Good shots and networking were among the highlights of the Visit Charlotte Golf Tournament at Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas. Heck, there was even a hole in one. But the reality is the event was a great tee off for Connect Sports Marketplace because it was an enjoyable place to meet new people. “Very rarely do I get a chance to network in a golf setting like that, so it was fun,” says Bob Dunlop, senior director of events for U.S. Figure Skating. It was made all the more fun for Dunlop because he was on the winning team, alongside Cleo Battle, executive vice president of the Louisville CVB; Jeff Beard, account manager at M3Solutions LLC; and Randy Herrera, manager of global accounts at HelmsBriscoe. Dunlop had just used his Maui Jim gift card toward a new pair of sunglasses when Connect Sports caught up with him. A true sportsman, Dunlop says it was a team effort. “We got on a roll and strung a bunch of birdies together,” he recalls. “Everyone contributed.” The foursome didn’t know each other ahead of the golfing, but that turned out to be a blessing. It allowed Dunlop to make connections in both the sports and corporate worlds that could pay off in future business and sponsorships down the road. “That’s why I am there,” he says. “We’re not looking to book business the week of an event, but to establish relationships so when our events do become available, people understand who to talk to and put a bid in.” Among the other results of the Visit Charlotte Golf Tournament: > Edgardo Barrantes, associate director of sales at Marriott Los Angeles Burbank Airport, scored a hole in one. > Tyler Childs, director of events and marketing at CSTT Sports, had the longest drive. > Alejandra Diaz-Labrecque, associate director of sales and marketing at USA Track & Field, struck the women’s longest drive.