October 29, 1999
The folks at the Oldsmobile Scramble and their partners at Disney World really know how to host a golf tournament.
They went all out to make sure that the players and their families and guests had a wonderful time. It was simply delightful.
Airfares were reasonable, and Disney provided rooms at Port Orleans, Dixie Landing, and The Contemporary Resort at reduced rates.
At registration, golfers received free Etonic golf shoes and gloves. The players were also given a duffel bag and hat, both with an Olds Scramble embroidered logo.
A dozen Top-Flite golf balls were in the duffel bag. Many of the new balls soon landed in the many ponds and wooded areas adjacent to the tournament golf courses.
On Thursday night, October 7, the players, their families, and guests had a special night at the Disney-MGM Studios, dedicated solely to the Olds group. Cast members greeted the guests with a ticker-tape parade to begin a night of great food, rides, music, and dancing. Along the parade route, the Disney actors thrust autograph books at the amateurs and club professionals, begging for signatures. Most of the group laughed and graciously complied.
There was enough time during the tournament for the players to meet and mingle with their competitors from all over the country. For example, Quint Alexander, the head pro at The Bandit Golf Club in New Braunfels, Texas, told me he altered his stance and swing to add 30 feet of height to his drives. His usual Texas low slinging hooks just didn’t work well on the wet golf courses we played.
With the rainy weather slowing the tournament play, the golfers did not have as much free time as their families and guests to enjoy the rest of the Disney World experience. Nonetheless, most of the Kings Creek group managed to visit The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, the Blizzard Beach water park, and Downtown Disney. With the October tournament dates, for most attractions there were very few long waiting lines.
We highly recommend the Rock’n’Rollercoaster featuring Aerosmith.
On Saturday night, October 9, the tournament held a Beach Party at the Convention Center adjacent to the Contemporary Resort. Special areas were set aside for children to play air hockey, shoot pool, roll skeeballs, and play arcade games, all for free. The buffet tables were loaded with an amazing assortment. The band led the crowd in a long collection of party standards.
This party had a different sense of scale than most receptions I have attended. Imagine 1200 people all dancing to YMCA, with a few thousand others milling about. The Olds group was looking for a good time, and found it.
On Sunday, October 10, golfers that did not make the cut for the final round had an additional chance to earn credits toward gift certificates at the Disney World golf pro shops. The tournament held a putting championship at the Eagle Pines putting green. Each team tried 5 putts at each of 18 holes. Each hole had a different dollar value and degree of difficulty, running from $5 to $500. The money won by each golfer was split evenly among the team members.
The $100 putting hole was specially cut into the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head. Rich Curl enjoyed sticking a putt in Mickey’s right ear. Our team eventually walked away with nearly $100 apiece in gift certificates.
It spent quickly.
The courtesy cars and buses were also used for transportation to the Orlando airport. We made our flight easily, and were exhausted when we reached home Sunday night.
Can’t wait to try again next year!