Coral Bay Open for Dan “Pants Man” Carlson Set for Dec. 8 at Skinny Legs


One need not have any discernible golf skills to master the 11 whacky holes, above, in the Coral Bay Open.

When friends of Dan Carlson, who is known to many on St. John as “Pants Man,” discovered he was on very difficult times, they decided to do something about it.

Since those friends happen to live in Coral Bay, they decided the perfect thing to do was host a zany golf tournament benefit in the Skinny Legs area. The fact that there is no actual golf course in the area was of little consequence.

Called the Coral Bay Open, the silly golf outing has proven to be a profitable fundraiser in the past for local residents in need, and the upcoming event on Saturday, December 8, is sure to be just as successful.

Carlson’s friends walked the grounds recently and mapped out 10 challenging and off-beat holes, including one actually in Coral Bay harbor.

Individuals or teams of four can sign up at Connections East and West, Skinny Legs, Lime Inn or Quiet Mon Pub. The entry fee is $25 per person or $100 for a foursome. The format is a shotgun scramble, so one need not actually know how to golf to get in on the fun, explained Bill Willegerod, one of the event’s organizers.

“If you can play miniature golf, or if you can swing a golf club, you can play this,” said Willegerod. “If you haven’t been in a Coral Bay Golf Open, or haven’t seen one before, it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been in three of them and wouldn’t miss them for the world.”

The scramble format means all four team members will tee off and then play from the best placed ball, Willegerod explained.

“Even if you have four lousy players, you play from the best ball,” he said. “It’s really easy.”

The shotgun start — which will more likely be a cannonball start since this is Coral Bay — means that players will start at different holes at the same time, Willegerod added.

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. and is sure to be a great time. Raffle tickets, for $5 each or five tickets for $20, will be available that day as well. There will also be a special prize awarded to the Best Dressed foursome.

But the fun and games are all for an important cause, a friend and community member in real need. Carlson lives in the Upper Carolina area of Coral Bay and his small home sustained serious damage in the wake of Tropical Storm Otto in 2010, which caused numerous landslides in his neighborhood, Willegerod explained.

“We had several landslides back in 2010 when Otto hit and the main one buried the back part of Dan’s house, which is really a small shack,” said Willegerod.

While Carlson has been dealing with the state of his home for years now, the seeds for the December 8 Coral Bay Open were planted a few months ago, Willegerod added.

“I picked Dan up a few months ago and I had known about his home and the landslide, but I didn’t know how bad things had gotten for him,” said Willegerod. “We were talking and he was telling me about his knee problems which had forced him to give up several jobs. And then when he went to get knee surgery, he discovered he needed heart surgery.”

Carlson, who is a veteran and gets free medical care from the VA, traveled to Puerto Rico in 2011 for a knee operation, Willegerod explained.

While being tested for that operation, however, it was discovered that he had serious heart problems and he underwent emergency heart surgery, Willegerod added.

“He ended up being in Puerto Rico for six or eight months with physical therapy,” said Willegerod. “The VA did pick up most of his bills, but when he came back home, he found that his shack had been totally ransacked.”

“What hadn’t been stolen was left on the floor, either devastated by water or termites,” he said. “He lost pretty much everything.”

Carlson eventually returned to Puerto Rico and had the knee surgery, Willegerod continued.

“Now he’s doing pretty good health-wise, but when I heard about how he is living and all that he went through, I really wanted to do something,” he said.

After discussing the issue with several friends including Ken, Rick and Derrick Yolman, the idea to host a Coral Bay Open matured.

Funds from the event will be used pay off the remainder of Carlson’s medical bills and purchase construction material to improve his home, Willegerod added.

For more information call Willegerod at 643-5313.