How's this for an assignment?

November 19, 2009

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Lindsay Knowlton called it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, begging the question, Who's lifetime? Employers don't routinely send employees around the world to play golf; hence Knowlton's partner in this adventure, Josh Sullivan, likened it to winning the lottery.

They are employees of Adidas Golf, who were the chosen two following a copmany-wide global casting call to find a pair of employees to front a marketing campaign it's calling "Wear in the World," designed to test and promote its all-climate golf apparel.

Their sendoff took place Thursday at TaylorMade headquarters here, and included a helicopter landing down range at its test center and whisking them off to Palomar Airport nearby to begin a journey that will start in a California desert and will take them to three Southern Hemisphere continents.

Their itinerary includes golf at Furnace Creek Golf Course in Death Valley, the lowest elevation golf course in the world, at 214-feet below sea level. From there, they go to Bolivia, for a round at LaPaz Golf Club, the world's highest-elevation course, at 10,800 feet above sea level.

Then it's on to Ushuaia, Argentina, and golf at the southern-most 18-hole course, "600 miles from Anatarctia," said Knowlton, a native of Canada and a former Ohio State golfer. "Total penguin territory." From there, it's a 20-hour flight to South Africa, for golf at Walker Bay Resort, Africa's southern-most golf course. And, finally, it's on to Alice Springs, Australia, to play the world's hottest course, where temperatures often exceed 120 degrees.

On the same trip, they'll also ride mountain bikes down Bolivia's Death Road, cage dive with great white shakes off the coast of South Africa, and play a better ball match against Argentina star Andres Romero.

"Checking things off our bucket list in the process," said Sullivan, a scratch golfer who works at company headquarters here.

Their progress can be followed at

-- John Strege