Tuesday, May 8, 2007

EBC Golf Tournament & Dinner

I've recently had a rekindling of my interest in participatory sports, and with my amazing results in bowling last month - a 240 game at the Westminister Lanes at the Go Country 105 event, I looked very forward to seeing what I could do on the golf course. Yesterday, the 7th Annual Cornerstone Classic to benefit Eternity Bible College was held at the immaculate Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, California. The main purpose of the tournament is to raise funds for the Eternity Bible College "Legacy" Endowment. The college exists in order to train people to "think biblically and live radically." The college was the brainstorm of Cornerstone Community Church Pastor Francis Chan (pictured above), and in only in it's fourth year of operation there are now approximately 100 full time students attending the college. EBC is still in the lenghty process of becoming fully accredited and will be graduating nine students this semester, making 19 the total number of students which have graduated. One of the great things about EBC in comparison to other Bible colleges is that it's affordable - it only costs about $2,500 per year to sponsor a student, whereas elsewhere the costs can be upwards of ten times that.

As for the tournament itself, I must say that it was thoroughly enjoyable from the moment I got there a little after 8:30 am and was greeted by EBC staffers Katie McMurry and Nicole Carstensen (pictured above left). Several EBC staffers served the entire day including Katie and Nicole as well as Mark Beuving, Spencer MacCuish and EBC President Joshua Walker. There were also several fun contests at the event: A Longest Drive, Closest To The Pin, A Putting Contest and a Car for a Hole in One.

Just after 11am, I paired hooked up with the rest of my team; Jim Boyle, Tim Love and Carlos Salazar (pictured above) filled out my foursome. The format style was "Texas Scramble," basically meaning that all four of us got to hit the ball on every hole and we used the best ball of the four hit and moved on to the next shot. We did a "Shotgun Start" with teams teeing off from every hole - our team started off on the 6th. We got off to a quick start, making birdies on two of our first four holes, including a nice 15 foot birdie putt by me on the 9th! For not playing in such a long time, I was very happy with my results of my short game as I set up three of our teams six birdie putts! My long game though was a struggle the entire day. Hitting the ball well on the driving range doesn't always translate to doing so on the golf course! On a positive note, my main problem in driving the ball was that I kept was hooking the ball right to left. For someone who has always had just the opposite problem (slicing), this was a VERY refreshing change. FYI, I ended up losing a total of nine golf balls on the day; most of them going into the many water hazards that Wood Ranch contains. For the day, our team had six birdies, four bogeys and eight pars and a net score of two under par 70. This turned out to be a fairly average score - the winning team managed to shoot a 19 under par 53! The four of us had a thoroughly enjoyable time togehter on the golf course.

After the golf, comedian/musician Matt Jernigan provided some entertaining moments as emcee of the dinner. At the dinner, there were also a prize drawings and a silent auction for several different items. Two particular auction items had my attention - a montage of framed photos and plaques of the late Payne Stewart, and a framed 16x20 photo of the "Masters of the Masters" - Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus walking the Augusta National course together... I'm proud to say that the latter now rests in my possession!

Thanks to everyone at EBC for making this such a fun and memorable event, and also kudos to the Wood Ranch Golf Club and all of the sponsors for providing for each and every need. It was truly an experience I will not ever forget, and I look forward to participating again next year!

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