All’s a glitter as Kaanapali revs up for Skins Game

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Each year, Kaanapali is transformed into a giant TV set as the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course takes center stage with a return to Maui of the game’s most accomplished players.

Unlike many of the regular Tour players, who are often so self-consumed that they forget their manners, the Champions Tour players came up in a different era, where regard for those standing out in the gallery was far higher.

This week you’ll have a chance to not only get up close and personal with the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and six other famed players, whose names are more familiar than some of those big name youngsters on Tour who didn’t even bother to show up when we invited them this year, but you’ll actually be able to interact with them, as they joke and banter along during their play.

It’s a far more convivial atmosphere, and more in keeping with the aloha spirit Hawaii is so famous for. You won’t get the cold shoulder from these guys! No way!

And while they may be a few yards shorter than they were in their prime, they have more wins under their belts than any of the younger boys, and have games that we may never see again: shot-making skills that can make a golf ball dance in the sky, and do the Fox Trot on the green.

Here are the Tour’s “E-Notes” for today, as sent to us by Lee Patterson, of the Champion’s Tour:

The Teams: Jack Nicklaus/Tom Watson; Fred Couples/Nick Price; Ben Crenshaw/Fuzzy Zoeller; Bernhard Langer/Mark O’Meara

Players in the Pro-Am: On Friday, January 28, the Pro-Am portion of the week will include these Champions Tour players: Bruce Lietzke, Bill Rogers, Curtis Strange, John Mahaffey, Craig Stadler, Olin Browne, David Eger, Mike Hulbert, Gary Hallberg, John Jacobs, Jay Delsing and Blaine McCallister.

Hawaii: Since the Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game began in 1988 on the island of Oahu, the event has been held in Hawaii each year with the exception of 1989. That year, it was played in La Quinta, CA. In 1990 it returned to Hawaii, was played on the Kohala Coast for 11 years, moved to Maui in 2001 and has remained here since.

Free for Fans: Once again, thanks to the support of presenting sponsors Administaff, Time Warner Cable and Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, sports fans can attend the Pro-Am and the weekend competition for free.

The Voices: This year’s Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game will be broadcast on the Golf Channel. Describing the action will be Terry Gannon, Mark Rolfing and Billy Ray Brown. The show will be produced by Chris Ohlmeyer and directed by Andy Young.

Hall of Fame Champions: Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson have 26 major championships between them.

Quotable: “If Tom will put up with me, we will be back,” Jack Nicklaus, after winning last year.

And Another Thought: “Who played? I don’t remember. That’s part of being old, isn’t it? You don’t have to remember what happened five minutes ago.” Jack Nicklaus upon receiving the trophy last year. He turned 70 four days later.

Facebook: This year, the Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game has a Facebook page which will be updated throughout tournament week. Please visit Ka’anapali Champions Skins Game on Facebook page.

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