May 2012

HOLE IN ONE: Annual Golf Event A Sure Bet

Author: Courtney Hampson

What if I told you that you could spend $10, maybe win a $1,000,000 annuity and a new BMW, but most certainly improve the life of a child in Beaufort, Jasper, or Hampton counties? You’d do it right? Well, game on! Have I got the deal of the century for you.

Palmetto Electric Cooperative’s 10th Annual Touchstone Energy Million Dollar Shootout is slated for Thursday, May 31-Saturday, June 2. The three-day event at Old South Golf Links offers the opportunity for your favorite foursome to hit a few and raise money in support of the Bright Ideas teacher grant program, a program that funds innovative classroom projects.

The odds of making a hole-in-one vary somewhat depending on the source and the numbers used for calculating the odds. According to a 1999 Golf Digest report, “One insurance company puts an amateur’s odds at 1 in 12,750.” That same issue reported that the “odds of an amateur making two holes-in-one in a round are 9,222,500 to one.”

Despite your individual odds, the guarantee is actually in the annual impact of the event. Last year, more than 500 golfers participated in the Million Dollar Shootout and raised $13,000. That $13,000 was paired with the funds from “Operation Round Up” (the program in which Palmetto Electric customers round up the change on their bills), and more than $34,000 was put back into our local classrooms via Bright Ideas.

Here’s how it works. Dust off your clubs. Head to Old South Golf Links on May 31 or June 1 from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., or June 2 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Bring your wallet.

Ten dollars gets you a bag of a dozen balls, plus with the coupon that Palmetto Electric is offering (see next page), you get a second bag free. So, for the first $10 you spend, you have 24 chances at the final round and shooting for a million. I’m told that people have spent hundreds (of dollars and swings) in previous years for that shot at glory.

Picture taken from 2011 Contest

So, speaking of the final, the 28 closest to the pin from the three qualifying rounds (plus one media entry from Wednesday’s media day—oh yes, I’m practicing) will line up for the final shootout on June 2 at 6 p.m. They each get one shot to get it in the hole. Have a little hitch in your drive? No worries, in addition to the main attraction, a putting contest and silent auction offer plenty of additional entertainment for the folks whose short game is their real forte. If the final 28 don’t yield a hole in one, there is still a sweet spot: the closest to the pin gets $1,000 cash and a Las Vegas Golf vacation (speaking of odds…).

Whether you pull it, shank it, slice it, or miss it all together, the real glory lies in the enormous impact that is being made in our community. The Bright Ideas program invites teachers to submit proposals for innovative classroom projects. Last year, more than 100 grant applications, totaling over $89,117 in requests were received from teachers in the three counties, thus illustrating that the more balls you hit, the more requests can be granted!

2006 Folsom’s Shot

Here’s a look at what last year’s golfers granted:
• Bring on the Rain at Hilton Head Island Elementary School. Student artists and scientists applied physics and design concepts as they designed “gears” and “whirligigs” that move in motion by both water and wind. The “gears” and “whirligigs” were made from clay, glazed and fired to withstand the outside elements. The moveable parts were then mounted to a reclaimed piece of metal and permanently placed at the front of the school. With creative collaborating, application of physics, principles of design, recycling, and conservation students broadened their perspective and created a functional and interesting rainwater harvester used to supply water for the many potted plants at the school.

• Sink Into Science at Varnville Elementary. By creating a mobile science lab/sink, teachers at Varnville Elementary now have the ability to bring science lab projects into every classroom, increasing the number of opportunities for first through third grade students who now participate in at least one hands-on, inquiry-based science lab activity each week. Students have the opportunity to be true scientists, conducting and documenting scientific investigations, better preparing them for middle school, high school, and college.

• Cell Phone Science, a Call to Learning at H.E. McCracken Middle School. This program was developed to help students understand how what they learn in school is interconnected with their lives and the technology they use every day. With A Call to Learning, students learn how their cell phones operate, what they are made of, how information travels, positive and negative impacts to society, how the sun impacts mobile signal, the importance of reducing usage of non-renewable resources and types of alternative energy. This project used creative strategies to make students look at their cell phones as so much more than a texting tool!

• NewsAlive at Ridgeland Middle School. In an effort to make students more technology literate, NewsAlive is a live news program researched, produced, and executed by students in grades six through eight. Rotating roles every nine weeks, participants gained experience behind and in front of the camera, filming, photographing, writing, and anchoring a daily news show featuring weather, historical trivia, video clips of happenings around the school, interviews with faculty and administrators, birthday shout outs and student of the week winners.

Based on the Golf Digest research, you’d have to buy 1,062 bags of balls before you hit your hole in one. If you were a gambling woman/man, that would be more than a $10,000 investment and a set of sore arms. Of course, you’d also need the odds gods to be watching over you to ensure that it is indeed shot number 12,750 that you are taking into the final.

Why not make the certain investment instead. No matter how many balls you hit, whether a dozen balls or a dozen bags, chances of you making an impact locally are 100 percent.

That should feel pretty good.

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