In the course of a year, I usually play in two or three charity golf scrambles. They are fun events that raise money for some great causes. Believe it or not, until this year I had never participated in an open scramble, which many area courses host on a weekly basis (along with couples scrambles and senior scrambles).

During a recent, rare, decent-weather Tuesday evening (actually right after working out with Amy Badger, owner of Bodies by Badger), I decided to swing over to Pine Hill Golf Course and play in their weekly Men’s League, which is set up in a nine-hole scramble format, with teams being chosen at random.

I entered the clubhouse to the sound of nearly 40 men excitedly gathered around, waiting for the teams to be announced. Stepping up to the counter and saying hello to course owners Jason and Katie Brooks, I paid the fee and waited to watch the random drawing unfold.

I ended up being on a team with Brewer Parks and Recreation Director (and my previous long-drive nemesis) Ken Hanscom, and retired Bangor-area teacher, Mike LaChance (also known around the course as Katie’s Dad, among other things).

Like most of the guys that evening, Ken and Mike are long-time golfers at Pine Hill. In fact, Mike helps out around the course, and both are very good players with a tremendous amount of experience negotiating Pine Hill’s fairways and greens. Translation: I won the scramble lottery! Oh, and did I mention that Mike was old enough to play from the yellow tees?

We had a great round (5-under) tying for first place, and a ton of fun. I learned a lot from both guys and even contributed a few shots. It was worth the price of admission to listen to Ken and Mike strategize their shots and hear stories about the course. And, boy, did Mike putt the ball! He was our “anchor” putter and sank five putts that were eight to 15 feet away from the cup. The best part of the evening, though, was being welcomed and treated so warmly by everyone, especially Ken and Mike. I came in a stranger and left feeling a part of the group.

Many area courses hold similar scrambles, some in an open format; others for couples, and still others for seniors. A partial listing of courses holding these types of events are: Barnes Brook Golf Course, Enfield; Hampden Country Club, Hampden; Hermon Meadow Golf Club, Hermon; Hidden Meadows Golf Course, Old Town; Lucerne-in-Maine Golf Course, Holden; Rocky Knoll Country Club, Orrington; Sawmill Woods Golf Course, Clifton; and Traditions Golf Club, Holden. I encourage you to contact your favorite course and get additional details on their offerings. It’s a great way to meet people and make new friends, all while playing golf!

Be sure to tune in to the May 27 show (which is TUESDAY due to Monday being Memorial Day), which will feature special guest PGA Professional Michael Clendenning, owner of Barnes Brook Golf Course in Enfield.