Toughing it Out in Panama

Hello from Panama!

TeamMaverick and TeamCurriki

Thank you for your support in Panama… I overcame a four-over-par first 9 holes to finish at one over par for the tournament in 19th place. I made 14 birdies this week, which ranked 8th among all players. This brings our total to $83.544.00 raised in four weeks!

This was one of the toughest golf courses we play all year, but also one of the toughest walks. My caddy Travis and I walked over 50 miles and 150 flights of stairs over these 7 days… The walk from the 4th to the 5th hole was fondly nicknamed the “Stairway of Death” by players and caddies alike…

Panama was an amazing city, and the financial district had some of the most impressive buildings I have ever seen. But only 20 minutes from downtown on the way to the course was incredible poverty, with houses sharing cinder-block walls and tin roofs. It made me feel incredibly fortunate, but also more motivated to help expand Curriki’s reach and provide better educational opportunities to those less fortunate than us…

My favorite food stop (and basically only food stop) was Ristorante Jimmy’s, where I ordered the Fliette Estilo Angelo (Angelo style fliet) just about every night… It was $16 and came on a sizzling hot plate where you cooked the meat to your taste. I also got grilled chicken dinners for $6.50 and breakfast sandwiches for $2.50… and no food poisoning!

Thanks again for all your support, and here’s to making a lot more birdies for the kids this week in Sarasota!!

Making Birdies from 8,000 ft. Up!

Hello from Bogota!

TeamMaverick and TeamCurriki-

Thank you for your support in a third successful week for Birdies for Education… This week I finished in a tie for 34th with all four rounds of even par or better. I made 18 birdies again this week, and we added 19 new donors- we now have 91 supporters on-board and have raised $67,3722 in three weeks!

There we were a variety of factors that made this week interesting on the golf course. For starters, we were at over 8000 feet of elevation, so the ball flew forever. Most players “play a percentage”, meaning they typically subtract 13% or so from the yardage to pick their “sea level” club… But I prefer to just figure out how far my clubs go in the current conditions. My 8iron usually flies 165yds at sea level, but was going upwards of 190yds in Bogota. I even pulled 9i from 215yds on one hole!

As you can see from this picture of the first hole, the trees were in play the entire shot. The greens were also extremely quick, and long of every green was absolutely dead- it was like playing a constant game of chicken to challenge the back pins!

The worst part of the week was waking up on Friday with food poisoning. I felt great (and really enjoyed) the Colombian food- arroz chaufa (a type of fried rice with egg, pork, bacon, shrimp and chicken) and ajiaco (a tomato soup with noodles, rice, pork, and a fried egg) were my two favorite dishes… But I think the salmon I ate at the Italian restaurant next to the hotel did me in. I somehow struggled through Friday and birdied the last two to make the cut… Hole 8 I flew my drive 341yds to the front edge of the green and 2putted from 105’… And got up and down for birdie on 9 to make the cut on the number. I then turned those two birdies into 9 more on the weekend!

Maybe I should have ordered Uber Eats…

Food poisoning aside, Bogota was one of my favorite cities that I have played at, I hope to get the chance to go back!

I just arrived in Panama at 2am last night, where we’ll be sweating buckets and hopefully making a ton of birdies! Thanks again for your support, let’s keep it going!!