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 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.