A little more than a quarter of a century ago the Rooney Bin moved from a quiet little suburb of Pittsburgh to a quiet little Florida community called Ponte Vedra Beach. We had three days to find the home of our dreams and prayed on our way back to Pennsylvania that we had made the right choice. Among the positive points, our new Sawgrass home was close to the ocean and adjacent to a golf course. My spouse the Binmeister envisioned future holes in one, and I thought about beach walks looking for sharks teeth.

 When we moved in late October, there was little traffic on Florida A1A. In fact there seemed to be more traffic on the golf course beside our backyard. Small cart-like vehicles carrying one or two passengers each quickly moved along as if on Disneyland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. For the most part the careening carts seemed to be under control of responsible drivers following singer Dean Martin’s advice:”If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.”

We asked our new neighbors where we could find a good seafood restaurant; Mayport was recommended. We paused our unpacking and headed north. The waterfront eatery quickly filled with wild football fans cheering, laughing and standing on chairs and tables to sing college songs. It was Florida-Georgia weekend. Egad! What had we gotten into? 

The traffic eased and quieted down, until March rolled around. We watched lines of cars inch their way along A1A to THE PLAYERS Championship. That’s when we realized that in addition to football tailgating, we’d landed in a land of greens, water hazards, serious golfers and sometimes heavy traffic. But heck it was only for a couple of weeks a year.

Twenty-five years later everyday looks like tournament week or Florida-Georgia weekend on A1A. Traffic can be annoying, but it can’t be blamed solely on golf or football. Attribute blame to population growth and enjoy the many social and charitable activities that provide opportunities to make new friends and keep things rolling in Northeast Florida.

The Final Word…The Players Championship is a wonderful opportunity to watch great golf and gawk at golf greats. Ponte Vedra Beach puts its best foot forward during the famed annual tournament. St. Johns County workers mowed and trimmed the FL A1A median strip, while the PGA Tour folks trimmed every blade of grass on the Stadium Course.  Binmeister competed by flinging mulch and worrying about the Rooney Bin lawn. Although the closest he has come to a hole-in-one has been at the tournament on TV, I, however, am proud to say I have a large collection of sharks’ teeth.