‘Can You Beat Biggy?’ Tournament

Bring a Donation and Try to Beat Biggy at The Sand Trap on Dec. 7

By David Biggy | Dec 02, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy (From left) Biggy, Aaron Kaminski and Rudy Reel will get the party started at The Sand Trap on Saturday, Dec. 7, and then you can try to beat Biggy's score in the first ‘Can You Beat Biggy?’ Tournament.

Ship Bottom — Back on June 12, when cousins Rudy Reel and Aaron Kaminski traveled north from the Ocean City region of the state to take the “Can You Beat Biggy?” miniature golf challenge, who would have thought the 12-week series would go beyond that? Well, after beating me (badly), Rudy made a great suggestion: “At the end of the season, you should get everybody who beats you to play each other, to see who’s the best of the best,” he said, probably half-joking, but more likely because he just wanted to play again on Long Beach Island.

Interestingly, days later he and his cousin arrived to The Sand Trap in Ship Bottom for its first weekly tournament of the season. Aaron won the 13-and-older male division on June 18. Rudy wasn’t far behind, from what I heard.

Fast forward to mid-July, when I stopped by The Sand Trap to chat with daytime course manager John Schroeder. I had mentioned the idea of starting next summer’s series with a “Can You Beat Biggy?” tournament as a charity event.

“I have a better idea,” he said, stopping a moment from pulling some weeds along the 14th hole’s fairway. “Why don’t you do it the day of the Christmas parade? I might be able to open the course that day.”

Boom! What an awesome idea! And as long as Sand Trap owner Larry Leff was willing to let Schroeder open the course for the day – and the weather cooperated – there was no reason not to run with the idea. Thankfully, Larry approved, and here we go!

The tourney is Saturday, Dec. 7, and, not surprisingly, Kaminski and Reel are on board to join me as part of the launch group for the first “Can You Beat Biggy?” Tournament, which will aim to assist several local nonprofit organizations as they help others during the holidays and beyond.

“I’ll definitely be there!” Kaminski said via Facebook message.

“I am in!!!” Reel added.

So, what about you? Are you in? Can you beat Biggy? Will you help make somebody’s holidays a little brighter this year?

If so, the next thing you need to know is the weather forecast, which is expected to be sunny and cold, in the mid- to upper-30s at some point in the afternoon – meaning it will be significantly colder during the morning hours. Still, if you’re hardy enough and want to take a crack at beating me, keep reading.

For the tournament, Biggy’s score at The Sand Trap, located at the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and 23rd Street in Ship Bottom, will be the benchmark for those who want to participate. This is a show-up-and-play event, with no advance registration necessary.

At 10 a.m., Biggy, Kaminski and Reel will play the launch round, through which Biggy will establish his score for the event before the gates open for all other participants at 10:30 a.m. No players will be permitted to start after 3:30 p.m., and all players will be either paired or placed in groups up to four people for scoring accountability purposes.

The entry fee to participate will be a non-monetary donation (no cash or checks will be accepted) to benefit any one of three organizations – St. Francis Community Center’s food pantry, David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation or the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter – and each individual must bring a donation to play in the tourney. The good part is donations can be made at varying levels to allow for a wide range of participants. If a participant wants to donate in multiple ways, that’s fine, too.

Here’s how the entry system will work: Each participant must register at the gate. You will be asked for your name, address, a phone number or email address, and the type of donation you’ve brought as your entry fee. Once registered, your donation will be placed into one of the collection boxes at the gate, and you will be permitted to play the course. Only on-site registration will occur that day, starting at 10:15 a.m.

The following will be accepted as entry fees (please adhere to these guidelines):

• For the St. Francis food pantry – three to five non-perishable food items (canned vegetables or fruits, soups, stews, beans, pastas or pasta sauces, etc.), or two or three hygiene items (soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)

• For Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter – three to five cans of dog or cat food (Pedigree or Friskies brands preferred), or some sort of dog or cat toy.

• For David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation – gift cards, with a minimum of $10, for local stores or restaurants (Wawa, ShopRite, Lowes, Applebee’s, etc.) to be included with care packages or to be given to beneficiary families.

Each participant will receive a free-game card to be used at The Sand Trap next season, and the male and female with the top scores in the tourney will receive Sand Trap trophies – you need not be present to accept it. —D.B.

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