We cheered as golf icon and Bradenton resident Tony Jacklin strutted his stuff on the BBC One’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” and though he was the first contestant voted off during the fall season opener, we give him an A for effort!
Jacklin is a longtime friend of Beach Bistro/Eat Here restaurateur Sean Murphy. Eight years ago, Jacklin told Murphy that he, Kevin Daves and Jack Nicklaus were going to build the best golf course in America and they wanted him to do the food. Thus began The Concession.
To this day, an artifact of their friendship hangs on the wall of Beach Bistro, a portrait of Sean given and signed by his golfing hero.
Jacklin is also such a devoted patron of the Beach Bistro that the bar named a drink after him: the Tony Jacklin martini, with Bombay Sapphire gin, white vermouth, and a cocktail olive with Maytag blue cheese. It is “cool under pressure,” Murphy says, just like Jacklin.
The athlete was certainly cool under pressure when he appeared on Britain’s version of “Dancing with the Stars” with his partner, Aliona Vilani (@AlionaVilani). The two performed a golf-themed Charleston to “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”
Though critics described his footwork as “below-par” and judges only gave him 13 points, we think the 69-year-old Jacklin deserves a standing ovation just for enduring those four-hour training sessions.
“Tony is a rock star in Britain—their Mickey Mantle, their Arnold Palmer—and he has been a wonderful patron of the Beach Bistro,” Murphy says, adding that Jacklin was history’s most successful European Ryder Cup captain and the first British player to win the Open Championship for 18 years.
“‘Twinkle Toes Tony’ always has our vote.”