USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- For 100 amateur golfers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, was the ideal port of call Jan. 5 when Emirates Golf Club hosted a tournament for USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 sponsored by Navy Auto Source and the United Services Organization.
Emirates Golf Club is the venue for the European Professional Golf Association's Dubai Desert Classic, which attracts professional golfers like Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, but on this day, it was the venue for fun and fellowship among all ranks and rates, no matter what the score.
Truman's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) office was able to cut Sailors and Marines a great deal for the tournament, taking $25 off the top of the voucher price. For $75, golfers were afforded a rare chance to play the course, as well as a splendid dinner buffet and a commemorative golf shirt.
"Whenever we pull into port, we always try to give at least a 25 percent discount on golf," said Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class William Landsiedel of Truman's MWR office, "and sometimes the discount is more in order to settle on a flat rate."
MWR is able to cut rates a couple of different ways.
"Funds come from sales in the ship's store," said Landsiedel, "and the Navy Auto Source helped us with this tournament."
The unbelievable bargain was just one enjoyable aspect of the outing.
"I was able to have an enjoyable afternoon with my friends," said Operations Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Jonathan Wood. "You go out there with a group of people you like, and that makes it more enjoyable."
Starting with a 1 p.m. shotgun - each group teeing off at the same time on a different hole - the tournament saw 26 four-man teams competing in a Texas scramble format on the Wadi, one of two 18-hole layouts at Emirates.
"The format was a lot of fun," said Yeoman Seaman Amit Parikh. "Since everyone's shot mattered, it was more of a team effort. You had to root for everyone."
When all was said and done, it was the team of Executive Officer Capt. Paul Monger, Aircraft Intermediate Maintenance Department Officer Cmdr. Chris Kennedy, Supply Officer Cmdr. John King and Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agent Scott Campbell who came out on top, carding a remarkable 13-under-par 59.
Prizes and mementos were presented to the top three teams at a lavish buffet held after the round was over.
For some, score was important on the grass. For all, however, the memories of the course itself stand out above all else.
"The most memorable thing was the view on the 18th hole with the sunset in the background," said Wood.
An extraordinary test of golf with plenty of scenic vistas, Emirates Golf Club was the perfect stage for most Sailors' and Marines' first round of 2005.
For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.