Derrick Downie shakes his head at the links of the Briarwood Golf Course. Every time he tees off, he prays his ball won't land in the labyrinth of bunkers and ponds that dot the fairways. By the 10th hole, he knows the battle has only just begun.
"The back nine is just a bear compared to the front nine, where it's a lot more wide open," says Downie, who co-owns the Liquid Living family of nightclubs, which includes Fusion, Tramp, and the Boneyard. "Once you get to the back nine, it closes up. If you go left or right, you're going to lose your ball in the trees."
This weekend, Downie's challenging his customers at the Liquid Living Golf Outing, which he and his partners created five years ago, after they tagged along with a few bar regulars to a golf tournament. "For us, it seemed like a stuffy event," says Downie. "If you look at our nightclubs, we're not this conservative organization. We added some flavor to it."
For starters, the winning foursome will score tickets on the 45-yard line at any Browns game they choose. They'll also be on-air guests of WMMS sportscaster Mark "Munch" Bishop and former Brown Hanford Dixon during a pre-game show at Tequila Ranch and a post-game show at Liquid. The day is capped with dinner at Mallorca. "It's not like a gentleman's outing," says Downie. "We've tried to put our crazy bar spin on this thing."
Win or lose, any golfer who sinks a hole in one pockets a $10,000 check. The player who hits the longest drive wins a dinner-and-drinks package. And everyone will be served hot dogs, hamburgers, and margaritas by bikini-clad barmaids roaming the course. "These guys aren't dumb," Downie says of the participants. "They don't necessarily want any good golfers around. They just want to look at the girls."