John O’Hurley

John O’Hurley is best known for his portrayal of J. Peterman on “Seinfeld.”

Actor John O’Hurley knows the Scottsdale Airpark well. 

He was the Xerox spokesman when the company sponsored the Phoenix Open. He’s also a celebrity ambassador for Childhelp. 

“I will tell you the most embarrassing thing happened to me one of the years when Xerox sponsored the Phoenix Open,” said O’Hurley, who played J. Peterman on “Seinfeld.” 

He was playing in a peripheral tournament when he tore his pants from “stem to stern,” he recalled. Wearing black pants, he had to play the rest of it with his “tighty whities” showing.

O’Hurley is helping the Airpark – and the world – once again. This time it’s not so embarrassing.

 He’s hosting a virtual video game golf tournament experience July 26-Aug. 1 to benefit the victims of child abuse and neglect. For information, call Childhelp at 480-922-8212.

Players can see how their golf skills stack up against celebrities playing the video game Ultimate Golf (available free in App Store). 

In addition to O’Hurley, stars playing include MLB’s Ken Griffey Jr., musicians Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper, Food Network chef Guy Fieri, and more in the Childhelp Ultimate Golf VIP Royale.

Ultimate Golf is a simple game to play where each player is completely independent of an opponent and winning depends on gameplay skills. Registration is free and for a small donation, players will get in-game items, such as a custom ball that has enhancements.

All proceeds will go to support Childhelp.

Childhelp is an internationally respected nonprofit and the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect and at-risk children. 

It has made significant progress toward its mission of helping victims of child abuse and neglect through prevention, intervention and treatment.

“I’ve been one of Childhelp’s celebrity ambassadors for, probably, 12 years now,” he said. “I have spearheaded a lot of their fund raising and several of my events throughout the year.”

“I had a golf tournament in the Palm Springs area,” he said. “We had it every year at Porcupine Creek. We raised an unbelievable amount of money. They made a decision to turn that into a resort out there. We lost our golf course and tournament. This is when the idea of a virtual online golf tournament came to us. With this, the possibilities are unlimited.”

O’Hurley calls the star players just a bunch of his friends. 

“I put my arms around a large and loyal group of friends,” said O’Hurley, calling from a golf course in Vermont, where he has a summer home. 

“Golf, that’s my sport. I met my wife (Lisa Mesloh) playing golf. She was a top golfer for Baylor University, as well as in high school. Her father is quite an accomplished golfer and had a career as a golf course manager for many, many years. I’ve played in so many celebrity invitationals during my 40 years of playing.”

He has a summer home in Vermont, but the Valley is important to O’Hurley, too, as his wife’s parents reside here. 

“I love it there,” he said. “I’ve developed some very, very close friends over the years. Alice Cooper is a dear, dear friend. I work with Alice on his fundraising for the Solid Rock Foundation. 

“He’s one of my favorite people. That man has a heart of gold and nobody has done more for the world of rock ‘n’ roll and disadvantaged children.”

On “Seinfeld,” O’Hurley played J. Peterman, a fictionalized version of catalog-company entrepreneur John Peterman, from 1995 until the show’s end in 1998. O’Hurley invested in the relaunch of The J. Peterman Company and since 1999, has been a part-owner and member of the board of directors.

O’Hurley’s character on “Seinfeld” was similar to him – possessing a gift of gab with an edge of sarcasm and self-deprecation. When a fictional character “dies,” J. Peterman shares at the funeral how much he will miss “Susie.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget Susie,” he said. “Most of all, I will never forget that one night, working late on the catalog, just the two of us and we surrendered to temptation – and it was pretty good.”

As the head of the magazine in Peterman’s absence, Elaine had her ups and downs, but the company didn’t fold. His response? “Kudos Elaine, on a job …done.”