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June 19, 2020

Portland's Hadlock Field, Harvard Pilgrim tee up for golf in the ballpark

Take me out to the ... golf course?

Baseball stadiums and other sports facilities may be quiet this summer, but Portland's Hadlock Field is teaming up with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to transform the home of the Sea Dogs into a temporary golf course next month.

The Hadlinks Golf Club at Hadlock Field will only be up for four days, from July 9-12, with the pitch for golfers of all ages to experience golf like never before.

Those who choose to do so will pay $30 to play a nine-hole course with tee boxes from the Skybox level. The price includes two shots per hole, a Sea Dogs golf towel and three Sea Dogs logo golf balls to take home.

Because of social distancing during COVID-19, only one golfer is allowed to play at a time, so families and groups of friends are asked to book consecutive tee times and  follow each other through the course from a safe distance.

Asked about the inspiration for the idea, Chris Cameron, the Sea Dogs' vice president for communications and fan experience, told Mainebiz, "We had seen a similar event that the San Diego Padres did a few years back, and we always thought it was something we would love to do here, and this summer gave us a great chance to try it out."

He also said that team mascot Slugger will be making appearances throughout the four-day event.

The undertaking will provide yet another non-baseball revenue stream for the minor league team and its Hadlock field home after three weeks of selling concessions at the ballpark for curbside pickup and delivery, which is due to wrap up on June 26.

They include hot dogs, peanuts and crackerjacks and even beer. Notably missing are the popular Sea Dogs Biscuits, previously made with ice cream from Sanford-based Shain's of Maine.

In the wake of reports that the owner used a racial slur in speaking to an employee, and after conducting its own investigation, the Sea Dogs recently ended its relationship with the vendor.

The Portland Sea Dogs is the Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

Virtual tourney going strong

Elsewhere on the golfing front, the Swing into Summer Open month-long virtual golf charity tournament to raise money for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital appears to be going strong with less than two weeks until it winds down.

Brian Corcoran of Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, the event's organizer, is listed at the top of the individual fundraising leaderboard with $625 raised so far, while Shamrock is the top team with $1,050 raised so far.

The virtual event is being held in place of the first-ever pro Live + Work in Maine pro tournament that had been scheduled to take place at the Falmouth Country Club and generate $8 million for the local economy.

Because of COVID-19, the live event was canceled and postponed until 2021, as Mainebiz reported earlier this month.

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