Obviously I am not a golfer, but this golf tournament has inflatable hamster ball races. Those I am also not good at. I go 0-for-2 and almost fall through a plastic hole. Because I lose both races, I am not eligible to win the $150 prize bag. I don’t mind. I get a free hot dog.
A Different Kind Of Golfing Experience
“I play in a lot of tournaments,” someone tells my golf cart co-passenger. “This is the first one with weed though.”
It’s not really with weed. That’s not allowed. But the Fore Twenty Golf Tournament is definitely for weed. Various cannabis companies have set up exhibitor booths at each hole. Some offer t-shirts and umbrellas, some offer cold beverages. Only one brings hamster ball races.
“The event’s gotten more corporatized as the industry grows,” Matt Enos explains. Enos is the founder of the tournament. He and friends at The Daily Leaf have put this event on for three years in a row, and his year’s turnout is the best so far.
The Cannabis Community is Expanding
Corporatized is a scary word for some people in the marijuana movement. But for Matt, the Fore Twenty Golf Tournament is a great way to show cannabis users as productive and responsible members of society. Golf is a game of tradition, played by our mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles on Myrtle Beach vacations for as long as I can remember. If cannabis can survive 18 rounds of golf, its place in mainstream society is assured. “The industry is learning to police itself,” Enos says. “Here you have all these facets of the industry, and you’re seeing them care, and it’s awesome.”
There are over 150 teams trying to take the trophy today, and plenty of prizes to go around. The group from Deanz Greenz, a dispensary in Northeast Portland, earns Best Dressed for their traditional black and white knee-high socks and Gatsby caps. The pair outfitted in 70s-era Wonder Woman gear do not win Best Dressed (though perhaps deserve an honorable mention).
We have been asked not to disclose the location of the 3rd Annual Fore Twenty Golf Tournament, but the staff seems happy to have cannabis supporters out on the course. No one harasses the two dudes emerging from the woods. In fact, everyone in staff shirts tells me how great this all is, how much they love this event. Even after they advise me that it’s not a good idea to ride on the back of our overstuffed golf-cart (I’m safe though; it’s okay), they still emphasize how excited they are to have us here. They don’t care that I am bad at golf and bad at inflatable hamster ball races.
Everyone Likes People Who Like Cannabis
Matt has noticed how much people enjoy having him and his golf buddies around too: “The course has told us how much they like working with us.” And why wouldn’t they? Cannabis users are more likely to be healthy, happy, and out of the house on a beautiful sunny day in June than non-users. Science told us so.
“I’ve been to things like these sponsored by alcohol companies, and by the end of the day, everyone is just so drunk…” Enos seems proud that his event brings out a different kind of crowd.
It’s a cannabis affair you could bring your kids to, if it wasn’t restricted to ages 21 and over. A lovely day with a low-key but focused vibe. Respectful golfers dot the green – some regular appreciators of the plant, some who haven’t seen a joint since college.
The cross section of participants is part of what makes the Fore Twenty Golf Tournament so special. Cannabis consumers come in all shapes and sizes. Some of us are great athletes, some passable enough to come in a distant second in a two-person sort-of foot race. But together we work to erase the stigmas surrounding the plant and the growing multitudes who benefit from its use.
Enos sums it up perfectly: “We have a great group of people who believe in it, not just the plant, but the community and the tournament. We are overcoming this barrier, and that is special to me.”