The Coveted Roll Call Cup, or Golf in the Capital
“This crowd has gone deadly silent, a Cinderella story outta nowhere. Former greenskeeper and now about to become the Masters champion. … He’s on his final hole. He’s about 455 yards away, he’s gonna hit about a 2-iron I think. … It’s in the hole!” — Carl Spackler, “Caddyshack.”
The only reason horticultural expert/gopher hunter Spackler dreamed of glory at the Masters was that he had never gazed upon the Coveted Roll Call Cup. On Monday, when many a Washingtonian will be sleeping in, dreaming of legislative or political glories of their own (lots of primaries await on Tuesday after all), Congress’ 20 most-dedicated duffers will trek up to Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., for the annual First Tee Congressional Challenge for the chance at the untold golf glory found in grasping the Coveted Roll Call Cup.
You never know what you’ll see. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the newly minted chairman of the special House committee on Benghazi in madras shorts that match his teammate, fellow Palmetto State Republican Mick Mulvaney? Check.
A little bipartisan bonding as members from across the aisle all beat the bushes looking for a lost ball? Check.
It all gets underway at 7:45 a.m. (not a misprint!) and will feature 27 holes of competition pitting Democrats versus Republicans in team and individual competition.
Last year, for only the second time in the tournament’s 12-year history, the sides tied, 10-10 , and Republicans retained the cup. In the event of a tie, the team that won the cup the previous year gets to keep it. Why no tiebreakers? According to organizers, they try to make sure the matches wrap up around 3 p.m. so that members of Congress can make it to Capitol Hill or wherever else their business takes them. Votes are scheduled in the House for 6:30 p.m.
Before those votes, though, the winning team’s captain will be presented with the Coveted Roll Call Cup at 5:30 p.m. at Cornerstone Government Affairs. It all goes to benefit First Tee, a golf charity that seeks to introduce youth to the sport most often linked to power and influence — or for fans of Mark Twain, a good walk spoiled.