Two Autographs, One Day

Image courtesy of Memphis CVB
We’d like to thank Mitch Henderson for sharing this story.

This is how I remember it. It was May 2005 and the Memphis humidity had begun its flow onto the TPC at Southwind. Having heard that Bill Murray was playing in the FedEx St. Jude Classic Pro Am I decided to try my luck in getting an autograph for my 10 year old who was enamored with Bill. This was after watching “What About Bob” about 1,603,219 times.

With no ticket, no permission and little sense I went under the rope at the tee for the sixth hole, loped up to Bill without a pen or paper and asked for his autograph for my son.

He asked, “Where is your son?”

“In school.” I replied.

“A likely story. You want the autograph.”

“No. It really is for my son. He has watched ‘What About Bob’ so much I think he has worn out the DVD.”

“What’s your name?”

“Mitch… and he is a big fan of yours.”

“Well Mitch, I don’t do autographs.” I wasn’t sure if he was serious or just being Bill Murray and not wanting to linger awkwardly, I walked away towards the nearest building, somewhere between being bummed out and being elated having had a brief dialogue with Bill Murray.

While still walking, I heard Bill yell “Hey Mitch!” and turned around to catch a glimpse of him penning something on a golf ball and then he proceeded to throw it to me. Scurrying to get into a good position to catch it through the crowd, I was surprised to see some crumb snatcher do a sideways dive about five feet in front of me, catching the ball, and scurrying off. Bill saw the whole thing and my face must have shown my extreme dismay. He shrugged as if to say “Oh well, I tried.”

After relaying my story to some people, I was handed a souvenir tournament flag and a Sharpie coupled with encouragement to try again. I did. Somewhere on the fairway of the seventh hole, I caught up to him again and the growing crowd he was drawing. After what seemed like an eternity of trying not to look creepy and waiting for an opportunity to approach him, I finally stepped up.

“Too bad about the ball, Mitch.”

“Yeah. Would you sign a flag for me?”

“I thought you said it was for your son. You’re going to sell it on EBay aren’t you?”

“It is… I meant…”

Bill took the flag and Sharpie and scrawled his signature on it. While doing so he told me he was going to be watching EBay to see if I was lying to him.

I thanked him and took my prize. My son was over-the-moon with excitement to get his flag.

Meeting Bill at Pebble Beach as a Kid

We’d like to thank Phoenix for sharing this story.

My story isn’t as exciting or cool as some of the others on this site, but I can say that I had the luck to meet BFM – twice!

I was a kid, about 10-11 years old, participating in the Golf Club at the local Boys & Girls Club (around ’98, I believe). Every year we got the opportunity to help out at the AT&T Pro-Am (held at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club in Pebble Beach, CA). Needless to say, this event was always packed with all sorts of celebrities and moneyed people – a lot of people I didn’t care too much about as a kid. But then there’s Bill Murray.

I remember hearing all of our “care-takers” going on and on about Bill Murray; I just kept thinking, “Where!? Where!?” From the large dining room where we were enjoying our lunches, I could hear him in the distance. So I decided that I was going to get this man’s autograph. I walked over to his table with a ball-cap in my hand and asked if he would sign it.

Without hesitation, he says, “Oh, sure thing, kid!” as he gives me a huge kiss on my cheek. I do believe he was asking me questions but I was so fixated on him I don’t remember what else he may have asked. He signed my hat and handed it; I walked away on clouds! I met him again the next year, same place and event. I went up to him and asked if he remembered me, to which he responded, “Of course I do!” and gave me another kiss on the cheek.

Whether or not he really remembered me, I’ll never know. All of the older women kept telling everyone else about how Bill Murray kissed me on the cheek. The only celebrity encounter that I will truly, never forget! Wish I took a picture.

Bill Lets the Pro Have It

We’d like to thank Fred Joy for sharing today’s story

My father-in-law and I were on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina in 2009. We booked a round at a semi-public course for a Tuesday morning tee time. We unloaded our bags, stroked our beards, I put on my Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket hat, and then we walked into the pro-shop.

Upon opening the door, there were two loud voices, clearly having a ‘spirited’ discussion that stopped my father-in-law and I in our tracks. Within seconds it was apparent that the two voices were equally arguing and teasing each other. And both voices were good at it.

We turned the corner – there was Bill and the Pro, arguing over a bag of range balls. Bill was under the impression that the small bag of balls should be honored to be set free upon the open range, and it was his duty to do it. The Pro wanted his $5.

Continue reading

Kapalua Wedding Crasher

Kapalua golf course
We’d like to thank Ray Bolognone for sharing this story.

This was back around 2001-2002; I was at the Bay course in Kapalua Maui at a golf outing and, low and behold, saw Bill Murray teeing off on #1. So I followed Bill, along with maybe 20 other people. He was wearing his typical Bill Murray golf attire, shorts, baggy shirt, and a hat that had openings on both sides. His hair was sticking out of both sides.

A few holes in, Bill noticed a wedding taking place at the chapel off of the 3rd hole. Bill said, “Look a wedding”, “I think we’re all invited.” So we all followed Bill over to the wedding. The wedding guests, who happened to be Japanese, were are all outside the chapel taking pictures. Continue reading

Sleepy Hollow Country Club – 10th Hole

We’d like to thank Brandon for sharing today’s story.

It was the Summer/Fall of 1991 at Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough, NY. I had caddied at Sleepy Hollow since I was 13 and had recently returned to NY upon college graduation. While away at college, I had heard that Bill Murray had become a golf member at Sleepy Hollow and all the caddies were buzzing about it. I went up to Sleepy to make a loop (golf jargon) and earn some cash.

I was pleasantly surprised and greatly appreciative when Joe Barreiro (the long time Caddy Master) assigned me to caddy for Bill Murray. It was the most memorable and fun-filled loop I’d ever had. Bill Murray was reciting lines from Caddyshack and I was absolutely thrilled to be in his company. His shtick is exactly what you see in the movies! Fun and funny guy!

The most memorable moment of that loop occurred when we got to the 10th Hole. This is a par 3 hole surrounded by water – the lake hole. Bill Murray playfully and jokingly attempted to throw me in – and he almost did! At the last moment, I side stepped his final shove and avoided being dunked in the lake.

Bill Murray commented something like “I’m glad you’re fast kid, otherwise they’d be telling stories around the clubhouse of me throwing a caddy in the lake”. We all shared a great laugh! At the end of the loop, Bill Murray tipped me $100 bucks, which, to this day, I fondly remember not only this fun filled loop, but also his generosity. Great guy!