It’s Sunday night in Oakland, CA. Some amateur golfers are still arriving at the Kissel Hotel, on Broadway. Earlier in the day there was a mad dash to complete certain tasks. Competition rules (many of which have the participants raising their eyebrows) are being printed and laminated. The laminating is to prevent damage when the mid-round beer is spilled. E.G. most will play a 2-man net best ball match. However, if you’re in a 3-some, the match is played 1 v 2 as a 2-ball scramble. Another twist is that he tee you play from depends on your age plus your handicap. And your handicap gets adjusted if you decide to play a tee other than your designated tee. These rules are being tested to see if they should be incorporated into the rules for the matches that will decide the National Champion team.
In his hotel room, our Jack of All Trades consultant rolls together promotional materials and inserts them along with various golf swag into bags which are being assembled to give away as welcome gifts. Included will be a picture of some swag that didn’t make it on time (supply chain issues) so it will need to be delivered later.
All of this activity is in anticipation of the launch party for a newly formed national golf tournament, National Match Play. What is match play, you ask? Match play pits golfers ()in this case 2-man teams) in head-to-head competition where holes are won or halved. One team closes out the other to win when the trailing team is too far behind to recover. Many believe it is the most exciting form of golf competition. The Ryder Cup and President’s Cup (pitting the USA against Europe and the rest of the world) are two of the most popular televised golf events. It’s the method the greatest golfer of all time, Bobby Jones (not Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods) competed in almost exclusively.
This article is being written late on Sunday night. Tomorrow promises to be a fun celebration for all, and a momentous occasion for National Match Play. The event has been dubbed a “soft launch” of the new tournament, as the first round of tournament competition is actually set to kick off in August.
The event tomorrow (it’s now after midnight, so really today) will take place at Sequoyah Country Club in the Oakland foothills. After registering and collecting their goodie bags, amateur golfers from the California Bay Area and beyond will enjoy a round of challenging match play on the private club’s famous course. Prizes will be awarded for playing achievements and by raffle. More fun will be had at a later A’s game and at karaoke back at the hotel where the out of town guests are staying.
Now in the late hour, goodie bags stuffed with care and the golfers safely asleep, we’ll close this chapter. In the next chapter we’ll find out how the event was received. With all the work gone into it and all the fun planned, it’s a safe bet there will be much to report.