By Lee Schoenbart
Tina Mickelson is coming out swinging for an exceptional cause on Aug. 2, and lending her name and time to what is being billed as the first San Diego "Swing Fore! Yellow Charity Golf Classic." Maderas Country Club will be the site of this event benefiting The Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Profits from the event will benefit the foundation bearing the name of cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.
The seven-time Tour de France winner formed the foundation in an effort to unite people to fight cancer while pursuing a course of action focused on prevention — with access to screening, care and the improvement of the quality of life for survivors and investment in research. The foundation is recognized globally by its bright yellow LIVESTRONG brand.
Phil Mickelson's kid sister is teaching a golf clinic prior to the Helicopter Ball Drop and Shotgun tee-off, which begins at 11:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., respectively.
Mickelson will be available as a golf partner to players paying five grand apiece to participate on a "$5K Fivesome: Golf with a Celebrity" team. Other celebrities confirmed for the event include actor/songwriter Alan Thicke, former NFL star Andre Reed, actor Alfonso Ribeiro and former boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.
"I went to the Lance Armstrong website to see exactly what they did. The more I learned about The Lance Armstrong Foundation, the more I realized this is something we need to do a nice event for," said Mickelson, the ambassador for women's golf at the Santaluz Club.
Mickelson, a featured instructor for ESPN Golf Schools, which are available to men and women, said: "We're doing a short-game clinic before everyone tees off. With a short game, there's generally a few very simple rules of thumb that, if you can follow those, it does make your putting and your chipping a lot better, so in that regard it helps to get a few little pointers before you go out onto the course.
"So not only will that help you for the rest of the round, it will also give you some tips to practice the next time you practice your short game so you practice effectively," said Mickelson, a teaching professional since 1991, with appearances on The Golf Channel's "Your Game Night" and "Drive, Chip, & Putt" programs.
Following the day of golf, participants will enjoy a social hour of live music with singer/guitarist Lee Coulter, followed by an awards dinner and auction hosted by the evening's auctioneer, former KNSD/Channel 7/39's Emmy Award-winning news personality Bill Menish.
Mickelson, who frequently lends her name to other worthwhile causes, including the Burn Institute's annual fundraiser, extolled the virtues of volunteerism and philanthropy.
"I've been very fortunate to lead the life I live, and it would be a shame not to help. If you're able to help others and you can, we were always taught, you do it," Mickelson said. "Being in a position where I can help has been very fulfilling."
To learn more as well as register for or sponsor the tournament, call Mary Beth Kellee at (858) 442-8002 or visit Armstrong's local site at
Maderas is at 7750 Old Coach Road in Poway. Its number is (858) 451-8100.