“Well, goodnight sweetie, and good luck in Anguilla, it’s going to be a hit!” says my beautiful girlfriend. “Thanks babe, love you!” I answer and now think to myself, “How am I ever going to sleep? Our first sponsored tournament, with more celebs than I have ever been around in my life…will they like it?” Tossing and turning for 3 hours and then my alarm goes off. It’s time to introduce the OmenTM and show why this is bad news for the competition!
The Ruben Brown Celebrity Classic took place from April 7th-April 11th, 2011. OnCore was the official ball sponsor and the event was our public introduction of the first major innovation in golf ball technology in 25 years! The event was set in paradise with the backdrop of clear and teal blue Caribbean waters, and fueled by the warm and generous hearts of those involved with the tournament in support of building a state of the art sports complex for the kids in Anguilla. The entire tournament was a blur of excitement and overwhelming gratitude for the positive response we received from these incredible people. The event as I saw it…
Day 1 – Up at 4:00 AM to catch a 6:20 AM flight out of New York City to Charlotte. From Charlotte, it’s on to St. Maarten where we land safely and if the weather was any indication of the experience to come, well let’s just say it was bright and warm! Once through customs in St. Maarten, we are greeted by the incredibly talented group from “KC You There” who planned the event. Then it was off to the docks to board a boat with a large handful of the celebs to the island of Anguilla.
While we waited at the docks for passports to be checked and for other celebs to arrive, we kick back and have an island drink. Right from the start I knew I was going to like these guys. All these people I see on TV or watched play sports and now we are chatting it up like it’s a family reunion. Then our biggest fan and now member of the OnCore Board of Directors, Roberto Clemente Jr., arrives. After an excited greeting we both smiled and knew this was going to be huge for OnCore.
We board the boat and make our way to Anguilla. We arrive and there are cameras everywhere and media snapping away at the celebs. “Am I in the Caribbean or on the red carpet?” I wonder. My excitement was palpable and I couldn’t wait to arrive at our resort. The resort, the Viceroy hotel, is beyond amazing. A place like I have never seen and the people of Anguilla are so incredibly kind. I think living there would put me in a pretty good mood as well!
There were already hors d’oeuvres and rum punch being ushered to us by the staff. It was quite the welcoming party and a great chance to talk with the people there for the tournament. I was told that I must attend the first nights’ festivities with the celebs – a penthouse party filled with the finest foods, music, people and fully stocked bar. Again there were photographers everywhere and I was sure I was dreaming. Roberto and I were dance machines. Michael Jackson inspired moves that would make Justin Beiber jealous. In all seriousness, the party was amazing and was a great chance to talk to the celebs in a more relaxed atmosphere. I hear a guy say “Hey, are you the bald guy?” and I responded “The bald guy? No, I don’t think so.” It was Ruben Brown and he chuckles and says “No, the ball guy.” I said,”Oh yeah, that’s me!” He said “Nice to meet you, let’s get a picture Bret.”
From there, it was just hours of fun which turned into an after-party at Ruben’s villa. I think “after-party at Ruben’s villa” just about says it all.
Day 2 – Although we all had a late night, I wake up to the sweet sound of my hotel room phone ringing at 8 AM. It’s Roberto. “Hey Bret, let’s grab some breakfast and play a round of golf at Temenos.” Temenos is the course where the tournament will be held and was designed by Greg Norman. So off to a buffet breakfast we go. After breakfast we head to Temenos and hit the driving range. From there we played nine holes on the stunning golf course overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and where Roberto came within an inch from an eagle that may have just qualified him for the pro tour!
The remainder of the day was spent on improving upon my sun-starved skin, swimming in the ocean and playing a pick-up beach volley ball game with some of the guys and gals from the event. It’s not exactly fair when the 6’4” and up athletes are playing at the front of the net. That being said, it was a blast and good to doing something competitive.
After a nice long shower, my great friend and cofounder of OnCore, Steve Coulton, arrives just in time to board a huge bus to take all the celebs and us to the second night’s event. This was a private VIP reception at an incredible restaurant on the island by the name of Davidas. We arrive as the sun is starting to set.
It was spectacular and another great time with everyone. We had some really interesting conversations with everyone and were so impressed by how no one seemed to have any ego! All of them were just fun, humble and easy to talk to people with high visibility jobs. It was very refreshing to see! The questions about our hollow metal core golf ball and our company seemed to be nonstop. It was fun to talk about it but also stressful, knowing they would be playing with our OmenTM balls the very next day!
After another great event, we headed back to Rubens villa for another after-party…..I needed sleep but wasn’t about to miss out on this experience.