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

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.