In my early twenties, I briefly dated a guy who played golf for a living. Considering I thought a mulligan was something you ordered at the bar and "short game" meant we were only playing three holes, it's safe to say I didn't have a lot to add to the conversation when he talked about work. But I was determined to try.

So I convinced my then boyfriend to teach me how to golf. With a great deal of hesitancy, he took me to an exclusive club in California (which was his first mistake) and by the second hole, he had broken a club over his knee in frustration, thrown it in the water and said some things that made me cry.

Naturally, I fled the situation in the golf cart (screaming obscenities over my shoulder). But as I looked back to tell him one last time what a jerk he was, I accidentally ran over the beer-cart girl and dislocated her shoulder. We had to take her to the hospital and we broke up in the ER waiting room.

Since then, the only real use I've ever gotten out of a golf club is to swat down spider webs in the garage. But next week there's an even better reason to pick up a set of clubs again — the annual charity golf tournament benefiting The Hope Alliance.

"We empower, educate and offer assistance to those living in some of the poorest communities in the world," says the organization's executive director, Melissa Caffey.


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"We offer healthcare services, like prescription eyeglasses and dental care, we help fund clean water projects, provide educational scholarships for kids, teach women new business skills to generate income and do what we can to create needed, sustainable change in impoverished areas."

But these noble endeavors don't come cheap. So on Monday, The Hope Alliance will host its 8th annual Golf 4 Hope tournament at the Jeremy Ranch Golf and Country Club.

"If you can play a little hooky on Monday afternoon, I encourage you to grab some friends and put a foursome together. It's always a fun time, there are some great prizes, and the best part is, you're golfing for something far more important than bragging rights," Caffey said.

While The Hope Alliance works in places like Peru, Guatemala and Haiti, the group also changes lives right here in Park City.

"Our service trips are made up of volunteers, many are local to Park City and often high school kids are on the trips. After each trip, there's a noticeable shift in each volunteer. They come back with a desire to help more at home, they come back grateful for what they have and with a new passion to do good in the world. We provide humanitarian assistance overseas, but we also create humanitarians right here at home," Caffey added.

Proceeds from Monday's charity golf tournament will help The Hope Alliance fund expansion of critical humanitarian projects. There's still room for several foursomes, and all ability levels are welcome to play.

Which is good news for people like me, who have to literally wipe the spider webs off their clubs.

To register for this year's tournament, visit TheHopeAlliance.org.

Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.