May 23, 2014

Colonial buzz: 45-year veteran among volunteers honored

Jim Archer remembers lending money to Gary Player and jostling with Arnie’s Army at Colonial Country Club’s PGA Tour event.

Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial marshal Jim Archer has lots of favorite stories about his 45 years as a volunteer.

His favorite one, though, isn’t the one about Gary Player using up Archer’s last couple of dollars for a lemonade.

Or the one where he accidentally bumped into the King, Arnold Palmer, while trying to hold back an enthusiastic horde of Arnie’s Army.

“It’s when my wife, Margaret, points out where my keys are,” Archer said. “She always tells me the keys to Colonial are over there. She loves it too. I mean you have to love something that you do this long.”

Tournament officials honored Archer, a 72-year-old Keller resident, and eight others Friday for their decades-long service.

It was Gardner Dickinson who sported the plaid jacket in 1969 when Archer signed up to work his first year.

From there, the Bell Helicopter retiree has collected some great memories, along with what he called a more lifelong prize.

“The friends you make doing this, they’re people you end up getting very close to,” he said. “We do things for each other throughout the year, celebrations, parties, it’s really very special.”

Archer started as a walking marshal in 1969 before becoming a marshal captain just five years later. That began a series of events that put a mild strangle on his vacation opportunities.

“Back then I didn’t have an extra week of vacation to do this,” Archer said. “I had to really work on getting those extra days and then at one point when I started getting more responsibility, I made sure that I got that extra day and then ultimately, that extra week.”

As for how long he plans on doing it?

“As long as I’m healthy and breathing, you can find me right here each year,” he said.

Also honored were Bill Lonon, Willie Hill and Jim Hill for 35 years; and Randy Counts, Roger Hendrickson, Lynn Howerton, James Rambo and Denny Steward for 30 years.

Commercial view

In keeping with an eight-year track record of humorous golf commercials, Crowne Plaza introduced a spot with 2013 champion Boo Weekley and spokesman Rickie Fowler.

In it, Fowler and Weekley trade turns one-upping each other in hole-outs to promote this weekend’s Crowne Plaza hole-in-one promotion.

“We’ve always tried to be humorous with them, but we always wanted to make sure we got that upscale message in as well,” Crowne Plaza Brand Manager Gina LaBarre said. “But I think it’s important to have an attitude and a personality for the brand and fuse those together.”

The commercial is uploaded on You Tube, titled Lucky 13 Sweeps.

Getting goosed

Just a year ago, Grey Goose’s 19th hole lounge sprawled out near the 16th and 17th holes.

This season, the Goose has nestled right inside the party lines at No. 13, attracting the rowdiest Colonial patrons.

And that’s how Grey Goose marketing manager Jason McCarthy likes it.

“The Colonial is a marquee tournament on the PGA Tour with a classic, traditional golf experience,” said Jason McCarthy, head marketing manager for Grey Goose vodka in their golf program.

“We really like being a part of everything out here, and the clientele fits exactly what we are looking for in our millennial consumer.”

Patrons who are out among the thousands in the party crowd on No. 13 can escape inside the 30x30 air-conditioned lounge that overlooks the 13th green.

The lounge was packed and sported a wait line at mid-afternoon as world No. 1 Adam Scott’s group passed through.

Matt Kuchar’s 19th Hole drink and the Plaid Jacket have been staples this year.

Kuchar’s recipe was dreamed up alongside Grey Goose’s chief mixologist and features Grey Goose original with two parts orange juice, one part pineapple juice with a splash of lemon-lime soda topped off with lemon.

The Plaid Jacket recipe is mixed with Grey Goose L’Orange, pomegranate, cranberry and simple syrup with orange.

Correspondent Kevin Casas contributed to this report.

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