Thursday, February 23, 2006

A Fun-Raising Tournament

Monday was Washington’s Birthday, a federal holiday here in the U.S., and I’m fortunate that my company has it as one of our designated holidays so I had the day off. I spent it at a local golf course, of course. It was actually a fundraising tournament for a children’s baseball league and was held at the beautiful Lost Canyons (a.k.a. Lost Golf Balls Canyons) Shadow Course. It’s one of the ritzier and spendier public courses around the Los Angeles area and the guy who was holding the tournament has all kinds of connections. One of those connections is a product development guy at Taylor Made, and being such a Taylor Made kind of girl, I naturally went a little gaga over the raffle prizes. Drivers and putters and wedges, oh my! Of course, I didn’t win any. I just bought the standard $50 package while all the rich people there bought crazy amounts of extra tickets and there were several multiple-item winners. Good for the cause, right?

It was a really fun event. The entry fee included the golf, breakfast, lunch, all kinds of snacks and goodie bags galore. Some of the parents of the kids in the baseball league spent the day driving around in golf carts stocked full of free beer and other beverages in case anyone got thirsty. The raffle tickets and entry into the side games out on the course were a separate cost and the real method for the fundraising. And there were plenty of women playing in the tournament which was a refreshing change for me. There were even a couple kids playing, one of whom was the 10-year old boy of my friend Brian, who turned me onto the tournament in the first place and they were both in my foursome along with our buddy, Bert.

How did we do?

It was a four person scramble, no handicaps applied, and we actually did pretty well in spite of that. As a group we shot 5 under. A Solid 67 with 5 birdies and the rest pars. Not a single bogey, and it’s not an easy course. The foursome behind us (also friends of ours, and all grown men, by the way) shot 4 over. We definitely held our own, but in a scramble, 5 under is not usually good enough to win anything, and it especially wasn’t in this tournament. There were three foursomes that included local pros and other various scratch golfers. The winners shot 59, and second and third carded off with 60s. So, we didn’t win as a group, and I didn’t win any raffle prizes, but I did win a couple awards.

The fun sideshows

There were all kinds of games out on the course:
“Hit this green, win a sleeve of balls.” – I did.
“Hit this green, win a ticket for a separate raffle for the 50-50 honey pot.” – I got my ticket but didn’t win the pot.
“Guess your driving distance and win a Monza putter.” - I was 7 yards off and the winner was only off by one yard.
There were also three closest to the pin and two long drive holes. We were all excited when the kid in our group had closest to the pin on one hole (his ball got there in a roundabout way, but nonetheless…) but it didn’t hold up and he was mighty disappointed when it was announced. I have never ever ever ever won a closest to the pin. And that didn’t change here. I won the only lady’s long drive I’ve encountered which was at my first tournament ever, also a scramble. But there were only three ladies there and I don’t think the other two even hit the fairway.

Oh what a feeling

The long drive holes were simply that. No separate awards for ladies and men, but they did choose holes where the ladies’ tees gave quite an advantage. And I’m used to playing from the middle tees, so that was kind of nice. I wasn’t even aware of what holes were the long driving holes and our foursome somehow missed one altogether. But as I was setting up to my ball on the 6th hole (we started on 11 in the shotgun so this was our 14th hole) and I was just about to take my club back, Bert says “you might want to put a good swing on this one, it’s a long drive hole.” He lamented a few times throughout the day about how I had outdriven him from the whites the previous day at Rustic Canyon and wanted to see me hit a good one here. Great. Now I’m thinking I actually have a chance here since the tees are so far in front of where the men are playing from and there might be a neat prize attached to this thing. And I’m also thinking “don’t over swing and miss the fairway completely like the men tend to do in this situation.” I had been driving okay for most of the day, but had a couple really bad ones and nothing great by any means. But I really put the focus on and whammo! I smacked that sucker like I know I can but rarely do. It felt amazing. We watched it sail through the air down the fairway and it proceeded to get some good roll and I think it was one of my best drives ever. We drove up to the marker where the previous long drive had been, pulled it from the ground and must have driven another 90 yards to where my ball was to mark it and write my name on that card. The tees were measured to 330 yards and from where my ball was, we had about a 50-60 yard pitch (at an angle) to go to the center of the green. About 270 yards! I don’t measure my drives much, but that has to be a record for me or at least pretty close. Granted, the men were playing from 110 yards further back, but I figure if they’re not going to have separate awards for the women, a woman should win if she can hit it that far. And I did. :) Incidentally, the man who won the other long drive hole hit his 380 yards (which would have tied my drive on this hole) and they call him “Mr. 400.” He’s a local celebrity, retired pro football player and they said he usually wins every long drive contest he enters. I’m thankful that he must have missed the fairway on #6.

I actually don't have a place for this one yet. I temporarily put it in place of one of my hole-in-one certificates for the photo op. I'm out of wall space in that area. I might have to move the trophy wall to a new location.
The bonus trophy

I also won an award I didn’t know they were giving, and that was for best ladies all around golfer or something like that. I don’t know how they judged that since we didn’t have individual scores. Maybe from all the holes where they had people positioned for those greenie games, plus the long drive, plus our group score. Or maybe the other ladies were just terrible. Who knows. I just know I have some new hardware for my trophy wall and I like winning stuff.
A twin set. I guess they all use the same trophy supplier around here.
And I guess I need to get myself a silver outfit with gold trim.

We all had a great time out there and they raised a lot of money for the league. Of course, the kids in the league aren’t exactly Oliver Twist and his gamine harem. In fact, some of their parents could probably buy that golf course. However, I’m sure many kids in the league are not so privileged so they do need to raise money. So it wasn’t the neediest of causes, but it was worthy, so what’s a little more money when I was going to golf on Monday anyway. Plus, it was a great experience and a fine way to spend the holiday!

Next post.


Greg said...

Wow, outstanding GC!! I guess I picked a good template to by which to gauge my progress. I tell ya, you're a tough act to follow.

Great work!


Golfchick said...

Thanks, Greg. I don't know, though. It was feeling really good that day but it was a team event so who knows how I would have fared on my own.

And I think you are keeping up if not already surpassing me. You're doing great.

I have no idea if my progress is fast or slow. I think it's just a matter of how much a person plays.