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Monday, May 2, 2016

Golf and grins

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Golf took center stage in Spencer this past weekend.

Starting Thursday, 351 golfers teed off for the Northwest Amateur at Spencer Golf and Country Club, with action continuing through Sunday.

I didn't get to see any of the action but, based on coverage of the event, it looked like another successful run for the 91-year-old event.

Across town, Spencer Municipal Golf Course hosted the Special Olympics Iowa Unified Golf Tournament on Sunday.

Though I'm not much of a golfer, I had the privilege to hang out at this event while I covered it.

I don't know the final scores but, frankly, I don't care.

Though there was a distinction between first-, second- and third-place medals for each special olympian, nobody really seemed to care. They were too busy cheering each other on.

In this overly competitive culture, it was refreshing to see people simply enjoying a sport and each other's company.

It was also inspiring to see all the volunteers, friends and family members who partnered with the special olympians for the event. Some had played golf once, twice or not at all, but grabbed the clubs and took their swings any way.

More important than the swings they took, was the assistance they provided for their partners.

Every team worked together to have fun and do their best.

National Guard Troops had originally planned to have an event at the golf course the same day. When they learned of the Unified Golf Tournament, they showed up anyway to support the special olympians, give out hats and distribute medals.

Event organizers were thrilled with their involvement, as were the special olympians.

Overall, it was a success and a reminder that everything is a little more enjoyable when done with a grin and a word of encouragement for someone else.

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Gabe Licht
Junior Moments