Super Swingers

We may be saucy spectators at the FBR Open, but LPGA golfer and Phoenix resident Carin Koch says she's never had any hecklers here. If she did, she says she would "probably tell them to go away or stop it." Well, that beats a golf club to the head.

Koch, along with the majority of the LPGA tour's top money earners, will compete at the Safeway International Golf Tournament at Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club, 8000 Club Village Drive in the Gold Canyon area. She'll vie for a $1.4 million purse in a field that includes players like Annika Sorenstam and 15-year-old wonder kid Michelle Wie (pictured). The tournament will be televised on the Golf Channel, and ticket proceeds benefit Arizona charities.

The golf tournament takes place Monday, March 14, through Sunday, March 20. Single-day tickets are $20, and children 17 and younger are admitted free. Call 602-495-4653 or visit -- Niki D'Andrea

Athletes' Feat
Run and smell the flowers at scenic marathon

SUN 3/13
Besides getting a killer case of runner's high, participants in the Valley of the Sun Marathon on Sunday, March 13, can score a gander at the breathtaking scenery of the East Valley, as the 26.2-mile course winds its way from Usery Mountain Park to Red Mountain High School, 7301 East Brown in Mesa. Run amok starting at 6:15 a.m. Registration is available on Saturday, March 12, at Mesa Rendezvous Center, 236 North Center, with fees of $75 for the marathon, $55 for the half-marathon, $180 for four-person relay, and $23 for a three-mile fun run. See -- Benjamin Leatherman

Ball Busters
Take aim at Winter Games

Size doesn't matter -- honest -- at least this weekend, when you can launch big and small balls at the Grand Canyon State Winter Games playing two sports many haven't enjoyed since elementary school. Sting your opponents -- and dissipate the week's stress -- by hurling rubber balls in rousing games of dodgeball, an obscure sport riding a recent wave of Hollywood-induced hype. Adding to the party atmosphere, tournament finalists receive promotional photographs autographed by cast members of Dodgeball movie fame. The battles are held Friday, March 11, through Sunday, March 13, at 24 Hour Fitness, 97 South Val Vista in Gilbert. If dodgeball seems a tad too violent, instead opt for table tennis. The competition is just as intense but usually less painful. The ping-ponging takes place Saturday, March 12, and Sunday, March 13, at the Arizona Recreation Center for the Handicapped, 1550 West Colter. Call 480-497-4424 (dodgeball) or 602-678-1234 (table tennis). -- Douglas Towne

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea
Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.
Douglas Towne