Kildare Group – Friday the 28th

Friday’s golf group found Mike Miller on top of the gross score heap again with a 78. Howard Jones was one stroke back while Mike Wentrup and Dave Inman tied for third. Dennis Kildare took home the net honors with a 65. Laurence Rosen and Mike Wentrup tied for second place. Team honors went to the foursome of Bruce Partridge, Pat Collins, Don Coolidge and Ken Vlah. Mike Miller, Mike Forde, Dennis Kildare and Laurence Rosen tied the team of Mike Wentrup, Howard Jones, Brian Laks and Don Fruchtman for second place, but won on a scorecard playoff on the 18th hole.

Low Gross

  1. Mike Miller – 78
  2. Howard Jones – 79
  3. Mike Wentrup and Dave Inman – 82

Low Net

  1. Dennis Kildare – 65
  2. Laurence Rosen and Mike Wentrup – 68

View complete results.

Net skins went to Skyler Irvine (2), Tom Hansen, Laurence Rosen, Dennis Kildare, Jim Woods and Howard Jones (with a gross eagle on a hole with no strokes).

Notably absent from the field were all of the members of Wednesday’s winning team. Apparently, they’re in hiding or exile somewhere. The rumor mill has it that . . . Kopp is in Mexico fighting extradition. Martin has undergone plastic surgery and taken on a new identity. Thompson was seen in the desert digging a hole in which he plans on hiding his winnings. And Gabriel was actually at the club disguised as a mini-skirt clad woman. It was reported he was hit upon and last seen leaving the Member’s Grill, arm-in-arm, with Dale Fitzhenry.

Kopps and Robbers . . . Wednesday, September 27th

The Wednesday golf group gets larger as the temperatures get lower. With a great turnout, the bandits left their roost. This week’s bandit-in-chief was none other than Richard Martin. You’ve all heard the term “Plausible deniability”, but few have ever seen its face. Here it is. Richard had been posting scores that looked like an Arabian weather report, but Wednesday, he came out of hiding and logged a net 60. He helped his (stacked) team of Dave Kopp, Scott Thompson and Jim Gabriel run away with first place honors. Their team’s net scores were (60, 64, 65 and 76). As if these bunker bandits hadn’t absconded with enough treasure, three members of the team accounted for virtually all the skins for another $195. When the sheriff escorted them to their armor-plated Porches, they looked like Cheshire cats that had just held up the bank.

The computer program used to analyze the matches has a feature that calculates the odds of someone shooting a particular score on a given course with a set rating and slope. In the past 500 rounds recorded, no one has ever broken the 1,000-to-1 barrier. Martin’s odds worked out to roughly 3,000-to-1. I hear they’re getting a posse together and they’re looking for a rope.

Martin wasn’t the only marauder on the course. Dave Kopp was on the loose. Coincidentally, he was on the same team as Richard Martin. Kopp bogeyed two out of the last four holes. His monumental collapse left him with a gross 71. His closest competitor was eight strokes back.

At a certain point, the rest of the field is no longer classified as competitors; they are simply relegated to the status of “the gallery”. It was a nice day to be a spectator.

Low Net

  1. Richard Martin – 60
  2. Bruce Partridge – 63
  3. Dave Kopp – 64

Low Gross

  1. Dave Kopp – 71
  2. Jim Stamatis and Ron Rosin – 79

Team Winners

  1. Richard Martin, Dave Kopp, Jim Gabriel and Scott Thompson
  2. Ron Rosin, Mike Forde, Mike Wentrup and Jim Stamatis

Complete results.

I guess I’d better come clean. I’ve said nothing above that is untrue, however, I’ll confess that as propaganda minister, I may have omitted a little bit of relevant information. It is true that no one has ever (since the records have been kept in the current system) broken the 1,000-to-1 odds barrier. It is also true that three out of the four most improbable rounds in the past 500 were fired yesterday (Martin, 3000-to-1, Kopp, 972-to-1 and Partridge, 706-to-1). It is also true that the calculation of these numbers is based soundly on tens of thousands of golf rounds played all over the nation. However, I must admit the first nine holes of Wednesday’s event were played from the back tees of the Arroyo course in a “shamble” format. Everyone hit a drive and then all four teammates hit their second shots from the point of the best drive. Undoubtedly, this made the play a little easier, especially for the high handicappers. Jim Gabriel said, “Hey, we were hitting our second shots from places we’d never seen on the course before!”

Alright, alright . . . we’ll suspend the charges against these guys this time. The odds perhaps weren’t fairly calculated. But you look at the expressions on the faces of these pirates and try and tell me we shouldn’t still have a hanging rope in the cart for Friday’s round.

Aces, Kings, Queens and Jokers – The Week in Review

It has been said that writing non-fiction is difficult because it’s so hard to make it believable. Such was the week at Gainey Ranch.

Monday the 17th

The week began slowly on Monday with a game rarely played amongst the men of Gainey – a round-robin dollar Nassau. A dollar Nassau may seem like small potatoes until you realize everyone in the field has a dollar Nassau with everyone else in the field. With twenty players, you could in theory lose nineteen matches front, back and 18 for a loss of three dollars nineteen times. Conversely, you could win fifty-four dollars if you play very well. It encourages everyone to putt everything and to play their best for all 18 holes.

Monday’s event found George Stelmach atop the heap by a wide margin. He rode his 14 handicap into the winner’s circle with a gross 79. It would be easy to call the person “contributing” the most money to the pot the biggest loser, but alas – how tacky. I chose to give him the “Major Sponsor’s Trophy”.  Monday’s Sponsor’s Trophy went to Mike Forde.

Wednesday the 19th

The regular Kildare Group took to the tee box and when the dust had settled, Scott Thompson came out on top with a gross 74. He claims he’s injured, but the scorecard failed to corroborate his story. Dennis Kildare beat up upon the field in the net category with a 64. Bruce Partridge finished second four strokes back. Thompson and Kildare escaped with four of the six net skins. Thompson commandeered three of the five gross skins.

Thursday the 20th

This is normally a non-golf day for most, however, this day was anything but normal. It seems the club hosted a “charity tournament” sponsored by one of Scottsdale’s night spots catering to the “younger set”. The Gainey MGA had its moles inserted into the field to make sure everything was on the up-and-up. Let me make it perfectly clear – I was NOT present. Therefore, I cannot report anything that is not hearsay. Take it with a grain of salt. Better yet, query those MGA members that were actually on the course and get their stories first-hand. Mike Miller, Marty Howe, Jim Gabriel and Bruce Partridge (who else would you have expected) were reported to have participated in the tournament. It seems the tournament involved nudity, flashes of greatness, uplifting motivation talks, aerobic exercise and more strokes than handicaps normally allow.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were photographs documenting some of the play, but I have yet to see them.

If the rumor mills can be given any credence, the events on the course paled in comparison to the activities in the Member’s Grill after the event. I am not a witness to anything as I was home reading self-improvement books. However, based upon the “word on the street”, the evening was one that won’t soon be forgotten by those that can remember it.

Friday the 21st

Life returned to near normal with the Friday group. Dave Inman, Ron Rosin and Mike Miller lit it up shooting 76, 77 and 79 respectively taking low gross honors. Net skins went nearly everywhere with Horihan, Wentrup, Inman, Irvine, Kildare, Miller, Vlah and Woods claiming one each.

The highlight of the round came when Mike Wentrup had a hole-in-one on #6 Lakes. Most golfers never ace a hole. The lucky ones rack up one or maybe two. This was Mike Wentrup’s sixth hole-in-one. Were it not for the fear of facing a large bar bill for the obligatory ceremonial buying of a round of drinks, Mike may have forgotten to mention it. After all – after six up them . . . what’s the big deal?

The Boston Strangler and the Temple of Doom

Joel Temple played his last round of golf Wednesday – at least for a couple of months. Foot surgery will keep him on the sidelines. This means others will have a chance at winning low gross. Joel started his round with par-bogey-bogey, but played the next 15 holes in two under par to card a 72 and win low gross honors by five strokes. I’ve seen it before. When Joel gets hot, it’s a scorched earth policy. His net 63 was almost unbeatable, but not quite. Bruce Partridge forgot he was a 19 handicap and fired an even par 36 on the Lakes course and posted a net 62 for the day. There will be a clinic next week on how to tie knots for nooses. Enrollment is expected to be high. Continue reading “The Boston Strangler and the Temple of Doom”

Live from Barton Creek – Recap

I must admit I thought we might have a chance when the tourney started. Our team was talented and determined. Matt thought 8-10 under each day would put us in the hunt. We shot 26 under for the 3 days…which is a very respectable score. And only 4 off the target number and a 3 day total of 189.

Well, 10 under each day wasn’t the number and far from it. The top two teams finished tied at 173 or 42 under for the three days. The two teams had a 3 hole playoff for first. The winner went – eagle, birdie, and birdie – to win. The runner up – birdie, birdie,  and birdie. Both teams were from Texas and featured a woman pro or a woman scratch golfer. I’m still convinced they are juicing. There was a 4 way tie for third at 174….tough, tough competition.

I feel fortunate to have been a part of Team Gainey.  And that alone, made me feel like a winner.

Some takeaways  …….

  • This is great event and experience – prior attendees try very hard to get back to the event through local club qualifiers.  Some clubs have as many as 60 teams vying for  spots in the event.   I completely understand why.  This is one of the best golf experiences of my life.
  • Barton Creek Resort and Spa is a fabulous place and the golf is first rate.  We are fortunate to have Barton Creek in the ClubCorp/KSL family.  I would highly recommend a visit.
  • Austin is a gem of a city.  This was my first visit and it is on my short list of places to revisit soon.
  • Matt is a great pro and we are blessed to have him.  Many of you know his parents, Barbara and Gary, and he didn’t fall very far from the tree.  The Anzalones are wonderful people and members.   It was a great experience spending time with him.
  • Team Gainey:  I want to thank Dave, Jim, Matt, and Traci for making this an incredibly memorable and enjoyable golf experience.  I love you guys and gal!

Steve “Tanqueray” King

Footnote:  They found Dave’s bag after he left the hotel Sunday morning.  It was in a guy’s room for 4 days and he didn’t say anything about it being there.  He was going to leave it in the room when he checked out, until the bellman inquired about the bag.  It was safely returned to him on Sunday afternoon.  Whew!

The Hardy Boys at Gainey Ranch – Kildare, September 7th

There was lots of water on the course and the skies threatened to bring more. Some of Friday’s golfers ran from the adversity as if they were being sought by the teenage girl’s shotgun laden father. Only the hardy boys of Gainey Ranch played. The last place you wanted to be on Gainey was one of the water filled arroyos at least not without a personal floatation device. Enough of those who had signed up abandoned ship that the planned game also had to be abandoned. The entire pot was redirected into the net skins game.

There were familiar names at the top of the gross score game; Mike Miller won again with a water-logged 76. Howard Jones was two strokes back at 78. The big surprise came when a relatively new member, Richard Martin, broke through to win the low net honors with a 66. Continue reading “The Hardy Boys at Gainey Ranch – Kildare, September 7th”

Live from Barton Creek – Day 2

Well another day is in the books. Team Gainey improved significantly. One lipped out putt away from 59. Our 12 under left us in the top 1/3 on the Fazio Foothills course. The best scores were in the mid-fifties …. again. The low score today was 56 with a large number of teams shooting 60 or better.

Our pro, Matt, took charge today leading and orchestrating our play. I think he is feeling better about Team Gainey. Rumor has it the 60 shot today is a Gainey record for this tourney. I’m sure past participants, including Murph and Murph, will be checking the record books. Continue reading “Live from Barton Creek – Day 2”

Live from Barton Creek – Day 1

Travis LakeThe first 18 are in the books.  There isn’t much to say other than…damn those guys from Texas are good.  One of the Houston teams turned in a 55….that’s right “Five Five”

I think those boys are juicing.  They weren’t the only ones firing in the fifties.  There were another 8-10 teams under 60.  The good news; we didn’t bet any of those teams.  However, the bad news – we lost on all of our other 8 bets.  Ugh!

We were left with nothing else to do but have beverages….many many beverages.  So we headed to Travis Lake for the view.  We decided, that if the wheels start to come off, 9:15 isn’t too early to drink.

On Dave’s lost luggage – nothing after 48 hours.  He was discharged from the army; the hotel was able to get him some new tighty whities.

Steve “Army” King….team mascot and caddy

Stelmach – The Gainey Gold Standard

George Stelmach rose to the top Wednesday firing a net 67 to take the honors for the day. Dennis Kildare continues his strong recovery with a net 69. Low gross honors went to Mike Miller with a 74. The course played a little tougher than normal with golfers averaging 87.1 strokes per round.

Low Net

  1. George Stelmach – 67
  2. Dennis Kildare and Mike Miller – 69

Low Gross

  1. Mike Miller – 74
  2. George Stelmach and Howard Jones – 80

Skins winners were grinning with a payout of $40 for net skins and just under $20 for gross skins. Four net skins were split between George Stelmach, Jim Gabriel, Dennis Kildare and Bruce Partridge. There were five gross skins with two each going to Mike Miller and Howard Jones. George Stelmach won the fifth one, but hadn’t bought into the gross skins pot. Scott Thompson saw and investment opportunity and purchased George for his stable. Stelmach’s gross skin went into Thompson’s golf investment portfolio.

Click here for complete results.

Live from Barton Creek

Well we made it to Austin and the Acura ClubCorp Team Championship. There have been a few hiccups along the way. As many of you know, Don’s mom is very ill and he wasn’t able to make the trip. We’ll pray for him and his family as they deal with these difficult times.

Our new addition, Traci Tope, willingly accepted the task of filling in for Don. She is a wonderful addition to our team. And fortunately for us, Mike told Traci what happens in Austin stays in Austin….I’ll leave the rest to your imaginations. So our team is made up of Steve “Army” King, Dave Inman, Jim Stamatis, Traci Tope, and Matt Anzalone. Continue reading “Live from Barton Creek”