Originally posted August 2010
My Fairy Golf Father sponsored me in The Summer Groove Golf Tournament at the Doral Resort and Spa, hosted by Alonzo Mourning and Dwyane Wade. The tournament was 3 days after the announcement that King James (LeBron) would be joining the Miami Heat. So my tournament debut at an already popular event has now turned into a media feeding frenzy. Ughh…
Admittedly, I was so wrapped up in my workload that I didn’t really get a chance to think about the tournament, that is, until that morning. As I was stuck in traffic on my way to Doral, it hit me that not only was I making my debut after months of trash talking, but I would be playing on a PGA course. And knowing my Fairy Golf Father, the way I do, I suspected I would be on the famed Blue Monster.
The Blue Monster features long fairways, undulating green, a deep Bermuda rough and a unique assortment of water hazards. The famous 18th hole, with its signature fountain, was ranked by GOLF Magazine as one of the Top 100 Holes in the World. 5,392 yards total from the Forward Tees.
Suddenly, the apple I was eating was making me sick. What was I doing? Who do I think I am? Really, The Blue Monster so early in my golf career? I could still turn around and save face. I just need to let my Fairy Golf Father know…I’m not coming. He’ll understand. Ok, so he didn’t understand the not coming part, but he did understand that I needed just a little encouragement.
From the moment I arrived at Doral, peace falls over me. Both the Doral staff and the Summer Groove staff were so welcoming. Ok, as many times as I have volunteered at event, I’ve never been in the “check- in” room. Also known as golf stuff heaven! It is in this room that I go from table to table choosing my hat, NIKE glove, polo shirt, golf balls, etc. I’m dizzy with excitement and then I see it. The wall of NIKE golf shoes! Oh my…I had to sit, catch my breath and say THANK YOU to my FGF for making me get at least this far! Alas, those shoes would not be worn today, as I brought my shoes styled by celebrity stylist Un Cutt!
Ok, so I knew my shoes were hot…but wow! I start to put on my shoes and I’m getting feedback from all corners of the room. Uh oh…ok, so I’ve officially brought attention to myself. Men are lining up to check out the shoes. I had no idea…eek…great, now they think I’m a golfer.
So I head out of the land of free golf stuff and head to find my foursome. Our foursome turns out more like six-some. I joined Rahime, Victor, Henry and Craig. Rahime and I are good friends who have known each other since his days at Georgetown with Alonzo. Our 6-some is rounded out with Trey, Alonzo’s teenage son. It’s a scramble, best ball format, so it’s all good and the pressure is not so bad.
We teed off at 18. Just for the novelty of it, I’m playing with a pink ball. I tee it up, take a breath and let it rip. Right down the middle of the fairway. We don’t play my first ball-that honor goes to Craig. But we played my second shot and ended up making par.
Despite several rain delays, (why did I get my hair done?) we had the best time. At various holes, there are the top restaurants in Miami along with adult beverage and ice cream carts. All free…so needless to say, a I got more and more loose as we the day got longer.
On the 9th hole, you can donate $25 to beat Alonzo closest to the pin for an autographed basketball. Unfortunately for me, the restaurant Prime 112 is at this hole cooking up their world famous fried Oreos. I donate $25 and go to order my fried Oreos. All of sudden, people are screaming my name. It’s my time, but my Oreos aren’t done. Crap, needless to say, my ball went in the water, and the oreos were mouth watering! However, I did beat Alonzo in our private best customized shoe contest! He had no idea I was coming that hard core!
I was pleasantly surprised how many times we played my ball! I was playing very well, extremely well. It helped that Henry and Victor are excellent players and even better teachers. Watching and playing with Trey was such a joy. He is growing into such a fine young gentleman. What an AMAZING day.
As I pulled away from Doral, I can’t believe I almost turned around. I almost missed out on an AMAZING day of golf, friendship, good food and drinks, all for a great cause.
Even though the imaginary monsters don’t live under my bed anymore, I’m glad I have friends who slay them for me wherever they turn up!