Dirt flies as Don De Palma hits away from Tee 12 at Sandii Castleberry’s Wiffleball Golf Tournament held Sunday, July 17, at her home. Fellow golfers Margie and Mark Dean of Pine Cove look on during the event attended by more than 40 residents and friends that raised $500 to assist a local family dealing with cancer. Photo: Cid Castillo

Many golfers turned out for Sandii Castleberry’s fundraising golf tournament on the 18-hole course at the Castle Berry Country Club on West Marion View in Idyllwild Sunday. The following is a brief account of this writer’s frustrating effort to defend his honor as a lifelong golfer.

I arrived with a small case of jumpy nerves, most probably caused by lack of sleep in anticipation of this premier tournament. After handing over an entry fee in the form of very reasonable renumeration toward an excellent cause, I selected a cavity-backed seven iron as my weapon of choice — and an ordinary white whiffle-type golf ball.

The first hole proved to be a daunting 15 yards in length. I just barely managed to keep my usual slice in bounds. Three shots later, I chipped in from about 8 inches — each hole being composed of a ring of rubber tubing about 18 inches in diameter.

The Town Crier’s Professional Golf Correspondent Jack Clark challenged fellow competitors to match his daring by playing through the rough at the Castle Berry Wiffleball Golf Tournament. Photo: Cid Castillo

I was in the competition until the third hole. Then I stymied myself behind a succession of trees (see accompanying photograph). As the pressure built, I shagged my ball into a woodpile, from which point on I got no relief and even less respect — especially from my wife. Six clobbers later, I chipped in for a mortifying 11 that pretty much ruined my round and much-dented my ball.

A few holes later, my playing partner rubbed it in by acing a long par four on the back nine for a double eagle.

The tournament was eventually won by some guy I don’t know. He got to have his picture taken with a trophy. However, the 19th hole was won by all, with beer and wine and lots of cameraderie and good conservation.

On the serious side, money was raised to help a local family battling cancer defray the ongoing costs of traveling to treatments and billets during the treatment. Kudos and thanks to Sandii for hosting such a fine community effort. And, I have to say, we had a very fun afternoon.

I’ll be going back on Aug. 14 to attempt to improve my score, my reputation is unassailable.