Monday, December 12, 2011

Pebble Peregrinating -- The Losers

All week, I will be out at Pebble Beach, playing golf, soaking in the sun, and enjoying the incredible function that is Lexus' Champions for Charity (#lexusc4c). These are my ramblings throughout the week.

Nobody likes to lose. Nobody. There are people that aren't passionate about winning, and those that just never really caught the competitive bug, but at some point, losing gets to you, and it stinks.

That was what I previously believed. After spending a couple of days with a few guys from Chicago, I changed my mind. Why? Because when you are playing Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay off a lucky $100 raffle, nobody is losing, even when you are.

See, the Lexus Champions for Charity event is a two-person best ball event that pits you and 80 percent of your handicap up against everyone else. If you place the year before, you get only 60 percent of your handicap the next year. All the proceeds you win go to the charity of your choice, and along with that, there are other random events throughout the week that can toss money at your charity (During the wine tasting, a Seattle-based wife got picked to donate $1000 to her charity). Golf is intense but fun, competitive but light-hearted.

The event is just as much about the people as it is about the golf courses. Sure, getting your name pulled out of a hat to win a trip to golf's 5th Avenue isn't a bad deal, but it is still about more than just you and your trip. You meet people that have similar interests. Almost everyone is in vacation mode, enjoying the week and the hotel and the courses and checking your scores with the same conviction that you'd have when reading the latest ramblings on The Daily Wh.at.

But back to our Chicago boys for a minute. Two men with what looked like smiles permanently plastered on their faces, just realizing quickly just how lucky that had gotten by landing in this spot. Yes, some of the auctions for this event can reach a down payment on your own Lexus, but to win it in a raffle is truly a blessing in disguise.

So came the Thursday night scores. Each evening, the great people at Octagon print out all the scores for people to read over a crisp glass of Chardonnay or a smooth sniffer of scotch. And our boys started checking the sheet. And check. And flipping. Not on the first page. Not quite on the second. And sadly, not on the third. But the good thing is, there were a few unfortunate souls printing on the back page of these stapled sheets, and our guys found themselves smack dab on the last page of competitors. I came back from a drink run, asked respectfully what place they were in, and proudly, both smiled and answered, "Well, we aren't in last." Turns out, they were in second to last. And meet the last place people the next day on their bus ride to Spanish Bay.

Did finding themselves near the bottom of an even with four pages of competitors bother either of them? Absolutely not. If nothing else, it gave them just that much more motivation for next year. I know they're already searching for those plane tickets.

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