By Jaded Roberts, Special from The Garlic Times
Luther Freeman loves the game of golf. Late next month, golf fans in the D.C. region are going to love him.
Freeman, who lives in the Fort DuPont neighborhood and is a big fan of Tiger Woods, has set up a unique transportation service for the upcoming “AT&T National.” Scheduled for June 28th – July 1st in Bethesda, Maryland, the tournament, hosted by Woods, returns to Congressional Country Club after a two-year hiatus. The famed layout hosted the U.S Open last year.
Walking into Langston Golf Course’s clubhouse grill, Freeman sits down at a table, takes a sip from his cup of his beer, signs his scorecard, and hands a five-dollar bill to one of his playing partners.
“Nice putt at 18, dog.”
A few minutes later, we walk over to an empty table in a quieter part of the room. A set of black and white photographs hangs on the wall. I see Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, and Calvin Peete, pioneers all.
Freeman looks down at the Spectator Information Sheet he has pulled out of his pocket.
“The transportation options,” he laments, “for getting to Tiger’s tournament are pretty bad.”
“$45 for VIP parking. No Metro bus service to and from Bethesda on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.”
“What about satellite parking?” I ask.
“Not bad if you live in Montgomery County.”
Freeman said he has attended every PGA Men’s tournament in Washington since the arrival of The “Kemper Open” in 1980.
“TPC Avenel had a few fiascos with muddy parking lots, but at least they were located on the grounds.”
Knowing all this, Freeman, a 55-year old scratch golfer, decided to do something about it. Pulling some strings, he arranged for helicopter service to and from the tournament.
Details will be released this week. Freeman is targeting golf fans in the southeast part of the region, including Prince George’s County.
“Door to tee,” he said, “some of them are looking at up to an hour and a half.”
Freeman lauds the “First Tee” program at Langston, and said he appreciates the things Woods has done for area youth, including the two Learning Centers in the District.
“We got a great host,” he said, “a great course, junior golfers with a budding interest in the game, and an area that supports golf.”
Looking back down at the sheet, he adds, “We just have to find a better way to get folks to the tournament.”