WHEN IN WISCONSIN …
Steve Stricker had a specific request for the inaugural Ryder Cup dinner: a red barn.
“Being one-half mile north of Whistling Straits and being a red-event barn – bathrooms, kitchen, the whole 9 yards, not just a red barn full of hay – was really a prime fit,” said Nate Calkins.
Calkins and his wife run Lake Orchard Farm Retreat, and they were contacted about hosting a dinner for the USA and European golfers – as well as wives, girlfriends and a few others from the PGA of America – on Sept. 21.
Two days later, they also hosted golfers from the celebrity outing.
Although Calkins had some interaction with the likes of A.J. Hawk and Dan Jansen, he had to stay away from the professional’s catered event because of strict COVID-19 orders.
“That was kind of a bummer,” he said.
So Calkins spent that evening in his house, for the most part talking with a potential wedding client for 2022.
“I did peek out the window from time to time while I was on the phone,” he said. “They were playing yard games on our front lawn.”
THAT’S A LOT OF DRINKS
Allyson Nash worked at the Irish Four Pour Bar on the course and she served over 1,100 drinks during her eight-hour shift Sept. 24.
“I was surprised how busy we were,” she said. “We were slammed, all day.”
The Miami native and her best friend travel the country as bartenders through a staffing company called Event Aces. They drove to Wisconsin from Seattle after working several concerts over there, and she is “super grateful” for the experience of her first PGA event.
“It was amazing,” Nash said. “There was no negativity – except for the traffic – that I can say.”
HEY, ISN’T THAT AIR JORDAN’S JET?
Sheboygan Falls resident Mark Schorer didn’t want to deal with the crowds, so he went to the Sheboygan Airport instead.
“I was more excited about the planes and all the traffic coming in and out,” he said.
“Obviously there were a lot of beautiful jets that were out there.”
The one that stood out, however, belonged to NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.
“When it came in and taxied through, I saw the Jordan logo on the tail,” Schorer said.
“So I Googled it and it came up as his jet. It was pretty exciting to find out it was his.”
NOTHING LIKE WORKING AT WHISTLING STRAITS AND LAMBEAU FIELD
Taylor Bubolz, who graduated from Lakeland in May, had an internship at the Ryder Cup and also has a part-time job with the Packers.
The 2017 Howards Grove graduate who is an assistant volleyball coach there, was at the course on Sept. 20 and then drove to Green Bay for its Monday Night Football game.
She had time for about 3½ hours of sleep before reporting back to Whistling Straits the following day.
Bubolz, served as a corporate hospitality representative and usually worked from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m.
“Just being a part of the Ryder Cup, since Whistling is less than 10 miles from my house, I think that was cool,” she said. “I don’t know if it’ll ever happen again in my lifetime.”
It’s unlikely she’ll meet Michael Jordan again, too. He stopped by the NBC Sports chalet when Bubolz was there. She even got a first bump from him.
“I was stunned,” Bubolz said. “I’m big into basketball, but I wouldn’t have recognized him if someone wouldn’t have told me.”