May 05

I Won a Golf Tournament

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There are certain perks to working in the tourism industry: You get to travel, you get to meet fun people, you can weasel your way in to a hotel deal every now and then, there’s an unlimited supply of free promotional sunglasses and, occasionally, you get to golf for work. I’m mean, not like as much as the President, but a few times a year.

I am not a real golfer. I have hand-me-down clubs, a thrift store bag and I don’t even own a single Under Armour polo shirt. So when the annual industry golf tournament – the California Cup – rolls around I am very much in over my head. This is what my rig looks like when I golf:

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If you want the full-effect of that photo, turn on Boston’s “Amanda” at a slightly more than appropriate volume. I love a little soft rock on the course.

The California Cup is put together by my old former boss, Terry and he is a legend in the tourism industry. He literally knows everyone and is the nicest person in the world. He will help anyone at any time. If he was late to work we’d joke that he was probably just pulled over on the side of the freeway helping someone fix a flat and do their taxes. And The Cup is his baby, so this thing is serious.

Terry invites the biggest names in the tourism world to the California Cup. So, obviously, I’m invited because I’m probably like the third biggest name in the industry. Maybe fourth. Way up on the list for sure. Like, seriously, third or fourth. In addition to me, other big names come from all over the world including Germany, Australia, the UK, Japan and more. It’s basically the Olympics.

So all these folks come out to California and we get split up in to teams to compete in a 3-day golfing/networking/rosé drinking extravaganza. I focus more so on the networking and rosé. Ok, mainly the rosé. Oh, but not just rosé, also those apple juices that come in apple-shaped bottles. Those are great.

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Anyhow, if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: I like everything about golf except for the part where you have to get that ball in the little hole. I mean, the courses are gorgeous, the walk is nice, the service is mind-blowing, the company is great….it’s just that actual golfing part where things go south. Luckily for me, the The Cup has an overly-complicated handicapping system which I will never understand and that, I guess, evens if the playing field for lousy golfers like me. It hasn’t worked great in the past because my teams have finished in deep, deep last place every year.

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Anyhow, This year, the tournament was hosted by Los Angeles and West Hollywood and we went to some faaaaaancy courses. Fancy courses where I brought my usual bad golf and lousy personality and proceeded to score zero birdies, zero pars, like one bogie, a couple double bogies and a bunch of “just pick it up and move ons.”

The highlight of my golf game was when I spotted a turtle on the course, yelled “It’s a turtle!” and ran over to it – diving face-first on to the fairway – to take selfies.

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And while I was taking a nap on the course, one of my teammates was legitimately making a HOLE IN ONE. Way to be, Gary!

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So, I didn’t contribute much to my team and, unfortunately, I had to skip out on the final round of golf because I’m a jet-setting high-powered business person with places to be. “How would my team get by with out me?” I wondered…or at least that’s what I would have wondered if I had thought about it at the time.

Instead, I completely forgot about it until I started getting text messages late last night informing me that we had won the Cup! Of course, they never could have done it without me…or more accurately, they only could have done it without me. I’m guessing that by removing myself from the competition they got to just count “Ol’ Hole in One” Gary’s score twice and due to some kind of inherent flaw in the system, we came out on top.

Don’t worry, I’ve already photoshopped (i.e. MS Painted) myself into the championship photo.winners

Not sure why I’m a bit see-through in that photo. I’m guessing it’s either my not-so-great photo editing skills or I’ve traveled back through time in a DeLorean and disrupted my parents attendance of the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. I guess we’ll never know.

Anyhow, it was another great Cup. Luckily, it’s less about me being a rotten golfer and more about just meeting all the people who send thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of visitors to California (and Sacramento!) each year. Plus, now that I’m a Golf Champion, I’ll probably get bumped up to at least second on the list of biggest names in the tourism world. Right behind Terry. Ok third, behind Hole-in-One Gary too. I mean, dude made a hole-in-one.

 

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