By Juanice Gray, firstname.lastname@example.org
“See you in Pebble Beach.”
That’s what the official said when he handed an award to pro golfer Callum Tarren following a tournament in Florida last weekend. Tarren, a professional on the web.com tour will be accompanied to the U.S. Open, the big daddy of golf, by his friend and caddy, a man with very strong local ties.
In the world of golf, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are household names.
In Natchitoches, there is the Maggio clan. Need we say more?
Landon Ewing is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. John Maggio, grandson of Betty Ewing of Campti and the son of Surrey and Susan Maggio Ewing of Montgomery, Texas. The family home is in Texas, but Landon says he knows all about the Natchitoches and Campti areas and grew up enjoying the whole Natchitoches experience.
Now, lets get back to the US Open.
Ewing has a background in golf. He loves the game and played in high school, college and professionally. “I just got burned out some,” he said. “But I can’t stay away from the sport. I first became a caddy on the Latin American Tour and am still at it three years later.” Ewing met Tarren while in Guatamala during the Latin American Tour and the two became friends. “Callum is English, but was playing for PGA China. We kept in touch and somehow the timing finally got right for me to become his caddy. That was three or four weeks ago and now we’re heading to Pebble Beach, the first time for both of us.”
Before the most famous of US golf courses, Ewing and Tarren must man up and bear the burden of their golf partner, none other than Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev, in the upcoming BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C., this weekend, June 6-9. “OH MY GOSH!” Ewing bursts out. “When we heard who Callum was partnered with we just started laughing and reminded each other we had to focus on golf. It’ll be such fun though. He’s English and you know the ladies like his accent, but he has a missus. I’m single though, but I don’t think she is.”
When the duo qualified for Pebble Beach, Ewing’s first thought was to look at accommodations and flights. “I thought, we’re going to need a Go Fund Me account,” he chuckles. “Golf is not all glamour unless you’re at the top of the ranks. Travel expenses take a lot of your income. Callum’s family and trainer and caddy, me, will all be going and to rent a house to hold us all is several thousand dollars.”
Ewing said they were blessed with finding a host family to stay with. “These people allow us into their homes, usually feed us dinner and let us be a part of their family while we’re there. They give us that sense of home we miss from being on the road so much.” Ewing said a host family in Knoxville, Tenn., owned a mansion with a golf simulator they could use and also had a lot of boats. “They took us on a boat trip. We had such good interaction with them and they really made us feel at home,” he said. “They don’t know how much it helps us. It’s cost effective, true, plus we’re not having to stay in a hotel. We get the chance to live with them for our stay.”
In 20 weeks, the golfer and his caddy were at a different city and course every week. “It’s not the lifestyle for everybody,” he said. “Things can get a little intense. It’s hard for families. Just recently we went from Chicago to Raleigh and got a flight to Florida and now we’re in South Carolina. It’s nonstop.”
Ewing is looking forward to setting foot on the Pebble Beach course for the first time. “It is the best course and best scenic course in the world.” Ewing admits to having a lot of nerves and knowing there is a lot of work prior to the tournament. “I’ll have to map out the course and there, fog is an issue, all the elements really. I’ll have to do a lot of pregame planning. It’s our first major and (laughs) we’ll just have to act like we belong among Tiger Woods and that crowd.”
“At the end of the day, Callum earned his place there and we’ll go in like it’s just another tournament, with that mindset. I want to go in like it’s another fun walk on a beautiful course,” he said.
Ewing still plays plenty of golf to keep on top of his own game. “It’s the most interesting sport. Well, I think so. There’s no team, it’s just you, although Callum and I are a team. I hope to make it to the big tour with him.” Tarren has the potential to hang with the big boys of the PGA. Tarren came out guns blazing at Streamsong Black in Bowling Green, Fla., opening with a course-record 64. He topped the field at 14-under 132 after two rounds. He opened both with eagles on the first holes.
The US Open tournament will be broadcast on the Golf Channel among others. Ewing also documents his and Tarren’s journeys with video footage.
Just follow the links below to share his journey. His videos are well done and very entertaining.
The Knoxville Open https://vimeo.com/337191119
Journey to the U.S. Open https://vimeo.com/340326614