Frank Malloy just thought he was going to dinner to talk shop with Frank Shurling.
Have you ever eaten at Barefoot Tavern? Shurling asked.
No, lets try it, Malloy replied.
When the two Franks got there, they happened to run into a few friends. Gay McMichael, Phil Hardin and Rusty Wynn were also there.
I walked in, and they were talking, Malloy said, and all of a sudden they said they were honoring Frank Malloy. I about fell on the floor. I was surprised, to say the least.
The group had concocted the whole evening. McMichael, Hardin and Wynn just happen to be part of The Honors tournament committee. The Honors, which is played at Healy Point Country Club, has honored someone in Middle Georgia for contributions to golf the past 16 years, and this year Malloy is their man.
You have earned the respect of your peers, and we can assure you, you are held in the highest esteem among local golfers, the selection committee said in congratulating Malloy on the honor.
Last year Bobby Hicks was honored. Past honorees include Roy Jarvis, Jim Hickman, Ray Cutright, Ed Grisamore and Ken Gerdes.
Malloy will be honored with a dinner Friday, and during the next weekend, hell participate in the two-day amateur four-ball tournament.
This award takes Malloy back to his roots. For the past 19 years, Malloy has been the main news anchor at 13 WMAZ. But sports is what brought Malloy to Macon in 1982. A native of Pennsylvania, Malloy came south to study journalism at Georgia. After two-and-a-half years in Columbus, Malloy came to WMAZ as the sports director. And for 11 years, Biff Malloy gave us the sports every night at 6 and 11 p.m..
He even still does the sports occasionally, and we still see Malloy on Friday nights during the fall (after that other show in town is on) give us high school football scores. While hes respected as the dominant news anchor in the market, sports is still a big part of what identifies Frank Malloy.
Golf was kind of the one thing I really missed when I got into news, Malloy said. Theres something about golfers. Its an individual sport, but Ive always admired being around those guys.
When someone needs to get the word out about a sporting event, Malloys name is undoubtedly on the e-mail. They know they can depend on Malloy to promote sports in this area, and there are not many golf tournaments through the years that have not been talked about by Malloy on the nightly news.
We all know this has been a trying year for Malloy. His son, Nick, was seriously injured in a car accident in March. But Malloy has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from a community that has wrapped its arms around his family during this personal challenge.
I knew central Georgia was a special area to my family, Malloy said. Thats why Ive stayed here. But I didnt think we were ingrained into the community until something like this happened. I cannot go anywhere without someone saying how much they are praying for Nick and our family.
Its really been overwhelming.
This weekend, just for a few days, Malloy will have a good distraction. Hell be able to go back to his sportscasting days and be honored for his contributions to golf in this area.
Itll be a chance to sit down and swap stories and talk about way back when, he said. The good old days, just like our parents used to do. Thatll be us now, after a round of golf, sitting around and talking sports.
The deadline to enter the tournament is Thursday. Call Healy Point at 743-1495 for more information.
So way to go Biff. Its a well-deserved honor for one of Macons media ambassadors to the golf community.
Listen to The Bill Shanks Show from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at www.foxsports1670.com. Follow Bill on firstname.lastname@example.org.