Hacker or pro, the Optimist golf tournament is for you | SummitDaily.com
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Hacker or pro, the Optimist golf tournament is for you

JIM MORGAN

The last time I played in a golf tournament I got a new nickname.

It wasn’t flattering.

About the fifth hole, one of the guys in my foursome, just after I’d smashed a drive about 30 yards into the woods, drolly said, “Nice shot there, Hoover.”

“Hoover?” I asked.

“Yeah, like the vacuum cleaner … you know, as in you suck.”

That was just the kind of confidence builder I needed at that moment.

Actually, I already knew the status of my golf game. You see, once upon a time I was a pretty decent golfer. Not great, but good enough not to embarrass myself.

My handicap was flirting with single digits. I had a nice controlled fade, and when I hit the ball it usually landed where I’d planned.

What happened?

I broke three bones in my left arm and hand in a basketball game. So the next year, I worked like the dickens to get my handicap down to the mid- 20s.

The fade was gone. My right hand overpowered the left, and I hooked everything, well, about 30 yards into the woods.

Then my twin brother came to visit.

He and I had been competing with one another since we were each old enough to take the other’s milk bottle. He beat me like a yard dog and was, as you might imagine, neither magnanimous nor gracious in victory.

Of course, were the circumstances reversed, I’d have acted just as he did, including sending the 3-feet-by-5-feet blowup of the scorecard as a birthday gift.

The irony is that given all that, I’m thinking about playing in a golf tournament – the inaugural Summit Lake Dillon Optimist Club Tournament scheduled for Monday, June 21, in Breckenridge.

That’s not to say I’m going to play. Only that I’m thinking about it, although attending the barbecue afterward is a definite go.

It’s the golf I’m still not sure about. After all who’d want to be teamed with some hacker nicknamed Hoover? I mean these days when I hit the ball the only one who knows where it’s headed is God.

Phil Heller, who with Kim Orr is chairing the event for the Optimists, says they still have several spots available and need some players.

So, if you’re a golfer and looking for a fun time then I suggest you sign up.

All things considered, it’s a relatively inexpensive round of golf and the proceeds for the event – the Optimists are hoping to raise $10,000 from the tournament, the barbecue and the silent auction that follows dinner – will help fund the more than 40 Optimist programs in Summit County, including the club’s outstanding youth athletic activities.

Heller is hoping that events like the golf tournament will, over time, generate enough money to establish a foundation to underwrite the continuing costs of the Optimists’ programs.

For more information or to register, give Phil a call at (970)453-4400 or Kim a call at (970) 390-7678. They’ll sign up you.

So what do you get for your $90 registration fee?

First, you get to play a terrific golf course in Breckenridge. The $90 covers the greens fees and cart, plus participants get a goody bag with a golf towel, golf balls, discount coupons … you get the idea.

There’s also a putting contest, longest drive contest and a chance to win a brand new Trail Blazer from Jim Hudson Chevrolet if you happen to get a hole in one.

The tournament will use the Calloway handicap system. Unlike a captain’s choice or best ball tournament, each golfer plays his or her own ball through the entire 18 holes, then depending on one’s handicap or skill level, the scores are “leveled.”

For example, for someone who typically shoots a score of 100 or 105, they get to cut their score on their three worst holes.

That approach has the double advantage of leveling the playing field and also allowing those golfers who, ahem, might wish to make a side wager to do so. (Hey, I’m not advocating gambling just acknowledging reality. I mean you don’t think the only thing at stake when my brother and I played was bragging rights do you?)

To create a final bit of interest, they’ll be a blind draw after the tournament to match up “teams” to determine who wins the event’s top prizes.

Following the tournament is a barbecue dinner at the Breckenridge Golf Course clubhouse. Cost for that is $20 a person ($5 for kids).

They’ll be live music by Millie and Rich Hamner and a silent auction. Among the items in the auction are a pheasant hunting trip to South Dakota, dinner for four at Keystone Ranch, two bottles of wine a month for a year from Dillon Ridge Liquor, trips to fun places and custom jewelry from Christo Kiffer Designs.

So, if you’re a golfer who’s not a “Hoover” or even if you are, sign up for the tournament. It promises to be a good time for a good cause.

Publisher Jim Morgan, who now has a puttinggreen set up in his office, can be reached between practice sessions at (970) 668-3998, ext. 240, or e-mail atjmorgan@summitdaily.com.


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