Courses & TravelMarch 5, 2008

I'm Being Ambushed, Part 2

My inbox, which has never been so swollen, is fun to flip through. No anti-inflammatory can slow down the Ambush entries.

Just to recap, the Golf Digest Ambush is a concept we came up with to celebrate the golf trips YOU take with friends and/or family. It's a version of the TV show "Punked," but I'm no Ashton Kutcher and our version provides benefits, not embarrassments.

You send in your itineraries, tell us who you are, where and when you're going, who you're going with, how long you've been going, some traditions of your trip and why it's unique. We'll choose one itinerary per month to feature in Golf Digest. Not only that, we'll give you stuff--balls, beer, shirts, range finders, hats or clubs. We'll shoot video of the Ambush and put it on golfdigest.com and you might even see it on the Golf Channel.

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I've only done two so far. I ambushed Neil Thomson and his buddies at Sea Island (pictured), which will appear in the April issue, and I ambushed Chuck Wierda and his crew in Arizona, which will appear in the May issue.

Of the 273 entries so far, I can't help but share a few that, for whatever reason, have separated themselves from the pack/pile:

From Andrew Marcolini of Burlington, Ontario: Four months of freezing cold and snow, I think I might have forgotten how to hold a club. I had to change my grip to use my snow shovel. I should have had "Toro" tattooed on my back--the human snow blower with arms. I need to discuss this global warming issue with Al Gore, he should have spent some time in Burlington--the snow and cold is crazy. So now you have four golf-deprived Canadians heading to sunny Scottsdale for a much deserved break. I'm lying in bed with my monthly Bible, Golf Digest, and I read your article--how cool would that be for the guys I'm going with--all who have never been to Arizona, all who love the game, and all who are eager to trade in our shovels for our sticks.

Golf Digest gives millions of golfers spiritual guidance, but I've never heard it referred to as a Bible.

Vince Mendoza of Reston, Va.: Our trip is unique in the sense that every year we know a few things are sure to happen: 1) There will always be stories that we'll be able to talk about forever. Something funny, crazy or unbelievable always seems to happen. 2) There will be at least one or two guys who will not make it the following year. This trip started out as four core guys wanting time by themselves to just play golf and forget about the worries of everyday life. The second year we decided to include four others and create a mini tournament. But by year four we had grown to 12 guys. Every year since the second year, for one reason or another, at least two members have not made it. Reasons have been: Guys getting too drunk the night before and bailing on golf (you bail on your partner, we bail on you). Not getting along with the majority of the core guys. Friends moving continents. And most shocking--one golfer stealing another golfers wife.

*It sounds like Vince rolls with a crafty crowd. Most people go into a buddies trip willing to risk the better half of what's in his/her wallet, but *not their better half.

Steve Miller of Douglassville, Pa: We lovingly call our trip "The Jack Kevorkian Tour." Some years back, after a tough day on the links, a member of our group announced, "Just kill me." The "Tour" was born.

That's a crazy combination of the words "lovingly", "kill", "Kevorkian" and "born"...especially considering the topic is the game of golf.

__Ed Lane of St. Louis, Mo.:__I have four wonderful, healthy children (a 6-year old and 3-year old triplets), thus I am extremely fortunate to get a round in on the weekend. I usually have to take a half-day off work to get a round in during the week since the daycare is already paid for. Because of recent employment turbulence due to an unexpected merger, and the overwhelming stress that comes with it, my wife told me to contact a buddy of mine in Cumming, GA. and spend the weekend golfing. Yes, she's a saint to take on the children alone for a weekend so I can play golf. Something tells me she has her own secret weekend planned that I don't know about yet, but hey, all is fair and I'd agree to anything while I am glossed over thinking about a weekend of golf.

Ed, I like that move--turn the tables so that it's you who will "agree to anything," as though you're doing your wife the favor by going on the golf trip. We could all learn a thing or two from your diplomacy.

Finally, and my favorite for obvious reasons__ . . .__

__Andrew Resler of Newburgh, N.Y.:__My foursome will be playing in the Playboy Golf Finals at the Pacific Palms Resort at the end of March. The final involves several parties at the Playboy Mansion and golf on the two courses at the resort. I would have to say that this is quite a unique trip and we're all very excited, as there will be numerous Playmates to keep an eye on all our wayward (golf) balls. Hope to see you there.

Andrew, that makes two of us.

--Matty G

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