There, I said it. It’s true. I may be the least exotic of the “conga line” of blonde-bombshells to come forward, but I am one. Regardless, I’m quite sure Extra, The Today Show or The National Enquirer won’t come a knockin,’ even though I’m convinced that my big boobs and Tiger Woods helped to pay an entire month of tuition of my daughter’s volleyball club.
Last February during the Accenture Match Play Golf Tournament near Tucson, I signed up to be a concession worker as a fundraising opportunity for the Zona Volleyball Club. The best part of fundraising for this club is that any funds you earn go directly toward your own child’s fees rather than the club. Since my husband and I both like golf and certainly relished the opportunity to see Tiger Woods on his first tournament after an extended injury break, we thought this was a great opportunity.
Early in the week, we were stationed at a remote concession booth between holes 15 and 17. A character named “Ernie” was our concession boss, and he showed us the ropes. He put Mike in charge of making dogs and, a smart move, put me at the register. He had no idea how good at it I would be. Not only could I count quickly and make proper change, but I could also bark orders to my fellow concessioners, and put up with a large population of the progressively drunken gallery. Any time one of the big name players, Phil Mickelson, Vijay Singh, or Camilo “the Spider” Villegas, for example, headed down fairway 15, the lines grew as long as a par four fairway.
But the crowds had truly come to see Tiger. By the time he hit our end of the course, I, in my cash register mania, had stripped down to my tank top (we were required to wear our Zona Club shirts, which I used as an apron) and my tip jar, which I had to empty at least five times, tallied over 300 bucks. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to personally keep the tips—everything made by all concession workers in terms of profit and tips were split among the volunteers—but what we made was still enough to pay for an entire month’s tuition and still have some left over for next season.
And I think we owe it primarily to Tiger.
Ernie, who works concessions on the PGA tour across the country, said it was a fact that when Tiger was not on the course, profits decreased by fifty percent. (Phil Mickelson, he said, was the second biggest draw.) So, by Sunday when BOTH Tiger and Phil had been eliminated, we only had to stay in the stand for about an hour. On that day, I’m not sure my tips tallied more than three bucks. Compare three to three hundred. That’s a 99 percent drop in revenue. The good news is that we were paid per shift, regardless of how long the shift was and how hard we worked.
The Sunday volunteers got off very easy. But they, on the other hand, didn’t get the chance to see Tiger Woods. I did. And now that Accenture has become the first major sponsor to drop him as a spokesperson and he’s taking an indefinite break from golf, he may not be coming back to Tucson any time soon. So we got when the getting was good. But that’s probably over now too.
I imagine seeing him now will no longer offer the pure thrill of witnessing an amazing athlete in action. Instead it’ll be just one more cad who got too big for hit britches, and ultimately became known not for his birdies, but for his bitches.