By Diane Borden
The golfers shouted, “What a fun way to begin a tournament!” as they departed the cart-staging area at the 2017 Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club Invitational, accompanied by music from the sixties and bubbles from a bubble machine. The tournament, which drew a full field of 144 players, was held on May 10 at Rancho Bernardo Inn.
In keeping with the Invitational theme, “America the beautiful: Celebrating the national parks coast to coast,” colorful signs of national parks were posted at each tee box, and a prize was awarded for the most creative team “costume.”
Sixteen teams won prizes in the four-person team, modified-waltz format, and individuals were rewarded for closest to the pin on the four par-threes, for the longest drive on hole No. 12 and for the straightest drive on hole No. 8. One player even scored a hole in one.
Golfers began their early day with a continental breakfast on the Rancho Bernardo Inn patio and then proceeded to their starting-hole assignments for an 8 a.m. shotgun start. After the round, players gathered in the Santiago Room for a lunch of watercress salad with jicama, shaved vegetables and pomegranate vinaigrette; guava honey-glazed chicken breast with grilled pineapple and chili salsa; wasabi mashed potatoes; baby carrots; and crème brulee with fresh raspberries and blackberries.
A large group of RBIWGC volunteers planned and produced the 2017 tournament. For the second consecutive year, Donna Dahl served as Invitational Committee chair. Other committee chairs included Judi Berlin, registration; Angela Schmidt, prizes; Romona Smith, tee-sign sponsors; Joyce Dubuque, breakfast; Karen Okey, decorations; Sallie Britzman and Verna Nickel, handicaps; and Diane Borden, communications. More than 20 other RBIWGC members volunteered to serve on the various committees.
Among the Rancho Bernardo Inn staff who contributed to the success of the tournament were Bryon Penfield, director of golf; Matt Loflen, tournament director; Paul Kipfstuhl, tournament coordinator; Nolan Schmuckle, first assistant; John Sullivan and Calvin Nollner, banquet managers; and all golf outside staff.
The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club was founded in 1963. The first Invitational was held in spring 1964 and has since grown into one of the premier women’s golfing events in San Diego County.