We're a Sporty Group

Here we are in the dead of winter, and, of all things, I want to talk about golf, tennis, and shooting. Of course, in Houston our winters are not really very “dead,” we are fortunate to get the chance to participate in these and other outdoor activities almost all year long. I would like to highlight those special SPE GCS events that take us outside and give us the chance to socialize with our fellow SPE members while also enjoying one or more of our hobbies.

Social interaction is an explicit component of the Gulf Coast Section’s by-laws, mission statement, strategic plan, and three-year plan. While certainly every study group meeting, continuing education course, workshop, or conference you attend in the GCS has a social component, the sporting events are usually what we refer to when we speak of the social part of our programming. These events are tremendously fun, are great for networking, and help raise a substantial portion of the excess funds that are then used for our healthy scholarship and other education programs.

The mainstay sporting events on the calendar are the Tennis Tournament in October, the Golf Tournament in April, and the Sporting Clays Tournament in June. In past years, we also had an annual Racquetball Tournament, which could be revived again with enough interest and leadership. Recently, the Young Professionals group (formerly Emerging Leaders Program) has also conducted a golf tournament in April in conjunction with their Emerging Engineers Conference. The Houston Cup is another golf tournament that is open to section leadership in an intersociety event with API, AADE, and IADC.

The Golf Tournament and Sporting Clays Tournament are both considered to be some of the largest of their kinds in the country. The Golf Tournament hosts close to 1000 players on four different courses in one day. The Sporting Clays Tournament has grown to more than 675 shooters in just 7 years. Although not as large in number of players, the Tennis Tournament holds a backseat to no event in terms of the enthusiasm and passion of its committee and players. In fact, our most recent tennis tournament provided a 150% increase in funds to the Section compared to last year, thanks to extraordinary efforts by committee members Scott Chesebro, Anadarko Petroleum Co., and Joanne Hresko.

All of our events are popular because of the professional organization and commitment of the volunteer committee members who work on them all year long. Anyone who has been involved with organizing large events like these knows the time, talent, and energy it takes to pull them off successfully. So on behalf of the entire GCS, I would like to express many thanks to the Tennis Committee, chaired by Greg Kelley, Superior Wellhead Inc.; the Golf Committee, co-chaired by Ron Curtice, Grant Prideco, and Dwight Turner, Occidental Petroleum Corp.; and the Sporting Clays Committee, chaired by Tim Riggs, Ryan Energy. There is not enough space in this column to name all the volunteers, but I am sure all of these chairmen will tell you that their events would not come off if not for the contributions of every current and past committee member and past chairs. So if you participate in any of these events, please take the time to express your thanks to each one you come across.

During the 2006–07 program year, these primary sporting events raised more than $115,000 for the Gulf Coast Section. The revenue comes in the form of player registrations and sponsorships. The generosity of the sponsors helps keep the costs to play as reasonable as possible for our members while allowing the profits to flow to the Section for sustaining the scholarship and education programs and other initiatives for our membership, industry, and communities. So, we are also extremely grateful for the companies who step up to the plate, the individual advocates for us within those companies, and the hundreds (thousands!) of players who come out and play every year.

Remember there are still three events remaining and all are now registering players and sponsors. The Golf Tournament will be held Monday, April 14th at Kingwood Country Club, The Sporting Clays tournament is Friday, June 6th at Rio Brazos Hunting Preserve, and The Young Professional’s Emerging Engineers Golf Tournament is April 4th at PineCrest Golf Club. Watch the newsletter, www.spegcs.org, and e-mail correspondence for more information.

Our social chair, David Tumino, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., is interested in any ideas you may have for other social or sporting events the GCS should consider hosting. Ideas floated in the past have been a fishing tournament, a softball tournament, and even bowling! Let David (david.tumino@anadarko.org) or me know if you have any other thoughts. Gee, I am pretty good at ping pong, I wonder....

35th Annual Golf Tournament

SPE Gulf Coast Section invites all members to participate in our 35th annual Golf Tournament on Monday, April 14 at the Kingwood Country Club and Deerwood Country Club. Please visit www.spegcs.org for details on registration and sponsorship opportunities. This Gulf Coast Section event is an important part of fundraising for our Scholarship Fund. These scholarships are even more important now with the huge industry demand for personnel. We need your support more than ever.

If you have any questions or comments about Study Groups, volunteering, or any topic at all, contact me at shook@bluerockenergycapital.com.