I wasn't looking forward to the tournament with the heat spell we had been having, but when the day finally rolled around it was quite pleasant. Our Tacoma Executives Association foursome was Mike Jones of Jones Animal Hospital, Corey Hjalseth of Evergreen Home Loans, my youngest son, Patrick of American Fast Freight and myself of PublicDoman.
When Patrick and I arrived, we checked in and got our golf bags out of the car and went to lunch. Actually, Patrick got the clubs and I went to lunch and then he joined the rest of the team. My left knee was killing me and Patrick helped me out considerably. Lunch was provided at the Oakbrook Golf Course. Hot dogs and Cascade Chips make a wonderful lunch. The Hot dogs were excellent and had all the right condiments. They were better than Seahawk and Mariner dogs and a whole bunch cheaper.
When we checked in there were no tournament shirts larger than XXL available. Patrick and I both wear XXXL, but we're used to that.
I bought "Mulligans" for the team as well as raffle tickets for my wife. She's always been a prize. I placed a ticket in for the Cougar package and a bunch in the BBQ and Garden packages.
After lunch chairman Don Gustafson. Don and Scott Matthew of Overhead Door of Tacoma have been running the tournament for years. Don is retiring, so this may be his last year working on the tournament, but I hope not. They do such a good job.
Don explained the rules and told us who to follow in finding our assigned golf hole to start. We were 9B, the second flight off the ninth tee.
We had a pretty good size crowd listening. I always enjoy a "scramble" because it allows each member of a foursome a chance to contribute. Mike plays every once in a while. I hadn't played since the tournament last year, and that may have been the last time Patrick had played also. Corey rarely plays, but was a good scout to join us.
Basically each member of a foursome were counted on for two drives. I don't think this was a problem for us.
Part of the fun was also participating the fun and games at each hole. Each hole was sponsored by one of our Tacoma Executive members or the organization itself.
For this tournament the member firm Carlson Brothers Jewelry donated a Sterling Silver ball mark. The marker itself was between the size of a nickel and a quarter. What a beautiful piece.
Firms generally provide a shirt, a sports bag, a water bottle, tees, or balls, or something else to remember them by. A silver ball mark, however is a wonderful reminder of who the sponsor was the day itself. I haven't unwrapped mine, yet. It's sitting on top of my computer.
I think it's my favorite tournament gift . . . ever.
Oakbrook is still finishing up a program to improve their turf. They've cut down over a hundred trees. I miss those trees, but didn't miss them while they surrounded the golf course. I probably hit each and every one.
Quite frequently, my wife and I are entertained with local deer in our Tacoma Northend yard. I don't recall seeing deer at Oakbrook before, but by the second or third hole we saw this mother with her two fawns. Both still had their spots.
I've seen eagles, mountain lion tracks in sand traps, and other wildlife on different golf course, but never fawns. Nicely memorable.
As our play progressed, our foursome developed stiffness in our lower backs. Corey took advantage of the free massage by Alternative Back Care.
I've had them work on my back before at these tournaments, but after the massages I started looking for a place to take a nap.
ABC Physical Therapy is a great place for pain removal. Owner Chris Ford has given a couple of programs before at our Tacoma Exec meetings and people always have a ton of questions concerning their own aches and pains. Nothing explains the work they do better than a personal demonstration, however.
Past President Tamara Mackey of Heartland Payment Systems incorporated a hula hoop and some sort of pineapple pick-me-up.
I don't know how the hula hoop reflected on credit card processing (revolving credit, perhaps), but I really enjoyed Tamara's efforts. She was having a great time. I declined trying it out. I needed all the strength I could muster for my next drive.
Tamara and current President Mel West of Prosperity Logic did a great job of reviving our spirits at their hole.
Mike Jones, besides being an excellent veterinarian is also a well-known community actor. He was asked to step into the role of the King of Hearts in a Gig Harbor production of Dorothy in Wonderland. The story is a combination of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland. Mike had to call it quits and four in the afternoon, so he could go home and attend a short rehearsal before the premier performance of the play that evening. I offer to "run lines" with Mike, but he declined. Mike wrote "Doman" on his raffle tickets before he left. We may have won prizes thanks to him.
The play has mostly young actors playing the parts. I love this part of community theater. It's an essential part of live entertainment with the love of theater being passed from one generation to the next. the play runs through the 26th of July - 2015.
Mike (with the crown) is the regal looking person next to the Mad Hatter.
Patrick was entertained with a pool noodle. Well, actually, we were entertained watching him trying to finish a mock hole at par.
An off balance swing and then using the noodle as a pool cue to run a golf ball around obstacles was laughable, but Patrick was a good sport as he ignored my comments and laughter.
I didn't laugh too loudly and mostly kept my comments to myself . . . mostly. Actually, that's pretty much what Patrick did on each of my drives.
The shotgun start began at one in the afternoon. Our foursome finished up around six-forty, about an hour and ten minutes later than I expected. I had told my wife, Peggy to be at Oakbrook around five-thirty. Luckily, she didn't listen and showed up at six-thirty. She's done this before.
Dinner was salmon and ribs. The salmon was over-shadowed by the ribs, which melted off the bone. They were very tasty. Even Patrick like them and he does a mean job with his smoker and BBQ. Peg finished off my salmon, since I had asked for extra ribs and wasn't going to make it through the fish course.
Oakbrook always does a great job for these events. What's nice is the way they prepare the food and how quickly they move people through the line.
Experience in catering pays off well. People are able to joke around, lie and brag about their scores, get the food they want and then get back inside to the banquet room for more fun and games.
Just like I ordered more ribs, other people made their selections as well. I don't know of anyone who had a complaint. Most people had their cake and ate it, too.
Dessert was a layered cake with strawberries on top. In-between were cream and citrus layers. The cake looked stunning and tasted like a million dollars. What a great way to end a banquet.
Generally, a person would excuse themselves from their table and return with two or three plates of cake. I think they were sharing. I had one helping and an extra plate. I couldn't finish off the second but it was certainly good.
If I had known about the cake, I might have eaten one rib less.
As expected our foursome finished out of the money. We had a great time on a cooler than expected summer day. Our table won it's share of prizes, however. We didn't leave empty-handed.
At one hole, sponsored by Tiny's Tires, Patrick and I chipped a Whiffle golf ball through an upright tire, giving us an extra chance for a $100 discount on tires. Patrick won a certificate. I also won a golf shirt, but it was just an XL. Patrick took it home for my grandson Riley. Corey won the UW Husky Package raffle prize. His daughter just started there, so it came in handy for him. He left wearing a Husky shirt and a Husky baseball cap.
I won the BBQ raffle package and Peg won the garden raffle package. Jason Kors and Don Gustafson helped us cart our booty out the back door. In addition Don had ordered one XXXL tournament golf shirt and held it back for me. I gave it to Patrick, who helped load up our car. Past President Kurt Schmitz who lives less than a mile away from our home in Tacoma took a large plastic bucket of prizes home for us as well. We couldn't fit everything into our Buick.
All in all we had a great time. Mike Jones? He had a successful opening night in Gig Harbor. His leaving comment had been, "Off with their heads . . . and no three putts."