It’s self-indulgent, but I don’t care: That’s me today accepting what I guarantee will be the only golf trophy I will ever win in my life. I’m the one on the right, to clear up the confusion. On the left is Heidi Wills, the executive director of The First Tee of Greater Seattle, a worthy organization that aims to introduce golf to youngsters and teach them life lessons in the process. Check out their website (www.TheFirstTeeSeattle.org) for more information on their golf programs for youth age 8-18 at Jefferson Park and Jackson Park Municipal Courses in Seattle, and Crossroads Par 3 in Bellevue.
These programs, which feature instruction from golf pros as well as rounds of golf, cost money — particularly to pay for scholarships for those with financial need. So this weekend, The First Tee of Greater Seattle, a not-for-profit organization, is doing some fundraising at Jefferson Park (4101 Beacon Avenue South in Seattle).
The centerpiece is The Great Seattle Shootout this Saturday and Sunday at the Jefferson Park Par 3 course, presented by FSN and Shiftpoint Strategies. Golfers compete in a closest-to-the-pin contest on each of the nine holes, with lots of big prizes. And the nine winners will shoot for $1 million if they make a hole-in-one. All proceeds benefit the First Tee of Greater Seattle Program. Check the website for more details.
Today’s event was the 2009 Media Shootout Challenge — a closest to the pin contest for what they generously called “media personalities.”
Modesty forbids me from pointing out that I WON! I WON! That’s Heidi giving me the handsome plaque that will take a coveted spot on my mantel, once I get a mantel.
Honesty dictates that I also point out that the field was not enormous. Friday’s a tough day to get people to come out, and several of my colleagues apparently had conflicts.
All right, if you must know, it was just me and a nice fellow named Klem Daniels, a former radio exec who now runs Klem Daniels productions, which does voice-over and audio and video production. The Groz (Dave Grosby of KJR) might show up, they said, but he didn’t.
So it was me and Klem, mano-a-mano. Honestly — and this is the absolute truth — my one and only goal was not to nub the ball 10 feet and totally humiliate myself. I once was an avid golfer, but the demands of job and parenting gradually chipped away at my participation to the point that I have played one round in the last 15 years. And I was awful.
But somehow, someway, after a few practice shots to knock off the rust, I managed to knock one onto the green with my second shot (we settled on a best-of-three format). It rolled off onto the fringe, but it still prevailed as the closest to the pin by a narrow margin over one of Klem’s shots. Here’s the textbook lefty form that — little-known fact — Phil Mickelson copied from me:
What’s that? You had to ask, didn’t you. It was Hole No. 1 — a mighty 89 yards worth of treachery and peril. Somehow, it seemed a lot farther.
So that, grandkids, is how I wound up accepting the coveted championship trophy of the Great Seattle Shootout 2009 Media Challenge put on by The First Tee of Greater Seattle.
Come on out to Jefferson Park this weekend to help raise money for a good cause. And look out next year — I’m not giving up this title without a fight!