Wolf Bait

Most of you know that Wolf (or Wolf Hammer) is the Hack’s preferred golf betting game and yesterday, four (4) brave souls ventured into the wolf’s den at Cripple Creek to play. The weather was actually reasonable for early January with temperatures in the low 40’s, little wind, and cloudy skies. I played with only four (4) layers and a knit cap to keep the brain pouch warm as I walked the course.

The Senator, The Voice (guess who), and The Councilman joined your Hack around 11:30am on the first tee. Naturally, The Voice took charge and organized the game, grabbed the scorecard, announced the stakes, clarified handicaps, and returned to his cart to ponder how he could beat us out of a few bucks. After a nice drive and sand wedge to about 10 feet on #1, I was happy with my position when The Voice landed a wedge that stopped 2 feet from the pin. He announced – “Double!” – in that quiet melodic tone of his. The Senator and I declined the double, giving The Voice and The Councilman a quick dot.

After birdies, and then pars halved #2 and #3, we stood on the 4th tee with The Voice as Wolf. After a solid drive, I followed with laser to the right side of the fairway and was chosen as his partner for the hole and he announced “Double!” before the our opponents even hit. We were in great shape until I suddenly shanked a 6 iron out of bounds on my layup approach. [Regular readers know that your Hack has been struggling with the “hozzle” rocket pitchout off and on for a few months.] Triple! – our opponents announced and The Senator went on to make a nice par to win the hole for he and The Councilman. Ouch, I was now down 5 dots after only 5 holes.

After losing #6 to a par/net birdie from the Senator, I was able to be part of the winning side on #8 and #9 to trim the damage. The front ended with The Councilman up 4 dots, The Senator even, Hack down 2 dots, and The Voice down 4 dots.

Things began to get interesting on the second nine as your Hack hit a wedge to about 15 feet and had The Senator as his partner. Our opponents made par and the bet had been doubled before I putted. As I sometimes do, the birdie put was left almost 5 feet short – Triple! announced The Voice – and I pulled the par putt left. Bang – back to being down 6 dots and dragging The Senator with me. After pars halved #11, I drove the green on #12 and both my partner and I made birdie for the win. That led to four (4) straight wins over the subsequent holes which got me healthy.

There was a small controversy on #14 as, unknown to us on the tee, the flag had been moved to a temporary green location which substantially shortens the hole from a par 5 to a drive and chip, par 4. Usually the #5 handicap hole on the card, both The Councilman and The Voice would have stroked. The Senator was the Wolf on the tee and chose me as his partner after the other two (2) players yanked their tee shots into the marsh. Approaching our balls we finally noticed the temporary pin. Our opponents both found their balls in the marsh and were getting ready to play when the Senator, and rightly so, informed them that because of the substantially shortened hole, no handicap strokes would be allowed. A short and polite discussion (yeah right) occurred over the issue as The Senator made 3. The Voice made 4 and naturally thought he should be getting a stoke for a net 3 to halve the whole. I don’t think I played a round with these two (2) guys over the last couple of years that didn’t include some not so gentle banter between them. This round was no exception.

It was finally agreed on the next green (#15) that the strokes were not to be allowed and we moved to #16 with The Voice as Wolf because he was the most down – 4 units. The Senator was even, The Councilman was up 2 units, as was your Hack. The Wolf on the last 3 hole can increase the bet in order to win back some losses, or lose more of course. The Voice announced we’d be playing for 2 dots on #16 and I was his partner. Unfortunately, I 3-putted again and he couldn’t get up and down and the hole was halved.

#17 was played for 2 dots as well and everyone stroked except for me. After The Voice hit a weak snipe left of the first bunker, I hit a solid drive to the left edge of the fairway but getting no stroke, I wasn’t going to be chosen as his partner. The Senator hit a nice drive down the center and when chosen as The Voice’s partner, announced that he was “going Wolf” which automatically doubled the bet to 4 dots for the hole. However, he was playing against all three (3) of us. The Voice made a nice play from the rough to about 160 out and I knocked an iron to about 120 out. The Senator hit an indifferent hybrid that left him about 185 from the pin and we announced a double (raising the bet again to 8 dots for the hole) and The Senator took the bait.

Bad move – when the Senator left his approach about 15 yards short and right, The Voice and I both hit the green and were with 25 feet for birdie. The Councilman was also on the green, but laying 4. The Senator needed an up and down and both of us to miss our birdie puts or he was in a world of hurt. We missed, but so did he – The Senator was now down 24 units going to the 18th tee.

Once again, everyone stroked on the 18th hole except for me. The Councilman was my partner and we both hit good drives. After The Senator hit his second shot just short of the green and The Councilman hit his short and left in the rough, our opponents doubled the bet. I only had 150 yards to the pin, but pulled my 8 iron just off the putting surface left. I had to make about a 20 foot put from the collection area to make birdie and get the half as I knew The Senator would get up and down for a par/net birdie. I rolled the put over the left edge of the hole for a tp in par, but The Senator continued with his proper short game and sank the winner from about 3 feet.

The Voice was the biggest winner, cashing in on #17 and #18 to walk away up 12 units. The Senator was able to cut his losses to 16 units, while The Councilman and your Hack each won 2 units for the day.

Before we end today’s ramblings, I want to show you a picture that was sent to our Green Committee this morning. It seems some idiot with a pull cart decided it was too much of a hassle to push his cart around the green when it’s so much easier to just roll it right across, in winter when the grass does not easily recover.

Trolley Marks on #2 Green

Similar tracks were left on hole #4 and hole #12 as well. My preference for punishment would be the stocks and rotten tomatoes, but alas we do not yet know which of our members is responsible. I would further add that the number of ball marks that look un-repaired on our greens has grown substantially this year as well. Increased play due to the “Vid” quarantine is undoubtedly to blame for the increased damage, but our members need to do better. Fix you mark and several more – every time you play. And for God’s sake keep your push carts off the green! There, end of rant.

You Hack is hoping to play tomorrow, but it looks even colder than yesterday and they are expecting 20-25 MPH winds from the north/northwest. It’ll definitely be a game day decision.

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