By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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I realized this in late 2011 when Washington State athletic director Bill Moos implored the school’s apathetic fan base to join or increase it’s donations to the Cougar Athletic Fund, or CAF, shortly after hiring football coach Mike Leach.
My annual donation isn’t sizeable, I write for a newspaper for a living if you recall and I am ranked 4,759 out of just under 7,000-plus CAF members, but I feel better about my fandom.
Knowing that I am helping contribute to scholarships for student athletes and facility improvements to make the athletic experience better for those athletes is a true intrinsic reward.
Peninsula College supporters will have the opportunity to participate in two rewarding pastimes, helping to fund scholarships while playing golf at the Pirate Athletic Association golf tournament, set for Friday, May 23 at Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim.
“We rely on community donations and sponsorships to fund our athletic scholarships, and this event will help us accomplish that, but it also provides a great time for golfers of all abilities,” Peninsula College athletic director Rick Ross said.
“Coach [Mitch] Freeman and [assistant] coach [Fred] Harrison are working with Jerry Allen and the staff at 7 Cedars Casino and Cedars at Dungeness to put together a first-class event.”
Freeman and Harrison will serve as tournament directors.
A scramble format is planned with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
Prizes for low gross, net, long drive and closest to the pin will be awarded and other prizes will be drawn.
Lunch will be served on the course, and a meal will follow play along with a brief prize ceremony.
“Mitch and Fred are working hard to put together a full field of golfers, and they’re looking for individual and corporate sponsors to really make it a success,” Ross said.
“The success we have on the soccer field and basketball court really depends on how we do with our fundraising events. I truly hope the community will support this.”
The tournament offers opportunities for business owners to be hole sponsors and to enter teams.
Sponsor packages start at $250.
The entry fee for individual golfers is $100.
For more on sponsoring or playing in the event, phone Freeman at 360-417-6467.
Players also can register for the tourney on line at www.brownpapertickets.com under “Pirate golf.”
Spring Opener slated
I enjoyed writing that small headline above.
Yes, the cherry trees and daffodils are correct, it is spring, it is golf season and SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim is ready.
SkyRidge will host its Spring Opener, a two-person scramble tournament Saturday.
There will be two divisions with gross and net winners and partners should have no more than a 10 stroke handicap differential between themselves.
Teams will have to use a minimum of three drives per nine holes, six total, for each player.
Cost is $60 per team with range balls, KP’s, lunch after play and green fees factored in.
Carts are an extra $15 per seat and a $20 honey pot is available.
For more information, phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.
Women play Tuesday
Yesterday marked the season opener for the Port Townsend Women’s Golf Club.
The group, comprised of lady golfers with skill sets ranging from beginning to advanced, will meet each week for play.
This month, the ladies will meet at the Port Townsend Golf Club clubhouse at 9:30 a.m. to pick teams in advance of a 10 a.m. tee time.
During the remainder of the season from May to September the group may choose to meet earlier in the day so look for that announcement at the end of April.
A $10 Women’s Club membership fee for the season is part of membership.
All ladies interested in golf are invited to play.
For more information phone Barb Matter at 360-379-1201 or the clubhouse at 360-385-4547.
Two for price of one
Discovery Bay is running a two-for-the-price-of-one green fees special Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout April.
The course is also running a weekend skins game starting at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Take care with woods
Do golfers need to pack a fire extinguisher now along with a towel, a divot tool, extra balls and water with them out on the course?
Probably not around here but in some drier environments it sounds like it could be helpful.
Be careful with those titanium woods after scientists at the University of California, Irvine, proved that titanium-coated clubs can cause course-side vegetation to burst into flames.
Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi told The Associated Press recently that the results confirm a suspicion investigators have had for years: that titanium alloy clubs were the cause of at least two blazes on area golf courses, including one at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo. A second fire, sparked at Irvine’s Shady Canyon, burned close to homes.
The smoking gun (burning bush?) in all these fires?
The golfers used a titanium club to hit their ball off of rocky ground near dry vegetation.
Scientists painstakingly re-created in the lab course the conditions on the days of the fires.
Using high-speed cameras and electron microscopes, they found that if hit upon a rock, clubs containing titanium can produce sparks of up to 3,000 degrees that will burn for more than a second, said James Earthman, a chemical engineering and materials science professor and an author of the study.
“And that gives the spark plenty of time” to ignite nearby foliage, he said.
“Titanium reacts violently with both oxygen and nitrogen in the air.”
In contrast, when standard stainless steel clubs were used, there was no reaction.
Concialdi said the Fire Authority is giving golfers using titanium clubs permission to break the rules and “improve their lie” — that is, to move their ball away from rocks and dry vegetation.
“If they need to take a penalty, take a penalty,” he said.
Take caution on our North Olympic Peninsula courses in July, August and September, the peak time for fire season locally.
Woods taking time off
Tiger Woods will miss his first Masters tournament next week due to back surgery.
Woods announced yesterday that a microdiscectomy surgery performed Monday to correct a pinched nerve will cause him to miss the event for the first time since he played as an amateur in 1995.
ESPN injury analyst Stephania Bell estimated that recovery time for a surgery like this could be as long as more than four months, putting him out for the U.S. Open in June and likely for the British Open in July.
Woods himself said the goal is for him to return to competition “sometime this summer.”
As someone who’s interest in the sport was piqued by Woods’ emergence at the 1997 Masters and fueled by his dominant success, his absence is a bummer.
I’d like to see him break Jack Nicklaus’ major-tournament wins record, but this latest setback really makes me doubt that possibility.
A possibility that I thought was a certainty as recently as 2008, and a probability in recent years.
It could be much worse.
This could have occurred next spring with Chambers Bay set to host the first U.S. Open in the Pacific Northwest.
I’ll write more about the Masters in next week’s column.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.