Cripple Creek, Golf

Bookends Baby! Catching Up on a Sunday

Rain, rain and more rain. We got our Friday game in before it literally dumped rain on the Creek overnight and more rain and wind hit us on Saturday. Of course, the course was closed Saturday after that thrashing and our 3 Man Holiday Step Away Scramble has been postponed until next Saturday.

Your Hack was slightly depressed (thinking about writing up his summary of the Friday match) and then got this email early today from the Creek’s Pro.

Sunday December 6, 2020
The storm that effected our area Friday night into Saturday morning dropped just under 4 inches of rain at the club.  There was standing water everywhere throughout the course, and while some of that has receded, we continue to have large areas under water.  As you can imagine the ground is totally saturated and needs more time to dry out before allowing any play or practice to resume.  Therefore the course and practice areas will remain closed ALL DAY today (Sunday).  

So great, nothing left to do but collect my thoughts, blog a little, place some bets on the final round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic and take a chance on the Browns at +5. I’ve got tickets on Justin Thomas (+700), and Viktor Hovland (+275) that I bet live this morning before the start of play. Max Homa had a strong day yesterday and was at +50000 to win. Why not take a $5 flyer to win $2,500? I’ll probably find out this evening why not, but I did.

Walking the course this morning from 8am to 9am, I took a few videos of the large amount of water being moved around via the club’s irrigation system. It was pretty impressive. There were also some spots of deep standing water on #4, especially to the left between the approach to the green and the 8th tee. It was a good thing the course was closed.

Fronting the 17th Green
Pond Between 6th Fairway and 7th Green

Prior to the walk, I spotted a little friend crossing the 15th fairway in back of our rental and searching along the natural area for a bite of breakfast. Giving up, he calmly crossed the 16th fairway and onto the vacant lot adjacent to the 16th green. Here’s my little buddy – actually not so little for a fox in this area.

iPhone is not so Great at Distance.

So, I mentioned earlier that I was slightly depressed thinking about writing up my Friday match. I’ve struggled to explain how I could make 3 birdies, be 2 over par for the round on the 14th tee and manage to limp in with an 80, lose the team match, lose a Nassau 1 down to the Senator and lose a back 9 team bet to Hagen & the Senator. Then it hit me – I’m so unbelievably inconsistent that I really am The Golf Hack.

Bookends Baby!

Our Friday game was Bookends. Two (2) or four (4) net on all holes except the bookends – #1, #9, #10, & #18 – where all four (4) balls count. Good game selection by Mr. Robel’ whose text popped into my phone that morning announcing the game format:

11:00 Dewey6-Martin12-Hudson(council)10-Donnelly9
11:10 Robel7-Browne12-Horton11-Boteler9
11:20 Baxter5-Cummings8-Hastings12-Hagen9
Bookends- 2 of 4 on all holes except 1-9-10-18 all 4 on those holes
$80 front nine
$80 back nine
$50 gross skins
$30 net skins

Weather was “not bad” for December 4th with temperatures in the mid to high 50’s and 13 mpg winds from the southwest. The weather wasn’t the problem.

We were the last group out and “Senator” Cummings and I decided to add some spice by playing a $20 Nassau with automatic 2-down presses. Hagen was trying to “relax” and “de-stress” by not playing for money so our anticipated Wolf match did not happen. The Senator and I just kind of rolled our eyes and knew this wouldn’t last long.

Your Hack started off with a bad 3-putt on #1, followed by a worse 4-putt on #2 and was two (2) down and even on the first press. No the best start being 3 over after just two (2) holes. I was able to par the next couple and then hit a wedge to 2 feet on #5 to bring the Nassau to even, 2 up and even. After another 3-putt on #8, I was 1 down, 1 up, and 1 down going into #9. Another birdie allowed me to halve the front, win a press, halve the 2nd press and go into the back nine even on the match. I felt like had been through battle and the Senator was playing well.

The team of Dewey, Doc Martin, Councilman, and the Trust Fund blitzed the other two group on the front coming in with a 5-under Bookends score. We and the Mr. Robel’ team were not even close. This would continue on the back as the Dewey team was 4-under and took the back as well.

On the 10th tee, Hagen decided that he was sufficiently relaxed that he proposed a back nine match pairing himself with the Senator and your Hack with Hurricane Hastings. I should have know better than to accept, but I’m not the smartest punter out there.

The Senator continued his solid play making birdie on #11 which I countered on #12 with a birdie of my own. After both making pars on #13 we remained all square on the back and the match. On #14, I had a chance to pull ahead after my second shot ended up pin high in the pine straw on the right and the Senator was lying 3 in the swale to the right of the green. Unfortunately, I made a bad pitch followed by an even worse chip and missed my par putt – another half.

The final meltdown started on #15 with two (2) straight drives OB (the Big Right Miss times two!) 1 down to the Senator and he stroked on the last to holes of the match. I had a chance on both #17 and #18 to get the match back to even and possibly win, but I 3-putted both and lost to the Senator 1 down on the back and match. The final insult was pulling my first putt on #18 so badly that I actually hit the Senator’s golf ball sitting on the fringe. Those two (2) 3 putts also cost Hurricane and I the back nine match versus Hagen and the Senator.

As I stated earlier, Dewey’s team ran away with all the money in the Bookends game. Dewey also won $30 in skins and Doc Martin pocketed another $40. I was lucky enough to have one of my birdies clear for a skin as well. Otherwise, it was a “payout” day for your Hack.

All kidding aside, I’m generally happy with the way I’m hitting the ball and just need to continue to work on my putting and short game. I’m also realizing that I’m not finishing well – throwing too many shots away on the last 3 to 4 holes of each recent round. Focus I would guess is the issue and I’m really looking forward to getting on the course again on Wednesday. That assumes the weather holds!

A final sad note from Cripple Creek. Our dear friend Pat McRae passed away this weekend. I’m deeply saddened by this news as Pat was a tremendous man, a great friend, and an inspiration to all who knew him. My thoughts go out his is wife Patsy and their children and families. Pat – your humor and friendship will be missed by all of us at the Creek.

Cripple Creek, Golf

When No Lead is Large Enough

Wednesday’s weather was not the most welcoming when we hit the practice tee for our weekly game. Temperatures were in the low 40’s and the wind was blowing pretty steadily from the north. So steady in fact that Steve decided to bail after a few warm-up shots – more on this later. That left us with six (6) players, so maybe it was not so bad that he left.

There were not a lot of golfers on the course, so we decided to play as one group, a six-some if you will. We elected a Modified Pinehurst format, also called Scotch Foursomes. Competition in this format is comprised of 2-man teams, each hitting a shot off the tee, selecting the best one and playing alternate shot until the ball is holed. We decided on a small $10 bet per player, so the winning team would win $30 each. Dividing up by handicaps, your Hack paired with Dave Horton against the Senator and the Councilman, and against Dewey and Boteler.

Cripple Creek has been partially converted for winter play. All the tee markers have been moved to the front edge of each tee and temporary tees (mats) put in place on each of the par 3’s and hole #1. This is done to protect the tees during the winter when grass cannot be grown. The final winter modification will come in a few weeks when a temporary green will be placed at the end of the 14th fairway and the green closed for play.

Getting used to the format, the wind, and the cold each team bogeyed the first two (2) holes. On #3, your Hack hit gap wedge to about 6 feet, the Senator flew a wedge about 8 feet above the hole, and Dewey knocked his ball to about 20 feet left of the pin. Our partners putted, but only Horton was able to convert and we made birdie to take the lead by one shot. Following pars on 4 of the next 5 holes, we were able to extend our lead to 3 over Dewey/Boteler and 4 over Senator/Councilman. Each team bogeyed #9 and we made the turn 3 over – still in the lead.

Horton and I played steady over the stretch from #10 through #13 making 4 pars while Dewey/Boteler added another bogey and Senator/Councilman faltered with a bogey and a double. Your Hack’s team now had a 4 shot lead and we were coming into the par 5, #14 which I’d reached in two (2) shots in the previous two (2) rounds. While my drive bounced of the block foundation of the last house on the right and ricocheted back into the fairway (another “big right miss”), Horton hit a nice drawing tee shot that bounded just across the cart path that crosses the fairway about 185 yards from the green. We used Dave’s drive of course, and I hit a nice 6 iron to about 15 feet left of the pin. After a 2-putt birdie, we extended our lead, were 2 over for the day and feeling unbeatable with 4 holes left to play.

We made a bad bogey on #15 but followed it up with Dave draining a terrific 10 foot putt for birdie on #16. Dewey/Boteler continued to play steady making par after par on the front, but they remained 5 shots back with only 2 holes to play. The Senator/Councilman team continued to struggle making an ugly double on #16 and were basically wanting the round to end before one of them got hurt.

This is the part of the story where weird things begin to happen. We were sitting 120 yards from the pin on the par 5, 17th hole when your Hack made the worst swing of the day and pulled a pitching wedge way left and into the water. Horton had been so confident, that he was already up beside the green when I had to call him back to play his shot across the hazard after taking a penalty drop. Both of our opponents were on the green in regulation and we were hitting 5. Dave took a drop and promptly dunked his ball into the hazard after hitting the greatest “chunk” shot ever. Another penalty drop for us after which it hit a sand wedge to about 6 feet below the hole and David made the stressful putt for an 8 – a triple bogey. Dewey/Boteler made their par and our lead had dropped to 2 shots with one hole to play.

Although we still felt comfortable on the 18th tee, dropping 3 shots on the prior hole was definitely on everyone’s mind. I hit a good drive into the middle of the fairway, about 180 years out, but Dave’s approach was about 10 yards short of the green. No problem, it was an easy chip for me and Dewey/Boteler were way left hitting their third the green. Evidently it was a problem because Dewey hit a beautiful pitch to about 7 feet and your Hack stubbed his chip to the front fringe. Horton missed and left me with a 6 foot come back putt, while Boteler smoothly knocked his 7 footer in for yet another par. Of course, I missed the come back putt and we made double bogey losing the 2 shot lead and ending the match tied with Dewey/Boteler.

Evidently, your Hack is not much of a pressure player – even in a small $10 match. Horton and I shot 40 on the back to the Dewey/Boteler one over 37. As I said in the opening, evidently no lead is large enough when your Hack is involved.

All in, the modified Pinehurst match was a fun way to play on a cold and windy day. All six (6) of us had a great time and we headed into the bar for the draw party to setup teams for this Saturday’s 3 Man Step Away Holiday Scramble. During the draw, Steve (who’d bailed from our match on the practice tee) showed up after “smashing” (his words) the casino in Ocean City while we played. Congrats on the win Steve – bring that cash to the course this weekend!

We have 17 3-man teams for the step away on Saturday. Your Hack is partnered with Buddy Bromley and Frank Miranda. Let’s go!

Cripple Creek, Golf

Thanksgiving Weekend Golf

We were lucky to play both the Friday and Sunday after Thanksgiving in beautiful weather. It was sunny with temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s and mild winds. Today is another story – it’s pouring outside, coastal flood alerts, thunderstorms are coming, and Cripple Creek is closed for the day. I guess it’s a day to update the blog, play online poker at Pokerstars with some of my boys, and generally sit on my ass. It’s raining so hard, our dog – Bogey – won’t go outside. And now, let’s talk about the weekend golf.

FRIDAY MATCHES

We had 12 players in our team matches on Friday – playing best 2 of 4 net and Skins. Your Hack was paired with Pip, Jimmy D., and Hurricane Hastings. We were joined by a portly, older gentleman that many of you know as the Sheriff. Although we played as a 5-some, we were behind several groups of slower players, so we had no issue keeping up the pace. To make things interesting, the Sheriff and I played a better ball match against Pip and Jimmy D. $10 Nassau, automatic 2 down presses, and Junk.

Our 2nd group featured a grudge match between the Senator and Hagen against Mike Nangle and Scott Haines. After the beating they took in their recent Myrtle Beach trip over the Masters’ weekend, Nangle and Haines were looking for blood.

The final group featured Decker and his son (who was visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday), Dewey and Ryan, our assistant Pro. To add to the excitement, your Hack and Pip had an additional team bet against Dewey and Ryan for the lowest overall better ball score. Sometimes, you just have to keep things interesting.

Friday’s Scorecard

Judging by the scorecard above, your Hack must have had some intuition about his play that morning. I posted my best round in the past couple of months. Sitting 2 under par after the first 4 holes, I was sitting in the middle of the fairway on #5 with a 7 iron into the green, thinking I was going low. They say you shouldn’t think ahead when playing and “they” were right as usual. After a 7-iron that refused to draw, I ended up in the right bunker, bladed the next over the green, hit an indifferent chip and 2-putted for a double. Your Hack further lived up to his name by double bogeying #7 and #8, finishing the front with a 39 (4 over par) – six (6) dropped shots in five (5) holes. Typical Hack stuff.

Luckily, the Sheriff covered me on a couple of the double bogey holes and we won the front 2 up in our match against Jimmy D. and Pip. Our foursome only stood 1 under in the best 2 of 4 match. You might think I was a little frustrated and you’d be right.

As the back nine began, I was able to right the ship with four (4) straight pars, but we remained even in our Nassau as Pip and Jimmy D. matched us hole for hole. Things were about to change however. Going for broke on #14, I hit a drive from the up tees on the par 5 that made it across the cart path and was only 185 from the green. A nice 5 iron left me about 25 feet for eagle, which to my astonishment I made. Another up tee on #15 let me get within 15 yards of the green with my drive – a nice chip and tap in for birdie brought me back to only 1 over for the day and up 2 on the back in our Nassau match.

I let it slip again with bogeys on the last 2 holes – both from the fairway – and ended with a 74. The Sheriff and I won the Nassau 3 ways, lost a final press, and ended with six (6) pieces of Trash. Pip and I also won our match against Dewey and Ryan, but out team only ended at 9 under for the best 2 of 4 team match.

The Senator and Hagen destroyed their opponents, mostly on the strength of the Senator’s fine play. He shot 76 and also led his team to an 11 under score to take the overall team match. Hagen, Nangle and your Hack were able to win skins as well.

SUNDAY MATCHES

With only nine (9) players on Sunday, we went out in threesomes and played individual Stableford again at 80% of handicaps, rounded down. Your Hack, Senator Cummings and Steve Hagen went out first and added a $2 – Nine (9) Point game to the gamble within our threesome. The Sheriff, Mr. Robel’ and Mark Browne followed with Jimmy D., Dewey, and Reid comprising the final group of the day.

Let me get something out of the way. In typical Hack fashion, I started the day brimming with confidence after my play on Friday. Over confidence as it turned out. I ended up shooting 83 after making only 2 pars on the front and finishing the round with the “big right miss” OB on #18, which led to a triple bogey. “GOLF!” as our friend Paul Dillion is fond of saying. I did have one highlight (lowlight really) as I hit #14 in two (2) for the second round in a row, but then 3-putted for a par. That, in a nutshell, was my day. I ended up with the lowest Stableford score of the bunch (that’s not good) and was beaten soundly in the 9 Point game by the Senator and Hagen.

Sunday’s Card

Overall, the day featured some great play. The Senator continued his fine run and posted another 76, featuring birdies on #4 and #13. His shot on #13 almost went into the hole for a 1 – coming to rest about 3 inches to the left of the cup. We thought it was in from the tee! In addition, Mike had two (2) chips that hit the flagstick but refused to drop. The Senator is in fine form and his handicap is about to be cut!

The Sheriff posted a 79 which was his first round breaking 80 in a while. Marred only by a double bogey on the easy 10th hole, his scorecard featured birdies on #4, #9, and #13. Glen has been bothered by a bad back and troublesome hip for the last few years and it’s great to see him post a score like this. The older, portly gentleman can play.

Mr. Robel’ blew through the front 9 with a 33, posting four (4) birdies – #3, #4, #8 and #9. He kinda streaky I guess. He added a birdie on #11 to go three (3) under for the round. Looking ahead to the inevitable chatter about his handicap after the round, our Mr. Robel’ then managed only one (1) par coming in to post a strong 75. We now have another player on the verge of a handicap adjustment.

Strong Play from Hudson & Robel

Both the Sheriff and Mr. Robel’ cleared some skins, as did Jimmy D. who posted an 80 with three (3) birdies. It was a strong day for birdies at the Creek and there were a bunch of smiling faces on the back deck after the round.

Unfortunately, we had a problem in the Stableford match. As I was running the game, your Hack has to take full responsibility for the fail. You see, someone does not know how to keep score in a Stableford format. The player earns points based on their score for the hole – 3 points for a birdie, 2 for a par, 1 for a bogey, 0 for a double and -1 for a triple. The points are added up and the player’s handicap is added resulting in the total Stableford score – high score wins.

In one group, the scorer gave points to the players for “net scores” and also added the handicap at the end, resulting in the Senator and Mr. Robel’ losing out on sharing the top prize. It’s unfortunate, but “it is what it is” and your Hack will do better the next time. The incorrectly paid winner will be donating his “winnings” to the First Tee of Delaware for our annual 4 Club tournament to be help on New Year’s Eve.

Up next is our Holiday 3-Man Step Away tournament scheduled for next weekend at the Creek. We are currently at 48 players and have fingers crossed for the weather on Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned, and keep it in the short grass.

Cripple Creek, Golf

It Was Stableford Wednesday

Your Hack was joined by nine (9) fellow golfers on the day before Thanksgiving in a game setup by Mr. Robel’. Tee times, players – with handicaps – and the stakes appeared in our text feed. It was time to play.

11:10 Hack 5- Mr. Robel’ 7- Sheriff 9
11:20 Dewey 6- Boteler 9-Councilman 10
11:30 Decker 12-Young Decker 9- Sunderlin 12
Stableford, $20 game, Top 3 $40,$30,$20
Skins $90

In Stableford, the player earns points rather than a score on each hole and the point total is added to the player’s handicap to determine the highest score. Points are earned as follows: 3 for a birdie, 2 for a par, 1 for a bogey, 0 for a double bogey and -1 for a triple bogey or higher. In this game, the highest score wins. I almost forgot. You can get 5 points for an eagle, but that didn’t come happen yesterday.

Playing with the Sheriff, we decided to spice things up by playing Lucky 7 within our group. Your Hack started off well, chipping to about 3 feet on #1 and making par, while the Sheriff and Mr Robel’ both 3 putted for bogey. I continued playing well on the front, hitting every fairway until #8. My 3-wood refused to draw and I ended up far right and behind the large group of trees blocking the green. A layup and a poor chip resulted in a bogey to take me to 2 over par. My partners struggled a bit on the front as the Sheriff accumulated a couple of negative Lucky 7 chips and Mr. Robel’ had some putting woes.

On the 9th hole, my drive was pulled left and struck a tree which meant I was about to take the negative “hit tree” Lucky 7 chip from the Sheriff unless I made a “Barkie” – a par after hitting a tree. Fortunately, I made a 12 footer for par, avoided the negative poker chip and finished the front with 16 Stableford points.

The back 9 started well as I rolled in a nice birdie putt on #10, only to be followed by Mr. Robel’s birdie which stole the “Birdie” Lucky 7 chip. Last one to make wins! Mike continued his strong play on the front, while I struggled with 3 bogeys in a row on holes 12 through 14 and then again on holes 16 through 18. I finished the front with an additional 13 Stableford points, which made my total 29 + 5 handicap = 34 points. Mike’s strong play on the front pulled him close, but his total was 1 behind at 33 points. The Sheriff had a tough day and ended a bit behind in both Stableford points and Lucky 7 chips.

The real action was in the group behind us as Steve Dewey shot a 1 under 35 on the back bringing him into the house with a 74 and the lead in Stableford points. Birdies on three (3) holes mid-round provided the rocket fuel for his big win. In addition, his threesome was playing a 9-point game within their group and Steve cleaned up there as well.

The final group of Decker 1, Decker 2, and Drew sort of “quietly” came to the house with some tough scores. Over drinks after the round, they indicated that they had a great time, but just couldn’t make any putts.

Final tally? Mr. Dewey ran the table, taking first place in the Stableford, beating his partners badly in the 9-point game, and earning a few skins for his birdies – only one was cut. Your Hack was lucky to come in 2nd in the Stableford, win the Lucky 7, and cleared one skin. Mr. Robel’ placed 3rd in the Stableford match thanks to his great play on the back nine.

We are getting some rain overnight and on Thanksgiving Day which will probably mean “cart paths only” for our Friday game. We currently have 12 players signed up – we’ll see how many show. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and keep it in the short grass.

Here is a special shoutout to our buddy Nick Stanisic for his hole in one on #3 last Sunday. Congratulations Ramrod!

Golf

Some Guy’s Backyard

This is the story of a few guys that decided to build a golf course. Here’s how they put it:

“Some Guy’s Backyard believes golf can be fun, free, and approachable. We want to take back what the American Country Club model took away from golf. To prove it’s possible, we are building a golf course in the backyard called Brough Creek National. Using only the resources the golfing community can muster, we are building the most fun short golf course we can. If you want to help our project along, we will give you a lifetime membership in exchange for your efforts – however big or small. Follow along as we build Brough Creek National. By the community, for the community. The grass is browner over here.”

Here are the four (4) guys behind Brough (sounds like “rough”) Creek National.

After raising money and putting in a couple of years of hard work, the course opened in 2020. The video below shows the whole course. What an exceptional job.

You can learn more about Rough Creek National at their website, which includes information on how to support the home grown course and has videos of the construction process, tournaments they have held, and even the first hole in one. Enjoy.

Visit Brough Creek National and Some Guy’s Backyard by clicking here.

Cripple Creek, Golf

Sunday’s Game(s)

Our incredible run of great November weather continued yesterday at the Creek. Eight players, 80% handicaps, better ball two man teams selected by a blind draw at the end was the game. The Sheriff, Mr. Robel’, Boteler and Dewey were in the first group out. Always looking for a little action, the Sheriff brought his “Lucky 7” poker chips and reintroduced this fun betting game to his foursome. Our pal Nooch, currently in Florida for the winter, had schooled us on the game earlier in the season.

Can’t Believe We Played Lucky 7 and PUSHED

Lucky 7 is a betting game where players earn poker chips for specific positive and negative shots. Each chip has an agreed upon dollar value. Positive shots can be one putts, birdies, etc. while negative shots can be triple bogeys, balls out of bounds (OB), 3-putts, etc. Official rules can be found here: LUCKY 7 GOLF BETTING

Our boys had a good laugh at the end when adding up the positive and negative chips and found that they had all pushed – no money changed hands. Sorta like kissing your sister.

The second group out was your Hack, “Senator” Cummings, Hagen and Jimmy D. – who for some reason is nicknamed “Trust Fund”. Your Hack will have to investigate this and report back.

Given the make-up of our foursome, Wolf was the game of choice. $5 Wolf, increasing to $10 from #16 on, when the biggest loser becomes the Wolf. You’ve hear me describe Wolf in previous posts so you can search the archives for previous game descriptions. My hope is that I can convince the guys to play the “most dangerous” version – WOLF HAMMER. Check it out below.

The Senator (see below) and Jimmy D. drew first blood on #4 after Hagen and I doubled the bet and proceeded to both 3-putt the par 5 for bogeys. Steve and I were again partners on #5 and we able to claw back a little when Steve made a nice putt for par to salvage a win after I made my 2nd 3-putt in a row. Jimmy D. and I were partners on the 6th hole and doubled after both of us hit the green. Steve was behind the trees on the right and the Senator in the hazard – they both had to chip out.

The front 9 ended on a tough note for your Hack. After hitting the green in regulation, I doubled the bet. Rolling my first putt about 3 feet beyond the hole, I watched Steve make his par and announce “Triple“. No problem, I had an easy tap in for par to halve. You can guess what I did – yep, missed it. My partner was the Senator and he was a little shaken. I would have been shaken as well if I shot 48 on the front and was down $25 after 9 holes.

The Senator Watching is PAC Funds Disappear

With only a little back and forth to begin the front, which included yet another 2, 3-putts from your Hack, we came to #14. I was the Wolf and heeled a driver into the marsh. Only Hagen stroked so I was not in good shape. I picked Steve as my partner after he laced a beautiful drive into the middle of the fairway, but he elected to “go Wolf”. A bold, but ultimately fatal move. After a solid 2nd shot, Steve was about 140 yards out and proceeded to skull a wedge or 9 iron into the shit. “Triple!” we announced and he conceded the hole, dropping $10 to each of his opponents.

Hagen Remains Calm on the 15th Tee After Butchering #14

The tees were up on #15 and I was able to drive the green, although the ball rolled through onto the right fringe, pin high. I elected not to go Wolf after watching Hagen get trashed on the previous hole and based on my poor chipping and putting performance over the prior 14 holes. True to form, I chunked the chip onto the green and missed my longish birdie putt and the hole was halved.

Jimmy D. in Good Form on the 15th Tee

So we came to the 16th tee with the Senator as the biggest loser and Jimmy D. leading the pack. I was even and Steve was only down a little. The Senator announced a $10 bet and choose Jimmy D. as his partner after my shot landed on the bank of the left bunker and Jimmy’s landed on the green. Steve then stroked a beautiful iron shot onto the proper level of the green, pin high. Our opponents had doubled prior to Steve’s shot. It looked to be a push after I chipped up to 3 feet and made (unbelievably) my sliding downhill put for par. Jimmy D. had a similar downhill put, but we safely tripled the bet – no blood if he makes. Unfortunately, his putt slid out of the hole, putting Hagen and I in the lead and killing the Senator’s chances of buying the next election. It was about to get worse however.

Another $10 bet from Mike on the 17th tee and he chose Hagen as his partner, after Jimmy D.’s tee shot landed in the left bunker. Their double bet off the tee looked good as we approached the green. Until, the Senator sliced his approach into the water and Hagen topped his wedge about 30 feet and then proceeded to dribble it onto the bank of the hazard. Jimmy and I tripled the bet at that point and the Senator conceded after looking back to see his partner try this . . .

Hagen Attempting the Hero Shot

I attempted to film Steve’s shot, but was evidently in his line of “expected” flight. As I was moving to a better position he slashed and splashed the ball and I missed it! Anyway, we moved onto the final hole with your Hack in a comfortable lead and the Senator in pain. Hagen and Jimmy D. were both slightly positive for the day.

On the 18th tee, the Senator attempted to stop the hemorrhage by upping the initial bet to $20 for the hole. We all agreed and watched him knock it into the trees on the right. Jimmy also hit a weak fade into the right rough, while I hit my best drive of the day to the left side of the fairway, about 170 from the green. Mike couldn’t pick me as a partner on this hole because I didn’t get a stroke, while Hagen did. Luckily, Steve hit a nice drive into the left rough and had a chance to reach the green.

No one hit the green, but Mike placed a nice approach to about 12 feet for a par and the win (the bet had been doubled). Here’s what happened.

Sad, but true. The Senator, obviously worn down by a long day trying to break 90, hit his mark but left it short. That left my partner – the so-called “Trust Fund” – a 3 foot putt to halve the hole. He made.

Heading onto the back patio to do the blind draw and shout out skins for the day, I was struck once again how you can sometimes play poorly and still come out on top in a Wolf Game. I had 6, 3-putts over the course of the day and was lucky enough to make some good shots when needed and have great partners when it mattered. It’s a fun game.

No skins for your Hack and my draw and I came in last among the four teams. Congrats to the Sheriff and Dewey to 1st place in the blind draw.

A new week is starting and I hope you have good weather to play and that you keep it in the short grass. I’ll be working on my putting.

Cripple Creek, Golf

It Was a Team Crash on Friday

It was a team game on Friday at the Creek and the Hack’s bunch leaked oil all day before the engine completely seized up on the back nine. The game was one low net/one low gross each hole, except for the par 5’s where all scores counted toward the team total. Thanks Mr Robel’. At least there was a skins game as well.

Three (3) 3-man teams competed over the beautiful November afternoon which featured low 60’s temperatures and fairly light winds. The greens had been verti-cut and and lightly dressed with sand which lowered the speeds only a little. Your Hack was paired with Tim “Hurricane” Hastings and Don Boteler. Mr. Robel’, Glen “HRD2” Reid, and Jimmy “Trust Fund” Donnelly followed. Hagen, the Senator and the Councilman brought up the rear. We had a surprise showing by our Senior Club Champion – Paul Dillon – who joined the final group playing only in the skins game.

RECOVERY – Hurricane, Don Boteler and the Hack

My team led off and proceeded to go 6 over on the first three (3) holes. Only the sweet swinging Don Boteler was able to make a par on these holes. Your Hack offered no help to his team by going bogey, bogey, double to start the round. A small glimpse of hope was seen on the par 5, 4th hole. I was able to fade a cutting 3-wood to the back of the green from 235 yards out and made a 2-putt birdie that was paired with a steady par from Boteler. It was only to be the first glimpse of hope that was to be brutally shut down this day.

On the very next hole, all three (3) of us were sitting in the fairway on the long par 4, 5th hole and both Boteler and Hurricane stroked. As often happens though – both Hurricane and I three-putted for bogey and another dropped shot. We then dropped additional shots on #6 and #7 to bring the team to 8 over for the day.

We call Tim the “Hurricane”, not because of fast hands like the boxer, but because of the wild action of his feet. There is not really an “eye of the storm” in that action. His shot above would, however, result in a great par. Not to be outdone, both Boteler and I missed short par putts.

Boteler – Leaving the 8th Tee

As we left the 8th tee, I told Don that I was making birdie – we needed to do something to turn this around. We looked over to the group behind us and figured they had to be the ones to catch. The pin on eight was tucked in the lower right – Club Championship position – on the wild green. I hit wedge to 2 foot and made my 3. Don had a net par and we picked up a much needed shot.

Mr. Robel‘, HRD2, and the Trust Fund on #7

The 9th hole presented another opportunity and I hit a nice drive to the right side of the fairway, avoiding the left bunker (you can see the Hack’s action below). Both Don and I made pars and, with his stroke, we brought the team back to 6 over at the turn.

The front started well (another glimpse of hope?) with Don making a birdie and Hurricane throwing in a par to pick up another shot. We were now only 5 over. But there were storm clouds building. Your Hack 3-putted for bogey on #10 and then missed a 4 footer for birdie on #11. Evidently brain dead, I followed this by making double bogey on each of the next 3 holes! My partners couldn’t make up the difference and we dropped 6 more shots to par. We stood on the 16th tee a brutal 12 over par.

Don’s Smooth Drive Leads to a 3 net 2 on #16

Holding steady on #16 thanks to Don’s terrific par, net birdie we went into the last two (2) holes frankly just hoping to get some redemption. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Don finished double, double to shot 85 for the day. Hurricane finished double bogey, bogey to post 94. Although I finished par, par and both were stroke holes, I ended the day shooting 85 and our team was at the loser’s table at 14 over par.

As we had thought all day, the winning team was right behind us. Reid, Donnelly and Robel stormed in at 2 under after blitzing the back nine.

L to R – HRD2, Trust Fund, and Mr. Robel’

Hagen’s team placed second, but all the money went to the winners. His partners didn’t show in the bar afterward, but we were blessed with Steve’s presence for shouting out the skins. Luckily, my two (2) birdies held and your Hack got paid for his efforts. Sadly, the overall performance was bad, just bad. On to Sunday. We have nine (9) players again and I’m running the game. I’ll post an update soon and in the meantime, keep it in the short stuff and don’t hit it past the hole.

Golf

Wolf – The Punter’s Game

When your walking off the 18th tee and your Wolf partner (a scratch player) for that hole has just driven it OB – a really big right miss – and your opponents have doubled the $10 wolf bet . . .

The “Senator” is not real happy that his scratch partner just blew one out of bounds.

It was cold and windy at the Creek yesterday. Temps were in the low 40’s and the wind blew 20+ at times which prompted a bunch of our guys to bail on the Wednesday game. Only your Hack, “Senator” Cummings, Hagen, and our assistant, Ryan has the gumption to play. Can you say $5 Wolf?

Once the playing order is established, the first player (the Wolf) tees off. Player #2 then hits and the Wolf can elect to choose him as a partner or pass. The same option continues through players 3 and 4. If the Wolf does not choose a partner, he goes Wolf and the bet on the hole is doubled. If the player elects to go “Wolf” before teeing off, the bet on the hole is tripled. At any point during the hole, the team may elect to double (turning the $5 bet into $10) and the opposing team could then triple (turning the $10 bet into $20), and so on.

We had a little fireworks on the first hole, as the Senator and I doubled the initial bet and won the hole, when I made par. A push on #2 and then on the par 3, third hole our opponents tripled the bet (after we had doubled on the tee) and I was left with a 4 footer to make par. Naturally, I missed and put Hagen and I in a bit of a hole. Another push on #4 and we turned into the wind on the 407 yard par 4. The Senator and Hagen were paired against Ryan and I and they both stroked. I made bogey from the middle of the fairway, while they made an outstanding par.

After some back and forth on the remaining holes we ended the front with Ryan even, Hagen and your Hack down $20 each. The Senator played well and was up $40.

The back nine was more of the same. After some back and forth, and a bunch of missed putts, we approached the 15th green. Ryan, partnered with Hagen, was looking at about 15 feet for birdie. I had 12 feet for the same and it looked like another push on a doubled bet. However, Ryan made and I missed. Ryan was now +$20, I was still down $20, the Senator was +40, and Hagen was the biggest loser – down $40.

On the 16th hole, Hagen (as the player losing the most) was the Wolf and had the option to increase the bet. As he was getting a stroke on #16, he increased the bet to $10. Hagen picked Ryan as his partner, after my partner left his tee shot short left in the rough. I hit my shot OB, leaving the Senator to fight off the other team who had doubled on the tee. Hagen made a par/net birdie, cutting his deficit to $20 and increasing mine to $40 which made me the new Wolf on #17 tee.

After halving #17 with pars, we went to the final hole with your Hack as the Wolf one last time. I hit a good drive to the right fairway and Hagen was next and, after another solid drive, I choose him as my partner and we doubled the bet. That left the Senator with Ryan by default. As you read earlier, he unfortunately had the big right miss come into play and left the Senator alone. He’d dropped from being $60 ahead to standing on the tee only $20 ahead with a partner out of bounds. No wonder he was a little steamed when I caught him on video.

Luckily for him, both Hagen and I could only manage 5’s and the Senator made a sterling up and down from the back fringe to halve the hole and end the match. Not the greatest day for the four of us – the wind and cold made conditions tough. But we had a nice friendly match that didn’t really get out of hand. Regular readers will remember some Wolf games that have! See an old post below . . .

It Almost Got Out of Hand Today

The weather looks better for Friday and we have about 9-10 players scheduled. Hope it holds.

Golf

Random Thoughts

Your Hack was finally able to get out and play on Sunday. Yes, it was blustery and the course was wet from the rains we had at the end of last week. But after 3 days of constantly watching the Masters on 3 or 4 screens using the awesome Masters App, I was ready for some real “hack” golf. A large number of our regular crew was down in Myrtle Beach, playing Caledonia, True Blue, and Pawley’s Plantation on an impromptu Masters weekend golf trip.

The Myrtle Beach “Crew”

This left a reduced cast of characters for our typical Sunday game. Steve Dewey, Doug “Councilman” Hudson and I teed off around 10:15, followed by Mr Robel’, Jeff “Cookie” Mumford, and Mark Browne. As there was no organized game, my threesome elected to play a game of 9 Point and I had no idea what the other guys were playing. As is my standard, I started with a bogey and quickly followed with 4 pars that included 2 missed birdie puts of 8 feet or less. The greens still had some fire after the rain last week and our grounds crew had decided to put some of the pins on slopes, which I’m sure was done to prevent your Hack from making any birdies. They were successful, as I missed 2 more make-able birdie puts on #8 and #9. All in, I was 4 over after the front and leading the 9 Point game by a large margin – plus 16 over the Councilman and + 11 over Dewey.

The wind, “cart path only” conditions and quick greens were evidently slowing play considerably in front of us, and our two threesomes joined together on the 7th hole and played in as “unlawful” six-some. We were all walking and no trouble staying in touch with the groups in front and were never caught by the group behind. After a 2 and 1/2 hour front nine, we finished the back in – I mean second nine (in deference to Augusta National) in 2 hours. The highlight of the day was Cookie draining a 35 foot birdie put on #8, up and over the ridge, that hit the pin at ramming speed. “My first birdie of the year!” exclaimed Cookie.

Your Hack’s back nine devolved into a nightmare. A drive into the hazard on #11, a drive out of bounds on #14, and missed birdie puts from inside 10 feet on #10 and #12. But, that was followed by a high, drawing 4 iron into the wind on #16 that ended up 6 feet below the hole. You can obviously guess what happened with my put.

Dewey shot 39 on the back and recovered in the 9 Point Game, leaving the Councilman reaching for his wallet in the bat after the round. We were able to watch DJ tap in for his remarkable Masters’ victory after being forced to follow the round on our phones during the round. Congratulations to DJ. He played 4 rounds of proper golf and blitzed the field, setting a new scoring record. I won’t get in to Tiger’s 10 on #12, but am astonished that he was able to regain his composure and birdie 5 of the final 6 holes and move from 53rd position after #12 to a T38 finish.

As I mentioned earlier, a bunch of our guys were down in Myrtle for a quick golf trip. One of my favorite golf content producers are the guys from No Laying Up – Solly, Tron, Big Randy, Neal, and DJ. One of the golf series on YouTube that they produce is “Tourist Sauce” and they did a series in the Carolinas that aired in February, 2020. Here is the episode that featured Caledonia and True Blue. Enjoy!

Tourist Sauce – Caledonia and True Blue

Again, say hi to the folks making the trip to Myrtle this past weekend. I hope to have more specifics later in the week, but for now I’ll just leave it at this.

Golf

Senior Rules of Golf

We had over 4 inches of rain since yesterday afternoon and the course is closed – water everywhere. It’s probably a good thing since my play yesterday was absolutely pitiful. I started the day with a par on the first and ended with a birdie on the 18th. In between, it was a disgusting display of shanks, tops, 3-putts and various shit shots that resulted in an 86 – probably my high score for the year. It got me thinking about old guy golf. Enjoy.

Your Hack

We older golfers could use some rule changes next year to make up for all the deficiencies we have to deal with.  Your Hack was provided with these revised Rules of Golf by an anonymous source.

Rule changes for immediate implementation…..For Golfers Age 65+

Rule 9k.34– If a tree is between the ball and the hole, and the tree is deemed to be younger than the player, then the ball can be moved without penalty. This is so, because this is simply a question of timing; when the player was younger, the tree was not there so the player is being penalized because of his age.

 Rule 1.a.5– A ball sliced or hooked into the Rough shall be lifted and placed on the Fairway at a point equal to the distance it carried or rolled into the Rough with no penalty. The senior player should not be penalized for tall grass which ground keepers failed to mow.

Rule 2.d.6– A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed NOT to have hit the tree. This is simply bad luck and luck has no place in a scientific game. The senior player must estimate the distance the ball would have traveled if it had not hit the tree, and play the ball from there.

Rule 3.B.3– There shall be no such thing as a lost ball. The missing ball is on or near the course and will eventually be found and pocketed by someone else, thereby making it a stolen ball. The senior player is not to compound the felony by charging himself with a penalty.

Rule 4.c.7– If a putt passes over a hole without dropping, it is deemed to have dropped. The Law of Gravity supersedes the Rules of Golf.

Rule 5. – Putts that stop close enough to the cup that they could be blown in, may be blown in. This does not apply to balls more than three inches from the Hole. No one wants to make a mockery of the game.

Rule 6.a.9– There is no penalty for so-called “out of bounds”. If penny-pinching golf course owners bought sufficient land, this would not occur. The senior player deserves an apology, not a penalty.

Rule 7.G.15– There is no penalty for a ball in a water hazard, as golf balls should float. Senior players should not be penalized for any shortcomings of the manufacturers.

Rule 8.k.9– Advertisements claim that golf scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. Since this is financially impractical for many senior players, one-half stroke per hole may be subtracted for using old equipment.

Please advise all your senior friends of these important rule changes and keep multiple copies in your golf bag. Those not following the rules need to be provided a copy.

Golf is…above all…a game of integrity. Have fun out there today and try to keep it in the short grass.

I’ll leave you with this on this Thursday at the Master’s . . .

How about that Mr. Rahm?