Nancy Tison owns a wardrobe of golf clothes.
Not for playing golf.
For meeting and following professional golfers, their careers and their families.
Nancy, who lives in southeastern Virginia, and sister, Barbara McNeal, who resides in Florida, call themselves the PGA Tour "Grandma Groupies."
They also follow Nationwide and Champions tournaments.
"I own a set of clubs and I have played, but not that much," confesses Nancy, 73.
For the past 15 years, the sisters have toured the country, going to as many professional golf tournaments as time and energy allows. She's met about 200 pro golfers -- Jim Furyk, Ben Crane, Esteban Toledo, Fuzzy Zoeller, Michael Allen and Chris DeMarco are names she quickly lists.
She favors newcomers to the professional sport because big name golfers already have so many fans.
"I like to be encouraging and make them feel good," she says. Over time, she's collected the phone numbers for some and addresses for many, but she never shares any of those private details with anyone, not even her own family.
Her home is filled with bags of autographed golf balls, hats and gloves, cards and notes from golfers and their wives and, of course, lots of photos with and without her and Barbara in them. To stay on top of her game, she's in front of the TV into the wee hours of the morning, watching programs like "Golf Central" and "Inside the PGA Tour."
"We've had so much fun doing this," she says.
This week, Nancy and her oldest son, Eddie, head for a new tournament at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Barbara, soon to be 75, can't make it for health reasons.
At the tournament, Barbara plans to meet up with PGA Tour official Jon Brendle, who she affectionately calls "Mighty Jon."
"One time we couldn't get to the clubhouse, so he gets us in his cart and takes us where we need to go," she says.
"He's always there for us."
Where and when she met each golfer is the difficult question to answer because there are so many and time takes its toll on memory. That's one reason husband Ed encourages Nancy to keep up with her hobby; Alzheimer's runs in her family so he believes being a golf groupie keep her mind active.
Dates aren't important any way because it's the specialness of each encounter that makes her smile.
"Barbara and I were at a tournament where she saw Omar Uresti and said, 'Oh, Nancy, isn't he precious?"' Nancy says.
"Omar heard that and came back later to autograph and give Barbara his hat.
"He was our first 'adopted son."' Uresti won Nationwide Tour events in 1994 and 2007.
PGA golfer Chris Riley, their second adopted son and winner of the 2002 Reno-Tahoe Open, married in 2002, and you can bet Nancy was there.
"It was a beautiful wedding in a cathedral in New Orleans," she says.
"They had ice sculptures of a man and woman golfer because he married Michelle Louviere who was an LPGA member. They now have two girls."
Nancy's passion for following professional golfers started when she began accompanying her late Uncle Red to the Kingsmill golf tournament.
Red Speigel, 86 when he died in 2002, was a PGA member and professional golf instructor for almost 70 years.
"I remember Sam Snead coming to my house to see Uncle Red when I was in the seventh or eighth grade and it didn't even faze me," says Nancy, shaking her head at the thought of such celebrity in her presence.
"Ben Hogan visited, too."
At tournaments with Uncle Red, Nancy soon realized she had the opportunity of a lifetime because she could schmooze and get her photo taken with nationally known golfers.
"Everyone knew Uncle Red and would come up to talk to him," she says.
Once those celebrity photos were taken, Nancy's husband turned them into buttons she pins to a vest that she wears to tournaments.
"I've got way too many buttons to fit on the vest so I change them around," she says. However, buttons for the late Payne Stewart and Arnold Palmer always stay in their prominent positions.
Ed, a graphic artist, designed the stationary that Nancy uses to write notes to the golfers and their families. That correspondence includes letters of encouragement to Phil Mickelson's wife, Amy, who is dealing with breast cancer, and John Daly, who has battled his own demons over time.
"I've been writing John Daly for 12 years," she says. "I've sent him devotionals and books to encourage him. I think he's trying to get his act together now. Last time I saw him, he grabbed me and thanked me for all the notes."
Gifts have also become a part of Nancy's golfing groupie persona. When she attends tournaments, she usually totes along shopping bags of gifts for the golfers and their families -- little things like Christmas ornaments with a golfing theme. New babies mean gifts for the mothers.
In November, Nancy and Barbara plan to attend the Children's Miracle Network Classic at Disney World in Florida. Last year, Nancy received an invitational letter, clubhouse badges and parking passes for the event from PGA golf commissioner Tim Finchem.
"He really takes good care of us," she says, smiling.
In addition to dressing the part, the sisters take along their special seating -- chairs embroidered with their "Grandma Groupies" logo.
"Barbara and I both think golfers are the nicest athletes -- they dress and act so nice and they are appreciative and friendly of any little thing we do.
"If Uncle Red could see us know, he wouldn't believe it!"