Keep Augusta Life Rolls On

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Some think that the Masters is the greatest golf event in the world. They are oh, so wrong.
 
Cmon, what's so great about $1.50 pimento cheese sandwiches on Wonder bread? I wouldn't give $1.50 for the entire known universe of pimento cheese.
 
Let me tell you about a tournament run at one of 'my' courses, the Malibu Country Club. Every July, for the past 10 years, the Malibu Country Club has hosted a tournament for Life Rolls On, a 501 c-3 charity to benefit young people with severe spinal cord injuries. Youd think that a spinal cord injury would be the end to surfing and biking and other activities that most of us take for granted. Life Rolls On is out to change that perception.
 
Allow me to paint a picture and perhaps the people in Augusta should listen for ways to improve this little April get-together.
 
Augusta has azaleas, seersucker suits, and iced tea infused with sugar. Conversely, Malibu is an event run by surfers, volunteers and the people of Malibu Country Club. And booze. Lordy, do they have the booze flowing.
 
If you want a tournament that has champagne and massages on the first tee for everyone ' Im talkin golfers, staff, volunteers and spectators ' then come to Malibu. I believe I even saw someone giving a massage to a mountain lion, which is an impressive, though ill-advised, way to commune with nature. Oh and there's a bubble gum blowing competition for every foursome, where the person that blows the biggest bubble wins an oversized bottle of champagne ' better than the crystal goblet you get for an eagle at Augusta.
 
And that's just the kickoff before you get to No. 18 with DJ 'Matter' spinning turntables of funk, electric and Latin on the cliff overlooking mountain canyons and the Pacific. I may be biased, but I believe the sunset over the Pacific is a whole lot prettier than those overflowing Port-A-Potties in the mud of Augusta National's parking lot.
 
On the 345-yard second hole, you have the option of hiring Vincent Ciurluini, a professional long driver to be your designated driver. For a mere $30 donation, you can play one of Vinnies shots off the tee. I witnessed Vinnie put tee shots within 25 feet of the hole for nearly every group. I couldn't do that from a greenside trap. If Corey Pavin knew about Vinnies services, he'd have more majors than Tiger.
 
On nearly every hole, there is an activity that could only come from the minds of Malibu Country Club and the people that run Life Rolls On.
 
From each foursome, whoever can hit a Wiffle ball the farthest wins L.A. Dodgers tickets. On another hole, whoever can hit a marshmallow the farthest with a hockey stick wins L.A. Kings tickets. On another hole, golfers hit balls from a special 'golf-adapted' wheelchair to help us understand what people with spinal cord injuries live with every day. Lets just say no able-bodied golfer hit a ball farther than they might with a lob wedge.
 
On one hole, there was a Tommy Bahama mojito bar with free mist fans for every golfer. On another hole the El Don Tequila girls used squirt guns to give away shots. Genius.
 
Malibu Country Club is a course you can play, with a cart, on any day of the year for well under $100. Man, the view during the drive to the club is worth more than that. Try getting on at Augusta. You cant even sit in the pro shop at Augusta National unless youre a member of a qualifying world domination society like Skull and Bones or the Bilderberg Group.
 
Man, what a day in Malibu. It almost made me embarrassed to be employed as the Ambassador of Fun. These people were having the most fun I have ever seen on a golf course and all I had to do was show up.
 
I'm telling you brother, you can keep Augusta, Ga., and Washington Road, with it's string of fried chicken joints. I prefer the string bikinis at Malibu.
 
Malibu C.C. looked like a casting party for 'Entourage.' There were more spokes-models running around than you would see at a Victoria's Secret New Years jam. Forget gorse and full force gales off the Firth of Death, Ill take tattered miniskirts. It's Malibu.
 
Heck, even my golf-hating girlfriend, Tia, loved it. I'm guessing it was the mojitos, champagne and Heinekens that kept her happy rather than my tee-totaling keen insights and wit. Oh who cares; it's Malibu, baby, and the worlds greatest golf tournament for a great cause.
 
Ill expect these changes at Augusta in 09.
 
To learn more about, Life Rolls On; its founder, former professional surfer Jesse Billauer; and how you might join in on next years fun at The Malibu Country Club just go to www.liferollson.org or www.malibucountryclub.net
 
Email your thoughts to Michael Fechter
 
Editor's note: Michael Fechter, orphan worker and humorist, has the best job in golf: he's paid to be the Ambassador of Fun for golf courses across America. His 'job' is to make the courses he represents across America more interesting, unique and fun. Enjoy his humorous series on getting back into the game as he struggles to get his game into the shape it was nearly 30 years ago when he won his only personal junior 'major,' the Al Esposito, on America's easiest muni with rounds of 71-71-75.
 
Related Links:
  • The Gratitude Project
  • Greenway Golf