The third annual Tito’s Shorties Classic will feature a new spin for the fun pitch and putt charity event. They’re playing a 9-hole Tito’s Texas Team Skins match, filmed at Butler Pitch and Putt in downtown Austin, Tx.
There will be three teams, but not like they’ve done in the past. This time, three PGA Tour pros will team up with the Bob Does Sports social media personalities to give fans a fun start to the WM Phoenix Open week.
The Tito’s Shorties Classic will air on Golf Channel on Feb. 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET. Hally Leadbetter will join the group to give commentary as they show the world how fun golf can be.
Joel Dahmen, Harry Higgs and Keith Mitchell will each have a partner as they’re playing for their respected charities.
Higgs and Nick Stubb, better known as Fat Perez, are partnered. Mitchell and Robby Berger are a pair. Dahmen will join Joesph Demare, aka Joey Cold Cuts, to round out the trio.
It’s Dahmen’s third time playing in the Tito’s Shorties Classic.
Playing Through caught up with the PGA Tour winner for an exclusive interview to discuss how he and Joey Cold Cuts are ready to battle.
“I’ve been a big fan of them [Bob Does Sports] for a long time, and anytime you add Harry Higgs and Keith Mitchell into a situation, it’s going to be pretty darn fun. I’m excited for everyone to get to watch it.”
This should be must watch television.
“I know Cold Cuts is known for his meltdowns at times and maybe some of his antics,” Dahmen said. “Maybe not the strongest golfer of the crew. I know Fat Perez is a very good player. So, I think we’re going to have to do a lot of trash-talking on our end. We’re gonna have to bring some vibes.”
Each team will raise money for a charity of the PGA Tour pro’s choosing. Higgs and Fat Perez’s charity is Fore the Kids Foundation. Mitchell and Berger will play for the Nantz National Alzheimer Center while Dahmen and Cold Cuts are playing for the Dahmen Family Foundation.
Joel Dahmen gives back to the game that gave him everything
The former Washington Husky and his wife created their foundation in January 2023.
“The game of golf has given me and my family so much that we have a platform now, and we wanted to give back,” Dahmen said. “Golf has given me everything that I have, so it’s a way to give back and, hopefully, grow the game of golf.”
There are two things they raise money for — junior golf and donating to cancer research.
“We’re going to give back to juniors who need help with equipment or getting into tournaments — helping out local high schools and helping out high schools in the area where I grew up,” Dahmen explained. “Donate plenty back to cancer research, and we’re going to try to help families struggling with cancer and need the extra help.”
That is obviously something that is very personal to the 36-year-old.
While in high school, Dahmen’s mother, Jolyn, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Sadly she passed away one year later. But the ugly disease that affects everyone was not done with him.
Six years later, Dahmen himself was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He has openly spoken about that difficult time, detailing the new perspective he gained on life. Thankfully, he beat the disease and now through events like the Tito’s Shorties Classic gives back to those in need.
Tito’s Shorties Classic Format
Dahmen and Cold Cuts are playing for the lion’s share of $350,000. There is also a shot at an extra $100,000 if someone makes a hole-in-one.
First place will win $200,000, second place takes home $100,000, and third place will have $50,000 to donate. This is the biggest purse since they began Tito’s Shorties Classic.
They’re playing a Skins Game format for the third annual event. On Holes 1-2, they are worth 1 skin per hole. For the third and fourth holes, they are worth 2 skins. Holes 5-6 are worth 3 skins each, 7-8 are 4 skins apiece, and the 9th will be worth 5 skins.
With the Dahmen Family Foundation a little over a year old, any donation helps, so taking home a minimum of $50,000 or upwards of $300,000 is massive for them.
“In our first year, we did well raising money for the family foundation, but this would be a huge contribution,” Dahmen said. “That $200,000 would go a long way. It would mean a lot for me and my wife.”
Joel Dahmen encourages growing the game by having fun
Dahmen’s mantra is to have fun, but he wants to participate in events like this because he wants to show people that golf is for anyone.
He knows how robotic the Tour players can come across when they’re playing tournaments, so playing in tournaments like this allows fans to see more of the player’s personalities.
“The game of golf is just really fun. I love playing with my buddies,” Dahmen said. “I think it’s just a good way to have fun with the game of golf — make a bunch of money for charity.”
“Let the world… know that we like to have fun too. We can have a couple of drinks. We listen to music. We’re like the weekend golfers at home when we’re not playing tour events. This is what we do. I would say that we’re actually fun, too.”
He is passionate about growing the game of golf. As a sport that is thriving coming out of the pandemic, Dahmen wants everyone to know golf doesn’t need to be traditional and stuffy.
“This is bringing in a wider range of audience,” Dahmen said. “We’re trying to get a younger group involved. With it being held at Butler Pitch and Putt in Austin — this is just a fun little environment. It’s a par 3 golf course. Anyone can play — it’s accessible.”
With it held at a par-3 course, it also shows fans a different element of the game. These courses cater to everyone.
“It’s cheaper than a normal round of golf than going to these bigger, fancier clubs,” he said. “We’re bringing in a younger, fun version saying, ‘Hey, golf is affordable. Golf can be fun.’ You can play a round of golf in an hour — that’s just great. You don’t have to spend four or five hours or hundreds of dollars playing golf. There are other ways to do it that are more fun and more accessible for everyone.”
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.