To mark the 60th anniversary of the Polywogs Golf Invitational and welcome new members, the group gathered for a celebratory dinner in the Glass Conservatory in the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.
It was an appropriate venue. Docent Tina Douglass gave guided tours of "The Art of Golf," the current exhibition, telling an enthusiastic audience that the sport may have originated in ancient China. And she described how early players used leather-covered balls stuffed with feathers that had been boiled and softened.
Dr. Robert "Buzz" Nelson gave a brief history of the Polywogs, whose name derives from "poly," a prefix that means "many," and "wog," for "women's open golf."
The first tournament, in 1953, was a pro-am event suggested by golfer Babe Zaharias, who owned a course in Tampa and was a key proponent of the then-fledgling LPGA. She approached the Chamber of Commerce about holding a professional women's open. Chamber sports committee chairman Ed Turville prevailed upon the city to guarantee the purse. (It had a similar arrangement with the St. Petersburg Men's Open, and both tournaments came to be run by the city manager.)
That arrangement stopped after the 1963 tournament, and the annual competition has had several iterations in the decades since; from its inception, it has raised more than $1.6 million for local charities.
The Polywogs honored immediate past president Del Goforth and his wife, Stephanie; also attending were president Keith Robinson and tournament chairman Jack Frost.
The 2013 Polywogs Golf Invitational takes place March 18 at the St. Petersburg Country Club. All proceeds go to the First Tee of St. Petersburg, the Children's Dream Fund, All Children's Hospital, R'Club Child Care and the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.
Wine Weekend St. Pete
Connoisseurs and supporters of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, are looking forward to Wine Weekend St. Pete 2013, which runs Feb. 8-10 to benefit the museum.
"Midnight in Paris," a VIP and sponsor black-tie dinner at the museum, will feature vintner Jean-Charles Boisset and a six-course French-themed dinner. Individual tickets are $800.
Rare vintages including a 1999 Screaming Eagle from California and a 1976 Chateau Lafit-Rothschild are among the lots offered at the Feb. 9 International Wine Auction, where Napa Valley vintners Shari and Garen Staglin will be guests of honor. The dinner and auction take place at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort. Tickets are $285.
A vintners brunch at the Vinoy on Feb. 10 will feature wine and champagne tastings, food, live music and art. Tickets cost $100.
For information and to purchase tickets to the events, all sponsored by the museum and the Margaret Acheson Stuart Society, go to wineweekendstpete.org or call (727) 753-9463.