AFM at the Emmitt Smith Golf Challenge

By Natalie England – March 28, 2014
L.A. Photography

As most any golfer will tell you, “A bad day on the golf course is better than a good day anywhere else.” AFM art director Weston Carls and I tested this theory earlier in March at the Hills of Lakeway, as we were teamed up to play in the Emmitt Smith Golf Challenge.

Waking to bitter north wind gusts and sub-freezing temperatures, our 9 a.m. tee time was delayed twice because of frost on the course, and even as we did finally get the go-ahead to tee off at noon, numb fingers and noses and creaky swings became our companions for that day’s round.

Certainly, Weston and I would like another hack around the scenic and traditional Lakeway golf course, but this outing proved the golfer’s theory to be true. Despite brutal conditions, it was a beautiful, pleasant, and truly memorable day.

Of course, much of the credit goes to Mr. All-Time Leading Rusher himself, Emmitt Smith, who was a gracious tournament host and a nifty golfer as well. Smith ate breakfast with the tournament teams and took some warm-up swings alongside everyone on the frigid, windy driving range. Smith was stationed on a par-3, and he teed off and putted with every team.

Clearly, retirement from the Dallas Cowboys has been good for Smith’s golf game, as he possesses a smooth, precise swing, but Smith also still cuts a figure that suggests he’d be good for a few more touchdown runs. However, most of his energy now is dedicated to the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, which proceeds from the tournament support.

The Emmitt Smith Golf Challenge is a series of fundraising tournaments played at ClubCorp courses this winter and spring. The top teams from each tournament and the highest fundraising team will advance to the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational in Dallas, Texas, May 9-10.

“We want to create opportunities and situations in local markets to expand awareness for a good cause,” Smith said. “The idea is to get people involved through the challenge, and you can really win in two ways. If you don’t win on the golf course, you can win through fundraising.”

To date, more than $85,000 have been raised, and teams can still win their way to the celebrity invitational through April 14.


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