A few weeks ago I wrote an article called “Playing hooky for the cause!” highlighting just a few of the charity golf tournaments that were being held around Whatcom County this summer. Lo and behold, I actually got invited to one and—as is required by my oath to “play hooky for any cause”—accepted the invitation without hesitation.
This particular tournament, held at Shuksan Golf Course, was put on by the Builder Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC) to benefit their student scholarship fund. Besides supporting the cause of higher education in which I deeply believe, it turned out that these BIAWC folks know how to throw a party too… even in spite of the fact that the Kulshan Brewing Company station was not allowed to pour (FREE) beer until 10:00. “Hey, it’s 10:00 o’clock somewhere,” I heard someone say… or was that me?
Regardless, I was there representing a team of Chamber of Commerce members that Tyler Byrd of RedRokk Interactive put together. The other players were Galen Hirss of Windermere Real Estate and Sam Aldrich of Waddell & Reed, neither of whom I had ever met before but most definitely hope to meet again. They are great guys and as it turns out—dandy golfers too. Sam was a “steady eddy” who you could almost always count on to keep the ball in play and Galen was absolutely sick. He could drive the ball 300-yards and quite often, as the last golfer to hit, would nail a green when the other three of us had left him little or no other options.
Despite the fact that our partners were way better than either Tyler or me, as often happens in scramble formats, all of us found ways to contribute. For example, Tyler drained an eagle putt from two feet off the green on number 12 (of course Galen had driven the ball to within 2-feet of the green from 320 yards!). On another hole, I landed an approach to within a few inches for a tap in birdie, and Sam hit a drive on the par-5 13th so far that we had an 8-iron approach. We missed the 20-foot eagle putt but “settling” for a birdie is pretty darned fun too.
Many of the sponsored holes had some sort of game to play. The accounting firm VSH had you toss ping-pong balls into a pint glass. Larry Steele surveyors had you align a 4” x 4” to point due north, and Bob Hagedorn of SSK Insurance hosted a “Crap Shoot” contest to see if you could chip Wiffle balls into an old toilet from 10 feet.
We had a hoot all day capped off by pleasant conversation with old friends on the deck overlooking Mt. Baker and the course, then a nice dinner with award presentations in Shuksan’s spacious clubhouse event space. Oh, and if you care, we came in at 16-under par to tie for second place. It was hands down the most competitive round I’ve ever been involved with in this type of event and I have to admit that the taste of potential victory was pretty heady stuff; kind of like the foam on a frosty pint glass of… oh, did I mention the free beer?
Go. Play. Golf. Fore. Good.