One of this kids favorite events went off yesterday, The Men's Shootout. The idea is quite simple, everyone plays a hole of Golf and based on your handicap, the one with the worst score goes home. This is repeated on each hole of the course, until there's just one Golfer standing.
To me as a Golfer the Shootout is about hitting that great shot, exactly when you have to. There's really something to be said for the pressure that can stir within you, when you're sixteenth to hit and there's already fifteen balls on the green.
As a guy though, this sucker is all about the camaraderie. Every sincere "great shot" or "that's OK. It's just a chip and a putt" is usually surrounded with cries of "sand bagger" and "hack." We have a great group of guy's make it out most every Thursday and having a whack of us head onto the course at the same time, always makes for a fantastic event.
My strategy for this thing is simple to start out. Since we're all playing the one hole at the same time, I liken it to matchplay. I just try and pay attention to the worst score early. I know pretty much who gets how many strokes where, so if I see a probable double bogey or worse coming up for someone that gets a stoke on the hole, a simple and straight forward par will do. There's no sense in pushing for the birdie, when you just don't have to.
So how'd I do?
I started out pretty strong actually. When we got to the first par 3, I damn near jarred the tee shot for the ace. There were two guy's in real trouble so when it came time for me to putt, I wasn't too pissed about making the two putt. When we moved on to the first par 5, it was obvious that everyone was playing the 'safe' ball in play game from the tee. None too long and not one left or right to the trees. I needed to stripe one! So I did. I managed to catch the left rough, but only about 4 feet off the fairway. The final guy to hit however, must have really felt it building in him. Typically long and straight, Colin snap hooked his tee shot into the woods on the left. When he had even more trouble on his next two shots, I knew that even a bogey would be good to move on to the next hole. With no real need to reach the green in two, I laid up to about 100 yards for my second shot. Then I saw the pin placement!
This would be a good time to mention that the course Superintendent has as much fun with this Shootout, as we do! The pins are always a little bit tougher these days and yesterday, was no exception at all! The pin on this par 5 was right up front and tucked behind the huge and steep front bunker. There was also some of the gnarliest rough on the course, grown in the eight feet of space between the two. I hit the back edge of the green and just rolled off. A chip and a putt later and thankfully, I moved to the next tee.
The next hole played out pretty boring for me, a drive a wedge and two putts for par to seal the deal. There was a funny moment though. After taking a few moments to look for Terry Y's tee shot, the realization that it had to be stuck in the Spruce tree on the right was the only possibility. Yep! There it was! I wish I would've taken a picture of the ball AND the look on poor Terry's face!
Being the only one to hit the green on the tough par 3 5th. hole, made it a pretty routine hole for me. DonKaaa got into trouble here though and luckily, he escaped by the hair of his chinny, chin chin. WoooOOOoooT!
It was my turn on the par 4 sixth hole though, as I pulled my drive into the waste bunker on the left. Then I tried to bite off more than I could chew and didn't get it out in one. Ruh-Roh! I stuck it to about 6 feet beside the pin in four and honestly, I was in big trouble. A higher handicap player was looking to make a double bogey with two strokes on the hole. It looked like I was going to have to make that putt, just to get into a chip-off shootout. When he three-putted instead of two putting, I cozied my first putt up to the hole. NOT! I blew the damn thing about three feet past. I made the come backer and looked for Peb's to tell us where the shootout chip would take place. (her job for the day!) When Queen_K said, "you're good Bammer" (scoring is her job for the day) I was stunned. Then I remembered that this was one of the toughest holes on the course and miracle of miracles, I got a stroke too! WHEW!
Golfers were having all kinds of trouble from the tee on the next hole. I simply "bunted" a drive down the left center, then gave myself two to get to the hole. I only needed a two putt to survive and that's exactly how I played to move on.
I hit what I thought was a great shot on the 8th. hole PAR 3. Only to watch the ever increasing right to left wind, carry the ball to a missed green on the left. It was on my chip that my funny moment, (now.... definitely NOT then!) happened. On the way to the hole my ball made an abrupt stop, after jumping straight up into the air. WTF??? I managed to hit an old, hard and dried up piece....... of Goose shit! That fecker left me with about 20 feet for par. I was pissed off so, I gave that putt a run. I knew I could two putt, but the adrenaline definitely got the best of me. After the par put lipped out, I dropped it in for a Goose shit bogey. Since it was good enough, DonKaaa brought out my sense of humour again and on we went to the 9th. tee.
Playing all of 548 yards, the 9th. is a hole I do not try to reach in two. Water left and right of the really small green and all that distance to carry, just makes it a crazy decision in my mind. Despite all of the trouble others were having around me, I jammed my drive down the center and made a safe lay up to 110 yards on the second shot. After dropping a wedge to about 7 feet below the pin on my third shot, a simple two putt was plenty to keep me keepin' on.
As I was teeing off on the 10th. hole, I heard the distinct click of a camera. I was so going to go all "Tiger" on the crowd and spew forth every four letter word that I know. But it was Peb's AND she took it before I'd even taken the club back.
I know they aren't the Packer colours I usually like to wear on Sundays, but I had the Steelers in our challenge CK suicide pool. I figured I'd best go with Payne's Sunday garb strategy in the end. (Yes I'm still alive in the pool!)
I almost eagled the par 4 10th. but when I moved on to #11, I hit a pretty craptastic tee shot. I gave myself a great opportunity for par but unfortunately, I lipped out the putt. I was off to my first shootout chip. Three of us went to where Peb's had placed the tees. A bunker shot from the down slope of the back lip, to no green to work with. NICE! Dee went first and hit just a terrible chunked shot. Naturally as a uber-high handicapper, his ball ski-jumped up the front lip of the bunker and landed right next to the hole. *sigh It was my turn next and I blasted the ball up the the front edge of the green. That got me to about 6 feet. There was only Terry Y left to go and all he had to do was, stick it closer than 6 feet. When I saw his ball air-mail the green, I knew I'd gotten away with one there.
The very tough and demanding tee shot on #12, definitely got the best of one of the guys. Well not really one of THE guys, but one of the guys playing in the event. With his first shot out of bounds on the right, his 3 off the tee hit a tree and went in the water on the left. That left him an option of 5 off the tee, or shoot 5 from the center of all the trees just in front of that water. His choice was 5 off the tee and when he topped that ball down into the trees on the left, let's just say that I learned a few words that I hadn't ever heard before AND, there's probably a highly damaged Taylor Made R7 for sale on e-bay right now. At a greatly reduced price I'm sure. :)
When he conceded after realizing he had no shot and would have to hit 7 off the tee on a par 5 playing 535, we all just walked along to the next tee.
It was at that tee that I finally took the time to see who was left in our group. Yes! I get that focused on the course at times, that I'm not even aware of who I'm playing against as persons. They're just a golf ball and a number of strokes to me.
Anywho.... With just four of us left to play due to several cancellations prior to the event, it was on the 13th. tee that I realized I was playing against DonKaaa, brudder CC and Teddy Bear. As we frequently all Golf together, it was actually kind of surreal to have just the four of us left.
When Teddy had no idea where his tee shot went on that hole, (always wait for someone else to watch a shot into the Sun kids!) it got even more amazing to me that myself, brudder CC and DonKaaa, were all that were left to play for the win. The three amigos who do everything together, were now vying for their name on the prettiest trophy in all of Golf. The one that says on this day, I beat'em all.
I laid up with an iron on the tight par 4 14th. hole. DonKaaa pulled a 3 wood down into the valley of sin. Then brudder CC hit a massive slice off the tee, putting him way right of the hole in play. I felt pretty damn good about my decision to lay up! Then I got to my ball. Despite what looked like a fairly straight forward shot down the middle, I left the tree at the corner of the slight dog leg right, in play. Directly in my path to the green! (words not suitable for most ears were said here) With no shot low and having to get the ball up immediately off of the club, I could only hope to get a good enough bounce to catch part of the front of the green. I didn't. I hit a descent shot I guess, but I landed about 15 yards short of the green. A chip to the back pin was all I had left. I only got that chip about 3/4 of the way to the hole. A two putt for bogey and DonKaa and I were in what could be, my last shot at this thing.
Peb's gave us an uphill chip out of the rough, with two destinct breaks on the green we had to work with. It was about a 38 foot shot. I was drawn to go first and when I saw my ball settle at just inside 6 feet from the hole, I knew I was done even before Donnie took a look at the shot. My man DonKaaa has one of the best wedge games that I know of. I don't just expect him to get it to within a foot or two on most shots, I actually get amazed when he doesn't make about three of them a round! Needless to say, he stuck it to about half the distance that mine was sitting at, and I go home in third place.
Brudder CC and DonKaaa were going to settle it on the par 3 15th hole. With DonKaaa having to give brudder CC a stroke on the 179 yard uphill hole. They both missed the green, DonKaaa in the front bunker and brudder CC missing the green to the right. Then the both put a second shot within puttable range to make it interesting. When brudder CC 3-putt for a 5, I thought it was all over but the drinking. DonKaaa's par put fell exactly one-half of an inch short. His bogey let CC in, or CC's 3-putt let Donnie back in. Whichever way you looked at it, the shootout was going to finish, with a shootout!
Peb's gave them a pot bunker sand shot, with as little green as possible to work with. When CC's ball flew the green and didn't roll back down the slope that was there to work with, DonKaaa just flopped his ball onto the center of the green for the winn!
Congrats again champ and to you as well brudder CC. Like I said at the end yesterday, You guy's played some damn fine golf........
for a change!
I'm never sure how I always end up running this thing every year, but when it's all said and done I'm glad I do. Great friends, great times always and the awesome help of my girls Queen_K and Peb's, clearly makes our Shootout one of my favorite days of the year.
The weather is supposed to hold for us until next week at least, so Peb's and Queen_K have thrown down the gauntlet. We're going to put together a group of 9 to 18 and do a unisex version of the shootout next Sunday. WoooOOOoooT !
Oh and for what it's worth, I say none of us guys stand a chance!
My sincerest thanks for dropping by....