By Tim Sullivan

It’s April in Georgia and the lush, green fairways, blooming dogwoods and magnolias on this side of I-20 are all accented in plaid.  Ormewood Park resident Greg Schulz readies himself and the Atlanta golf scene at large for the 12th annual Schulzie Invitational.

Some argue that golf is not a sport but a hobby and my editor may need convincing that this interview fits the strict “sport and fitness” guidelines of the Intown Runaround.

Well, I once told my wife, Jenny, that I didn’t think she was a strong enough athlete to be a good golfer. She now has one hole-in-one to my zero. It’s a miracle I’m married, and now I steer clear of this debate.

A miracle indeed. Let me steer it this way: you are a terrific golfer but the bulk of your participants are decidedly not. How does it work?

The format is a scramble, so as long as the group has one decent player, the more challenged golfers don’t have to worry. This works well because even as the event has grown, the talent level has not.

How did the retro golf gear become an integral part of the event?

I thought it would be cool to get a bunch of people to dress like a plaid clad Johnny Miller from the 1970s and go make a scene on the golf course. That was 12 years ago, and now of course I can take credit for the trend of PGA pros dressing like Schulzie participants on Tour.

I love the PGA, but watching Ricky Fowler is like staring at the sun.  Anyway, what are some of the best outfits/costumes you’ve seen over the years at the Schulzie?

My brother-in-law, Kevin Wuornos, was the first to break out the kilt, and he wears it well. The Easter Bunny has made a couple of appearances.

Impressive short game, that bunny. How many times have you won your own tournament? Does it make you feel kind of jerky?

Three times. But I haven’t won since 2006. I don’t like the idea of winning my event every year, but now it’s getting ridiculous.

Have there ever been any exciting finishes?

My sister Megan made a 25-foot putt on the 18th green to win for her team one year in front of 50 people. It’s probably the greatest golf moment in Schulz family history. Then there was the Joel Borgman/Martin Sullivan 6 hole playoff. They raised the level of play for the Schulzie.

And to the winners go…

The retro plaid jackets. They get to take them home for a year, to wear at dinner parties, or as pajamas.

Sounds like a statement in both fashion and hygiene! Talk to us about the charity component of your event. Mulligans sell faster to this crowd than hot doughnuts.

The host course is home to the First Tee program, which teaches the game and values of golf to inner city kids. The event has also supported FitWit (thefitwitfoundation.org) and the Clearwater Initiative (clearwaterinitiative.org), two very cool organizations started by friends.

You’ve partnered with Charlie Yates Golf Course in East Lake every year – would you recommend others use them for their outings?

It is a short course with mostly par 3s, so it’s perfect for a laid back event with folks that only break out the sticks once or twice a year. But it’s also well designed, with great shot making holes for the more seasoned players.  The staff is very accommodating, and seems to get a kick out of my group.

I wonder if the staff would paint the scene in a similar light? What year do you expect your kids, Eva and Henry, to make their Schulzie Invitational debut?

At 2 years and 5 months old, they’re still working on honing their swings.  But the Schulzie is a ploy for getting family and friends to come in from out of town, and who can resist a toddler in knickers.

Any predictions for this year’s event?

The returning champions are comprised of an ex-pro, a dentist near retirement and two ladies that can swing the clubs pretty well. The rest of us may never see the plaid jackets ever again.

Tim Sullivan heads up the Cabbagetown Running Club and is a Buckhead business owner. Look for his column every month and visit his blog at www.timmydaddy.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

22 replies on “Intown Runaround: Swing Thoughts”

  1. HEY THIS IS A GREAT EVENT RUN BY GREAT PEOPLE BUT I WOULD HOPE THEY COULD EXTEND IT AND GET LOCAL CELEBRITIES TO PLAY IN IT AND THEN THEY WOULD RAISE MORE MONEY FOR CHARITY. I WOULD THINK A BEAUTIFUL STRONG WOMAN LIKE NENE FROM THE HOUSEWIVES WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THIS TO RAISE THE PROFILE OF THE EVENT CAUSE EVERYONE LOVES HER AND SHE REPRESENTS THE ATL WITH DIGNITY AND CLASS.

  2. HEY THIS IS A GREAT EVENT RUN BY GREAT PEOPLE BUT I WOULD HOPE THEY COULD EXTEND IT AND GET LOCAL CELEBRITIES TO PLAY IN IT AND THEN THEY WOULD RAISE MORE MONEY FOR CHARITY. I WOULD THINK A BEAUTIFUL STRONG WOMAN LIKE NENE FROM THE HOUSEWIVES WOULD BE PERFECT FOR THIS TO RAISE THE PROFILE OF THE EVENT CAUSE EVERYONE LOVES HER AND SHE REPRESENTS THE ATL WITH DIGNITY AND CLASS.

  3. The Schulzie is more about “fashion” than anything else. Hurry to the local vintage clothier and grab your duds before someone else does. In fact the best trophy is awarded to the person with the best outfit. The right outfit may give you the dubious honor of being in the e-vite photograph the following year. Tournament winners are briefly patted on the back by guests on their way to get a closer look at the best-dressed golfer. Golf Schmolf. This is a Spring Fashion show for plaid lovers.

    Tony H
    Level-D Golfer

  4. The Schulzie is more about “fashion” than anything else. Hurry to the local vintage clothier and grab your duds before someone else does. In fact the best trophy is awarded to the person with the best outfit. The right outfit may give you the dubious honor of being in the e-vite photograph the following year. Tournament winners are briefly patted on the back by guests on their way to get a closer look at the best-dressed golfer. Golf Schmolf. This is a Spring Fashion show for plaid lovers.

    Tony H
    Level-D Golfer

  5. The Shulzie is one, if not, the best and most fun ever golf event in Atlanta, and I was so lucky to see some of the stories mentioned above in person. Besides having fun you also support great non profit organizations. Look forward the 20,30th 50th anniversary!
    PS: I believe I took that pic couple of years ago actually at the afterparty, which is not mentioned in the interview, but typically brings all golfers and friends together for some food and drinks.

  6. The Shulzie is one, if not, the best and most fun ever golf event in Atlanta, and I was so lucky to see some of the stories mentioned above in person. Besides having fun you also support great non profit organizations. Look forward the 20,30th 50th anniversary!
    PS: I believe I took that pic couple of years ago actually at the afterparty, which is not mentioned in the interview, but typically brings all golfers and friends together for some food and drinks.

  7. The gallery at the 18th is like none other.

    With less than 2 weeks to the event, I can’t decide if I should focus on my golf swing or the perfect plaid…

  8. The gallery at the 18th is like none other.

    With less than 2 weeks to the event, I can’t decide if I should focus on my golf swing or the perfect plaid…

  9. Great article…the writer is a pro! If Tim wasn’t a professional rug guy (Sullivan Fine Rugs, open 7 days a week), I think he’d have a future in journalism. The Schulzie is an event we look forward to every year, coming from near and far to enjoy it. We’ll have 4 out of 7 “original” Schulzies in attendance this year (plus 2 new ones!)…should be a blast as usual!

  10. Great article…the writer is a pro! If Tim wasn’t a professional rug guy (Sullivan Fine Rugs, open 7 days a week), I think he’d have a future in journalism. The Schulzie is an event we look forward to every year, coming from near and far to enjoy it. We’ll have 4 out of 7 “original” Schulzies in attendance this year (plus 2 new ones!)…should be a blast as usual!

  11. My days as a Schulzie Invitational winner (in its 2nd outing) have evidently been long forgotten. How did I not get a mention in this article?!?! I’ve been working on my short game looking to score another inscription on the infamous Schulzie Invitational Cup. Viva la Schulzie!

  12. My days as a Schulzie Invitational winner (in its 2nd outing) have evidently been long forgotten. How did I not get a mention in this article?!?! I’ve been working on my short game looking to score another inscription on the infamous Schulzie Invitational Cup. Viva la Schulzie!

  13. Thanks Tim for focusing the world’s attention on the real golf story in Georgia (never mind that distraction down in Augusta), the famed Schulzie Invitational.

  14. Thanks Tim for focusing the world’s attention on the real golf story in Georgia (never mind that distraction down in Augusta), the famed Schulzie Invitational.

  15. Great event with historic implications. I met my wife at the Shulzie in 2002. A pair of sparkling shiny pants won the Spirit Award last year…

  16. Great event with historic implications. I met my wife at the Shulzie in 2002. A pair of sparkling shiny pants won the Spirit Award last year…

  17. A true sign of spring the Schulzie is, with the azaleas in full bloom and Snow some years nothing gets me up for an entertaining and colorful round of ATL spring golf like the Schulize. If not for usually being scheduled on Masters weekend it would become the 5th major.
    It pains me not to have an excuse to wear my kilt for the 2nd time in 3 years, but I know I left the Schulzie in good hand with the creation of another in the many growing traditions the “1 eyed Lucy”!
    Have fun and hit em’ str8!

  18. A true sign of spring the Schulzie is, with the azaleas in full bloom and Snow some years nothing gets me up for an entertaining and colorful round of ATL spring golf like the Schulize. If not for usually being scheduled on Masters weekend it would become the 5th major.
    It pains me not to have an excuse to wear my kilt for the 2nd time in 3 years, but I know I left the Schulzie in good hand with the creation of another in the many growing traditions the “1 eyed Lucy”!
    Have fun and hit em’ str8!

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