Twelve of us gathered at the Creek yesterday for our regular Wednesday game. Because your Hack has fallen in love with Simon’s carryover skins game, we played it again. The first 14 holes were worth $10 each, while the final 4 holes were $25 each. We played at 80% of GHIN handicaps with strokes based off my cap. With $240 in the pot, we teed off under sunny skies with a mild breeze and temps in the 50’s. The greens were the fastest we’d seen at the Creek in months and “someone” from the grounds crew had a fight with his spouse that morning and put some of the pins in crazy hard spots.
The lead group consisted of the Voice, Trust Fund, yours truly, and a blast from the past. The Broker, an old friend re-joined Cripple Creek and was our fourth. The Broker hasn’t played much golf over the past couple of years – busy with two young boys and a hectic mortgage business – so he was allowed to play at his old 10 handicap. Hey, he’s a degenerate gambler on course, so he was warmly welcomed. The Broker and I teamed up in a Nassau with auto 2-downs against the Voice and Trust Fund to keep things interesting.
My partner made a nice steady par on #1 to beat our opponents’ bogeys and we went 1 up. Your Hack rolled in a curling 15 footer for birdie on #2 to beat Trust Fund’s par and we were 2 up and even. It was a nice start, but the Voice doesn’t even get interested until there are presses in play. After halving #3 with pars, I sprayed a drive OB right and the Voice made par to beat the bogey made by my partner. He followed with a bogey, net par on #5 when I couldn’t get up and down from the front left bunker and if was now even, down 2, and even.
The Broker and I were in good shape on #6 sitting in the fairway between 140 and 150 out. Both of our opponents missed the green and we both made 2-putt pars. Both opponents missed 5-6 footers for par. We were now 1 up, even, and 1 up going to the par 3 eighth. Unfortunately, I decided to 3-putt the 8th after being the only player to hot the green. The Voice made a gutsy 4 out of an embedded lie in the hazard in front of the green. #8 was also halved and we went in to the last hole on the front in good shape.
It would come down to me and the Trust Fund on #9 as both our partners made a mess of things and were out of the hole. I was sitting about 15 feet right of the pin and he was on the back fringe, down hill all the way. Remember what I’d said earlier about the greens? Well, he proceeded to roll his ball past the hole at a pace that carried it off the green again. He was still out, about 20 feet below the pin and it looked like we’d win the front 3 ways until the stone cold assassin drained it! I left my birdie putt on the left edge and another hole was halved, but we’d one the front 1 up and the 2 pushes cancelled.
It turned out when we tabulated the skins after the round that my birdie on #2 picked up 2 skins and that the remaining 7 skins on the front were all carried over. More on that later.
On the back nine our Nassau bet doubles, but the value of any presses remains at the original amount. We’d never get to the point on the back where a press came into play – it was a solid and stressful match. Holes 10-12 were halved with pars when the Broker jammed a birdie putt into the cup on #4 for a 1 up lead. The Voice matched that with a beautiful birdie on the par 5, 14th hole. He hit his wedge to about 6 feet and rolled it in. I was out of the hole after hitting another drive OB right and my partner also made a double.
We were back even until I made an up and down par on #16 that our opponents couldn’t match. 1 up and 2 holes to go, but our opponents each got strokes on the last 2 holes. The Voice and I both made par on #17, but they took the hole with his net birdie and we went into the last hole all square on the back. The Broker also stroked on the last hole and was on in two, but deep into the green with a front pin. Both of our opponents missed the green, as did I. Luckily, I was able to get up and down for par, but my partner 3-putted and their bogey, net pars halved the hole.
Overall, it was a great match and lots of fun. I still hate giving strokes on the last 2 holes of the course, but that’s the Hack life.
Let’s get back to the carryover birdie games among the whole group. The carryovers continued on the front 9 until the Broker’s birdie on #13 cleared and he picked up 11 skins. Hurricane slammed a birdie home on #16 to pick up 3 skins and the Senator made a late appearance with a par, net birdie on #18 to pick-up the last 2 skins of the day.
All in, a great day. Golf game was shaky at times with 2 balls OB and only 8 greens in regulation. I did have only 1 3-putt on some tough greens, but 31 putts in total. Here’s my card.
Our next planned game in Friday. I’m currently watching the Masters on 3 screens while writing this blog. Nothing could be better. The Masters’ app is awesome.