Vail Valley Partnership’s first golf tournament is May 28 |

Vail Valley Partnership’s first golf tournament is May 28

Michael Kurz
Vail, CO, Colorado

When my kid brother PJ and I were little, my dad would give us each a quarter to shine his golf shoes, put leather conditioner on his golf bag, clean the grooves in his irons, steel-brush the mud from his spikes, polish the wooden clubs (there were a lot of them, made of genuine wood back then) and clip a fresh, grometted hand towel to the “d” ring under the bag handle. From June through September it was pretty much a Sunday ritual.

A proud announcement that, “Daaaad, we’re done,” brought him out of the house and the two-bit coins were issued. He never needed to inspect the work. He knew we knew what was expected. So there he was, in white hat, yellow shirt and plaid pants, and so many other multi-hued, vibrant colors over the course of the summer that PJ and I thought golf was partly a contest to see who could dress in the loudest outfit. But, he was assuredly snappy in the style of the day.

With a hair-toussle for each of us, it was a sincere, “Thanks, fellas,” and with the birds singing and neighborhood dogs barking in accompaniment, we both picked up the bag, clubs, shoes and all, and chucked them into the rear deck of our big, green Ford Country Squire. “Bye Dad ” hit some birdies,” we yelled.

Five hours later it was a somewhat different individual who drove the station wagon back up the driveway. This guy had a 5 o’clock shadow, his pants were wrinkled, his shirt was mottled with smelly man sweat, his hat was askew and he wasn’t smiling. He had also played what must have been a long last hole, I think he called it the 19th, and he smelled like gin and Camel straights.

Trying to revive that morning’s chirpy mood, most of us kids (there were eight of us) would rush out to meet him and in shrill staccato we asked, “How’d you do, Dad?”

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Sometimes the answer was a bubbly, “Three under par, son” ” after all, at one time he was a scratch golfer. But I don’t remember too many of those. Most of the time the answer was unintelligible, something of a low growl mixed with words we couldn’t say without a subsequent soapy, foamy mouth rinsing.

So, there you are. Mom said Dad really loved golf. I didn’t get it. Out like sunshine, in like rain. I play tennis. It’s over in about 2 hours. I can wear a swag shirt and gym shorts. I only have one stick to worry about. I get a pretty good workout. It doesn’t cost much if anything to play and after a shower, win or lose, the game is pretty much forgotten… not much to talk about around the water cooler on Monday.

But some folks like to play golf, bless their hearts. If you like to play golf, come play with a bunch of your buddies. The Inaugural Vail Valley Partnership Member Shotgun in the Sun is set for May 28, from 9 a.m. ” 1:30 p.m. at the Sonnenalp Golf Club in Edwards. There will be prizes, a hole-in-one reward (a shiny new 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle, courtesy of Aspen Valley Harley Davidson) and there’s a reception at Balata following the tournament.

Fees are $100 per person for members, $400 for a member foursome that includes a tee sponsorship and $200 per person for non-members. Slots are going fast, so call Ruthie Carlson, Events Coordinator, real soon. You can reach her at 970-477-4001 or .

Oh, and good luck getting your kids to prep your gear for 25 cents. These days, I’d budget $20.

Michael Kurz is president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership.

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