By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
And everywhere you look: swingers.
But this ain't no party, it's the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
Check that. This ain't no golf tournament, it's The Pervy Pavilion Invitational.
It's the area's most distinctive, erotic event of the year, where hundreds of thousands of exhibitionists and voyeurs turn Las Colinas' normally staid Four Seasons Resort and Club into Camp Caligula. All under the guise of golf. And charity.
The Pavilion, Dallas' largest outdoor meat market with its giant tent, green grass and glistening skin, fuels the Nelson. Powered by $90 badges and 12-coupon margaritas, the tournament is annually the PGA's leader in charitable contributions, on pace to surpass $100 million in contributions to its beneficiary--The Salesmanship Club of Dallas--sometime next year.
Needless to say, that green isn't generated solely by golf.
Sure, you can see some quirky stuff out on the Tournament Players Course as well. Just last week Bubba Watson was disqualified when his caddy (and clubs) didn't make it to his tee time. Carlos Franco broke his putter, then sank two long birdie putts with his driver. The 2000 champ, Jesper Parnevik, won wearing pink polyurethane pants; tournament volunteers walk around in red pants, and I even once saw Tiger Woods applauded for exiting a Porta-Potty while zipping his pants.
But this year there was no Tiger, no Phil Mickelson, no one you ever heard of. I mean, it was sorta interesting to see 18's new lake and the clubhouse's new clock tower and Aaron Oberholser flirt with 59 and 1,000 fedoras saluting the 94-year-old Lord Byron on Sunday. And it's always fascinating to hear guys wearing golf spikes yell "youda man!" when a pro gets his ball airborne with a driver on a Par 5, which is not unlike cheering John Daly for doubling down on 11.
But come on, this year's Nelson leader board was more fake than The Pavilion's breasts.
Spring-boarding off last year's victory by someone named Ted Purdy was this year's anonymous winner, Brett Wetterich, who somehow held off a hard-charging field of no-names Trevor Immelman and Omar Uresti. Was this a PGA Tournament or a witness protection summit?
Fitting, because golfers at the Nelson are reduced to movie extras, milling around aimlessly in the background while the leading men and women embrace their roles on The Pavilion stage.
"I didn't come for the golf, I came for The Pavilion," admits Irving's Leslie Haines, 38, with a body going on 19. "I always pull for Tiger, but I didn't see him on the leader board. He must be having an off day. Right?"
Leslie, unofficial spokesmodel for the Nelson avant-garde, is dressed appropriately ridiculously and perfectly sexily. Five-inch F-me heels. Spaghetti-strap top that hugs her D curves and a skirt so short it prompts more than one passer-by to "drop" his toothpick/sunglasses/nothing in a shameless attempt to identify the color--or existence--of her panties.
"Don't bother," Leslie explains. "They're skorts."
Momentarily knocked woozy, I recover to delicately ask about her outfit.
"It's low on top and high on bottom," she says with a smile. "Kinda balances out, dontcha think?"
In a tournament that digs chicks over birdies, Leslie is our new leader. But, trust me, there is a huge chase group. Because while women have been known to check out guys' putters, the Pervy Pavilion Invitational is all about boys watching girls wanting to be watched.
On a cloudless 85-degree Friday, the tournament is in full swing. And with eight-coupon beers insulated by two-coupon coozies, so is The Pavilion.
There's a bearded guy in blue jeans and a jean jacket smoking a pipe, perhaps looking for a cup of warm soup or a roaring fire at which to cuddle. Over there is a girl on crutches getting her arm cast signed by a slew of men, none of them remotely famous. Or rich. Or honest. Running through the crowd is a human-pincushion chick with bright orange hair, a long-sleeve black shirt and 12 facial piercings.
Earlier someone whispered me a rumor about Kelly Clarkson stopping by the tent. But a Korn concert? At The Pavilion?
There's a guy wearing faux Chanel sunglasses, a girl letting her female companion lick spilled margarita from her cleavage and, I'll be damned, there's Dallas Mavericks voice Mark Followill. While he politely and enthusiastically espouses his team's chances against the Spurs, suddenly Earth goes dark. Totally. At 4:07 p.m.
If it's the Apocalypse, there are thousands of us re-thinking our decision to have alcohol in our hands and thoughts of one-in-holes in our heads. Thankfully, it was just the Outback Steakhouse blimp temporarily eclipsing the sun. Whew. Resume partying. Re-boot decadent flirting.
"I wanted to dress sexy and sophisticated but not stuffy," says Dallas' Gwen Divello, who fails miserably on the latter in a long black skirt and shoulder-sweater configuration she calls a "shrug" and you and me and granny call a "shawl." "But I'll admit, it's a little warm."
Her friend, 26-year-old Uptown resident Nicole Kapioltas, is sporting a bead necklace with a giant pendant that would make Diddy blush. None of this matters to Divello's ex-husband, who momentarily wants to kick my ass for "flirting" with his ex--before quickly exiting by flipping off Gwen.
"Never know what you'll see out here," Kapioltas says. "Might even find MNBF." Which, of course, is the chic and really stupid acronym for My Next Boyfriend.
Some of the girls playing dress-up actually think they're starring in A Golfer and a Gentleman, the ultimate chick flick in which they are swept away by a millionaire player to a life of luxury and daily spa treatments. And then there is 21-year-old, 5-foot-1 Andrea Larue, who just wants to be noticed.
She's wearing a diamond-encrusted "A" necklace, a short white skirt which is both eye-catching and see-through and, of course, a plunging top that proudly displays her big--um, gigantic--ambitions.
"Absolutely I want people to notice that I got dressed up," Larue says. "But I want guys that steal a quick glance, not just stare and slobber. There's a fine line, you know."
Andrea's skimpy top is adorned with cherries, which prompts her endless response to a question suitable only for The Pervy Pavilion Invitational:
"No, you can't pop it."