Sam's Commentary

September 16, 2016 Commentary Archive

Graeme Mcdowell Owns Restaurants, Wants To Play Golf

by Sam Kouvaris
Posted September 16, 2016 ===========================================================================

Dark woods, understated lighting and plenty of glass greet you as you step inside the new Nona Blue Tavern in Ponte Vedra. International and PGA Tour player Graeme McDowell and his two partners opened the doors to their second restaurant on Wednesday, donating a check for $15,000 to Tom Coughlin and the Jay Fund, money raised from their soft opening earlier this week.

"I don't remember feeling this way about the first one," McDowell said on the back deck of his new restaurant. Their first Nona Blue opened in Orlando near McDowell's Florida home in Lake Nona. This one seemed a natural progression, right down the street from the PGA Tour headquarters.

"Great local people and family," Graeme said of the people he's met in Ponte Vedra. "The first one was a stab in the dark, we feel like we know what we're doing and they've done such a good job with the Sawgrass shopping area. We're happy to be in the community."

A self-proclaimed "foodie," McDowell said he didn't know much about the restaurant business when they first started but learned quickly.

"It took me a little while. I learned build outs are very expensive. I leave the flippin' burgers and the hiring and firing to my guys and I see myself more of the PR and branding guy."

Based on how much golf is played near his restaurant in Orlando, the Nona Blue name became known fast.

"The response I get from all over America is great. People shouting "Nona Blue" at me and G-Mac and cheese (a menu item). It's really cool, it's overwhelming the support I've gotten in Orlando and hopefully here."

It's not a sports bar, but there will be plenty of sports watching done. And it's not just a place for guys to meet after a round at one of the local golf courses.

"We're not trying to position ourselves as an NFL watching Sunday destination, but the games will be on," McDowell explained. "We want you to be able to come in with your wife or girlfriend, but also the boys can come in after a round and drink a few rounds. Approachability, warm, comfortable."

You could see the pain in his face when he started to talk about golf and the upcoming Ryder Cup. McDowell's play over the last two seasons didn't earn him a spot on the team. He didn't like that.

"The Ryder cup, not being on that team, that's going to hurt, sitting on my couch and watching but I'm going to watch every shot and it'll motivate me to get back there."

It's not as if he's completely disappeared. McDowell won a tournament in November of last year but is currently ranked 78th in the world. That's not the form the former US Open champion is looking for.

"I think streaky is a fair assessment," he said. "When I play well I play really well. Life's been a real distraction for me for all the right reasons in the last couple of years. I've gotten married had two children and opened two restaurants."

But golf is moving back up his priority list. "I've rededicated myself to the game because that's still what I want to do. I had to ask myself some tough questions this time last year and ask myself what I wanted to do and I found that I still love golf and want to win another major before I'm done. It's a refocusing, I feel lighter and leaner than I've ever been," Graeme explained looking fitter than his form in the last 15 months.

And as far as the Ryder Cup goes, McDowell sees the Cup changing hands at Hazeltine.

"I really feel like there's a change in the feel of the American side. You've got a lot of young guys who are really, really close. Like a little fraternity out there. It's something you can't create."

"We have six rookies on the European squad but rookies are not what they used to be. They've played a lot of golf in the States. I look for it to be a close one as usual. I have a bad feeling for us but I'll be pulling for the Europeans. I'll be using it as motivation."

Commentary by Sam Kouvaris

e-mail Sam

Sam's Commentary

Black Creek Outfitters

ARCHIVE of The College Weekly Report

09-12-2016 - After Further Review: I Feel A Little Better Because They Don't
09-11-2016 - Exciting, Encouraged: Jaguars Still 0-1
09-10-2016 - Jaguars: 4 To Watch 4
09-10-2016 - Will Gus Bradley's Coaching Experiment Work?
09-08-2016 - Jaguars And Packers, More Similar Than You Think
09-06-2016 - Jaguars Roster: Bigger, Faster, Stronger
08-31-2016 - Are The Jaguars 'Hoping" For Success
08-30-2016 - Jaguars Know Bengals Effort Won't Fly
08-29-2016 - Wake Up Call For Jaguars Vs. Bengals
08-28-2016 - Jaguars "Fact Finding" vs. Bengals
08-23-2016 - Arrow Up On Jaguars
08-20-2016 - South End Zone Project: Khan Wants To Get It Right
08-13-2016 - Jets Game, Training Camp, Jaguars Still Working
08-03-2016 - Bortles Better, Defense Better
07-31-2016 - Stadium Improvements March On
07-29-2016 - FSU/Boise St. To Play Here In 2019
07-28-2016 - Air2G2 Local Company Making Good
07-27-2016 - Smith "Grateful and excited" to be in The Pride
07-27-2016 - Time for Jimmy Smith in The Pride
07-22-2016 - Jaguars Ready To Win Says Malik Jackson
07-22-2016 - Khan On 2016 Roster: "Scary Good"
07-15-2016 - Cryotherapy: The latest in "Sam's Big Comeback"
06-16-2016 - MJD on Jaguars: "They can win the South"
06-15-2016 - Foley To Leave Florida In A Good Spot
06-11-2016 - Marks Returns Optimistic
06-03-2016 - Hurns Deal Good All Around
05-31-2016 - Jaguars TE Thomas: We can be better
05-25-2016 - Hale Irwin at WGV: Winners have the heart of a champion"
05-24-2016 - Jaguars Start OTA's "Good not great."
05-20-2016 - Ramsey Hurt: Jaguars Snake Bit?
05-15-2016 - Day Wins THE PLAYERS 2016
05-13-2016 - Play Suspended At THE PLAYERS in Rd. 2
05-13-2016 - Wilcox Hole In One At 17
05-13-2016 - THE PLAYERS Round 2: Low Scores Again
05-12-2016 - First Round Players Notes
05-12-2016 - Day Early Leader At THE PLAYERS
05-12-2016 - Spite A Favorite, And Not Just For Golf
05-10-2016 - Fowler Still "Likes the Vibe"
05-10-2016 - Formula To Win THE PLAYERS? None
05-09-2016 - More Players At THE PLAYERS On Monday
05-09-2016 - Furyk Returns Optimistic At PLAYERS
04-30-2016 - Caldwell Takes Jack: "Risk To Be Great"
04-29-2016 - Jaguars' Ramsey: Best Player In The Draft
04-27-2016 - Khan On Draft Day: "Don't Be Impulsive"
04-23-2016 - Raising Money, Always Funny, Bill Murray's In Town
04-20-2016 - Mcelwain: Gators Much Farther Along
04-16-2016 - Armada Get 1st Win 2-1 vs. Miami FC
04-14-2016 - Rashean Retires As A Jaguar
04-09-2016 - Masters Traditions Like No Other
04-01-2016 - NFL Contributes To HS Player Safety
03-28-2016 - USA Soccer To Play Here September 6
03-26-2016 - When Watching Tony Kornheiser, Buyer Beware
03-24-2016 - Khan Still Moving Forward
03-23-2016 - Dave Caldwell's Jaguars Vision
03-23-2016 - Bradley: Stay to the Plan
03-09-2016 - Mayor Curry To Run Gate River Run
02-27-2016 - "The Hayt" Tests College Players At Sawgrass CC
02-19-2016 - Earnhardt, Kyle Busch win Duels at Daytona
02-18-2016 - Jaguars Re-sign Chad Henne
02-18-2016 - Champions Ride for Safety
02-12-2016 - The Players Military Appreciation Day
02-08-2016 - Hall of Fame Voting: A Process
02-04-2016 - FSU Class Among The Best In The Nation
02-04-2016 - Gators Bolster Offense on Signing Day
01-29-2016 - Stadium Clubs "Reimagined"
01-25-2016 - Remembering Rex Morgan
01-21-2016 - "Krossover" Helping Hs Hoops Teams
01-13-2016 - Cyclists And Motorists Looking For Compromise
01-07-2016 - Jacksonville in the D-League?
01-07-2016 - Smith Fired in Tampa: Jax DC?
01-05-2016 - For Gus' Sake, I Hope He's Right
01-04-2016 - Coughlin Out At Giants HC
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Lose To Texans, Work To Do
01-03-2016 - Jaguars Playing Today, Thinking About Tomorrow

All content at this site is subject to
© Copyright by Sam Kouvaris / All Rights Reserved
Designed and Created by Charlie Logan
A ® Ruffsounds Production
Website Hosting by KTEK International Inc.