In the early 90’s I had watched a Ryder cup match that was one of the most exciting sporting events that I had ever seen. I loved the format and had wondered how we might translate this to a PigBody event. Dan Marich was a Pig that moved to Chicago and started their own PigBodies golf club. I called him up, I’m guessing around 1993 or 1994 and asked him if he thought it might be fun to put on an event between the two cities with a Ryder type format. At the same time Dave Gorski was the Pig president and fell in love with the idea. Soon after, Dan called me back and said that his membership too thought it might be a fun experience.
Dan flew out here on a business trip and I met him at the National Sports bar on Sepulveda and after about six beers worked out the details and planned our first event to be in Los Angeles in 1996. The name (Ziffle cup) actually came from a Chicago member Tom Barnicle and was named after the most famous pig of all, Arnold Ziffle from the TV show Green Acres. The format has stayed the same with the first day being better ball, 2nd day being team combined low net and the final day, man/women to man/women the most exciting day of all. There would be 12 players on each side and the first team to reach 12 ½ points would win the Ziffle cup.
The first event was a smashing success. The first day was at Los Verdes, second day was at Lakewood CC and the final round was at Cypress. Los Angeles won the first event and by the way, our normal tourney was scheduled that final day so all L.A. pigs were there to root us on. We had our banquet and the players from both cities drank together, ate together and shared our memories of a great day. That three days together is the seed that has blossomed into today’s Ziffle. The bond we have with the Chicago group is something special and until you play in a Ziffle match, you won’t understand how special it really is.
Two years later, we visited Chicago and they did a great job of hosting the event and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. After a close match, Chicago took the cup back but it was a great event but we vowed the get the cup back to L.A.
The third Ziffle we hosted in Palm Desert and I hate to recall it but the Chicago group beat us on our own turf and retained the cup. The most memorable event however was Jim Sheehan’s double eagle on the 18th hole on the final day. I can still see the smile on Jim’s face and nobody liked the Ziffle competition like Jim!
The forth event took us back to Chicago and was actually a rainy 3 days but L.A. rallied to a victory and evened the series up two cups each.
Last year we hosted the event in Los Angeles where we retained the cup and now lead the series 3 cups to two. They are hungry to get us on their turf to get the series tied. In the beginning a lot of hard work and planning went into this event. Dan Marich and his officers in Chicago, Dave Gorski and his officers really put their heads together and made the Ziffle something special. Being the founders, Dan and myself want this to continue for years to come so many folks can enjoy the friendly competition between two cities but at the end of the match come together as one big pig, hug each other wish each other well and in two years come together and start it all over again.
The Ziffle cup is something VERY special, and if you play in it once you will be driven to do it again.