Veterans of Mix golf tournaments were in agreement: Monday, June 10, 2002, was a particularly beautiful day. The sun was warm, but gentle ocean breezes cooled the rolling hills of the Malibu Country Club as 40 foursomes teed off with hopes of claiming a winners' trophy.
Celebrating its seventh year, the Mix L.A. Open has become one of the pro audio industry's most popular annual events; this year's sold-out tournament welcomed a large number of new faces, as well as many who have played every year since 1996. Participants ranged from the extremely serious to the occasional duffer, with the common denominator a determination to have a good time.
And a good time it was, although once again, a hole-in-one proved elusive, leaving the prize of a BMW roadster unclaimed. A silent auction helped to fill the gap with items from a Gibson electric guitar to rare wines, reserve-level Dodger tickets, JBL speakers and a complete Steinberg Nuendo Media Production System.
Schmoozing, as always, was nonstop; meeting and greeting began with breakfast and continued through warmup swings, a putting contest and cart-driving practice. All teams met the challenge of finding their starting holes; then, equipped with box lunches — courtesy of Royaltone Studios — set out to conquer the challenging course. More sustenance, as well as cool swag, was provided by sponsors, including Design FX's popular Hägen-Dazs, Emtec's serious candy and chips collection, The Village's groovy sweatshirts and an innovative highlight: Warner Bros. Studios offered shoulder massages at Hole 10. Other sponsors included Audio-Technica, CE Pickup, Disc Marketing, House Ear Institute, Quantegy, Record Plant, Shure, Signet Sound, Steve Thomas BMW and TC Electronic, all providing caps, tees, golf balls and good cheer.
Once again, the game was tight. First-prize trophies were awarded for the third year in a row to The Recording Academy's foursome, with players Miller London, Terry Medoza, Sydney Miller and James Arcenaux, who rocked the house with a score of 57-15 under par. Second- and third-place teams tied at 59; second place was determined by back-9 score, with statues going to the “most serious” Group One (Chris Fichera, Rob Grubb, Gary Lux and Kevin Riley). The team sponsored by Michael Greene, comprising Steve Little, Scott Robelen, Zach Darr and Mike Garza, took home the bronze.
Ricky Phillips aced the putting contest. Audio-Technica president Kazuo Matsushita presented the “Longest Drive” prize to Ryan Andrews. Shure Inc.'s Jack Kontney awarded Steve Myers' “Longest Putt.” And Signet Sound's David Dubow bestowed David Was from Team Ed Cherney with “Closest to the Pin.”
Proceeds from the tournament benefit a cause that's critical to our industry: hearing health outreach programs at both House Ear Institute and H.E.A.R, which provide education on the importance of hearing protection and help for music and sound professionals with hearing disorders.