A Golf Partner For Life: How One Club Champion Found Love on the Course
By Abigail Kasitz, PGA.com
Golf is a social game. You make friends and you make enemies, and in some cases, you meet the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life on and off the course with. Thus is the case of Brittany Benson and Andrew McDonald, who got engaged in front of the clubhouse at Pinehurst during the inaugural PGA National Club Championship.
The game has been a part of both Brittany and Andrew’s lives since the beginning. Brittany grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where activity options were limited and a golf course was just up the dirt road from her house. She started playing competitively when she was 5 years old and didn’t stop.
Andrew spent his childhood playing at Bay Hill in Orlando, occasionally with Arnold Palmer and his grandson. As Andrew put it: “It was really cool to grow up in that environment that was so golf focused, especially with people who have been so impactful in the game. I just fell in love with it.”
Though he had offers to play in college, Andrew eventually got an engineering degree (though still playing and following the game) and Brittany followed a sport broadcasting track. These paths led them both to the 2017 Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale, where Brittany interviewed Andrew as a spectator. Four years later, Brittany and Andrew both work in tech and Andrew is now an amateur golfer. The time had come to take the next step.
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The PGA National Club Championship provided the perfect opportunity for a proposal. It was the first event back for Andrew in a long time in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only that, it was a big tournament that he spent a lot of time preparing for. So, during the practice rounds, he decided to pop the question.
“When the PGA National Club Championship came up, with Pinehurst being such an amazing place, it was a big tournament for me, my parents were coming and it was her birthday weekend. Everything kind of lined up and it was clear to me that I was going to do it then,” he said.
Brittany on the other hand, was not expecting it at all. “This particular tournament [the PGA National Club Championship], I thought absolutely not. It’s the biggest tournament of the year for him, he’s worked nonstop for this tournament and he really surprised me.”
Here’s how the actual proposal went down according to Andrew: “My mom and dad took a picture of us, I convinced her to take her hat off and when she was turned around fixing her hair, I dropped to one knee in front of everyone on the patio near the big putting green at Pinehurst. The crowd erupted and it took her a bit to understand what was going on. Someone eventually said “well, do you have an answer?”
As Brittany put it: “It’s this beautiful wrap-around colonial clubhouse [at Pinehurst] and I immediately started sobbing. I think it took me about 10 minutes to get an answer out. I was caught so off guard.”
The nerves of proposing didn’t seem to phase Andrew and the joy of hearing “yes” may have helped lead him to his top-10 finish.
“It was cool, because that all happened the night before this awesome tournament in this iconic place and I got top seven and it just made for a really really cool week.”
So what’s next? Almost a year from today on April 22nd, 2022, Brittany and Andrew will say their vows. Though they won’t share the location, they say there is a strong chance it will be on a golf course. Regardless of whether that happens or not, the PGA National Club Championship will always have a place in both of their hearts, and golf will have a place at their wedding.
Their hashtag? #mcdonaldsFOREver