‘The trash, the whole trash and nothing but the trash’
It’s time to get trashed again. Today, 150 golfers – including actor Robert Wagner – will take to the links at the Snowmass Golf Club to whack golf balls into trees and rocks, skip them across water hazards and cart paths, and hope to get a “Stiffie,” all in search of the coveted Golden Jacket.They’ll also raise enough money to provide full college scholarships for five local high school students.It’s the 14th annual Trashmasters, where a birdie is worth just as much a Billie, and a Stiffie will earn you three points – unless of course it’s a Super Stiffie, which will net you five.For those uninitiated to the 25-page Trashmasters rule book, a Billie is saving par on a hole when a player has a lie so bad that it could endanger his or her reputation. It was coined in honor of former President Bill Clinton by former Vice President Dan Quayle, himself a former participant of the Trashmasters. A Stiffie? Well that’s a shot of more than 100 yards that finishes within a conventional putter length of the hole. A Super Stiffie? That’s one that is inside the leather grip on the club. And then there’s the Arnie – Trash speak for an ace, named after golf legend Arnold Palmer.”We have 25 cleverly named trash events that we put a point value on,” said local Boone Schweitzer, co-founder and chairman of the charity tournament. “We go way beyond your Sandies and Greenies to reward the much more bizarre events. I personally like the Willie.”That’s when a ball bounces off the cart path. Think Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again.”The hilarious points system is just one of the reasons Schweitzer calls the Trashmasters “the world’s most unique golf tournament.”It’s definitely one of the most well-known charity tournaments in the country. Numerous national publications have done stories, and today camera crews from VH1 and Plum TV will be on course capturing the action.The tournament can’t begin until players take the time-honored Trashmasters’ oath.With a bagpiper in the background, Schweitzer, dressed in a black robe and a parliament wig, will ask the assembled field of players: “Do you solemnly swear to play the trash, the whole trash, and nothing but the trash, so help you golf?”It’s an oath that a number of celebrities have taken over the years, Michael Douglas and Wagner among them. Douglas wanted to play this year, but couldn’t make it to the tournament because he was tied up with work, Schweitzer said. Also, Jack Nicholson and Kevin Costner have actually been turned down to play in previous years because they didn’t reserve their spots before the tournament filled up.Schweitzer said rubbing elbows with celebrities is fun, but the one thing that doesn’t always get written about is the thing that is the most important: That all the money goes to the Roaring Fork Valley Scholarship Fund. It’s the reason he founded the tournament in the first place.”It’s a lot of fun and laughs, but it’s a very legitimate charity,” he said. “No one has made any money off the thing. Twenty-one kids have graduated from college from the scholarships we awarded them, and there’s another 20 who are in school right now. We’re the largest scholarship charity in the valley.”Schweitzer said the scholarships – which are offered at five local high schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs – are awarded to students based on academics, extracurricular activities and financial need.”You don’t even have to be a golfer,” he said. Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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