Driving to Beat Autism – Great Day / Great Cause

Published: June 15, 2009

I make no pretense at being a golfer – let me get that out right up front. But as they say, a bad day golfing is better than a good day working. THEY say that. I say that about fishing, which I prefer to golf, but if you can’t go fishing, golf will do. Golf is another one of those ‘sports’ where you can drink while you’re practicing it, or playing it or whatever it is you do with it. I like that in a sport. And unlike fishing where you have to haul your own supplies, in golf there’s a sweet young lady that travels the course in the ‘beer truck’. That’s right – they bring it icy cold right to you. That puts it right up a notch above bowling – where you sometimes have to walk several feet to a bar.

cross creek

There’s also a lot of cussing in golf I’ve noticed. If you haven’t been, here’s what it sounds like in the T area:

daneGolfer #1 – Thwack / sunava %}}@~.

Golfer #2 – Thwack / Mother 4w%%$3.

Golfer #3 – Thwack / {?**^> ball/club/wind.

Golfer #4 – Thwack / well you catch my drift.

Again, not really a negative to my mind. And golf cussing is pretty mild. Heck, I grew up in a mining town – those old boys had cussing down to an art form.

mikeBut I digress – I do enjoy golf. I get my moneys worth when I golf because I  spend way more time on the course than the average bear whiffing around in 3 or 4 hours in his brightly colored shorts ensemble. If I don’t start before noon, I might as well take along a sleeping bag and some freeze dried grub. If somebody invented glow-in-the-dark balls I’d be a happy man. (That may have come out wrong.) Actually, when I lived in Minnesota I played with bright orange balls which were very easy to see, as you might imagine (again, don’t go there). When I moved to California some a** took pains to point out that those were ‘snow balls’ – orange so you could play in the snow. Only a total doofus would sport them in SoCal.

Thank you very much Mr. Chartreuse Shirt Man.

I also feel it’s my tribute to the designer of the course, to come to know the intricacies he designed into the course. They planned those big sandy areas, trees, rivers and lakes all for our enjoyment yet most golfers only try to avoid them. They also placed courses in beautiful wildlife areas and it’s fun to explore the surrounding flora (& fauna). You don’t even want to know how many homes I’ve ‘come in contact with’ playing Bear Creek. (Thwack / Krink – that’s the sound of a well driven ball off a Spanish Tile roof).

driveBut it’s always a pleasure to play for a good cause and this past Saturday we had an opportunity to do just that. I’d never played Cross Creek before and it is a gorgeous course lying in a bowl surrounded by oak and avocado trees and, in the distance, some exquisite homes. It’d a very unforgiving course too, I might add. Keeping score as I do is a function of balls lost X beer consumed / good company = score. Others keep a more numerically based algorithm which only works for me when I play a scramble or best ball event. Again, assuming I’m with 2 or 3 other people who know what they’re doing.

My son and I enjoyed an afternoon with friends Mike & Eric – who carried our team to a 7 under finish. I never thought I’d experience that pinnacle in a tournment that did not allow Mulligans. And we scored honetly, not like those pikers that claimed they shot 60.

nicholasThe event was ‘Driving to Beat Autism’ with Our Nicholas Foundation. The foundation was started by Mark & Kathy Anselmo to honor their son Nicholas. While researching what they could on the topic after their son was diagnosed, they discovered a dire shortage of information, of the tools necessary for teaching & therapy, and funding for research & basic classroom necessities.

One of Our Nicholas Foundation’s early successes has been their Peer Buddies Program which integrates special ed students with ‘typical’ students in a classroom environment. It has fostered compassion and understanding among the student population while providing a sense of well being and inclusion for the autistic.

They are also developing an extensive Autism Resource Library and can provide parents with local resource guides. Having experienced a 400% increase in autistic students enrolled in local classes in just the last 4 years shows the critical need for the products, services and research needed to enrich the lives of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

If you or anyone you know has been touched by autism and would like to find out more about this amazing organization, please contact www.OurNicholasFoundation.org

Last modified: June 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm | Originally published: June 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm
Printed: October 1, 2020