The Farmers Insurance Open golfer with the fewest strokes will be stoked with his prizes, which include a fresh surfboard.
Some of the world’s best golfers will aim for a first place finish that earns them that a $1.5 million check, a memento depicting a Torrey pine and a board to hang 10.
If there’s a more unique trophy in golf, or all sports, we haven’t seen it.
“It’s pretty cool to know that Tiger Woods has one of my surfboards,” Craig Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth, an Encinitas resident, shapes the boards that go to the FIO champion. He’s among the world’s best in his trade, crafting boards for Hansen Surfboards for decades.
“Craig has done our shaping for a long time and what he makes is super beautiful,” said Josh Hansen, who runs the iconic North County surf shop bearing his name. “I know he’s super stoked to do it.”
The folks with the FIO are ecstatic to present the surfboard, which is only eclipsed by the golfer’s joy in claiming it.
“We’re super blessed to be part of the tournament,” said Hansen, who resides in Carlsbad. “It’s a big event in San Diego.”
True that, but in 2012 it was a big event minus a significant sponsor.
Buick tapped out from its participation and when Farmers signed on, there wasn’t enough time to construct a trophy with its name on it.
So the Century Club of San Diego, which oversees the annual tournament, turned to one of the most well-known stores in North County surfing circles, Hansen’s. Josh’s dad, Don, opened the store more than 60 years ago and it has only flourished with surfing becoming more mainstream.
Still, the tournament was up a creek without a paddle.
Century Club members Tom Wornham, a surfer, and Tom Monson put their heads together. They wanted a trophy that drew attention to what makes San Diego famous.
With fish tacos and the view of the I-5 and I-805 crush at rush hour not really being considered, they landed on a surfboard.
“Tom Monson approached us because he knew the shop and said he would like to have a surfboard built for the winner because it would make it unique to San Diego,” Hansen said. “Surfing is such a part of the fabric of the community.”
So Hollingsworth was summoned and he got busy doing his thing. Well, when he wasn’t doing his other thing, which was surfing.
“People ask me how long it takes to shape the board, because each one is new,” Hansen said. “I always say, ‘It depends on how big the waves are because if they’re big, it can take a little longer because everyone is out surfing.’”
It’s about a two-month process to get the board ready for its close-up, according to Hollingsworth. The length of it is a shade under 8 feet and it weighs 8-10 pounds.
Hollingsworth has been shaping boards for nearly 50 years, for pros and promotions. But few of his endeavors match the joy he has, and that he sees in others, when his handiwork is presented to the winner.
“Stuff like that is fun to do,” Hollingsworth said. “And the Farmers one is kind of a feather in my cap.”
Scott Stallings, a past winner, has his hanging prominently in his home workout room. Bubba Watson, another FIO title-holder, wanted to plop his in the water and wake board on it behind his boat.
“His wife put the kibosh on that,” Hansen said.
But it’s full speed ahead with tournament week upon us, it runs from Wednesday-Saturday, with a beloved Hansen’s surfboard at the ready.
“Everybody has that connection to surfing, even if you’re not a surfer,” said Hansen, who’s as likely to be on a golf course as in the ocean. “As a golfer coming to San Diego, you are playing right above Black’s Beach, which has great waves. To have the surfboard as the trophy is just really cool.”
But first a golfer has to get hot over four days to earn it. His reward is gnarly, and it arrives through the efforts of Hansen and Hollingsworth.