It has been about two weeks since the excitement of the Valspar Championship 2018. Formerly the Tampa Bay Championship, the Valspar Championship is part of the PGA TOUR 2018 and was held at the Innisbrook Golf and Spa resort in Florida. I was invited to attend a media day at the Valspar Championship and spent the afternoon enjoying amazing nibbles and sipping on fine wines with many of my favorite Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg area bloggers. We started the day off at the Market Salamander Grille and had the great pleasure to meet Innisbrook Resorts Executive Chef: Thomas McKinney-Stehr. We tried everything from delicious Pulled Chicken Nachos, Colossal Onion Rings, Chicken Quesadillas, amazing Sticky Ribs, Crispy Brussels Sprouts and several different Flatbreads. 

Next we took a leisurely stroll around the beautiful property over to the Grape & Grain Wine, Spirit, and Beer Garden. It was such a treat to relax and enjoy the amazing Florida winter weather while sipping on wines from Josh Cellars. If you know me, then you know that I have never met a Prosecco that I haven't loved, and Josh Cellars newly release Prosecco did not disappoint. While at the Grape & Grain, we had an amazing tour guide…..the one and only Ronde Barber. He was so nice and approachable, he even asked us questions! He filled us in on some of the inner workings of the Valspar Championship, it was very informative and so much fun. It was a great way to wrap up our visit to the Grape & Grain. 

Next we had a very unique opportunity to go inside the Massage Envy Player Performance Center. Which is a mobile fitness and therapy tractor trailer, used by players each week on the PGA Tour and on the PGA TOUR Champions. The trailer contains state-of-the-art fitness and therapy equipment.  We focused mainly on what is called "Assisted Stretch" - which is done with the help of a professional service provider. Every Professional and Elite athlete uses assisted stretching in their training and conditioning routines to increase mobility and boost everyday performance. it was so interesting to see where some of the best players in the world of Golf get prepared and repaired before or after a long day of swinging and driving, and then Jim Furyk walked in!!!

The last part of this amazing day was spent posing with trophies, watching the Championship, shopping, tasting many of the delicious options at Frenchy's Pool Party, and catching up with friends.  I am already counting the days until the 2019 Valspar Championship and I will absolutely be thrilled to attend this amazing event again. 

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Special thanks to Valspar, The Tampa Bay Bloggers, Innisbrook Salamander Resort, and Ronde Barber, Josh Cellars, and Massage Envy for such an incredible experience. 

Rebecca Hagen