The winds, and temperatures, of change came close to changing The ACE Group Classic.
Had the frost that layered the fairways, roughs and greens at The Club at TwinEagles early Tuesday morning — a product of some of the coldest temperatures seen in Southwest Florida in recent memory — occurred a day or two later, ACE officials may have had a problem on their hands.
But a quick warmup late Tuesday morning and into the afternoon erased any concern officials may have had about this week's Champions Tour event in Naples.
"It looked like an ice palace this morning," TwinEagles director of golf Paul Celano said as some golfers finished up their work in the still-chilly, late-afternoon air.
"If this had been (Wednesday), we'd have been in a fair amount of trouble."
But with temperatures later this week expected to be in the high 70s or low 80s, Celano said it is business as usual.
After the frost dissipated, golfers were allowed on both the driving range and the course by 9:30 a.m.
The pro-am that is scheduled for today and Thursday is expected to go off without a hitch, despite more cold early morning weather today. The low was expected to be in the upper 30s or low 40s inland.
Even with warm weather on the way, Tuesday's frost will likely have an effect on how the course plays into the weekend. The fairways and greens have hardened, causing faster conditions on both.
• CLINIC HELD: Dr. Jim Suttie, director of instruction at TwinEagles, conducted a clinic Tuesday afternoon with the help of Champions Tour players Danny Edwards, Doug Tewell and Mike Reid.
Edwards, using a 7-iron, handled the accuracy segment. Tewell, whom Suttie called one of the straightest hitters on tour, worked off the tee with his driver. Reid used a 5-wood for approaches.
ACE GROUP CLASSIC - 2006
- EXTENDED COVERAGE: Check out our complete coverage of the ACE Group Classic
- VIDEO: Watch coverage of the Ace Group Classic
- PHOTOS: View additional photos from the tournament
- AUDIO: Listen to audio coverage of the Ace Group Classic
- HOLE DESCRIPTIONS: Take virtual tours of each hole at The Club at TwinEagles
- SWING ANALYSES: Hear and see expert analyses of ACE Classic golfers' swings
- PLAYERS TO WATCH: Get bios of 18 players to keep an eye on
- LEADER BOARD: Get the most up-to-date scoring information
- ON TV: Find out when the event will be televised
- MAP: View parking map for the ACE Group Classic
- ARCHIVE: View a 7-day archive of ACE Group Classic articles
- ON THE WEB: Visit the official Ace Group Classic Web site
"I found these three to be very good," Suttie said. "They were the best three I've had in the four years I've been doing (the clinic) ... especially Reid. He's great at communicating with the audience. You could hear a pin drop when he was talking. It was that good."
• FROM THE HALL: All of the Hall of Famers playing today will be teeing off in the morning shotgun at 7:45. They include: Rod Gilbert (hockey), John Havlicek (basketball), Sam Jones (basketball), Al Kaline (baseball), Anthony Munoz (football), Phil Niekro (baseball) and Jan Stenerud (football).
The clinic focused on three phases of the game — accuracy with short irons, distance off the tee and approach shots.
• DEMO DAYS AT THE RANGE: Edwin Watts Golf Shops will have demo days the rest of the week at the driving range. Today: Mizuno; Thursday: Cleveland; Friday: Ping; Saturday: Adams; Sunday: Nike.
The Edwin Watts Skills Challenge takes today and Thursday off, resuming on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the same time on Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. A $10 donation to the Education Foundation gets fans into the challenge, a series of five shots, with competitors in three men's and three women's divisions.