Fifth Annual Runaway Open

09/04/2020 - 09/07/2020 11:55 PM ET


The Fifth Annual Runaway Open (5RO) will be a single-round, 18-hole, virtual tournament played at your leisure over Labor Day weekend (Friday the 4th through Monday the 7th), at the course of your choosing, from over 35,000 listed worldwide.

We want to keep alive our tradition of a charity golf tournament for Phish fans over Labor Day weekend, enjoying golf and remembering the cause of music education for children, while still keeping everyone safe. So, while the offering comes at the 11th hour, we trust that some of you are planning to hit some balls this weekend, anyway. You might as well register your play with other Phish fans, and join in the weekend of remembering Dick's gone by and celebrating the interests that we continue to share. We'll even provide a private feed for tournament registrants, so that you can follow how other fans are doing, worldwide and all weekend.

Registration is free, and participation is donation-suggested, since you will be responsible for your greens and cart fees. (And we're obviously not serving coffee, lunch, or beverages this year, though encourage you to employ all three.)  We also won't have sponsors or contests this year. However, participants who donate $50 or more (per player, if in a group) as part of their registration will be sent a gift bag of limited-edition commemorative items branded with the Runaway Open logo and only available to those who register and donate prior to midnight on Tuesday the 8th, including a performance-quality comfort-fit visor, a two-ply face mask (jersey cotton inside, moisture resistant polyester outside), and a sleeve of Calloway Warbird 2.0 golf balls.


To qualify you must play and post one round at an 18-hole course of your choosing between Friday September 4, 2020, and Monday September 7, 2020 (inclusive). Please pick a course with a par of 70 to 72 (no "executive" or 3-par courses, and no putt-putt).

Submit your scores before Tuesday the 8th, through the tournament page in the 18Birdies app. Complete instructions, including links to download the app, will be provided upon registration though this site. Use of the app is free, though premium subscription offers some training, feedback, and recommendation options.

The tournament format will be individual stroke play. Previous Runaway Opens have been a modified shamble, and you might be playing with others - but please score everyone separately, without any shared balls or strokes.


Scoring will be without handicaps, as in previous Runaway Open events. (However, we welcome thoughts regarding the optional Peoria System, which we may use next year given variability in handicap awareness. And don't forget that while our volunteer Tournament Director grew up across from a 2nd tee box, he hasn't played golf since he was 11 so may well be clueless. He just puts these together so you'll have fun and remember music education.)

The app that we'll be using, 18Birdies, will normalize the scores from the golf courses using the slope and ratings of the courses, and resolve any ties using the USGA Recommended method. Persistent ties will be settled by most birdies, and then (if needed) by whoever made the first birdie in their round. If there are still ties, just share the bragging rights; you don't have to mention that it was a third degree tie.

Tournament admins reserve the right to contest and/or disqualify any questionable or suspect rounds. And, yes, we mean you. Yes, you.


Players in the 4th Runaway Open, 8/31/19For your safety and the safety of others, please maintain and respect the social distancing guidelines provided by your course, locality, and state - and feel free to be even more careful, if your course, locality, and/or state are hesitant about social distancing guidelines.

Please post a selfie of you and/or your team on the course on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, with the hashtag #runawayopen, and tag Mockingbird - or email it to [email protected] and he'll get it up for you. (He's terrible at golf, but okay with a keyboard.)

Please share this event page anywhere and everywhere you can, to help pull people together during this difficult time, and to help others get some more joy out of this weekend, and their game.

And, of course.. hit 'em long and straight.