Golf, Tournaments

The DSGA Spring Classic

Mr. Robel’ and your Hack teamed up to compete in the Delaware State Golf Association’s (DSGA) first event of the year on Monday and Tuesday. The Spring Classic was a 2-man team event, flighted, and scored on total net Stableford points. Points were earned as follows: 4-eagle, 3-birdie, 2-par, 1-bogey, 0 double bogey or worse. The competition was played over 18 holes at King’s Creek on Monday and then 18 holes at Rehoboth Country Club on Tuesday. Individual partner points were based on the net score for the hole and then added together for the team score.

We began the tournament with a 1 PM shotgun start on the 16th hole on Monday and I was not prepared for the weather. Cold, windy and wet are not a good combination for the opening round of a tournament. Combine that with poor planning on my part in selecting clothes for the day, and it spells trouble.

By the time we were on the second green of the day, I was already shaking from the cold and damp – not even able to hold my putter steady over the ball. As you can see on the scorecard below, I made exactly 2 points for the team in the first 5 holes that included 3 double bogeys and a 3-putt bogey on #17. I threw in a couple of pars here and there, a net birdie on #3 and a real birdie on #10, but that was in a mix that included 5 doubles and 2 triples. Halfway through the round, I just wanted to get off the course. I can’t remember the last time I posted a 90!

Luckily, Mr. Robel’ kept us in the tournament with a fairly steady 84. Ignoring his partner’s incredibly poor start, he was able to earn us 32 overall points. His round included a natural birdie on #7 and 4 net birdies. Unfortunately, he also threw several double bogeys into the mix as well.

We ended the day with only 54 points and were in 7th place in the 13 team Flight 1. We had some work to do on Day 2 for sure. Here is the score card and yes we did put down the wrong number of points on a couple of holes, but these were corrected officially.

Note: on #16 I should have gotten 1 point for a bogey and Mike should have gotten 2 points for a par on #17.

The weather was a little better on Tuesday at Rehoboth Beach or at least I was dressed more appropriately. We had an 8:30 AM shotgun start on the 10th hole. We knew we had work to do and we decided to start off by each making birdie on our first hole. Of course, we followed that up in true “Hack” fashion by each making a double bogey 6 on the following hole – luckily we each got a stroke and therefore a point for a net bogey. After I bogeyed the next hole with a bad 3 putt, I could feel the wheels starting to get wobbly and all I could think about was the disaster that was our first round.

I’m happy to report that we were able to steady the ship and finish our first nine with 34 stableford points compared to 23 points on our first 9 holes the first day of the tournament. I made the turn in 38 with 3 birdies and an additional net birdie and my partner added a birdie, a net birdie and four (4) pars. The strong play continued on our second nine where we added seven (7) birdies or net birdies and another 33 stableford points to bring our total to 67 points, a tournament total of 121 points.

We’d moved up 3 spots to 4th, just 8 points behind the winners. Although our 3 spot jump was the best in Flight 1, it was not enough to overcome our dismal first day. Mr. Robel’ was steady, shooting 84 both days, while your Hack’s 90-76 was very disappointing. It’s so easy to play “what-if” and find 9 additional points in that first round.

The DSGA did a great job running the tournament, although play was very slow. They announced that they would deduct two (2) stableford points from any team that did not post their scorecards within 4 hours and 45 minutes from the start of the shotgun, and some team evidently thought that meant they could take that long to play. Unfortunately, this included our playing partners on the first day. It was way too cold and wet to stand around watching them deliberate over everything. Other than that however, I would very pleased with the overall tournament and it feels good to get the first one of the year under my belt.

So what happened? How can a Hack (you’ll notice on the website and the printed cards that even the DSGA recognizes “Golf Hack Baxter”) shoot 90 on day 1 and then turn around and shoot 76 in the final round. To be honest, I wish I know. Even though I had five (5) birdies on Tuesday at Rehoboth, I still had 34 putts for the entire round, including three 3-putts. I did hit 12 of 18 greens with 6 of them inside of 15 feet and was able to convert 5 of those 6 opportunities for 1 putts. And, the course played shorter in terms of the par 5’s where I was able to make 2-putt birdies on 2 of those holes. That said, I only hit 6 of 14 fairways. Your Hack has some work to do, especially when playing tournament golf.

Here are the final standings for Flight 1 in the tournament from the DSGA/Blu Golf website. I was thrilled to be the highlight for sure. Thanks for all of the support readers have sent me over the past couple of days. It means a lot.

You can view the full leaderboard and click through all of the Flights and Individual scores cards at this link: https://dsga.bluegolf.com/bluegolfw/dsga21/event/dsga211/contest/25/leaderboard.htm

Golf

My #100HoleHike – The Recap

What a day at the Creek! As my friends at the DSGA said, “The #100HoleHike, has become the #100HolesHiked!”

Thanks to my readers, my golf buddies, my friends, and the members at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, I raised just over $6,000 for Youth on Course, and the DSGA total surpassed $13,000. All of this money, 100% of it, will be used for subsidized golf course access to kids in our state. Awesome stuff.

We literally started the day in the dark. At 6AM, Andy Hewitt, Laura Heien and I rode out to #3 to begin our quest to play and walk 100 holes. My buddy, Glen (the Sheriff) Hudson drove one cart and acted as forecaddie for the day. Mark Glodowski, DSGA staffer and 100 Hole Hike participant at Bear Trap Dunes last month, rode with us and provided the social media content, including the Twitter post below – click the link to watch the launch (and turn up your volume).

Mark Announces the Start of our Hike

Using LED golf balls and glow sticks, we played the 3rd hole – a short par 3 of 130 yards – 15 times in the dark. It took me a while to get loose (remember my 66th birthday was on Sunday), but Andy started off hitting the green on his first shot. It was amazing how fast the greens were that early in the morning and in the dark. I found it hard to get going. Try hitting and putting in the dark and you’ll get the idea. It took me about 5 tries before I hit the green, but Andy made a few birdies and Laura almost holed one out – the ball stopped short about a foot from the pin.

Sometimes it was a Group Effort to Find our Balls when the LED Died

I have to say that the highlight of our start was the whole maintenance crew, led by Glen MacDonald, walking out from their equipment shed with flashlights to welcome us to the course. It was quite a site.

As you can see below, we worked hard to fix all of the ball marks on the green, even in the dark. I only wish all of our members and guests would be as concerned about leaving the course as they find it every day they play our gorgeous layout.

Andy Fixing a Ball Mark – Even in the Dark Fellas!

By 7:15, we had enough light to move on to the 4th hole and begin the hike in earnest. After trekking back and forth on #3 those 15 times, our shoes and socks were soaked – hard to see all the puddles that had developed with the rain the previous day and overnight. With no one on the course, we blitzed through the rest of the front nine. Also, our legs were still fresh and that helped the pace, even with a damp, soggy conditions.

At 7:48 we had completed 21 holes and started off #1. We cruised through the course and on the 18th hole we decided to play the back nine again, as all of the players on the course were still on the front nine. It was very energizing to be greeted by many of the members living on the course when we passed their homes – shoutouts from windows and doorways, and even applause from Mr. and Mrs. Dieste at 7:30AM from their back deck.

I wanted to give a special shoutout to my wife, Sue, for supporting me throughout this crazy effort. She was even on the back porch of our rental every time I passed #16 and even caught his early on.

Your Hack Still Feeling Loose Early On

At the midway point, I’d changed my socks and golf shoes once, lost only 1 ball and was actually feeling pretty good. I had a light walking bag and only carried a 3-wood, 3-hybrid, 5,7,9, irons, lob wedge and putter. We mixed things up teeing from the forward tees on some holes and were basically just walking up to the ball and hitting – not worrying about score, just hydration, food intake, and not collapsing. The pain was coming but we didn’t let that overshadow the moment.

Andy, Laura & I Celebrating the Halfway Point – 50 Holes

The DSGA was awesome documenting the Hike on their Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Laura Heien Walking and Talking the #100HoleHike

The course was starting to get more crowded and the Sheriff was busy, driving up to groups ahead and telling them what was happening. They always stood aside to let us through and it was much appreciated. We only had to play through less than 10 groups overall during the day, probably because of the overnight rain, wet conditions and the “cart path” only requirement in place for play that day. One group we went through came up to Mark in his cart and gave him a cash donation for the Hike – how about that!

As the day progressed, a bunch of my golf buddies came out to watch and give me some much needed support. Paul Dillion, Tim Hastings, Mark Decker, Don Antonucci, Mike Farrar, Steve Dewey, and Don Boteler – I really appreciate your guys coming out and cheering me on. If I forgot anyone, please accept my apology as I’m a little foggy on some of the details.

#14 – 75 Holes In

It was about this time – 75 holes in – that my legs and back really started to feel it. The combination of wet, soggy turf, walking close to 20 miles, and taking 300 or so swings was killing me. Still, we had 25 more holes to play and I couldn’t let the young ones show me up. Remember, I’m 66 and Andy and Laura are in their twenties.

We skipped 15 and 16 in the penultimate round because of traffic on the course, and moving directly to 17 and then the 18th would leave us exactly 18 holes to go. The final round was a blur to be honest. I lost another ball in the water (can’t remember which hole) and the bones (every single one in my body) were aching. Somehow, we made it and finished on 18 – my favorite hole at the Creek.

Putting Out on the 100th Hole!

Perhaps the best part of the long day was walking off #18 and seeing a bunch of my friends smiling and whooping it up. I then heard something shouted down from the patio behind the clubhouse. “What can I get you . . .” said Andy Beebe (F&B manager). If you know your Hack then you know the answer.

And so it was complete at 5:40PM – 100 holes, 50,000 steps, 2 lost balls, 26.3 miles, and $6,000 raised for a great cause. Thank you again everyone.

[Today is a day of rest for your Hack. I had to get up every 10 minutes or so while working on this post to walk around and prevent even more stiffness in my legs and back. I’m back at it tomorrow with the Contractors for a Cause golf tournament at Ocean City Golf Club. Hope I make it through!]

Golf

Frozen Fridays – DSGA @ Cripple Creek

Friday, January 4, 2018

The Delaware State Golf Association (DSGA) conducted a “Frozen Friday” tournament at my home club – Cripple Creek – and I decided to play.  Luckily, my friend and fellow member Alan Bloom also signed up for the tournament.  Unluckily, I also decided to forget that I’d ever putted on Cripple Creek’s greens! Continue reading