Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Saipan Rotary’s District Governor's Charity Golf Tournament 2008

I awoke on Sunday to dark skies and rain. By the time the sun rose the clouds were parting and members of the Saipan Rotary club were busy setting up for this years District Governor’s Golf Tourney. It was last year at about this time that I participated in my first Rotary event. How time flies. A year ago I played along side golfing phenom Harry Blalock at Coral Ocean Point and recall doing fairly well both on the course and at the awards banquet. This year with my recent surgery I decided it best to leave the clubs at home and become the official photographer! With the hot sun overhead this turned out to be a good call since many of us “officials” were able to seek shade while the golfers sweated it out under the hot tropical sun.
Once a year the Rotary District Governor makes his way from Japan to the islands of Micronesia stopping on Saipan for dedication ceremonies and of course the golf tournament. The charity event helps raise awareness and funds for the Rotary Club whose motto is Service above Self". This year the governor was on hand to officially open the Skateboard Park in Garapan giving youth a safe place to skate rather than see them utilizing busy roadways and sidewalks.
Twenty-nine golfers took part in the double Peoria style event on the West course of Lau Lau Bay. This format is really all about luck and is designed to give all participants a chance to win regardless of skill level. With the help of the District Governor, Saipan Rotary President Ben Babauta kicked off the event at precisely 7AM shot gun style. With this type of start each group begins play at different holes technically making it more likely they will all finish at about the same time – LUNCH TIME.
Hole # 7 was designated the closest to the pin and since there were many volunteers hard at work at this one that is where I ended up getting most of my shots of all the participants. It’s a pretty par 3 with water at the side of the tee box and an uphill climb to a green that is surrounded by bunkers. By the end of the morning only 4 or 5 of the 29 actually hit the green giving them a shot at one of the only prizes requiring any skill.
Lau Lau Bay Golf Resort has two full length courses. Our tournament was played on the West course which is the less spectacular of the two. The East course lines the cliffs of the Pacific and although it costs a little more to play it is definitely worth it. Our course for the day may not have had the views but with plenty of man made water hazards and bunkers it is no less challenging and always well maintained. On the West course the 18th hole tee box provides the most spectacular view of the bay.(The new club house being built)
Here's a few action shots including the Governor sort of doing a fist pump as he goes to pull his ball from the hole. A couple of good outs from the trap on 7 and even a few putts disappearing into the cup.When it was all said and done I’d say it’s safe to say a good time was had by all although some seemed to win an exceedingly high percentage of the raffle prizes! The overall winner on the course was Vince Attao who pocketed the $500 first place prize while Yasu Irinaka finished 2nd winning $400 and Ed Manibusan rounded out the top 3 poketing $300. Other big winners included Rotarian Angelo Villagomez who took home one of two $500 gift certificates good for any flight on NWA. Not so bad for a mornings work!
Thanks Governor and to all those who participated and volunteered, it was a fun day with proceeds going to good causes!


The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Thanks for the great pictures, Mike. You should send the html code for this post to Rotarian Wayne to put on the Rotary blog.

coupdecoeur said...

a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
thanks for making us share your moments
you have a translation of my English space!
cordially from France
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((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-