News: Phantom Warrior golf scramble
Story by Sgt. Matthew Thompson
FORT HOOD, Texas – Golf is a centuries old game still played to this day. On May 30, 43 Soldiers, civilians and family members took to the green fields of Fort Hood’s Courses of Clear Creek for the monthly Phantom Warrior Scramble.
“The purpose of the Phantom Warrior Scramble is to get Soldiers out to have a good time,” said Chris Osborne, the manager and head golf professional of the Courses of Clear Creek. “We want them to come out at the end of the month and relax, enjoy themselves, unwind a little bit and boost their morale.”
Golfers of all ages and skill levels played through the 18 holes with three different challenges set up around the course.
“The game of golf is, in my opinion, incomparable to any other sport,” Osborne said. “It’s a game you can play for a lifetime, from 5 years old to 95 years old.”
Players gathered in one team of three and ten teams of four outside the clubhouse, by their carts, ready for an afternoon of sunshine and golf.
Mulligans, a golf term for a do over, were bought at three for $5 beforehand and used by all of the players except on prize winning holes like the longest drive and closest to the hole.
“All of the money put in for the tournament goes right back to the maintenance of the course and the prizes,” Osborne said.
The tournament rules stated each player on a team will tee off and the team’s best shot will be the location for each team member’s second shot.
Play continues with each team member playing from the location of the team’s best shot for each stroke.
Laughter and challenges were exchanged before the golfers took off to their first hole.
This month the normal challenges and prizes for closest to the hole and longest drive were awarded, but the competitors also had another exercise challenge.
“This is my longest drive so far,” said 1st Sgt. Chris Clark while laughing, first sergeant with Assault Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
Clark’s reason for laughing was the special game for this month’s golf scramble, a youth-sized driver longest drive.
Hunched over, the six-foot-tall, Clark swung at his ball with the pint sized club and sent it sailing a hundred yards.
As the day progressed, the skies darkened and thunder rolled in the distance. Most of the players were at the half way mark as the clouds rolled in and rain started falling. The rain may have soaked the fields and the players, but it didn’t dampen their spirits as they pushed through and finished the rest of the game.
The tournament ended with Osborne’s team scoring 13 under par and claiming first place. The longest drive award went to Master Sgt. Jody Birdhead, command sergeant major with 1st Battalion, 395th Engineer Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Army Division West.
“These tournaments are underutilized opportunities for competition, camaraderie and esprit de corps,” said Lt. Col. Will Duvall, commander for 1st Battalion, 393rd Infantry Regiment, 479th Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Army Division West.
Duvall and his teammates, Birdhead, Staff Sgts. Aaron Riley and Oscar Hernandez, finished fourth in the tournament with a score of 10 under par.
“I strongly encourage everyone to come for these monthly competitions,” Duvall said with a smile.
The Phantom Warrior Scramble is held the last Friday of every month except December.
“If you haven’t come to see the course, come on out,” Osborne said warmly. “We’d love to see you.”