It was a typical August day. The temperature at the golf course was high and the humidity was so thick that you could taste the air. The foursome from AEW pulled into the parking lot which had become a breakfast breakout area. The one-hundred golfers in attendance for the early morning outing were mulling around sipping on coffee or Bloody Marys while snacking on donuts, bananas or an early morning brat. It was a great way to start the 2021 Annual William Soderberg Golf outing.
AEW fielded a foursome consisting of Scott “Slammer” Anger, Aaron “Ace” Carpenter, Jake “Jupiter” Miller and Craig “Mulligan Man” Amey. Scott, Aaron and Jake did most of the heavy lifting during the day. Jupiter Jake consistently hit the ball so far that it would seem to be landing on a different planet. Aaron was amazing around the greens as he targeted many long putts and put the ball dead-center in the middle of the cup. Scott slammed the door shut on many holes with a great drive, or a pin-high and close approach shot. These three men were mostly (some might argue “entirely”) responsible for the team’s score of 55, which was 15 under par, and good enough for a First Place Finish in the tournament.
Even though the golfing by Scott, Aaron and Jake was, as described by a fan from another foursome, as “Sick”, we cannot forget about Mulligan Man. A “mulligan” is not a feature of the Pro Golf Association. It is a time-honored amateur/hacker consideration that allows golfers a “do-over”. For example, if all four golfers miss the putt, a mulligan can be used by one of the golfers to “do-over” the putt. But, there is a financial element to this potentially game-saving service. A twenty-dollar donation would buy the foursome four mulligans. This is where the Mulligan Man was chiefly responsible for the First Place Finish. While his golf game was abhorrent, his favorite weapon, a debit card, had purchased the four mulligans. The others played unbelievably well, but they could only put the AEW team in contention for a winning score. In fact, the final separation from Frist Place to Third Place, was only 3 strokes. However, the team used all four mulligans’ successfully, accounting for an improvement in their regulation score of 59, to a final score of 55. These four strokes moved the team from Fourth Place to First Place, edging out Bruce Soderberg’s team by one stroke (Bruce is the son of William Soderberg and a former AEW employee who almost always wins the outing). Some AEWsome golf was played by Slammer, Ace and Jupiter, but they all admitted, it was Mulligan Man who put the foursome atop the podium.
The outing, which is a fund-raiser for the Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Foundation, is held in honor of William “Sod” Soderberg. Sod, a former principal at AEW, was a surveyor that was devoted to the profession, and volunteered countless hours to the Foundation, including serving as the Foundation’s president. Sod was also active in the parent organization, MSPS, also serving as it’s president, as well as being an officer in the national surveying organization, NSPS. When AEW decided it needed a surveying department, Sod was the professional charged with the task. He was a Professional Surveyor, not only by state licensure, but by practice. He was responsible for installing a surveying department, but he was also responsible for instilling a devotion to professionalism in all surveyors that worked in the department. Sod’s devotion to the profession and professionalism is the basis for the quality, success and reputation of today’s surveying department at AEW. It was great for an AEW team to finally win the outing that honors the founder of surveying at AEW.
The day was hot and humid. The last few holes were becoming physically challenging as the 5 ½ hours in the heat was beginning to take effect. The foursome took their completed scorecard to the air-conditioned club house and enjoyed steak dinner as they awaited the tally of scores from all 25 teams. One by one, the scores were posted on a large chart on the wall. One by one, teams could see how their score compared to the rest of the teams. One by one, they saw scores in the 70’s, the 60’s and a few in the 50’s. When AEW’s score of 55 was posted, one by one, they knew who had won the outing. Slammer, Jupiter, Amazing and Mulligan Man had a great time golfing together, represented AEW well, and walked to their vehicles with a steak in their stomachs, and prize-money in their pockets. It was truly, an AEWsome day.