Cripple Creek, Golf

3 Man Holiday Step Away Scramble

After the weather knocked us out last weekend, the revised teams were finalized by our tournament director, one Mr. Robel’. The tournament featured a shotgun start and kicked off at 10AM on Saturday. The weather was perfect with temperatures climbing to over 60 degrees – not bad for December 12th. We had 16 teams of 3 players each slotted into groups jumping off tees 12 through 18 and hole #1.

There were quite a few cancellations because of the revised date and also new additions to the field. Mr. Robel’ needed to make last minute adjustments to the teams that basically invalidated last week’s draw and killed the pari-mutuel – bummer. As he indicated: “With all the cancellations and additions to the field, there was no way I could get teams close to being competitive with the wide disparity in handicaps. In other words I threw out the draw. I took all the handicaps and separated them into three groups. I went top to bottom in the A group, bottom to top in the C group and took the B group from the middle and separated them to the top and bottom of the A group. All teams are now within 4 strokes of each other, except one. That being said, at this late date and the changes being made, there will not be any para mutual betting.” Whatever that means Mike!

The teams and starting holes are shown below:

1a-Diehl-Nangle-Legge
1b-Piperno-Vallese-Clarke
18a-Baxter (Hack)-Statter-Creager
18b-Dewey-Witmer-Gonzo
17a-Boteler-Leary-States
17b-Haines-Hudson,D-Howett
16a-Walsh-Moore-Mumford 
16b-Baker-Donnelly,Joe-Skibicki
15a-Roth-Dzedzy-Ruggiero
15b-Cummings-Hastings-Frog
14a-Hagen-Browne-Miranda
14b-Sanderson-Bromley-Sasada
13a-Donnelly,Jim-Stokes-Thompson
13b-Morgan-Decker-Dream
12a-Robel-Martin-Hunsberger
12b-Hudson-Schaffran-Duerbeck

Our tournament director went through last minute instructions – all putts must be holed, use the most upfront tees on seven (7) of the holes, use the matts on the par 3’s and hole #1, etc. The 3 man step-away scramble format goes like this. All three (3) players hit from the tee and the best drive is selected with the person hitting that shot “stepping away”. The remaining two (2) players hit from that spot and the player whose shot is selected then steps away and the last player makes the third shot. If the ball is not holed, all three (3) players on the team play the fourth shot and the step away begins again.

As you can see above, your Hack was paired with Simon Statter and Tom Creager and we started on the 18th hole. I hit a drive over the trees and left my partners 145 years to the pin. Tom’s shot went left into the collection area and Simon’s shot came up short. Simon made a wonderful chip from Tom’s ball position and left us a couple of feet for par. We turned to hole #1 where we ended up with Tom having a 20 foot putt for birdie that was left and above a devilish pin position on the back right section of the green. After a careful survey of the situation, Simon and I point to a spot about 5 feet directly above the hole and told Tom to put the ball to that spot. The man takes instructions well. His ball hit the spot at stall speed and trundled down the slope, dropping into the cup on the last rotation for birdie. One (1) under after two (2) holes and we were looking solid.

My Partners – Tom on the 2nd Tee and Simon Waiting to Hit

As we stood over our approach on #2, a “roar” erupted on the third green – “LFG!” We looked over to see Matt (Pip) Piperno pull his ball out of the cup. A hole in one on just their 3rd hole of the day. They were stoked and 2 under par. Congratulations Pip! Well done.

Pip! First Hole in One Ever

All of the excitement must have gotten to us as we 3-putted the 2nd hole for a bogey. Another bogey on #4 pushed us to 1 over par and it felt like the wheels were coming off only five (5) holes into the tournament. Hagen/Browne/Miranda were also 1 over at that point. Piperno’s team was 1 under, as was the Diehl team. Most of the other teams were sitting at 1 or 2 over.

We righted the ship over the remaining holes on the front 9, but couldn’t make any birdie puts. A couple of burned edges, but that was about it. We were a little over half way through the tournament and still sat at +1. The leaders – Diehl’s team and Pip’s team were at -2. Three (3) teams were at even par – Hagen’s, Cummings’, and Haines’ – while Donnelley’s and Hudson’s teams were tied with us at one (1) over par. Four (4) more teams were 2 over, one (1) team was 3 over and the Walsh and Robel teams sat at 5 over par after tough starts. Robel’s team tripled #17 and followed with bogeys on both #1 and #2 for example.

The final nine (9) holes of the tournament saw the leaders slip back and the Hagen team charge forward. Diehl’s team, which was 2 under and tied for the lead after nine (9) holes and got to 4 under through #13, finished the round with a double on #14 and bogeys on #16 and #18 sandwiching a birdie on #17. They finished at 2 under and tied for second. The other leaders, Piperno’s team, bogeyed the par 3, #16 and finished tied second at 1 under. The Haines team was able to birdie #13 and finished at 1 under, tied second.

Your Hack’s team was able to make an easy birdie on #12 as my drive ended up on the front fringe about 15 feet from the hole, but we had bogeyed #10 from 45 yards out and ended with a bogey on our final hole, #17, to finish at 2 over. Luckily, this would ultimately be good for 7th place and a small cash win.

The strongest moves over the final nine (9) holes came from the Boteler team and the Hagen team. Boteler’s guys were able to birdie #9 and #13 to bring their score back to even par and finish 5th. The ultimate winners were Hagen’s team who birdied #5 and #7 to finish at 1 under par. It was good enough for a 1 shot victory over the three (3) teams tied at 1 under.

Final Leaderboard

Most of the players gathered on the back patio at widely separated tables to watch the scores come in and enjoy a boxed lunch prepared by the Cripple Creek staff. The Holiday Scramble was played to support the staff of the club and we added to that by holding a 50/50 for additional tips. The lunch was great – our Pro and Andy, who manages the house, bought everyone’s first drink. Pip’s hole in one also added to the free drink total. As you can imagine, we had a blast.

Crab Soup and Wrap for Players

Our Tournament Director summarized it best: I would like to thank everyone for participating in today’s Step Away. We able to tip all three groups (bag staff, wait staff, grounds crew) almost $200 each. It was a fun and challenging day. Kudo’s to the team of Hagen-Browne-Miranda. Great playing guys. Everyone should be proud of themselves at Cripple Creek. We are a special group of guys. 

Thanks Mike and well said. We appreciate all you do Mr. Robel’!

So ended the Men’s Holiday Step Away Scramble. I have a money match on Sunday with some of the boys and our next planned event is a 4 Club & Putter Tournament on New Year’s Eve. Keep it in the short grass.

Cripple Creek, Golf, Hootie

The Hootie 2020 – Day 1

The Hootie kicked off at 9:00am on Saturday with the Hagen/Stokes and Cummings/Condo Hudson teams off first. It was foggy for sure, we could see about halfway down the 1st fairway. A little bitching and moaning was heard, but we played. Luck of the draw, right? As you’ll see, the fog didn’t stop one of these teams from shooting the 2nd lowest score of the day!

Hagen & Stokes
“Condo” Hudson & Cummings

Tee-times ran from 9 am through 10:20 am in order to get the 18 teams out for round one. The format was better ball net, with the “A” player from the White tees and the “B” player from the Gold tees.

Tee Times and Pairings(w) White Tees (g) Gold Tees – (#) Handicaps – Partners have same format

9:009:50
Hagen (w) 11Dewey (w) 7
Stokes (g) 12Frog (g) 17
Cummings (w) 9Jimmy Donnelly (w) 10
Condo Hudson (g) 13Vallese (g) 11
9:1010:00
Boteler (w) 10Bensen (w) 11
Joe Donnelly (g) 14Statter (g) 11
Hastings (w) 12Baxter (w) 5
Sunderlin (g) 10Hunsberger (g) 20
9:2010:10
Diehl (w) 0Robel (w) 8
Dream (g) 21Leary (g) 13
Dillon (w) 4G. Hudson (w) 10
Miranda (g) 16Ski (g) 13
9:3010:20
Dinuzzo (w) 10Fallon (w) 13
Browne (g) 11Witmer (g) 10
Councilman Hudson (w) 12Reid (w) 13
Decker (g) 10Dzedzy (g) 10
9:40
Stanisic (w) 9
States (g) 14
Connell (w) 8
Schaffran (g) 15
Saturday Tee Times

Your Hack went off at 10am with his partner, Tom Hunsberger, and was paired with Matt Benson & Simon Statter. I had great expectations from Hun the Handicap as he was getting 20 handicap strokes from the Gold tees. Unfortunately, we both started poorly and were 3 over by the time we reached the 4th tee. Our playing partners were steady, making pars on the first 3 holes.

Statter & Bensen – Our Playing Partners

The sun had come out by then, burning off the fog and everyone was on the course. My highlight of the day would occur on the 4th hole, a 485 yard par 5. After a good drive into the left side of the fairway about 203 yards from the front pin, I drew a solid hybrid onto the green about 6 feet below the cup. The resulting 1 putt eagle moved our team back to 1 over. Things were looking better after our sloppy start as I stroked on the next hole. After a solid drive on #5 into the middle-right of the fairway, I hit a laser straight 9-iron to about 7 feet. As your Hack often does, I missed the putt and we settled for a par, net birdie and were back to even for the day. Little did we know that would be all we could do.

Statter and Bensen made the turn at 1 over after Statter made a terrific up and down par, net birdie on #9. We ended the front at 3 over after bogeys on #6, #7, and #8. On the back, Statter and Bensen were once again steady adding 2 birdies on #14 and #15, but dropping back to even for the day after an ugly 17th hole – Bensen in his pocket and Statter hitting his approach into the water fronting the green. My partner and I made a small comeback on the final nine with Hun the Handicap sinking a bomb on #12 for a birdie, net eagle and I added a par, net birdie on #17. Unfortunately, it was only good enough to get us back to 1 over for the day.

You wouldn’t have known it from our experience, but there was some very good play on the course for the first round. Two (2) teams shot 65’s and four teams came in with 66’s. Here are the Day 1 results:

Baxter/Hunsberger Close to Bringing Up The Rear

After applying the “Tie-breaker” rules – match of cards from #17, then #6, then #18, the Win, Place, and Show victors for Saturday’s pari-mutuel betting were determined.

Win: Boteler/Joe Donnelly

Place: Decker/Councilman Hudson

Show: Cummings/Condo Hudson

So, your Hack and Hun the Handicap are 6 shots back going into the final round. As you know, I’ve been there before, although it seems like I’m always there. We tee off at 10:10 this morning and it’s currently very foggy again at the course, but it should clear by the time we start. Everyone is looking forward to Day 2 and the celebration dinner at the club to close out the Hootie for this year. Play well guys!

I’ll be posting a final recap of The Hootie 2020 this evening – stay tuned and thanks for following the adventures of the Retired Golf Hack.

Golf

The Rookery Pro-Am

Your Hack played in the Rookery Pro-Am yesterday (Wednesday) benefitting the First Tee of Delaware. I joined the team of Ryan Diehl (Cripple Creek Assistant Pro), Andy Hewitt, and Mike Robel as the entry from Cripple Creek. Each team competed at 85% of handicap, two (2) best balls of the team. The event was played at Rookery South a 6,500 yard (back tees) public course located just north of Lewes, DE, directly adjacent to the Route 1 highway. As the course website describes it . . .”2004 Senior British Open winner, Pete Oakley and course visionary superintendent Chris Adkins, have teamed up in designing a water laden, golfer friendly challenge just off the picturesque Broadkill River.”

With 109 players (27 teams), we knew it would be a slow trek over a course that had received over seven (7) inches of rain in the past week. Surprisingly, the course was in relatively good shape, although the fairways were soft and the greens a little bumpy, but faster than we would have thought given the recent rain. Kudos to great work done the super to have the course in such terrific shape.

Your Hack was tired after working the polls at the Indian River High School polling location from 6am to 8:30pm on Election Day. Arriving at the Rookery late and stiff, I managed to warm-up by hitting 5 balls with my 7-iron on the range and putting for 2 minutes on the practice green. Then we were off, starting on the quirky 402 yard 5th hole, a dogleg right par 4 with trees guarding the front of the green unless you hit your drive far enough in the right side of the fairway past the dogleg. I didn’t and only managed to get 20 yards in front of the green in 2 and then making bogey with a poor pitch shot. I had an eerie feeling it might be one of “those” days. Our team only managed a single par, so we started the day one over.

The team played well over the next 3 holes and managed to get to 3 under par going into the short par 3 ninth hole. All four of us hit it close. I was about 15 feet for birdie and Robel was a little under 6 feet. Ryan and Andy were close as well. Guess what happened? We left the green still 3 under, lamenting so many missed putts over the first five (5) holes of the tournament.

Rookery South Scorecard

We added two (2) more birdies (1 was net) on #10 taking us to 5 under. My routine par left your Hack at 1 over for the day and my mental goal of scoring within the Top 7 professional scores (as an amateur) seemed to be in reach. Well, not really. I proceeded to make four (4) straight bogeys, two (2) of them from the fairway with pitching wedge in my hand – sad. My putting was ok, but I had trouble hitting greens and chipping was off.

The team overall continued to generate multiple birdie opportunities but some lackluster putting only allowed us to pick-up a few more under par. Robel – “the world’s best putter” – finally made a putt for birdie during this stretch. Andy hit some of the most unbelievable shots I’ve seen in a while, but his putter remained cold. Ryan, after a strong start as our pro, lost his swing mid round and stacked a couple of bogeys to negate some early birdies.

Your Hack finally made his first birdie of the day on our 11th hole of the day draining a mini-bomb from about 25 feet. I closed out the back nine with 3 straight pars and we made the turn again to finish the first four (4) holes on the front. Another par and then a bad bogey on a par 3 left me 5 over for the day.

Our final two (2) holes were short par 4’s. Andy drove it through the green on the 305 yard #3. Ryan was just short of the green, Robel was about 60-70 yards out in the left rough after hitting 3 wood and I was 20 yards short with a good look at the flag. Robel’s wedge flew to about 8 feet, I spun a little lob wedge to about 5 feet and Andy chipped back to 10-12 feet. Ryan tried to hit a low, spinning chip a groove low and it careened off the flag stick ending up 15 feet from the hole. He calmly drained the putt for a birdie. Andy and I also made birdie and the team was 8 under for the day.

The last hole is a 285 yard, short par 4 that requires a carry over a pond in front of the green. Ryan and Robel laid up, my drive was pulled left and landed 20 yards short, but carried the pond. Andy drove the front of the green causing the group in front of us to ask for a drug test when we got up to our shots. Unfortunately, only one birdie resulted and we ended the day 9 under. Your Hack had his only 3 putt of the day and ended the tournament at 5 over – shooting 76. Goal not accomplished as a 72 would have been needed to place within the Top 7 professional scores for the day.

Our 9 under score was out of the money. The winners came in at 20 under taking first place by 4 strokes. The top 7 teams were paid and we finished out of the money by 2 shots – we can only look back at the number of really makable birdie putts that we missed over the day. And, unfortunately, Robel’s 5 foot 8 inch shot on #9 was edged out for “Closest to the Pin” by 6 inches. Nothing special all day for our whole team except that we had a blast playing – even if it took 4 1/2 hours.

Your Hack finished the day with 33 putts, hitting 54% fairways and 61% GIR. 2 birdies, 9 pars and 7 bogeys left me 5 over for the day. The good news? The tournament raised over $4,500 for the First Tee of Delaware.

It’s the Hootie 2020 Tournament this weekend at Cripple Creek and I’ll be back Saturday evening with an update. ‘Til then – keep it in the short grass.

Golf

Hootie 2020 – It’s Coming Next Weekend

What is the Hootie you ask? It is one of our “majors”, held annually opposite The Masters Tournament. Because of Covid-19 both our Hootie and the Masters were delayed from April. Can’t wait …

The Draw Party for The Hootie took place last night and I’m pleased to have Tom Hunsberger as my partner. We have 18 2-man teams playing next weekend to determine the 2020 champions.

The Drawn Pairings for 2020

If you’d like to read a short history of the Hootie, click here: The Hootie – A Short History

Last Year’s Player Cap

You can also read about the 2019 Tournament here:

2019 Hootie Summary

Keep and eye out for a summary of the 2020 edition to be posted after next weekend’s play. In the interim, I hope you enjoyed last year’s posts.

Golf

Your Hack Wins The Double

Storming to the front of the pack with ugly bogeys on the last 2 holes, your Retired Golf Hack and his partner – Glenn (the Sheriff) Hudson- shot 74 to win the Closing Day Member Member Tournament at Cripple Creek. For those of you with good memories, you will recall that the Opening Day Member Member Tournament back in June of this year was won with a 70, posted by Harry Steele and myself. It doesn’t seem to matter who partners with your Hack does it?

Seriously, we had a beautiful day yesterday for the official closing day tournament at the club. The course was in great shape about 5 weeks after the Fall aeration and the greens were running fast. We had 104 players this year, the largest group ever according to our Head Pro, so we had a full tee sheet starting on both #1 and #10. Unfortunately, the size of the field and the difficulty of the course led to a 5 hour and 10 minute round – it was ugly out there.

Andy was the 10th tee Starter and Lunch Order Taker

Here’s how the tournament played – holes #1-6 were better ball of partners, holes #7-12 were alternate shot, and holes #13-18 were a scramble. The field had a Men’s and Women’s Division, further divided into flights based on team handicap. Technically, this is a Net Score tournament, but your Hack doesn’t play for Net prizes as you know. The Sheriff and I were in it to win the low gross score.

We started on #10 and had to play alternate shot right out of the shoot – you know – “never say you’re sorry golf”. I have to admit that I almost said “sorry” to my partner on the 10th green when I gunned our birdie putt about 8 feet past the hole – did I mention the greens were rolling pretty good? The Sheriff missed the comeback putt and just like that we were 1 over after the first hole of the day.

Paul Dillon (right) and Mark Decker filled out our foursome

Fortunately, we settled down making easy pars on #12 and #13 – missing 15 and 12 foot birdies putts respectively – before abruptly shifting to the scramble portion of the match after only 3 holes. The Sheriff and I both hit the ball well during the the scramble, but couldn’t make any putts when we had birdie chances and couldn’t get the ball close enough to the hole when we had great opportunities. Rather than going low, we cruised through the 6 hole scramble making 5 pars in a row, leaving a couple of putts on the edge of the cup. Unfortunately, we made an ugly bogey on #18 after both of us missed the green left from 155 yards. Back nine complete – 2 over par.

Only slightly frustrated by our seeming inability to make birdie putts, we crossed over the hole #1 and started the better ball portion of the match. The Sheriff just missed the green from the right rough leaving a tricky putt, downhill and curling to the pin. I hit a sand wedge to 8 feet and was ready to get back the ugly bogey from the previous hole. After grazing the right edge and tapping in for par, I guess that in hindsight I wasn’t ready.

After I made a good up and down for par on #2, the Sheriff made a terrific birdie on #3 to get us back to 1 over. On the par 5, 4th hole my drive ended up only 188 yards from the pin in the left rough. My partner was in good shape in the fairway, but hit is second shot left into the pine straw short of the green. I tried to run a 5 iron up the front entrance to the green, but tugged it left about 5 yards and it stopped in the rough about 10 feet short of the green. My chip went a little long and I had 8 feet down the hill for birdie which I promptly missed-it never touched the cup. Two more pars on holes #5 and #6 and we ended the better ball session 1 under, making our score 1 over par overall.

The last 3 holes would conclude our alternate shot session and our goal was to make just one more birdie to get to even par 71 for the tournament. Like most of my goals, it was nice but unachievable. My partner hit a beautiful 7 iron about 15 feet below the hole on the par 3 – 7th hole. My putt dried up 6 inches short and left of the hole. Then the fun began. My drive on #8 was in the left rough leaving my partner with a downhill 9 iron to the green from a sketchy lie. The ball came out squirting right and ended up in the gnarly rough just off the right of the green. I chipped to about 6 feet, but Glenn missed both the hole and the putt – bogey.

On the tee of the final hole of the day (#9), we sat 2 over par and had the feeling we might lose this thing. Pumped up after a short pep talk about just finding the fairway with the drive and I would hit it close, the Sheriff took a mighty swing with the driver and smashed a wipey fade into the right rough. When we got there, I walked out to the fairway and say the yardage marker saying 185 middle. My partner shot the pin with his laser and said “197 pin”. Now, I always stick to my yardages by sight, aided by on course markers. This is from my caddie days and I’ve never used a range finder. Unfortunately, I didn’t stand fast at this moment and two things happened, neither of them good. One, I went back to bag and pulled my hybrid rather than the original 5 iron. Second, I hit the ball just right of the green and it careened off the cart path and ended up 30-40 yards past the green.

The Sheriff – Glenn Hudson in white. My Partner.

Bogey! Yes, we bogeyed the final 2 holes and ended the tournament with a 74. Happily, the rest of the field was worse and we ended the day with the lowest score. Like I said in the beginning, in reality this is a low net tournament as far as the Club is concerned so I wanted to pass along my congratulations to the Low Net winners – the brother’s Donnelly. Jimmy & Joe shot a net 67 as only a couple of sandbaggers from Columbia Country Club can do. Well done boys!

Real congratulations go to Natalie Wisniewski and Jean Otter for winning the Women’s Division with a 76. Natalie and Jean also won the Opening Day Member Member tournament, just like your Hack.

Remember, my 100 Hole Hike is tomorrow. I’m playing and walking 100 holes at Cripple Creek and raising money for Youth on Course. If you are around the Creek, we start at 6AM on the 3rd tee. Definitely going to need my LED golf balls at that hour. I’ll be live blogging all day – stay tuned.

Golf

The 2020 Chowder Cup

Hurricane Delta threatened to cut short the Sunday singles session, but we got it in! The weather was actually great – calm winds and moderate temperatures – which lead to some strong play. The forecasted rains did not arrive until after play was completed. By then, players and spouses were enjoying the awards dinner.

Let’s get something out of the way first. Congratulations to Mike Cummings who is the Mens Senior Net Champion Golfer Of The Year for 2020 as a result of his stellar play this past summer in the Senior Club Championship. (He also won 3 points for my team in the Chowder Cup – thanks Mike.) The ridiculous trophy, complete with netting, was presented to Cummings today by the 2019 MSNCGOTY, one Mike Robel. Congrats Mike and well deserved.

Mike Cummings – happy with his new trophy. Standing with Paul Dillon, the real Senior Club Champion in 2020

Back to the ChowderCup. The Red Team, captained by Tom Fallon and Mike Robel, jumped out quickly in the Scramble Session 4 1/2 to 3 1/2. OT Gibbons and I halved our match, while Cummings/Donnelly and Statter/Decker both pulled out victories for my White Team. My guys came back in the Better Ball session, winning 5 points to 3. Our session victory was highlighted by OT making 3 birdies in a row on 11, 12, and 13 en route to a 4 and 3 victory over Dewey & Dillon. Robel/Hudson and Sunderlin/Valesse added victory points for the Red team, but were offset by victories from Varasco/Farrar, Boteler/Benson, and Statter/Decker for my White Team.

TeamNameHandicap
TeamNameHandicap
RedPaul Dillon5
WhiteOT Gibbons0
RedSteve Dewey7
WhiteJeff Baxter (Captain)5
RedMike Robel (Asst. Captain)9
WhiteMike Cummings8
RedGlen Hudson9
WhiteJimmy Donnelly10
RedNick Stanisic9
WhiteDon Boteler10
RedDoug (Councilman) Hudson12
WhiteMatt Bensen11
RedTom Fallon (Captain)13
WhiteMark Decker14
RedTim Hastings13
WhiteSimon Statter (Asst. Captain)15
RedDrew Sunderlin14
WhiteDon Dzedzy14
RedFrank Vallese15
WhiteMark Browne15
RedNeil Leary16
WhiteHarry Stokes17
RedJoe Donnelly18
WhiteDoug (Condo) Hudson18
RedMike Sasada20
WhitePaul Schaffran19
RedFrank Miranda20
WhiteTom Hunsberger26
RedDick Moore13
WhiteRandy Varesco14
RedClaude Bernier17
WhiteMike Farrar16
2020 Chowder Cup Roster

My Team White held a slim 13 to 11 point lead at the conclusion of play Saturday, winning 2 of the 3 sessions. Pairings were made for Sunday Singles and we hoped we’d get it in before the weather arrived.

The Sunday matches started at 9AM with my Assistant Captain, Simon Statter, playing Tim Hastings and Don Dzedy playing the Red Team Captain, Tom Fallon. Both Simon and Don were victorious. Simon played strong – 5 up after the front 9. My match was 2nd off. Paul Dillon, our current Senior Club Champion shot 1 under on the front to have me 1 down after I missed a 4 foot birdie putt on 9. Unfortunately for me, Paul continued his stellar play and was 2 under par when he closed me out on 15. I was 2 over. My partner, OT Gibbons, beat Steve Dewey with a combination of long drives and steady putting. Steve put up a good fight, but was closed out on 15 as well.

Mike Cummings and Don Boteler both added victory points for the White Team and played great over both days. Mike added 3 points to our White Team total and Don added 3 1/2 – congrats to both. They were my players of the Cup for sure.

On the Red Team side, Mike Robel played exceptionally well defeating Jimmy Donnelly. Glen Hudson held off Matt Benson while Drew Sunderlin, Frank Valesse, Niel Leary, Mike Sasada and Joe Donnelly each added needed victories for the Red Team.

In our Gold tee grouping, both of my guys – Mike Farrar and Randy Varesco defeated their opponents to keep us in the overall match.

The final match of the day pitted Tom Hunsberger (White) against Frank Miranda (Red). We held a small – lead 20 points to 19 points – as this match entered the 17 hole with Tom 2up. Frank won 17 to narrow the margin. After both players made a mess on 18 and were each lying 5 just off the green, Frank magnanimously offer a “good-good?” to Tom. Of course, Tom accepted and my White Team won the 2020 Chowder Cup 21 points to 19 points for the Red.

Congratulations to all the players and especially to Tom Fallon and Mike Robel, captain and assistant caption of the Red Team. Special thanks to my assistant captain, Simon Stater, who helped guide our selection strategy and pairings which resulted in our ultimate victory.

And so ends the 2020 Chowder Cup. We are all looking forward to playing The Hootie, the final major of 2020, which will be held November 7-8, the weekend prior to this year’s Masters.

Read a history of The Hootie by clicking here

Cripple Creek, Golf, Hootie

The Hootie – A Short History

We play our first Major at the club this weekend and I thought it would be fun to write a short history of the tournament – The Hootie.

On April 13, 2003, a Cripple Creek tradition and a tournament like no other began.

“The Dog came out growling with a sandy par on the first hole and never looked back. Chipping in twice for birdies and taking only 24 putts, he rolled up a remarkable, we will not report the remarks that were made, 43 points [modified Stableford scoring] and ran off with a bone of $120. When asked how his knee held up, he responded with a blank look, “WHAT KNEE?”  A 73 is a sure fire cure for whatever ails you.”

And so ended the first Hootie at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club in Bethany Beach, DE.  Our “Once and Former Commissioner” – one Lary Larson – was eloquent in his description of the Dog’s “historic” victory. Continue reading

Golf

Tour on the Shore Opener This Weekend

My tournament season opens this weekend at Bay Creek in Cape Charles, VA. I’m driving down tomorrow for a practice round and then we play the Nicklaus Course Saturday and the Palmer Course on Sunday. The weekend rounds are also qualifiers for the UA Tour finals to be held in Ocean City, MD in June. The weather looks tough for Friday, but the temperature gets into the 50’s over the weekend, but the wind will blow 20-30 mph. Continue reading