Early each year, the NFL throws a party; it lasts about a week and features a football game — the Super Bowl — which ends with the crowning of the NFL Champions.

Attended by nearly 200,000 players, coaches, owners, fans, party-throwers and partygoers (many attend the parties but do not attend the game), it marks the end of the NFL season and opens the door for renewed hope that next year your favorite team will play and win that big game. It’s coming soon.

Early each year, the PGA also throws a party. It features only players who won at least one Tour event during the preceding year. This year, 34 players attended. If you tuned in, you saw comparatively small galleries, especially given the tournament featured the top five players in the Official World Golf Rankings and nothing but 2017 tournament champions.

It is called the Tournament of Champions. The total purse was $6.3 million. The course was the Plantation Course at Kapalua, where the 34 players and their families are provided housing, food and all else required to make their Hawaiian vacation perfect.

Unlike the Super Bowl, the Tournament of Champions starts rather than ends the “year” for the PGA Tour. It also marks the beginning of discussion, observation, debate, speculation and predictions as to which player will shine the brightest and win the most majors of 2018. In case you missed it, the current OWGR No. 1, Dustin Johnson “Dustined” the field with a blistering 24 under par total and an eight-shot margin of victory.

Can he win the Masters in April? It’s coming up fast!

LOOKING FORWARD

Friday, Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m., plan to be at registration for the noon shotgun start of the sixth From the Heart Golf Tournament at Moody Gardens Golf Course — with a goal of “to benefit the transportation fund for the Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston, aiding in the ability to provide both emergency and recovery care transportation to patients at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston.”

Choices of sponsorship and player/team entry fees are available via golfsales@moodygardens.org or from Laurie Breitbach at 409-683-1200. Raffle items are also accepted and pickup of those items can be arranged. Watch this column for more information.

LOOKING FORWARD 2

Diane Gillebaard (281-334-2132) can provide all the information you need to become involved with what is arguably the premier golf tournament in the Bay Area. In a mere seven years, Keep Kids in School Golf Tournament has raised more than $1 million, all of which is distributed among 14 campuses in the Clear Creek and Dickinson school districts.

Repeating chairmen for the event are Kevin Lardie of Gay Family Auto and Mark Conrad of Express Employment Professionals. Drop in at either business and they’ll share with you their excitement about the tournament. Janice and Rick Gornto have been involved as underwriters of the tournament since year one. Also, contact Hillary Gramm at hillaryg@cisba.org or call 281-486-6698 to learn more.

FORWARD LOOKING

Always in search of gizmos or gimmicks or just about anything that purports to improve my swing, putting, chipping and scoring, there is an offering from Revolutionary Golf that has caught my eye. “Gain ‘Robotic’ Consistency … plus 10-25 extra yards off the tee …” appeals to me; that’s exactly what the SURE-SET offers for a limited time for only $87.

It promises to correct the top three “swing killers” — a flat shoulder plane; the arms and shoulders getting separated; and the downswing starting incorrectly, by helping me-and you-FEEL the correct moves in the comfort of our own homes. That last part is important, since for me at least, taking that out to the range or even to Top Golf is not likely. Google it and I think most of you will agree.

Be safe, on and off the course.

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