Villages’ Christmas Day tradition of free golf brings out early risers, new friends

It has become a Christmas tradition, free golf on the championship golf courses in The Villages on Christmas day.

It is also a tradition for the family of Ann, Rick, and Brian Guy, who reside in The Village of Rio Ponderosa.  They are snowbirds from Canada who enjoy their Christmas Days in The Villages.

For years they have risen early on Christmas morning to get in line for free golf.

Brian, Ann and Rick Guy were first in line on Christmas morning.

“We got up this year at 4:30 and arrived at Cane Garden at 5:15 and found ourselves first in line. We have never been first in line on Christmas morning, so this is a treat,” Ann said.

She noted that her son Brian winters with them in The Villages.

“He comes to The Villages to spend Christmas here with us.  We consider him a Snowbird in training,” she said.

When asked what their plans were after golfing this morning Ann said, “we go home to get the diehards of the family who didn’t want to get up so early and head back to a championship course for another 18 holes.  Heck maybe even another 27.  That includes my 83-year-old mother.”

As the starter went up and down the long line of carts in the dark he asked if there were any singles or   twosomes.  When they were identified he matched them up with other people to make foursomes.   At one point the starter shouted out, “is there anyone under 10 here?” The response out of the dark was, “Heck is there anyone under 65 here?”

Joe Trombetta from the Village of Tamarind Grove indicated he was a single.  The starter told Joe, “come with me.” He introduced Joe to the Guy family, first in line.  “Welcome to our family Joe, Ann said.”  And with a big smile, “You are in for a treat this morning.”

Other twosomes were paired together along the long line of carts, as well as some singles.

Each time groups were paired together you would here, “nice to meet you, what Village are you from?”  Everyone seemed so happy for so early in the morning.

Joe Trombetta with Rick, Ann, and Brian Guy.

As is another Villages tradition, by the end of 18 holes the people that were randomly paired together will exchange emails and phone numbers, and they will now have some new friends.