or for dinner Saturday evening. Brunch for a before-event gathering would require a lot of help to be sure I am out of the house in time to deal with the aforementioned parking, so I am leaning towards Saturday evening.

To get the planning organized, I like to create a swipe/ inspiration board for everything; a lovely holdover from a couple of years in apparel design. I like them to look like a work in progress, because they are. I make notes in the margins. They are endlessly useful. This is the first I am sharing with readers, they have previously been my own conceptual roadmap. You may find something useful in them or at the very least, understand how I make decisions. Below is the card I am using for this golf concept; my first on Before Polyvore, I liked to reduce them and keep them in a small notebook. When the event is passed, I save all the relevant items in an Entertaining Book: Swipes, guests lists, invites, menus, demented ramblings on tiny slips of paper, to-do lists, photos. I like to remember and refine from previous experiences.

As I share this, you may note that while it is a golf-related gathering, it does not include overt ball and golf bag photos: References within the details rather than pointed iconic symbols, are preferable for me over dye-cut wildly colored golf bag-shaped invitations and crowded "tablescapes" consisting of every golf related item one could find at the craft store. Less is so very much more, Sweets.


Top row: Green event, Kentucky Historical Society. Green flatware, Green cake, Rosemary centerpiece, Fiore Blossoms, Seattle. Middle: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, FL. Lime on napkin, Moss bowl, Green textured favor boxes, Bottom: Fresh hydrangea napkin ring, Placemats, Mossy spheres, Green and white hydreangea centerpiece,

The Invitations:

I choose the William Arthur Green Plaid Border card, below. Again, you understand it has something to do with golf, a game originating in Scotland therefore the plaid, but I did not hit you in the face with a juvenile golf shoe invitation or some similar horror (yes, the neighbors are aware when an invitation of this caliber has arrived from my animated behaviour and occasional fainting spell at the mailbox.).
The Centerpiece:

While both the moss in bowls and the hydrangea on my board are colorful gorgeous centerpieces, the shot below is my centerpiece inspiration. My concept is:
1. Keep the sand; a nod to the vicious sandtraps at Sawgrass and our sandy, beachy Ponte Vedra. 2. Replace the shells with golf balls the guests can keep (making a note here to look into having them initialed for the guests as a keepsake of this years open, to buy tournament-marked balls if available, or to get TPC Sawgrass-stamped balls which are available in the pro shop.).
3. Flower cones: Keep the green hydrangea but add Lily of Valley as a nod to the Dye Valley course at Sawgrass.

The Menu
Stengah (up)
French 75
Blue Cheese Gorgere
Roasted Chickpeas
Za'atar Pita Wedges and Hummus Selection
Veg and Marmalade Dijon Dip

Grilled Asparagus in Parsely and Cilantro Vinegarette
Olive Oil and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The Placesetting:
Raynaud, Limoge, Festivite

And with that, I am on my way to a great Players celebration. What are you planning?


teaorwine said...

Inspired by historic structures in nearby Saint Augustine, the new TPC @ Sawgrass clubhouse is a treat for sure. I had a lovely dinner there just last week. Be sure to wander around and take in all the historical tidbits displayed in the corridor galleries. I even snuck into the locker rooms for a peek...shhhhh!

LIMOM said...

Well it looks like a new baby has in no way dimmed your brilliance as a hostess. Lucky are those who will share this wonderful evening with you.

I did want clarification on one point. Saturday evening at the club or at home? If it is the latter you are one truly ambitious lady.

Other than a visit from my MIL we don't have much planned in the way of entertaining this Spring. Summer at the beach club is when things really pick up on the hostessing front.

Looking forward to seeing more on this event.

LIMOM (aka., the Dancing Hostess)

Blushing hostess said...

Hello Tea or Wine - Indeed, SAwgrass also serving as home to the PGA insures the clubhouse is also a marvelous museum for a grand sport. Many may not know that the exhibit half of the house is open to the public and that the tours are private, available all the time, and free: A wonderful rainy day outing for an enthusiast. And DH - oh, Saturday night, not only because I don't have to rush to get off for Tiger's tee time (see how confident I am for him?:) but also because that is best for the sitter (see "pitter patter of little feet) :). You know how that is, maybe... Be well, The Hostess