With the help of a charity benefit and a couple of celebrity athletes, the 2nd annual SNEWS® Golf Scramble at HFB kicked it up a notch with 70-plus players, prizes, post-play burgers and beer, and an entire afternoon of fun and networking before the business of the show took over.
Using a shotgun start so everybody would finish close to the same time, 17 foursomes played on Aug. 1, the day before the Health & Fitness Business Show, at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Course, in the process raising about $7,000 to go to Augie's Quest.
"The power of Augie," as Dan Wille, of Life Fitness, put it when this second scramble really took off.
It didn't hurt that SNEWS® had coordinated with Charlotte Fitness to have its new owner, retired NFL quarterback Steve Beuerlein, to come out and host a challenge hole, and LeMond Fitness co-owner and three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond to show up to play and to schmooze. Kudos to Beuerlein to spending close to three hours in the hot sun at hole 12, par 5, with a long drive over water hazards, offering to give the drive his all if the foursome ante'd up a little extra cash to donate to Augie's Quest, searching for a cure for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Augie's Quest (www.augiesquest.org) was founded by Life Fitness founder and Octane Fitness chairman Augie Nieto after he was diagnosed with ALS in March 2005. To read about other activities and preliminary funds raised, click here to read our Aug. 16, 2007, SNEWS® story, "Health & Fitness Business '07: Fun, fundraising gathers $11K+ for Augie's Quest, ups show energy."
"Our ability to raise funds for this benefit is tremendous," Wille said. "We don't do enough as an industry. We just don't do enough."
But for a number of hours that afternoon a small part of the industry did what it could, especially when they rolled up to the hole Beuerlein was hosting.
A foursome with Octane's co-founder Tim Porth, Life's Wille and retailers Chris Lutz and Steve Kelly from Bob Block Fitness rolled up to the Beuerlein hole just as the afternoon wind starting to roll around the course.
"That's some fierce wind," Lutz said, doing his best wiggle-into-place to get the ball just right. After whacking it and sighing, he added, "Not today."
Porth had a pre-excuse for any drive gone bad -- rental clubs: "If I'd brought my driving clubs, it'd be a whole lot better."
"That's your problem," Beuerlein retorted with a grin, eyeballing the shot gone wild.
Using the Callaway scoring system, which we were told is a complicated mathematical way to calculate scores to help balance out a potentially imbalanced field of skill and adding in the Beuerlein drive "bought" by a foursome's donation, the top three teams were:
1st. AccuFitness, led by president Matt Chalek and filled out by suppliers of the company -- 60, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 50.
2nd. Advanced Exercise Equipment, with Gregg Spieker, Bruce Schlagel, Life Fitness' Kent Collins and a friend -- 63, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 52.
3rd. SNEWS® (no, we didn't cheat!), with sales director Gene Treacy, Schiek's Chris Koth, retailer Fitness Lifestyles owner Leo Clark, and friend Kyle Burgess -- 63, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 53. (Only barely edging out the Inspire Fitness team on a tie-breaker.)
In the category of "DLBF" (Dead Last But Finished):
• Spri Products, with Pat Miles, Herb Flenyte, Kevin Kingston and Adam Zwyer -- 77, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 64.
Other teams and their scores (in no particular order)*:
• Valeo/Charlotte Fitness -- Chuck Last, Tim Ross, John Ward, Tom Ward -- 65, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 54.
• LeMond Fitness -- Greg LeMond, Kurt Kenny, Scott Egbert, Eric Swanson -- 65, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 54.
• FreeMotion Fitness -- Gloria Cornyn, Mike Billapando, Dave McEvoy and Jake Stewart -- 71, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 58.
• Inspire Fitness -- Jeff Laborde, Shawn Hannagan, Rick Vemmer, Mark Wiper -- 64, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 53.
• Octane Fitness #1 -- Dennis Lee, Dave Sheriff, Jeanne Sheriff, Mark Becker -- 67, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 56.
• Diamondback -- Bill Austin, Steve Lindenau, Eric Gottesfeld, Joe Marcoux -- 74, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 61.
• Octane Fitness #2 -- Ryan Simat, Joey Abramson, Alan Freedman, Randy Becker -- 76, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 62.
• Nautilus -- Patrick Warner, Andy Lull, Eric Golesh, Doug Crawford -- 69, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 56.
• Octane Fitness #3 -- Tim Porth, Dan Wille, Steve Kelly, Chris Lutz -- 73, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 60.
• Octane Fitness #4 -- Dan Rehmann, Russ Stier -- 75, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 61.
• Sports & Leisure/Sportline -- John Sterns, Brian Hannon, Rick Olson -- 67, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 55.
• Health & Fitness Business -- Joe Flynn, Tim Blumenthal, David Politis -- 70, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 57.
• Horizon Fitness -- Bob Whip, Bill Sotis, Bill Sells (joined for the last few holes by Steve Beuerlein) -- 65, with a final Callaway-balanced score of 54.
In other non-golf competitions:
• Longest drive hole, sponsored by Iron Grip -- Justin Jamison, HealthStyles -- 315 yards
• Closest to the pin, sponsored by Iron Grip -- Alan Freedman, Fitness Outlet
• Longest putt -- Eric Golesh, Nautilus
• Closest to the pin, hole 13 -- Tim Porth, Octane
Steps walked (using pedometers donated by Sports & Leisure):
• Most -- Doug Crawford, Nautilus, 11,530 (That would be about 5+ miles. Did he cheat? Or did he have to chase a LOT of balls?)
• Least -- Steve Lindenau, Diamondback, 2,236 (Did he swing from the cart?)
*Apologies for any misspelled names since SNEWS® relied on a list supplied by the golf course and apologies for anyone left out since, man, the teams changed out members like mad that day and we couldn't keep it all straight! Blame it on the hot sun.
We'd also like to congratulate the two women -- yes, only two! -- who came out to enjoy the day: Gloria Cornyn and Jeanne Sheriff, both of retailer HealthStyles. Where were the others? After, everybody enjoyed burgers, beer, sodas, snacks and prize awards on the patio, with a few nursing some nifty Rocky Mountain sunburns despite sunscreen in the goodie bags.
Sponsors and time to play for 2008
We can't forget to thank sponsors and other product donators: Aside from SNEWS® and the HFB show, co-sponsors were AccuFitness, BH Fitness, Diamondback, FreeMotion Fitness, Iron Grip, Life Fitness, Octane Fitness and Spri Products. Products and prizes were donated by Sports & Leisure, Corazonas Foods, Kinesys sunscreen, Sawtooth Ale and DeadlineWizard.com.
Don't forget to already pencil in your attendance at the 3rd Annual SNEWS® Golf Scramble in 2008 the day before the show, July 16, 2008. Proceeds will again go to Augie's Quest.