Champs at 1st Annual Booster Club Golf Classic!

Fundraiser for San Dimas High School

A group of prizefighters took off the boxing gloves and picked up the clubs at the inaugural San Dimas High School (SDHS) Booster Club Golf Classic.

Here’s my exclusive report and photos from Monday’s first-ever golf outing hosted by the recently reactivated Booster Club in Southern California.

Over 100 golfers participated in this March 20 golf tournament held at the Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas. Taking their swings on the greens were the legendary and 2017 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee Evander Holyfield, Olympian Gold Medalist Henry Tillman and champs Ruben Castillo and Mando Muniz. NFL stars Efren Herrera and Calvin Sweeney, MLB’s Kenny Landreaux and Darrell Jackson, and famed jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. were also the VIP guests at this special tourney benefiting the student athletes at SDHS. This March 20 event will help the nonprofit Booster Club help sponsor young athletes, cheerleaders and dance teams at the high school with equipment, training, services, etc. Also lending support were City Council Member John Solis (former Mayor of La Puente) and former Mayor of West Covina City/Council Member Mike Touhey (Rockview Dairy #29).

The day got off with a bang as the shotgun start began. The foursomes took part in a “Best Ball” tournament over 18 holes on the course. The weather fluctuated from overcast in the morning to balmy in the afternoon on this very first day of Spring.

The Booster Club thought of everything to make their brand new Golf Classic an immediate hit. The players commented what a first-class day it truly was complete with coffee and treats from the Donut Club, a homemade Taco Bar (with Chef Gina), Subway sandwiches, a huge prize raffle and an awards dinner in the clubhouse. And when the guests needed to refuel, Taylor (Nutrishop) made fresh healthy shakes for all the golfers right on the course.

The SDHS Saints Booster Club is helmed by Booster President Jerold Johnson and Vice President Ernie Baltierra. Also volunteering their time at Monday’s event were SDHS dance teacher Diana Boyd along with the Booster Club’s Michele Earle, Fran Johnson, Rita Kear and more.

I had a blast riding in the golf cart with Diana Boyd as we checked in on the foursomes teeing off at Via Verde. The atmosphere was fun and friendly but when it was time to take their turn at hitting the ball, the golfers all had their best game faces on. The celebrity golfers all said they had a great time. The game of golf is so different from the fight game, but it’s a sport they’ve all come to love.

A true champion on the racetrack, Laffit Pincay spoke of his passion for golf.

“I’ve been playing golf for about four years; I love it!” Laffit (one of the winningest jockeys ever) told me. “It takes practice and I wish I had started when I was young but I was so occupied with riding that I didn’t have the time.”

And if you want to know how the Hall of Fame jockey stays in shape, I witnessed one of his methods of fitness. After taking his stroke at the tee, Pincay chooses to run to his ball eschewing the golf cart rides! This could be exhausting over 18 holes of golf, but the famous jockey says he’s used to it and it definitely keeps him strong and fit.

And when the men and women wanted to take a quick break from the course, Booster Club VP Ernie Baltierra had the perfect antidote at his nearby Hacienda Baltierra. The businessman and restaurateur (Tacos Omañas in Covina) had a top notch set up with fresh drinks, snacks and a TV on the outdoor patio overlooking the Via Verde golf course. Several sponsors also had booths and displays in this area. Meeting the crowd and handing out goodies throughout the day were Alma Rodriguez (New York Life), Easy Wireless, Precision Truck Tire Service, and more. Taking a break between holes, the athletes could relax, gear up for the next birdie, and meet their fellow golfers. There was even a handy phone charging station (courtesy of Easy Wireless).

While the SDHS Saints Booster Club all worked tirelessly to provide a seamless event, many of the participants gave Ernie Baltierra a special shout out. Former pro fighter Ruben Castillo relayed to me how Ernie’s hard work, enthusiasm and generosity made this all possible for the boxers and champs in attendance. On Sunday (the day before the Golf Classic), Ernie opened his home for a private “Meet and Greet” bash with the one and only Evander Holyfield. “The Real Deal” heavyweight enjoyed the evening, regaling guests with anecdotes from his KO career. Invited guests, golfers and sponsors had the chance to chat with the champ at this intimate gathering in the hills. Philanthropist Baltierra is a humble man who praises the entire Booster Club for all their dedication in organizing this golfing fundraiser.

I would say the SDHS Booster Club’s Golf Classic was a winning day for all–a real “knockout” event!

Click here to read about Sunday’s Meet & Greet:

Photos by Michele Chong

Michele Chong

Michele Chong

Feature Writer at MyBoxingFans
Michele Chong has been involved in the sport of boxing for over a decade. Her “Chatter Box” column covers a variety of subjects in both professional and amateur boxing, and features exclusive one-on-one interviews, recaps of fight events, shows and tournaments, book/film reviews and much more. Inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame in 2008, she is also a member of the World Boxing Hall of Fame, Golden State Boxer’s Association and the Burbank Boxing Club. Michele is also involved in many non-profit and charitable organizations.
Michele Chong
Michele Chong

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