Colbert: Learning to golf like Trash |

Colbert: Learning to golf like Trash

With Snowmass Village resident Bill Moriarty looking on, Snowmass Sun sports editor Austin Colbert attempts a putt while competing in the 25th annual Trashmasters golf tournament at the Snowmass Club.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun |

With a little bit of work, I believe one day I can win the Trashmasters golf tournament. My game is well suited for it.

I experienced my first Trashmasters on July 21 at the Snowmass Club Golf Course. In its 25th year, the “world’s most unique golf tournament” was created as a way to raise money for college scholarships. According to its website, $80,000 was awarded in 2017 to local, college-bound students.

As for the tournament format, it’s a bit unconventional, to say the least. With Colorado-based sports columnist Woody Paige — well known for his witty chalkboard sayings on ESPN’s Around the Horn — serving as the guest of honor, my first Trashmasters was certainly memorable.

Winning the tournament requires being both adept at golf and stupidly lucky (or ridiculously gifted at trick shots). Unlike in most scramble-style tournaments, each golfer competes as an individual in Trashmasters and receives points for, yes, trash. Trash can be anything from hitting your ball in the water (a Drinkie) to hitting a tree (a Barkie) to my go-to, the BIPSIC (meaning, “ball in pocket, Schmuck in cart”). Yes, you can score points for being so bad you can’t finish the hole.

The catch is, outside of the shameful BIPSIC, you must finish with at least a net par on the hole to earn the trash points. And, not surprisingly, it’s rather difficult to make pars while playing golf Plinko down the fairway.

My best “trash shot” came when I ricocheted my tee shot off a tree, onto a cart path and into a bunker. It was like hitting the trash lottery.

Unfortunately, I had one too many BIPSIC moments to have been a threat to win the tournament. I did, however, spend plenty of time in the sand, rough, native grass and water to believe that someday I could be a champion. The unique part about the tournament is that truly good golfers who prefer to go the traditional route of driving onto fairways and avoiding rodent holes won’t score too high.

I’ll never be good enough to win a traditional golf tournament. Well, I’ll never be rich enough to afford to play enough to be good enough to win a traditional golf tournament. However, I have enough natural talent to go with my lack of formal training and practice to one day be a Trashmasters all-star.

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