I will preface this entry with an admission: I haven’t picked up a golf club in about five years. Well, that’s not exactly true. I picked up my entire golf bag and moved it to Los Angeles about 10 months ago. Then I stuck it behind my bedroom door and haven’t thought about it since.
Until last week, when I received an invitation to play in the second-annual Ryan Sheckler X Games Celebrity Skins Classic at Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club. I was going to be playing with a foursome of folks from AXE body spray, one of the event’s title sponsors, and skier Bode Miller. Around Friday, I realized I was going to potentially make a fool of myself and had a minor mental meltdown. Then I regrouped, refocused and found an executive course near my apartment in Santa Monica. I needed to practice.
So on Saturday evening, after attending the US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach (and witnessing one of the most fun waves I’ve ever seen surfed in person—Kelly Slater zipping through the HB pier on a double-overhead monster), I grabbed the only five clubs I need) for a round of golf (my 3-wood, 5-wood, 9-iron, wedge and putter) and headed to Penmar Golf Course to hit some balls. I figured after an hour at the driving range and a little time pitching and putting, I would be ready for this tournament.
Unfortunately, I was met with this greeting: “Um, ma’m, we don’t have a driving range. You can play nine holes, though.” Fortunately, the golf angels (or golf unicorns) took pity on me and sent me two earthly golf angels, Brandon and Tyler, who were paying their greens fees as I walked up and invited me to join them for nine holes. They were fantastic company and coached me along the way. By the end of nine, I had remembered how to hold and swing a golf club, was much more confident and had an honest 48 on the scorecard. Not bad.
That practice session made Monday much more fun. Bode was the hands-down MVP of our team, but we actually used my drive (it was a best-ball format) four times, as well as a few of my shorter shots and my Shot of the Day, a 100-yard pitch with my 9-iron that landed about nine feet from the hole. It’s those shots that keep you coming back for more.
The entire day was a blast and really well attended by the action sports set. The team of Kelly Slater/Rob Machado/Sal Masekala won the skins prize and Sheckler’s team won lowest score. After the six-hour round of golf, we headed inside to the AC (Thank goodness! Man, it is hot in the desert.) for a cocktail hour, dinner and an auction. By the end of the night, more than $500,000 had been raised for the Sheckler Foundation and the Rob Dyrdek/DC Shoes Skate Plaza Foundation. That’s what happens when you get a bunch of competitive athletes with disposable income tipsy and then lure them into a bidding war over trips to Vegas and autographed golf memorabilia. I am sure several folks (Travis Pastrana, Jim DeChamp, Bruce Irons and Brody Jenner, to name a few) woke up Tuesday morning wondering what the hell they were thinking a few hours earlier. “I spent how many thousand dollars on something I could get for free?!”
THE ALL-STAR TEAM: MIGUEL, BODE MILLER, ME, NOODLE AND STEVE