FORT WORTH, Texas — When life gives you lemons — or in this case, a strict COVID-limited crowd on the 75th anniversary of one of the most traditional PGA Tour events — you make lemonade adjacent to the historic Colonial Country Club.
That’s exactly what longtime Colonial neighbors/members Michelle and Scott Marlow and their talented kids corps have done for more than a decade, and they weren’t about to let a little thing like a global pandemic stop them.
“This is our 12th year, and every year, the kids pick out the local charity to contribute all the proceeds to along with our local sponsors. This year our goal is $50,000 for Breakthrough Fort Worth and we’re going be very close to making it,” Michelle Marlow said during Saturday’s third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. Marlow’s two-story house sits a good
driver-pitching wedge from the first tee at Colonial.
She enlisted her four sons, George, 22, Thomas, 20, Henry 18 and William, 14, to run the stand, which also offers lemon cookies, along with neighbor Julie Diamond, who contributed daughters, Sidney, 21, and Jordan, 18.
J.J. Henry chats with Michelle Marlow after the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29, 2021. (Photo by Art Stricklin/contributor)
The kid-run lemonade operation is stuff of local tournament legends, with Colonial winner Phil Mickelson and others often making a stop here, buying a cup of lemonade and paying with a $100 bill, saying they don’t need any change.
Fort Worth PGA Tour veteran J.J. Henry continued the tradition Saturday afternoon, even after a disappointing third-round 74.
He pulled his black luxury vehicle to the curb, got out to greet the kids, and pulled out a crisp bill to drop into the money jar.
“I’m paying with a $100 bill, so this better be really good lemonade,” Henry said with a smile.
The children of PGA Tour pro J.J. Henry grab a lemonade during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29, 2021. (Photo by Art Stricklin/contributor)
“Really, it’s so cool to see the kids doing this to help out with local charities,” he added. “That’s one of the things that separates Colonial as a neighborhood event versus most of the tournaments we play, which are just corporate.”
Even with the changing times, the local stand and the causes it serves have endured. When police closed off the neighboring streets for security, the kids organized golf carts rides from far away lots to Colonial, for a donation and a stop at the lemonade stand.
Through the years, the lemonade stand and the Marlow house have become ground central for off-course player entertainment. Jim Furyk once gave an impromptu chipping lesson in the Marlow backyard.
Matt Kuchar came in for a piano lesson.
A photo of Phil Mickelson outside the home of Michelle Marlow during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge on May 29, 2021. (Photo by Art Stricklin/contributor)
“It’s good we can help out,” said George, “but it’s cool to meet the players as well.”
Every year, Marlow said the crew gathers for a Saturday night dinner, exhausted, but happy to continue the local charity tradition.
“I always think this is going to be the last one, but these players have become part of our family.”