A host of Charger players play Maderas, especially during the off season and often in one of the many charity tournaments the course hosts.
Charger punter Mike Scifres was one of the latest to drop by when he headlined the inaugural charity tournament for Wish Warriors (www.wishwarriors.org) to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
Scifres took a few minutes to talk about the cause, his career and his golf game.
What does this cause mean to you?
It’s a great cause – pediatric cancer research. A portion of the money goes toward wishes patients may have and making that happen. The other portion goes toward the research.
Everyone’s life has been touched by cancer in some way, and this is something you can get involved in and make a difference.
I just recently started working with them … & it was a no-brainer. It’s something to means a lot to me. I had an experience with pediatric cancer as a child (at age two) and that experience has never left me.
How do you usually do your charity work with the Chargers?
During the season, we’ll take a group of six or seven guys, once a month, and go to the children’s hospital and visit sick kids and hear their stories. We try to make a difference.
(Former Charger) Dave Binn got me started in that my rookie year – Kids Tuesday. Children’s causes have come to mean a lot to me, especially with me now having three of my own. You really want to try to help the kids when they need it.
You’re about to play your 13th season with the Chargers. How incredible is that to you?
They say NFL stands for Not For Long, but somehow I’ve been able to stick around, and I love it. It’s amazing it has lasted this long, and I cherish every moment that I have.
How often do you get to golf? What are your off seasons like?
Between working out and staying in shape, I try to get out once a week – twice if I’m lucky – but my main thing is getting the kids to school. I like to golf and got started my rookie year playing charity tournaments like this when I didn’t even know how to play. But I figured (golf) out a little bit, found it an enjoyable game and then started working at it.
I’ve played Maderas quite a bit because I live real close. It’s a challenging course, but that’s part of what keeps you coming back.
What’s the best part of your game?
(Pause) Well, I’m better at punting a football. It’s a lot easier for me to swing at a football than a golf ball. (Laughing.)
What do you find most challenging about Maderas?
That (my teammates) make me play from the back tees and on certain holes, like No. 15, the long par 3, I honestly wonder how I’m going to get the ball there. So they’re hitting irons and I’m hitting anything I can to get it there.
What’s an off-season workout like for a punter?
It’s mostly a lot of flexibility stuff. It’s not so much power work like the other guys. I do a lot of stretching, core exercises, hip mobility … a lot of the small muscles most people don’t work, I have to work.
The guys give me grief about my workouts, but my job requires different routines.
How long do you hope to keep playing?
Until they tell me I can’t anymore. But I’m going to do it until they tell me to stop.