Hanrahan celebrates Christmas with a competitive tournament
For Joel Hanrahan, Christmas consists of family and a competitive tournament of “The Black Velvet Open”.
The tradition began last year on Christmas Day. The Black Velvet Open takes place in an indoor driving range in Iowa. The winner takes home a bottle of Black Velvet with a golfer on top and a black velvet jacket.
“I was the champion,” Hanrahan said. “And I wasn’t even playing with my clubs. I was playing with my brother’s clubs. It was pretty interesting. Everybody can swing a little bit. It varies as to who is good or who is not.”
The second annual Black Velvet tournament takes place on Sunday and Hanrahan plans to hold the title.
On what Christmas is like at the Hanrahan family household: “Basically Christmas is just a whole lot of family coming over — about 20 — and we sit around and eat. Since we moved back to Iowa in ’97, Christmas has always been in Iowa. We play a lot of cards. The past couple of years my uncle has played the guitar and gets us to sing Christmas carols. Let me tell you, it’s not pretty.”
On what he remembers about Christmas as a kid: “It was my brother and I, and a typical Christmas began with waking up around four or five in the morning. We didn’t bother waking our parents up. Mark was the first one up every time, and he would come knock on my door and wake me up. We then ran to our stockings and began going through everything we got. The rest of the day was spent playing with the toys.”
On what he was looking forward to this Christmas: “The main thing is having all the family there this year. My grandma is going to be there, too. My schedule is pretty hectic, so it’s hard to get much family time. I’m looking forward to getting into the snow a little bit since I don’t get much of that in Texas. This is also my first time having a serious girlfriend at Christmas, so she’ll be with me. We’re headed up to Iowa before Christmas, then flying out to Washington, D.C., and then going back to Iowa for Christmas Day. This will be the first time doing both families.”
On what Hanrahan been doing this offseason: “I’ve been down in Texas working out at Athletes Performance. We have a group of about 14 of us working out down there. I’ve been playing catch for two to three weeks now. Once the new year starts, it’s time to crank up and start throwing. The offseason is flying by, and it’s really going to go by quickly after the holidays. I’ll head to Florida for mini-camp and then up to Pittsburgh for the caravan.”