Golfing Sailors

Our guest author today is Kenny Read, skipper of the PUMA Ocean Racing boat the Il Mostro. We invited Kenny to join us for our Boston PUMA Open and he had a few things to say

Okay, I guess I should have known.

The PUMA Open? Sounds innocent enough right. After all, it’s just golf. I have been sauntering 'round a few golf courses in my day and figure that a scramble style event is pretty painless and typically good fun.

Boy am I naive. I've been around this company long enough to know that this was golf the PUMA way. "Normal" is not exactly a word that is used a lot around the PUMA water cooler.

Fast forward to arrival time at the Pine Hills Golf Course out near the bridges to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Clearly a very nice course- my guess is that the Pine Hills people didn't know what they were getting in to either.

Chief Marketing Officer, Antonio Bertone, met me at the course a little early and he decided that a Harpoon Beer (my personal #1) was in store along with a tour of the course. A tour of the course, I thought, sure why? "To see what this is all about,” he said. We took off with his partner in crime (in the marketing department) Tara. I'm thinking- what the heck does he need to see the course for as he doesn't even play golf? In fact I tried to get him to play on my team and he refused. So we hopped in a golf cart, with beer in hand and took a drive- a drive that may have changed golf forever in my mind.

Tony is creative, sometimes to the absurd and I say that with a huge amount of respect. Some Bertone-isms in the first three minutes of our golf cart ride:

"Golf would be so much more fun if you rode motorcycles around the course instead of golf carts. Just look at that natural jump off the first tee?"

"I need to rewire this cart and get rid of the speed governor"

"When we roll this cart over on that hill, you will probably break your leg, but you have two years to get better before the next Volvo right?"

And so on. We get to the first tee box and see that there is a sign with instructions.

Sign reads: "Drive with your putter, putt with your driver" Huh? "Didn't anyone tell you that this event was slightly different?" Tony says as he laughs hysterically. "Next time I do this drive through I need a cart that looks like a stretch limo. Maybe a Hummer or something" Okay, where exactly does the golf part come in I’m thinking.

The tour of the next eight holes told the story. Chipping balls at your team mates, fastest time to complete a hole (number of shots do not matter), pull a card from a deck of cards and the card number is the club you have to use for the entire hole including putting...and so on.

The tour ended and we got back to the clubhouse. Maybe hit a couple balls on the range first- all with a Harpoon beer in hand and rock and roll music blaring- of course. And the day went on.

Our squad competed admirably- I think we did anyway. I dont have any idea how the scoring worked to be honest. Our team name was il mostro. Doris, Nikola and Ryan- all who work with Tony in Boston- made up our foursome. Doris taking golf seriously with solid contact, Nikola thinking the ball was a hockey puck- reverting back to her Olympic hockey days, and Ryan attempting to beat the golf ball into submission on every shot- hitting the ball a long way but I don't believe we ever found a single tee shot of his after he hit it. It was all very fun and a lot of laughs.

The fastest time to complete a 400 yard par four was 1:40 by the way. We did it in just under three minutes which we thought was pretty good but clearly off the pace. Quite honestly I don't even know how our team did overall because the awards ceremony was held while all competitors were participating in a Casino night back at the clubhouse. Attention had left the course by then as all were was frantically trying to figure out whether to hold on 14 or take one more card.

And so goes another day at the office in PUMA world. Never a dull moment. Always with a smile. Golf will never be the same.

(By the way, new PUMA golf shoes are fantastic whether you want to participate normally or trying to be fastest from tee to green!)

You can read more from Kenny and the Sailing Team at the PUMA Ocean Racing Blog.