Editor’s note: I’m at the Olympic Club in San Francisco all week for the 112th U.S. Open Championship.
IT’S MIDDAY THURSDAY AT THE OLYMPIC CLUB. Even though first-round play of the 2012 U.S. Open is underway and the grounds are filled with golf fans straining to get a look at marquee players such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, there’s a steady stream of people at the Lexus Performance Challenge, a large tent situated not far from the merchandise pavilion.
It’s a worthwhile stop. For one thing, if a person can manage to make a hole-in-one on a fancy golf course simulator, he or she will win a 2013 Lexus. That’s definitely worth a few minutes of time away from the golf action. Several people are lined up. One woman wearing a stylish straw hat tries her luck on a par 3 at The Links at Spanish Bay. She misses the ball on the first try. Then she connects, but the ball flies into the weedy marsh well short of the green.
There are also other activities to entertain golf fans. One man has won the U.S. Open in a pretend kind of way, posing for a photograph or video while holding a replica of the silver trophy with Olympic’s 18th green and Mediterranean-style clubhouse as a backdrop. Others await their chance to hoist the trophy. Later they can post the fun image on Facebook or elsewhere to impress their friends.
Lexus ambassador Natalie Gulbis is scheduled to sign autographs this afternoon. Jason Day, Charles Howell III and Nick Watney also serve as ambassadors for the luxury auto maker. Plus, a 2013 candy-apple red Lexus is on display, but I prefer the jet-black GS 350 I’m driving this week, courtesy of the Lexus folks.
No purchase is necessary to have this bit of fun. Stop by the Lexus Performance Challenge on the way to or from the merchandise pavilion. You might just walk away with a shiny new Lexus.