W.Va.'s PGA event 'unparalleled'
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- This week during the Greenbrier Classic, the Appleby family aimed to keep an itinerary similar to their trip there three years ago -- for good luck.
"My husband shot his 59 in 2010 and, because that's such a feat, we try to stick to doing the same things here as we did then," said Ashley Appleby, wife of Australian professional golfer Stuart Appleby.
Stuart won the first Greenbrier Classic tournament, in 2010, and holds the course record. He is one of only five golfers in history to score a 59 on a Professional Golf Association tour event.
It's not hard to stay occupied while Stuart is playing the Old White TPC course, the golfer's wife said.
"I think it's the most popular event on the tour. Everybody brings their families and enjoys themselves so much. It's unparalleled," she said. "The history of it . . . and all it has to offer. It's just remarkable."
By Friday afternoon, Ashley and her four children -- all 8 years old and younger -- had dipped in The Greenbrier resort's outdoor pool, hit the tennis courts and caught a movie in the Theatre at The Greenbrier.
The renowned luxury resort also boasts a spa, a bowling alley and everything from croquet to horseback riding on its grounds.
"We all hit the pillow very hard at night because there's so much to do during the day," Ashley said. "Every age has fun at The Greenbrier."
Her Greenbrier experience is about more than a good time, though. She also is there to represent the PGA Tour Wives Association.
The wives association works to raise money for charities, with a focus on providing assistance to needy children.
Last year, women from the association kicked into action after the June 29 derecho ripped through the Lewisburg area and much of the rest of the state, leaving thousands without electricity or water in the summer heat.
"We volunteer weekly. The wives go to different locations all over -- schools and churches and hospitals -- to help all sorts of people in need," she said. "It's incredible what they've given back to different communities all over the country, and it's amazing the differences they've made.
"It's giving through golf; that's what they call it."
On Friday, Ashley was promoting "Beyond the Fairways and Greens: A Look Inside the Lives of PGA Tour Families." The new book features personal stories and family recipes from more than 130 PGA families, and Ashley said it's a great opportunity for fans to get to know players off of the green.
"When you see 140 men teeing off, they have their wives and their children touring, as well," she said. "It's a real family out here. That's what it's all about."
Proceeds from the book will support the charities sponsored by the wives association. In 2012, the organization focused on getting school supplies for students, offering adolescent golf lessons and supporting the Ronald McDonald House.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4814.