June's unpredictable weather made for an especially memorable event, as nearly 150 audio professionals gathered on Monday, June 9, 2003, at the Malibu Country Club for the 8th Annual Mix L.A. Open. Cloud cover, gentle mist and wisps of fog transformed the course, making the lush Malibu fairways seem more like some of the legendary links of Scotland than a California club.
There were fresh faces aplenty this year as newcomers tried their luck against those who'd previously battled the challenging course. As always, playing skills ranged from near-professional to casual duffer, and good-natured ribbing abounded as teams sized one another up. After a putting contest and a fortifying buffet breakfast, players revved up their carts — sponsored by KRK and equipped this year with GPS systems to accommodate the navigationally challenged — and headed out seeking fame, glory and the elusive hole-in-one with its prize of a BMW roadster from Steve Thomas BMW.
Out on the links, many generous sponsors provided moral support: box lunches by Royaltone Studios, beverages by Moonlight Mastering and Firehouse Recording Studios, cool hats from Shure, shirts by The Village and Quantegy, and golf balls by Yamaha. Numerous traffic jams ensued at Hole 10 where shoulder massages were ongoing, courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios. Other sponsors included Absolute Music, CE Pickup, Design FX, Firehouse Recording Studios, Record Plant, Steinberg and TC Electronic.
Back at the clubhouse, high-quality schmoozing ensued, as foursomes returned with tales of epic shots and multiple eagles and perused the silent auction biddables, which ranged from Blue and Audio-Technica microphones to a Nuendo 2.0 Media Production software package, a Gibson Les Paul Special guitar, JBL speakers and some extremely rare bottles of wine.
First-prize trophies were awarded to the all-in-the-family team of Michael Greene and sons, who boasted a score of 17 under. Second-place statues went to David Was, Scott Thurston, Ron McCarrel and tourney honorary chairman Ed Cherney, who scored 14 under. House Ear Institute's Jim Boswell, Ron Osbrink, Ricardo Solano and William Finestone snagged third-place medals at 13 under.
Supervising sound editor Paul Huntsman, winner of the putting contest, took home a Tour Edge St. Charles putter. Audio-Technica's Mike Edwards awarded a Cleveland Launcher driver to Andy Greene for Longest Drive. Al Hershner took home a Scotty Cameron Futura Putter for Longest Putt, and Scott Marshall collected a Cleveland Tour Action Series 900 for Closest to the Pin.
The Mix Foundation for Excellence in Audio thanks not only the sponsors, but all those who came out and made this year's tournament a successful and fun event. At a time when funding for many important causes is lacking, support for one that's critical to our industry — hearing health outreach — is especially appreciated. Proceeds from the tournament help to fund programs at both the House Ear Institute and H.E.A.R., which provide education on the importance of hearing protection, as well as help for music and sound professionals with hearing disorders.