All in the Name of Charity and Fun

The 6th annual Clubcorp Charity Classic was held Thursday, October 25th. Four person teams played a scramble format intent on having a fun day and helping generate funds for a number of worthwhile charities both at the national level and locally. The event appeared to be a success on all counts. I did not ask for nor did I receive any accounting of event. I don’t know who won. I don’t know who won any of the various lotteries, drawings, side-events, side-shows or the tournament itself. In other words, I’m writing this while wallowing in near complete ignorance. I was, however, present. Hence, I can do what any good reporter has done, i.e., make it up. I will tell no lies. I will retain “plausible deniability”. But I may be forced to interpret the limited number of facts I possess knowing that with time, these “facts” will morph into truth. I will divide my report into three brief, marginally accurate sections covering golf, fund raising and dirt.

GOLF: I don’t know who won although I heard that Jason Sample and his anonymous mask-wearing teammates finished at the top of the heap. I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the best team in the field was that of Mike Miller, George Stelmach, Bruce Partridge and yours truly, Howard Jones. I submit as irrefutable proof the photograph of our four approach shots on #3 Lakes. This is not a doctored photo. It is in fact an image showing our four balls, lying after two strokes, next to the flagstick. The furthest of the four is six feet from the hole. The next photo shows George Stelmach putting, the ball poised next to the hole preparing to jump in for one of our many birdies on the day. Now I ask you . . . If a team has the amazing ability to do that on #3 Lakes, how is it possible they could finish in any position below first place. If we didn’t win, a recount is in order. I’m sure you agree.

CHARITY FUND RAISING: I’m guessing there were roughly 80 players participating in the event. At a hundred dollars a whack, you’ve got eight grand right out of the chute. Throw in fifty bucks a head for partner’s dinner and we’re up to twelve G. Once the first ball was hit, the real fund raising began. Every other tee had some form of a carney barker showing that nothing was up the sleeve while the other hand was in my pocket. “If you donate $500”, he would cry, “you’ll get two mulligans, a back rub, two shots of whiskey and a sleeve of balls” (which the cute little assistant in the short-shorts had pilfered from the bag of the participant in the group in front of us). After four or five of these toll-booths, I would just approach the tee box, throw my money on the ground, tee it up and strike the ball. I would then turn around and pick up any money that might still remain. Some of these guys actually took credit cards! The holes in between were manned (if you considered twenty-two year old girls in tight tops and shorts “manning”) by helpers passing out samples of a variety of rums, wines and whiskeys. These swing lubricants helped mitigate the pain the “giving” on the next hole.

Based upon my observations, the on-course fund raising was very successful. So successful in fact that by the time I’d finished 18 holes, I personally qualified as a needy person in the eyes of many of the charities we had been supporting. It all went to a good cause and I’ll do it again next year.

THE DIRT: Well frankly, I don’t have a lot of it (that I’m willing to share). The nearly twenty thousand dollars raised didn’t come without incurring some expense. Chef Jeff put on his customary display of a great spread of culinary delights. Obviously, there was a cost incurred. The dinner was in the parking lot so we saved the cost of renting a dining room. That must have helped. The event was replete with celebrity. Tour pro Billy Mayfair played. He received 18 holes of golf lessons from Tom Hansen and Dave Kopp. Jim McMahon, the renowned quarterback of the Chicago Bears was present. I was there. Elvis was seen late in the evening. And just before midnight, many witnessed a Partridge in a pear tree. To the best of my knowledge, there were no arrests made during the tournament or at the subsequent dinner. There probably should have been.

All in all, it was a fun day and a great event. But just in case I didn’t mention it before, we were the best team in the field. See you next year.

Author: h. Alton Jones


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