Wedge in One Hand and a Beer in the Other – By Jordan Poland

Wife: “Wait, where are you going?”

Me: “I don’t really know. I’ve got an address and have seen some pictures but have no clue where it is. It’s some guy’s backyard and these guys I met on the internet are building their own golf course.”

W: “And why are you taking them gopher traps?”

M: “They said they have a gopher problem. I think these will help.”

W: “You’re an idiot. See you in a while.” *said with a loving smile, sensing my level of excitement*

That was a paraphrased remembrance of an actual conversation I had with my wife a few weeks ago. We spent the holiday in a hotel in Kansas City with my in-laws. After spending a morning chasing my kids, and nieces and nephews, around some of Kansas City’s finer family attractions, I finally asked if I could run a very important errand.

My wife didn’t know I had clandestinely planned the errand for a couple weeks. I’d followed the thread on The Refuge from the beginning as more of a silent observer and as momentum built for this thing we call Brough Creek National, I felt it was time to jump in and lend a hand.

Explaining this thing, and my fascination with it, has been a bit of a challenge. As I was guiding my father-in-law to BCN to drop off the goodies and see the place for the first time that day, he didn’t seem to get it. “So, who are these guys? And, you’ve never met them? So, how do you know about this?”

My old man had the same questions when I asked to borrow or buy a few things from him that I could donate to the cause. “They can’t get their own gopher traps? Who are you doing this for again?”

As part of every interaction I have for my job, I emphasize that sports are integral to our culture and that sports have the unique power to bring different groups of people together like no other thing can. Think about it: when the ball goes up for your favorite team, it doesn’t matter if the fan sitting next to you is rich or poor; a Republican or a Democrat; a Catholic, a Protestant, an atheist or an agnostic. All that matters is that they’re wearing the same color shirt you are and they cheer at the same things you do. Our passion for sports is one of the few aspects of our lives that help us forget about those barriers that typically divide us.

And that is the reason why I think BCN is so important and the reason why I’m writing this. I don’t know Ben, Zach, Corbin, or any of the rest of the BCN crew, much at all. It would be difficult for me to pick them out of a lineup having met two of them once and the rest only through Twitter interactions. But, the one thing we have in common is that we’re all crazy about hitting a little white ball toward a hole cut in the ground. These guys decided they wanted to put some of those holes in their backyard and invited anyone and everyone to be a part of it. Those who have heard their story and seen the vision of this place are pulled to join in and are welcomed with open arms. There are no barriers, other than maybe a faulty GPS leading you the wrong direction.

BCN is everything we all want. It’s a group of buddies with a vision; it’s a community chipping in to lend a hand; it’s a club with no barriers; it’s a privileged membership with no real privileges; it’s a wedge in one hand and a beer in the other. BCN knows what it is and knows its place; it won’t be the most exclusive membership you are ever a part of but it might be the most prestigious because it’s for those that actually want to be a part of something like this. If it isn’t all of those things yet, I have no doubt it will be soon. It’s everything about golf boiled down to the pure substance and it’s what brought us all together.

My wife is probably right. She usually is. I’m certainly an idiot. But in this case, I’ll wear that badge with pride and put it right alongside the BCN membership letter hanging on my office wall because some things are worth being a little crazy about. Golf is one of those things. The vision of what BCN is, will be, and could mean for the game as a whole, are a few of those things too. #getinvolved

Jordan is the President/CEO of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita.

Twitter: @JPolandKS


  1. I may not be objective (I’m his mother!), but this guy is certainly NOT an idiot! Very well done, Jigs! I’m probably going to become a member, and I don’t even know how to golf!

  2. I don’t golf. But I’m definitely interested in checking this out! Jigs, you are right: sports can bring people together the way little else can. I’m proud of the work you do! Keep it up.

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