PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — It took until the last tournament of the 2014 calendar year to discover that there might be one thing that golfers all agree on.
"There’s nothing like a great ‘golf course dog,’" Scott Verplank said. "Every club needs one."
Can anyone disagree? And if one man’s opinion counts, here’s a vote for arguably the best "golf course dog" of them all. His name is Romo, a 6-year-old golden retriever who was a landslide winner for being the most popular attraction at the El Camaleon course during the recent OHL Classic at Mayakoba. (OK, so maybe the weather was No. 1. But Romo was right there.)
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"He loves the attention," Logan Spurlock said.
The head superintendent at the El Camaleon course, Spurlock brought Romo with him in 2013 from Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., where he had worked for seven years. While both jobs involved getting a tournament ready for PGA Tour-sanctioned tournaments — Tiger Woods’ end-of-year event at Sherwood, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba — Spurlock has adjusted nicely to the change in grasses (bent poa in California, paspalum in Mexico) and climate (cool winters in favor of tropical).
Spurlock and Romo watch play along the 15th fairway.
Romo has handled things, too, save for one hiccup. Where once he could race down geese and water fowl at Sherwood, in Mexico "he tries to catch the iguanas, but can’t catch them," Spurlock said.
Spurlock was "there for the birth" of Romo and he’s watched the gentle dog grow into the quintessential "golf course dog." He sits in the golf cart, only jumps out when given the word, and sits and offers his paw to anyone who asks. Yes, he is named for the Dallas quarterback.
"I’m a Cowboys fan," Spurlock said.
That prompts an observation: Romo the QB probably wishes he could spend as much time on the golf course as Romo the golden.