Players arrived earlier than usual so most had time for both breakfast and warm-up before Michael Franzen, the new priest at the Swedish Church in Florida, greeted everyone, blessed the tournament and wished all the players best of luck.
On the course, the teams played well tee to green, both thanks to solid swings and the mulligan cards which sold exceptionally well at check-in. Putting remained a challenge because of Jacaranda’s tricky greens as well as mulligans not applying to putts. Still, team scores were better than ever.
The players encountered many fun activities throughout the round. In addition to the standard Longest and Straightest Drive and Closest-to-the-Pin competitions, they teed up marshmallows and tried to make a 60-foot putt. And, of course, they tried to win a Volvo XC90 by making a hole-in-one on hole 3.
Moreover, thanks to the help from Swedish elite college golfers Paulina Bergbom and Rebecka Holmström, the tournament players had the chance to both “beat” the pro as well as “hire” a pro. Paulina and Rebecka received much praise and proved very difficult to beat but good to hire.
After the round, lunch was served in the ballroom, as usual prepared very nicely by Jacaranda and featuring the taste of Sweden with Ikea’s cured salmon and princess pastries. As players were getting seated, Michael Franzen welcomed everyone with a toast to celebrate the event and thank the sponsors.
The highlight of the award ceremony was Martha Norelid presenting Jan Norelids Trophy to the team with the lowest team score. This year’s winners, Team Subsea Global Solutions beat Team Cement-it with a lower gross score after having tied with net scores of 48, the lowest score on record, and Team Kiomex came in third. These teams all received stylish candle holders from Orrefors Kosta Boda, and the winners won a foursome and champagne at Jacaranda while the runner-ups each received putter grips from SwitchGrips.
Prizes for hole competitions were also awarded. This was a lot of fun, especially for the winners. Max Rothstein won “Longest Drive” (310 yards) on hole 10; Jan Schiavone hit the “Straightest Drive” on hole 5 (6 inches off the line); Aaron Silverman won “Closest to the Pin (3 inches from hole) on hole 17; Joe Olsenwon the Marshmallow Challenge (55 yards); Hans Lind won the putting contest (6 inches), and Filippa Reading and Maggie Armbrust tied for “Best Dressed Hole.”
The event wrapped up with Michael and Susanne Franzen raffling some of the best prizes all day: among others, a night at Pelican Beach Resort, a foursome at Grande Oaks, gift cards and products from Ikea, and many other fine door prizes found their lucky winners.
As players were taking their time leaving, there was much praise for Jacaranda, especially Mike Maalouf and Mike Reed who run the course and catering, respectively. The church’s golf tournament committee was happy the event ran smoothly and has already started plans for making next year’s tournament even better.
A group of players reflected on the importance of finding more time to get together outside the office to meet people and build relationships, which happened throughout this day at Jacaranda. That’s what this tournament is all about — bringing people together for a fun day of golf with the bonus of its proceeds benefiting the Swedish Church.

Written by Swedish Church in Florida’s special golf correspondent
Photos by Petra Graeff and Julio Ohep