From Las Vegas to L.A., Playboy Golf Scramble is the game's sexiest event
For guys who don't eat quiche (and maybe some who do), the ninth annual Playboy Golf Scramble Finals is the ultimate golf party - not because of the golf, but because of the company they get to keep.
Where else can you not only play golf, but also eat, drink and mingle with celebrities, athletes and some of the sexiest women in the world? Oh yeah, and did we mention much of the festivities take place at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles? This may be the easiest way yet to get an invite to the legendary bachelor palace.
For the lucky foursomes who qualified - or paid the $20,000 entry fee to compete in the VIP Division of the Playboy Scramble Finals - the drinks will be flowing, and the photo opportunities will be endless on March 26-29 in Los Angeles.
The event kicks off on a Thursday with a Tee Party at the Playboy Mansion to welcome golfers, athletes and celebrities. That's followed by golf at the 36-hole Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center in Industry Hills, Calif., on Friday and Saturday. The courses at the Pacific Palms -- the Ike and the Babe -- were designed by legendary golf architect William Francis Bell of Torrey Pines fame.
There will be parties each evening at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and then everything winds up back at the Playboy Mansion again on Saturday night, March 29. There, participants will enjoy the highly anticipated Playboy Golf Pajama & Lingerie Party, where awards will be handed out to the top players and teams.
And who knows? Players might even bump into Playboy founder Hugh Hefner at the event. There are no guarantees that he will be there, but according to Playboy Golf CEO and President Ajay M. Pathak, "Hef loves to come down to the event with his girlfriends."
Officials have already set up Hefner's cabana, just in case.
Playboy Golf Scramble competition isn't fierce, but it's fun
If you're looking to grind it out, then maybe this isn't your tournament, however, competitors are free to bring their best game anyway.
The format for the Playboy Golf Finals, which is sponsored by Woodford Reserve Bourbon, is a four-person amateur scramble plus a celebrity or athlete. The celebrity list has included such names as NFL Hall of Famer Warren Moon, Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, musicians Kid Rock and Pink, as well as actors Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven and Drew Barrymore. Most will play golf, but some simply join in the red carpet social activities.
This isn't your typical scramble. Throughout the golf course, there will be "lounges" with deejays and dancing girls and plenty of good, clean diversions. There are Playmates and Girls of Playboy Golf greeting players throughout the course. It's not uncommon to hit a shot, then socialize for a little while, or have a photo taken with a favorite host.
There's also a charity side to this event, although it's not a charity tournament, Pathak said. Extra proceeds, earned through silent auctions and raffles, will benefit the American Cancer Society's ROCK (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids).
"If you can win in our event, then you really deserve it because we've got every distraction in the world with 300 girls on the course," Pathak said.
The road to the Mansion goes through Vegas
Players and teams qualify through a series of 25 regional events in the United States, Canada and Australia. Playing in those events gets them invitations to the semifinals, which are conducted on some of the top golf courses in Las Vegas. If they win or place highly in regional events, teams can advance to the semifinals or finals at substantially reduced rates.
Shortly after the Finals are completed, regional events will begin once again. For a complete list of those events and how to enter, visit the Playboy Golf Web site.
The semifinals are really a happening all to itself, as one would expect in Las Vegas. The event is currently played in the fall with two days of golf at the Revere Golf Club and weekend festivities at the event's sponsor site, the Green Valley Ranch Resort Spa Casino. It's an adult playground (all clean, of course) as semi-finalists, sponsors, guests and Playmates and the Girls of Playboy Golf got together for golf evening parties.
That same type of experience can be enjoyed on the local level, too, Pathak said. And as an added bonus, this is where local young ladies can audition to be Girls of Playboy Golf.
Casting calls are held in each city, and those who are selected on the local level get to mingle with players, many of them business leaders, who don't mind taking a photo or two with them or letting them hit a golf shot for them. Competitors also get to vote for the best Girls of Playboy Golf, who have a chance to advance to the Mansion themselves.
The golf, of course, is really secondary, although there are some serious competitors out there. It's really a great opportunity for business owners and professionals to host clients in an entertaining atmosphere. Because aside from golf there's also an pre-tournament party as well as valuable gift bags.
"If you're trying to entertain a client," Pathak said, "you've got a captive audience for at least 10 hours. And they want to be there. It's not like you're taking them to a boring dinner. They'll be thanking you at the end."
Just to set the record straight, the events are completely nudity free, out of respect for the game of golf and the girls.
"We want to provide them with a completely safe atmosphere," Pathak said. "It's really the girl next door. That's the type we want for our event."
March 12, 2009