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BEHIND THE LINES WITH DR: What Happens in Calabasas, Part 1

Vodka, porn actresses, and golf. What could possibly go wrong? Doug Richardson takes you to a Calabasas golf tournament.

Doug Richardson’s first produced feature was the sequel to Die Hard, Die Harder.Visit Doug’s site for more Hollywood war stories and information on his popular novels. Follow Doug on Twitter @byDougRich.

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BEHIND THE LINES WITH DR: What Happens in Calabasas, Part 1

Warning: The following blog post contains both porn actresses and golf. If either porn actresses or golf offends you, I strongly suggest you stop reading now.

Now. On with the blog.

I’m a golfer. Been one since I got in a fight with my high school tennis coach, quit, and walked across the hall to sign up for the golf team. In other words, golf and I have been in a relationship for some time now. It’s been a longtime hobby. It’s my primary stress reliever. And as for so many other golfers, it remains a strong passion.

Fade up on a sunny Monday at the Calabasas Country Club. I was there for a charity tournament benefiting a battered women’s shelter. Full disclosure here, I had no relationship with this women’s shelter nor had I ever heard of it. I was the invited guest of a good friend. It was his foursome I was going to be playing in as the designated ringer. In other words, perhaps my invitation was due to my golf abilities rather than my giddy personality. My job that day was to buoy my team and put the little white ball in the hole.

My first clue that this was not a normal charity event should’ve been noticed upon arrival. At tourneys such as these, there’s usually a check-in table out front where they take your golf bag and direct you to the locker room. In addition, there’s sometimes a prize gauntlet where, depending on the expense of the event, players are showered with gifts. I’ve never been a fan of this tradition. I’d much rather have all moneys go to the charity. Nonetheless, it’s rude to refuse free stuff.

It was impossible not to notice that the ladies distributing the tee prizes were demonstrably attractive. Each sleeve of free golf ammo came with giggled lines like, “Here. I’ve been warming your balls for you.” The free towels were to “wash your balls” and with the complimentary glove came “so you can better grip your stick.” To be frank, these sexy one-liners were no different than the dialogue served up by the moms pulling the same duty at my kids’ school’s charity tournament. So I didn’t exactly blush. And because this is LalaLand, I wasn’t shocked that every volunteer appeared to a former prom or beauty queen.

As I warmed up on the driving range, I was somewhat astonished that music was playing. A better description might’ve been that the sounds were pumping from a DJ stand right behind the clubhouse instead of my earbuds. Now this was different. Golf is not a sport generally associated with musical accompaniment, let alone raise the roof party tunes. Still, I was a guest and hardly someone to complain when both the golf and food were donated.

Soon enough, we were in our carts and rolling out to our assigned hole where we were to begin the competition. On our first tee box was one of the tourney’s sponsors, a popular vodka brand, offering free shots served by a pair of blonde stunners. I declined. I was there to play golf and play it well. In my experience, liquor and scoring at golf don’t mix. So I just teed it up, drove my ball down the middle of the fairway, and began the job of putting my team in the money.

Two holes later, there was another name brand alcohol sponsor – this time a top-shelf tequila – and a pair of even more spectacular swimsuit-type models in short shorts to tempt our taste buds. Again, I abstained and concentrated on my game as well did my compatriots. As the afternoon progressed, I noticed that – and I’m not exaggerating – on every other tee box was a liquor sponsor with a pair of nuclear hot women shilling free juice.

“Don’t you think it’s weird,” I said to my host, “that we’re here raising money for a battered women’s shelter and there’s a liquor sponsor on every other tee? I mean, isn’t alcohol abuse the most common factor when it comes to battered women?”

“Their way of giving back, I suppose,” said my host, ever the polite man he was and still is.

“And what’s with all the hot women?” Though I wasn’t exactly complaining. “There also a modeling agency sponsoring the event?”

“Main sponsor is Vivid,” he confessed. “I do Steve Hirsch’s taxes. Not the company’s. Just the guy. Been a client since forever.”

Steven Hirsch, if you didn’t know, is the founder and president of Vivid Entertainment, the world’s most profitable maker and distributor of adult movies.

“Porn actresses.” I found myself saying the obvious.

“Porn stars,” one of my foursome partners corrected me. “You seriously hadn’t noticed?”

“Dude, I’m here to play golf,” I said, only half-embarrassed. That, and I used to have an office next to a commercial casting company. Hot women were in and out all day. I thought the volunteers were from a modeling agency.

“Yeah,” laughed the guy. “A porn model agency.”

When we made the turn (golf parlance for the halfway point in the round, usually near the clubhouse), the DJ was spinning his top grind-house hits, while exotic dancers worked the poles of the shade-giving pop-up tent.

“I’m sorry,” my host apologized. “I invited you because you’re golfer. I thought this was going to be your basic, run of the mill charity event.”

“Hey. We’re all golfers,” I said. “Who knew?”

And I wasn’t kidding. From the driving range to the greens, we were all golfers playing for a prize. The caliber of play was serious enough. It was clear, that despite the window dressing, the populace of the tourney was more country club than nightclub. In fact, the further into the event we played, the more complaints I began hearing from the porn actress volunteers who were tasked with pushing the free liquor.

“Why doesn’t anyone want to take a shot with us?” whined a pneumatically enhanced redhead in a skintight, Grey Goose Vodka t-shirt. “Golfers are no fun!”

“Funny thing about us boring golfers,” I said to her. “We’re here for the golf.”

Keep it going, indeed. Despite the distractions, I was scoring – ahem, on the scorecard – flagging pins and it seemed like all my putts were dropping. I told my host there might be a prize at the end of the rainbow.

“You know,” my host confessed, “I’ve never won at golf tournament.”

“Never?” I asked.

“Not any kind.” He had hopeful smile. I sure as hell didn’t want to let him down. With four holes to go, I set my sites on a strong finish.

There’s a three-act structure to most charity golf tournaments. Act one is the golf. Act two is the cocktail reception-slash-silent auction. This is where we golfers are glad to get our drink on. Toast our day. Compare team scores and wonder how the hardware might be distributed. Charities hope that as the players are loosened with liquor they will in turn loosen their purse strings. The endorphins of competition still coursing through the golfers’ veins, those silent auction bid sheets generally fill up with signatures.

Now, let’s do the math on Act 1. Charity golf tourney to benefit a battered women’s shelter? Check. Strippers on poles and porn actresses shilling free booze on every other tee box? Check. What in the world could acts two and three bring?

Oh boy. You have no idea. But I’ll tell you next week in What Happens In Calabasas, Part 2.

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