Clancy event chips in for Leukemia Society

February 05, 1994|By Jon Morgan | Jon Morgan,Sun Staff Writer

The best strategy off the tee was a short hop onto the fairway. This set up a long drive to the left, between the mahogany-lined mini-bar and black leather couch.

With a little luck, a simple chip shot from there got you over the marble-topped Camden Club coffee table and onto the green, located in the middle of the owner's box at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Too strong a swing invited disaster: the ball could soar over the railing and onto home plate.

And that was only the first hole of the 18-hole indoor golf tournament, the fifth annual such event for the Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia Society of America.

Thirty-six foursomes signed up, with each golfer paying $100 for tTC cocktails, greens fees, buffet dinner and the chance to compare scores with event chairman Tom Clancy, the Maryland-based novelist and Orioles part-owner.

Other golfers included Orioles general manager Roland Hemond and bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks.

An infrequent golfer, Clancy quipped, "My handicap is my swing."

The holes, designed by sponsors, took their names from Clancy's best-sellers: Green of all Fears, Clear and Present Water Hazard and October's Hacker.

They were spread out along the club level of the downtown stadium, drawing duffers through sky boxes, exclusive lounges and ornate hallways. One hole, sponsored by the National Professional Soccer League's Spirit, required the use of mini-soccer balls.

The tournament and silent auction should raise about $25,000, all targeted for local research projects, said event spokeswoman Patricia Dodd.

"We've sold out every year," Dodd said.

Clancy has been involved in leukemia-related charities for several years, since he befriended a young fan named Kyle who shared with Clancy a fondness for the military. Clancy established the Kyle Foundation, which works with children suffering from the disease, in his honor.

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