Over the years we've received thousands of entries for the Golf Digest Ambush, where I surprise readers on their buddies trips and toast them with everything from wine to free golf balls. I printed out almost every one, and last week I gave the stack to Peter Henry, who is organizing all relevant information: emails, group size, destination, etc.
Through 1,000 entries, 117 groups went to Myrtle Beach, and 35 groups have been on 30 or more trips. Kimber Aderman of Bolton, Conn., has been on 64 buddies trips. Jim Conway of Aston, Pa., has been on 51. Bill Dranginis of Litchfield, Conn., has been on 50, and so has Barry Beatty of Sauble Beach, Ontario. On Thursday I sent an email to those 1,000 groups, inviting them to the__ Buddies Golf Getaway Oct. 21-23__ in Orlando.
*Pardon the interruption, ** **I trust you're still enjoying all that is your annual buddies trip. Let me guess: The group has grown, you can't believe the deal you get, and you're wondering where you should go next. ** **I wanted to let you know that I'll be hosting a buddies trip in Orlando Oct. 21-23 at the [__Waldorf Astoria Golf Club__](http://www.waldorfastoria.com/golf/). ** **Grab a friend, or three, and join me, Mark Rolfing of NBC, Russ Evans of ESPN Radio in Florida and the creators of [__Golf Trip Genius__](http://www.golftripgenius.com/) for two days of golf, breakfasts, lunches, dinners, open bars, gift bags and some casual Q&As about buddies trips, courses, resorts and more. ** **Go to [__www.buddiesgolf.com__](http://www.buddiesgolf.com) to sign up.**
I received a lot of responses, and thought I'd share a few: "Thanks for the invite, but we are heading to Pinehurst on Oct. 12 (20 golfers)."—Bill Knight "Love to, but my group (eight guys) is off to play six countries in 20 days: Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Morocco and England. Keep me in mind for next time. Sounds great."—Glen Wilson "I would love to join you, but we have 12 of us heading to Bandon Dunes over that same period. Trust you will understand!"—Steve Havey "Ahh, bummer, we'll be in Innisbrook Oct. 27-30. Maybe we can persuade you to stay a few extra days and join in on the Sandbagger Open!"—Eric Dyer "Thank you for the invite, but unfortunately my annual golf trip with my college buddies (University of Scranton, '82) is that weekend; this year we are going to Atlantic City. My law firm's annual trip in the Spring 2012 is our 15th! I wrote to you before to cover it as a buddies trip. This trip, I'm looking at St. Michaels on the eastern shore of Maryland. You should report about a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. We have been there several times. Great golf, great restaurants, great bars, great times. Take care."—Michael P. Albano "I'm not one to seek permission from my better half on such trips, but my once-per-year trip with the boys to Michigan is my only buddies trip of the year (unless I want to hire a divorce attorney). Your offer is very tempting and sounds like great fun. I'll tell you what, I'm in if you can call and convince her that it's imperative that I be there for the Matty G. Golf Summit, or, if I can crash at your place for the month thereafter until I can arrange new living arrangements. That's what I thought, good decision (lol!!). All the best, and have a great event!"—Wayne "Tree" Lynn
And finally, I received a less-than-positive response: Hey, Matt, Remember me? Probably not, but EVERYONE in my group remembers you because you TOTALLY ignored us for AMBUSH consideration. It was OK to not be picked, but your lame approach is still not forgotten. You picked some really wimpy tournaments. I looked at their "criteria," i.e., no chance of YOU not being the "big wheel" at the party. I guess you were afraid of real fun. Anyway, "Pardon the Interruption," as you phrase it, but don't send me any more of your "solicitous emails." We have ALL really stopped subscribing to Golf Digest because of your phoniness. Sorry for my "bluntness." Here is the text of my "Ambush" submission, actually thought it was pretty "professional." Not that you really care: My name is Ron Waggoner. I'm a retired Air Force guy who conducts a tournament each fall at Myrtle Beach. The 2008 event will be the 16th in succession. It began as a group of Air Force guys and has evolved into folks from many walks of life. Annual participation ranges from 16-24 players, with guys coming from all over the United States; even Europe. Our handicaps range from 4 to 25 (or more). The tournament is called the MBFI (Myrtle Beach Frigid Invitational). The name was derived from an ocean dipping ritual and the fact that we only allow "good guys," i.e., the "Invitational." Now for the fun parts, of which there are many: It begins with a team meeting where each "rookie" receives a welcome letter explaining the best ways to suck up to "veterans" of the tournament. Each player also receives a copy of the MBFI "Ten Commandments." I will gladly provide copies of both for your perusal if you desire. There are daily "awards" such as a unique plaque which is inscribed "Hello, my name is _______. I screwed my teammates at Myrtle Beach today." Other awards include Rookie of the Year Award, LOFT (Lack of _____Talent) Award, and the crowning achievement: The Wino Emeritus Award, which goes to the player who makes the biggest fool of himself during the event. It has gone to a guy who accidentally dropped his golf sock into a lady's wine glass as she was having dinner, and to a player who had to strip naked in the fairway at Oyster Bay because the fire ants were everywhere in his pants. "Awards night" is held at Bimini's Oyster Bar (930 Lake Arrowhead Rd), where the leader (me) is usually "costumed" and presents the Wino Emeritus Award, consisting of a plaque and a drink much akin to "fear factor," which must be chugged. There is also a daily "snake," which goes to the last five guys to 3-putt. We "retire" to a local establishment such as Hooters to do the scores and announce daily winners. Each holder of the "snake" must buy a pitcher of beer to whet our appetites while we do the scores. And, of course we have a college football pool on Saturday. In addition, the Gideon Bible people usually find a way into a rookie's room and leave many "suggestions" for repentance. We believe the MBFI would offer a great Golf Digest "Ambush site", and we will be more than honored to be considered.
Thanks, Ron Waggoner.
Congratulations, Ron, it sounds like a great trip. And cheers to another Wino Emeritus Award. --Matty G.*
*(Follow me on Twitter @Matt_Ginella.)