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Chip Shots - Let's Get Scrambled!

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One of the things I look forward to every golf season is playing in a few charitable golf scramble tournaments. Scrambles are held all season long and raise money for worthy causes. It's a great way to enjoy the game while supporting community initiatives, and that's why they are so popular.

And the best part is, you don't have to be a good golfer to have a ton of fun. By forming teams in groups of four, it increases the odds that at least one player on the team will hit a quality shot during every rotation, thus helping speed the pace of play. The format also plays to certain golfers' strengths. For example, some people excel at hitting tee shots, while others are better at chipping and putting. A four-person scramble gives each player a chance to shine on various shots on any given hole.

For those who may not be familiar with the scramble format, it features teams of four players competing against one another. In this format, each team's players hit from the tee box, and then the team members choose the best of the four shots for the next shot. All team members then play the second shot from that location, and again choose the best shot. Play continues in this manner until the hole is completed. The team then records its score and maintains that format for all 18 holes.

The atmosphere at scramble tournaments is always outstanding; everyone is excited to play and enjoy a day on the links, as well as receive goodie bags, participate in special contests and eat a meal following the day's golf adventures.

One of my favorite scramble memories is from two years ago, when I and three of my golfing buddies, Rick, Dan and Dustin, participated in the Forrest G. Whitman Memorial Golf Tournament at the Mt. Kineo Golf Course in Greenville (scheduled this year for Aug. 20; contact Terri Sleeper at 695-5215 for more information).

We stayed overnight in Greenville and got up early to catch the shuttle boat that took us across Moosehead Lake to the course. Our somewhat mediocre golf performance that day was highlighted by my birdie in front of dozens of people on hole #1. Let me clarify: the 'birdie' was actually a large goose that I hit with my tee shot! There was a flock of geese in the fairway, and I hit a low drive that careened off the fairway and smack into the broadside of a goose. For all you animal lovers out there (of which I am one), no need to fear for the goose. I'm pretty sure my ego was more bruised, as the bird appeared to shrug it off as it moved to another fairway. At any rate, that story still surfaces among my friends from time to time.

So, what are you waiting for? The summer is just beginning, and you have before you dozens of tournaments from which to choose. If there's a more fun way to support a great cause, I haven't found it yet. To get you started I've listed just a few tournaments below.

Fourth Annual Fields4Kids Golf Outing

Friday, July 10

Hermon Meadows Golf Course

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cost is $100 per person and includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, a cart and beverages during lunch and golf, contests and prizes.

To learn more about Fields4Kids or to register for the event, please call MJ Ball at 991-8940 or visit their website at www.fields4kids.org.

Children's Miracle Network Hospital Golf Classic

Friday, July 17

Hermon Meadows Golf Course

8 a.m.

Cost is $115 per person or $450 for a team of four, and includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, a cart and other fun features.

To learn more about CMN or to register, please call EMHS Foundation at 973-5055 or go to www.emhsfoundation.org.

Old Town/Orono Hockey Boosters Tournament

Saturday, July 18

Hidden Meadows Golf Course, Old Town

Contact Hidden Meadows for more information: 827-4779.

Fourth Annual Joshua Chamberlain Golf Classic

Friday, July 24

Rocky Knoll Country Club

91 River Road, Orrington

8:30 a.m. cannon start

Cost is $60 prior to July 1, $75 after that, and includes greens fees, golf cart and lunch, plus a variety of contests and a raffle.

Please contact Nicole Gogan if you have any questions at 951.2871 or go to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Charity Tournament for African Children's Education Fund

Saturday, July 25

Hidden Meadows Golf Course, Old Town

Contact Hidden Meadows for more information: 827-4779.

Heroes, Hope, Healing McDonald's Golf Classic

Monday, Aug. 10

Penobscot Valley Country Club, Orono

9 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. shotgun start

Cost is $150 per person, and includes lobster/steak dinner, greens fees, golf cart and a variety of special features. Supports the EMMC Raish Peavey Haskell Children's Cancer and Treatment Center.

For more information, call Doug Quagliaroli at (207) 745-2402 or EMMC Foundation at (207) 973-5055. You can also go to www.emhsfoundation.org.

The column is also an online blog which can be found at www.929theticket.com/category/chip-shots/.

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