In The Wood
I just got in from playing golf," said Jackie Pung, when I called her Wednesday to talk about her upcoming 80th birthday tourney.
Pung holding 80th birthday
"I really wanted to have a party for my 80th birthday," she said. So a tourney to honor Hawaii Hall of Famer Pung will be held Dec. 14-15 at the Waikoloa Village course. What's more, Jackie will conduct a clinic Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. at the Big Isle course.
The tournament will start at 8 a.m. both days and will be a four-person scramble. The entree fee of $55 includes cart, greens fees, lunch and prizes. Entrees must be received by Dec. 11. Mail checks to Jackie Pung 80th BD Golf Tournament, P.O. Box 384029, Waikoloa, HI 96783. Call 808-883-8445 for more info.
Jackie, who turns 80 Dec. 13, has been named one of the top 50 golf teachers by Golf for Women magazine.
She bought one of the first five homes built at the Waikoloa Village course. "I try to play nine holes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, hit balls on Tuesday and Thursday, and Sunday after church I play 18 holes," she said.
She shoots 1 or 2 over par.
"I want to be active and help people out, show them they can still be active," says Jackie, who suffers from diabetes. Besides golf, she works out with weights.
Jackie plans to start a LPGA Junior Girls program. She will start at Waikoloa School.
My colleague Randy Cadiente wrote a column recently and mentioned my net 63, 3-stroke victory in the Mini-Benny Birthday Tourney for Wobbly Golfers and Worthy Women at the Navy Marine course.
This is a tourney I organize yearly and he wrote that I gave myself a "legitimate" 29 handicap which may have had something to do with my victory. He put legitimate in disdainful quotes. The headline read "Ben wins again," dripping with more disdain, as I had won once before in the past five years.
Furthermore, when head scorekeeper Alice Clay announced that I had won, boos erupted in the banquet room of Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch and Crab. I was hurt, but I gave those poor losers, who were green with envy, the Dick Nixon victory wave.
I wish to make it perfectly clear to Randy, a former Mini-Benny champion, and other scorekeepers -- former Mini-Benny Champ Frank Steinmiller, Ed Chang, Roy Hiram and Stan Atkins that I belong to Kamaaina Golf Club/Golfers League of America and turn in my legitimate scores weekly. My handicap is compiled by Kamaaina's Jack Steele and the case of wine I give him each year has nothing to do with my high handicap.
Corky Trinidad, the Star-Bulletin cartoonist, placed fourth in the tourney. The defending champ was Jimmy Borges, who wasn't feeling up to par on tourney day. Jack "Tihati" Thompson said before the event that he was gunning for Jimmy's title. But he did not have a good day. I did, firing a blistering 92.
Ben Wood, who played his first round of golf at Ala Wai
50 years ago, vows to learn how to play the game well even if
it takes another 50 years. E-mail him at email@example.com.