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A Hole-in-One for One Lucky Fan

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Excitement grows as we prepare for a week in San Francisco for the U.S. Open with our Partner, Sports Illustrated, and at one of our signature events: Sports Illustrated at the Majors presented by Southwest Airlines!

During our April event in Atlanta for the Masters, Judge Gary Jackson was the lucky “putting challenge” participant who won an ultimate golf experience in San Francisco. He will be joining us this weekend for a fabulous, golf-filled trip.

I had the chance to visit with Gary about his upcoming trip to San Francisco, and let me tell you, I have never met such a golf enthusiast. Golf memorabilia lines his office and he has memories and stories from tournaments of years past. He is an accomplished Municipal Court Judge in Atlanta, having given lectures at many legal seminars and hosted the radio show “Legal Action with Gary Jackson” for eight years. He was even a line judge for badminton at the 1996 Olympic Games. With his busy life and tremendous achievements, playing golf and attending tournaments have always been his passion.

Judge Jackson has attended the last 26 Masters tournaments in Augusta, Ga. However, he hasn’t been able to attend the U.S. Open since 1976, when it was played in Augusta, and he was ecstatic to win the opportunity to attend this year’s tournament in San Francisco with his wife. “I thought it was a scam at first,” Gary laughed, “but since I found out it was real I’ve been walking on air.” 
 
SI Fan
 
Golf has become a family event for the Jacksons as they attend tournaments together and Gary plays with his son, Isadore, pictured above. “Some of my favorite times have taken place on the golf course, especially playing with my late father, who taught me the game,” Gary says. Passing the game down to his children and attending the tournament in San Francisco on Father’s Day is, for Gary, a rewarding experience. Stay tuned for the story of their experience and news from the event in San Francisco.

Since a ticket to the U.S. Open is difficult to come by, we are bringing a unique experience to Union Square in Downtown San Francisco in order to give golf fans the ultimate golf experience.

Beginning today, June 14, and continuing through June 17, Southwest Airlines and Sports Illustrated will offer golf-themed activities from 12-6 p.m. each day. Participants can get a swing analysis from a golf pro, watch live tournament coverage, and sink a putt in the Southwest Airlines Putting Challenge for a chance to win a FREE flight. There will also be daily giveaways and a gallery of historical tournament photography presented by Sports Illustrated.

If you get a chance, come see us in Union Square. As Gary put it, “A bad day on the golf course is better than a good day in the office.”
 
(Editor's Note: We wanted to surprise Simon, so check out this video from the event in Atlanta, which resulted in the aforementioned story!)