Shriners Hospitals for Children patients enjoy VIP trip to World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship
February 27, 2020
By Jamie Handy, PGATOUR.COM
- February 27, 2020
Shriners Hospitals for Children patients take VIP trip to WGC-Mexico
After a serious car accident as a toddler, Briana, now 15, became a patient at the Mexico Shriners Hospitals for Children at the age of just four. Briana underwent multiple surgeries, prosthetic fittings and many hours of physical therapy.
Known to overcome her challenges, golf became a new sport and challenge that Briana had interest in. Although she has been to other PGA TOUR golf tournaments before, she and her family got the opportunity for a closer look of the operations on-site. The family drove seven hours from El Grullo Jalisco, Mexico, to the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship for an exclusive experience at the tournament.
“I wasn’t expecting to see what each person does and what area they work in,” said Briana.
Two other patients from the hospital – Diego, 17, and Arlet, 14 – joined in on a behind-the-scenes tour in Mexico City. All three from the group had previously attended the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas as standard barriers in the two final rounds for PGA TOUR professionals.
Their tour at the WGC-Mexico Championship would be a new experience. When the group arrived at Club de Golf Chapultepec, they each received their own pin flag as a welcome gift. The three walked the driving range and waited for players to come by during their practice sessions. Kevin Kisner, Gary Woodland and Kevin Na came through and the group received photos and autographs from each of the players. Carlos Ortiz, a native to Mexico, also paid a visit during their experience. After their interactions and time at the putting green, their group had the opportunity to see the tournament operations across the facility.
“You see it on TV, and you think that’s so easy,” said Diego, from Toluca, Mexico. “Now that we saw how the whole thing operates, I was very impressed.”
The tour included access into the ShotLink trailer, a visit to the television compound and to the media center. During their time at the media center, the group listened in to the conversations players had with media officials during their press conference.
“My favorite part was when we got to see all that goes into the production,” said Arlet.
Arlet has also been a patient at the Mexico Shriners Hospitals for Children since the age of four. She was born with a congenital amputation of her left arm and, through the hospital, she received her first prosthetic arm. Through her time as a patient, she has learned to play the violin and has learned innovative ways to adapt activities in her daily living.
For Arlet, golf is a new sport that she would like to try, even with the obstacles that life has given her.
To end the day, the group watched more practice rounds, saw the iconic 12th hole and visited the Fan Shop for souvenirs from their VIP experience. Each patient related the sport of golf to their own challenges they have overcome by learning to stay positive and focus on what they are doing well, regardless of the outcome.
Safe to say, the group enjoyed their inside and outside the ropes experience.