LPGA Launches New Fans Initiative


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Balmy weather greeted the 74 fivesomes playing either the Dinah Shore Tournament course or the Arnold Palmer course today, and the relaxed atmosphere made it feel more like a family gathering then the first major of the season.
Joanna Kerns, Tommy Smothers, Jamie Farr, Mary Hart, Toni Tennille and Kevin Sorbo are among a few of the stars to make a Herculean effort to come out and play with the pros during the first of a two-day pro-am.
The ever-personable Sorbo exemplified this relaxed attitude by casually sauntering up to the first just in time to tee it up with LPGA Tour pro Karen Weiss.
When asked about the prospects of his round today, Sorbo utered, 'The best part of my game is my short game; the worst part of my game...is my short game'
Defending champion Annika Sorenstam had the pleasure of playing with the vivacious talk show host Mary Hart while Heather Daly-Donofrio played around and a round with the ever-witty and consummate comedy man Tommy Smothers.
There is, however, much more than celebrity appearances going on at the Nabisco Championship prior to the first round.
Aside from the celebrity pro-am, Merrill Lynch sponsored a 'Senior Appreciation Day' which lets seniors take part in all of the pre-round action, and Ronald McDonald House Charities hosts their LPGA Tour Junior Clinic.
Last but not least, the LPGA launched 'Cruise The Course' - a pilot program gearing up to be part of the Tour's Fans First initiative got under way today. Fans may take a guided one-hour tour led by LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division members who explain key areas of the tournament and provide insight on how the professionals prepare for competition.