♪♬ And a Partridge on a Par Three ♪♬ – December 25th Week in Review

Wednesday, December 26th

Partridge in a Pear TreeBruce Partridge and Howard Jones took home first prize in Wednesday’s Men’s Day competition. They played poorly, but ham-and-egged it very well. And as I learned after buying Phoenix Coyote season tickets, timing is everything. Second place went to Mike Matz and Gary Reibman. Greg Luce and Ron Rosin claimed third and were followed by Dan Hellman and Ted Akiba in fourth and Brian Laks and Jim Mantle in fifth. Mike Matz won four skins, two gross and two net. Brian Laks, Dennis Kildare and Jim Stamatis won two skins each. Gary Anzalone, Gene Kloeckner, John Walker and Ted Akiba bagged one each.

There was a good turnout in the Kildare group. Jim Stamatis won low gross and low net. Gary Anzalone took second in the gross category. Howard Jones and Dale Anderson tied for third place. Dale Anderson and Dennis Kildare finished tied for second in the net ranking.

Low Net

  1. Jim Stamatis – 66
  2. Dale Anderson and Dennis Kildare – 68

Low Gross

  1. Jim Stamatis – 78
  2. Gary Anzalone – 80
  3. Dale Anderson and Howard Jones – 83

Complete results.

The course played tough again, a half stroke under a ninety average. Birdies were rare. No eagles left their nests.

Dale AndersonFriday, December 28th

Dale Anderson completed his conquest of Gainey Ranch Friday finishing in first place in the net score category. Gary Anzalone took the honor of low gross. There is credible evidence that Anderson has already taken his week’s winnings and deposited them into a Swiss bank account.

Low Net

  1. Dale Anderson – 66
  2. Sam McConkey – 67
  3. Jim Gabriel and Mike Hickey – 68

Low Gross

  1. Gary Anzalone – 78
  2. Dave Inman – 79
  3. Mike Hickey – 80

Complete results.

The team competition was won by Gary Anzalone, Bruce Partridge, Mike Wentrup and Jim Gabriel. They edged out Dale Anderson, Dave Inman, Don Fruchtman and Tom Hansen by two points. All teams were competitive. Well . . . alright, maybe not all teams. The point spread between the first four teams was six points, 30 to 24. Match results.

One team composed of Howard Jones, Rick Brown, Mike Forde and Nick De Santis (I’ve switched the names around to protect their identity) defied all laws of nature, statistics and golf to fall 30 points behind the winners. Jones insists they engineered their game to attain a score of zero. “It is a magical number,” said Jones. “It symbolizes peace, harmony and balance. We escaped the Mayan collapse only because of efforts such those we put forth Friday. As we enter the New Year, our team members will be spiritually poised to climb the highest summits of golf success. The other teams will have seven years of bad luck and missed putts.”

Forde says it was a statistical aberration, but totally explainable. “The sun was in my eyes the whole round,” he said with a slight snarl. “Gravitational fields have been swirling lately and my putting was affected. The wind was always in my face; I assume Gabriel and Partridge were in an adjacent foursome.”

When asked about his performance, De Santis was cryptic. “How about those Red Sox,” he demurred. He then wandered off mumbling something about pissing off a Navajo medicine man in Gallup the week before.

Rick Brown was more philosophical. “How the hell could I play good golf when I’m paired up with those guys?” He said, “They’ll be hearing from my attorney,” as he threw his balls in the water. One for the record books!

Who is this man and why is he wearing a mask? Monday, December 24th

Buddy Stein on 8 ArroyoI received a note from Allen Rinzler saying “Buddy Stein would like to play in the Monday group. Any objections?”

“Is there any reason he shouldn’t?” I responded. “Is he easy money? Does he play slow? Does he cheat? For whom did he vote?”

I didn’t expect Allen to share my email with Buddy so I was surprised when I received an email from Buddy with the following responses to my questions.

“Is he easy money? Very, but try to collect. Does he play slow? Just a wee faster than Rinzler, but anyone is faster than Allen. Does he cheat? Only if no one is watching. For whom did he vote? Woodrow Wilson.”

It wasn’t clear to me if Buddy wrote in Wilson’s name in the last election or if he was waxing melancholy over his high school years. Only one way to find out. He was in the group behind me.

When the day was done, Buddy had tied for first place in the low net division. His team finished one stroke off the lead in the team competition. And Buddy filched the field by winning the lion’s share of the money in the round robin Nassau. He came, he conquered, he cashed in and left. That is why he is wearing a mask. And that is why he has that grin.

Complete results.

Despite Stein’s field ravaging performance, Monday’s game was the most competitive match in a long time. The top nine finishers were within three net strokes of each other. The top three teams were separated by only one stroke total. A scorecard playoff had to settle the match. The course played tough. Average scores hovered around 90 again. The “Sponsor’s Trophy” (for the individual contributing the most to the Buddy Stein Fund) went to Marwan Jalili. Match results. Individual Nassau match results.

Gainey Golf – The Week in Review – December 22nd

Mike MatzIt was an uneventful week at Gainey Ranch Golf Club. Mike Matz fired an ace on #2 Arroyo. We had ice on the course. Mike Forde made a four-foot putt. And the world ended. Coincidence? I think not.

The course continues to brutalize Gainey golfers with scores soaring. Jason Sample was the only golfer to break 80 during Monday’s madness. Sandy Wiener and Howard Garr shared low net honors barely beating par with a pair of 71s. Average score was over 90. Complete scores here. See team results.

Scoring didn’t improve by Wednesday when the Kildare group had only one of its two dozen players break into the 70s. Again the field average was on the high side of 91. As the end of the world approached, surely it couldn’t be so much worse than some of the scores. Team scores.

Dave Inman 9 LakesLow Net
1. Tom Hansen and Sandy Wiener – 69
3. Dave Inman and Jim Stamatis – 70

Low Gross
1. Dave Inman – 78
2. Sandy Wiener – 81
3. Jim Stamatis – 82

Complete scores.

By the end of the round Friday, the world hadn’t noticeably ended. Golfers started paying a little closer attention to their games and if nothing else, at least got the field average score to under 90 (89.48). Cris Caruso returned to the competition after a layoff due to an injured knee. He took low gross honors with a 78. Scott Thompson was right on his heels with a 79. The greens, especially on the Dunes course, were lightning fast and led to more than a few three (and more) putt holes.

Low Net
1. Howard Garr – 68
2. Dennis Kildare – 69
3. Bruce Partridge and Mike Wentrup – 70Cris Caruso

Low Gross
1. Cris Caruso – 78
2. Scott Thompson -79
3. Rick Brown and Mike Miller – 81

Complete scores.

The team game was based upon the brutally challenging “orange ball” format where one team member’s ball will count on any given hole. Taking a 9 or a 10 had a bit of a dampening effect on team scores. Complete team results.

Just Specktacular – Friday, December 14th

Jim SpeckIt was cold. Rain waters ran deep in the arroyos. The wind magically blew against every shot of every golfer . . . but one. While the field averaged over 90 strokes per round and only two other golfers beat net par and then only by one stroke (71), Jim Speck whipped the course like an evil stepchild. Speck turned in a net 65 to leave the competition stuck in the mud six strokes back. He also shared low gross honors. Speck played so well he beat his own season personal best by five strokes.

Speck’s performance was so dominant he even beat himself. When Sandy Wiener’s partner walked off the course because conditions were too inhumane for golf, Wiener was forced to get a blind draw at the end of the round. As luck would have it, he drew Speck. As a result, Wiener was thrust into first place in the team game. In the skins game, Speck picked up three of them. He was kind enough to leave a couple of table scraps for Jim Woods, Bruce Partridge, Mike Wentrup and Jim Stewart. It was a specktacle to behold.

Low Net
1. Jim Speck – 65
2. Dan Hourihan and Howard Garr – 71

Low Gross
1. Jim Speck, Dave Inman and Gary Anzalone – 82

View complete results.

With the exception of Speck, no one fooled Mother Nature. Bogeys or worse outnumbered birdies by a factor of twenty-to-one. Holes #3, #4, #7 and #8 Lakes and #1, #2, #5 and #9 Dunes played at well over bogey. The average score on the day was 90.6. The field could only muster a total of a dozen birdies on what is usually the easiest course combination. With conditions as they were, you can do little but respeck the winner.

Gainey Golfers Feast on Humble Pie – Wednesday, 12/12/12

It seems we haGabrielTank2ven’t appeased the gods of Gainey Ranch Golf Course recently. I know I have done my part by sacrificing plenty of balls to the lakes. But someone has annoyed the course and it’s extracting its revenge on all of us. For the first time in recent memory, low gross wasn’t even in the 70s. Joel Temple took home the prize with a lackluster 80. The Arroyo/Lakes combo ate golfers like Chef Jeff’s tastiest hors d’oeuvres. The average score for the round was nearly 90. A couple of the guys even finessed fine rounds up into triple digits.

Low NetHoward Garr (2 of 2)

  1. Jim Gabriel and Howard Garr – 67
  2. Jim Speck and Jim Stamatis – 70

Low Gross

  1. Joel Temple – 80
  2. Howard Garr – 81
  3. Jim Stamatis – 82

View complete results.

The Kildare Group team game went to Howard Garr, Howard Jones, Jim Gabriel and Ron Dobkin. They edged out Mike Wentrup, Joel Temple, Bruce Partridge and Don Coolidge by one stroke.

The seventh hole on the Lakes course played at an average of almost double-bogey. Other holes playing at over bogey on this fine day were #1, #2, #6 and #8 Arroyo and #4 and #8 Lakes. There were more triple-bogeys than there were birdies. I think we need to consider making a bigger sacrifice to the GGG (Gainey Golf gods). I suggest Bruce Partridge. Or maybe Bryan Noonan; that’ll open up the Gainey Cup field.

In the complete field for Men’s Day, a few golfers fared a little better.

Low Gross

1. John Harold – 72

2. Bryan Noonan – 73

See the complete Men’s Day results.

The Rick Brown Golf Review – Friday, December 7th

Rick BrownRick Brown bogeyed the third hole of the Lakes course. It must have made him mad. He played the final fifteen holes in two under par and finished with a 71 to lead the field Friday.  He birdied #6 Lakes, #9 Lakes, #5 Dunes and #9 Dunes in route to his victory. Scott Thompson was five back with a 76 and Jay Yourk carded a 78 for third place. Brown nosed out all but Don Coolidge for low net honors as well. Both posted net 65s.

Low Gross

  1. Rick Brown – 71
  2. Scott Thompson – 76
  3. Jay Yourk – 77

Low Net

  1. Rick Brown and Don Coolidge – 65
  2. Dan Hourihan, Laurence Rosen and Jim Woods – 66

See complete scoring results.

The team game was won by the foursome of Howard Jones, George Stelmach, Mike Forde and Bruce Partridge. They recorded a two stroke win over the team of Jay Yourk, Don Coolidge, Howard Garr and Don Fruchtman.

Net skins went to Scott Thompson, Tom Hansen, Dan Hourihan, Bruce Partridge, Sandy Wiener and Don Fruchtman. Gross skins were won by Scott Thompson (2), Sandy Wiener, Tom Hansen, Dave Inman (2) and Jay Yourk.

View complete match and skin results.

The course continues to look great and the greens are running fast and true. #7 Lakes – as usual – took its toll on the field. It was the only hole on the course that played over bogey (5.24). The course played at an average of under 85, but remove Brown, Thompson, Yourk and Inman from the mix and there were only five birdies on the day.

Birdies Galore – Men’s Day – December 5th

StamatisRosenWienerWentrupThompsonGolfers averaged one birdie per round Wednesday. Despite the abundance of birdies, good scores were few and far between. The average round on the Arroyo/Lakes course was nearly 87. Apparently, snow squalls and some icy winds caused a few people to miss putts. Tough to hold the line when putting on ice.

The first place team in the Men’s Day event was Mike Wentrup, Sandy Wiener, Don Coolidge and Jim Gabriel. Wentrup rode his 15 handicap to a gross 79 while Sandy Wiener took his 12 handicap to a gross 77. Sandy fired his first even sub-par nine hole score, a 35 on the tough Arroyo course. He bookended a bogey on #4 with birdies on #1 and #8. Wentrup’s back side had three bogies offset by two birdies for a fine 37.

The second place spot went to Tom Knuff, Jeff Roski, Jim Schembri and some blind guy named “Draw”. Dave Inman, Bruce Partridge, Jim Stamatis and Ken Vlah took third edging out the team of Gene Kloeckner, Jerry Whalen, Russ Maring and Steve Danovic in a scorecard playoff.

Low Gross

  1. John Herold – 74
  2. Rick Taylor – 75

Low Net

  1. Mike Wentrup – 64
  2. Jim Stamatis – 65
  3. Laurence Rosen and Sandy Wiener – 66

In the big game within the game, the Kildare Group, Wentrup, Wiener, Coolidge and Gabriel ran away from the field. Stamatis, Inman, Partridge and Vlah put a lock on second place while Pat Collins, Howard Garr, Dennis Kildare and Pat Collins stole third place. Jim Stamatis, Scott Thompson and Sandy Wiener tied for low gross while Mike Wentrup’s 64 was the day’s best.

Low Gross

  1. Sandy Wiener, Scott Thompson and Jim Stamatis – 77

Low Net

  1. Mike Wentrup – 64
  2. Jim Stamatis – 65
  3. Laurence Rosen and Sandy Wiener – 66

View complete results.

The #7 Lakes hole returned to its customary “toughest hole” status on the day averaging 5.33 strokes per golfer. It was tied by #4 Arroyo. With a plethora of birdies on the day, it’s notable that neither #7 Lakes nor #4 Arroyo gave up a single one.

The Holiday Classic – a Great Success

Holiday Classic 2012 (171 of 212)It was a spectacular day for golf in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Men’s Golf Association couldn’t have had better weather or a finer course for the second big tournament of year, the 2012 Holiday Classic. When the scores had been tallied the team of Bernie Katchen and John Goesling edged out Howard Walger and Rick Schok. Tom Hansen and Bryan Noonan came in third narrowly missing the title. Scott Thompson and Jim Gabriel claimed fourth followed by the team of Brian Williams and Holiday Classic 2012 (170 of 212)Mike Steele. Dennis Kildare and Jay Yourk took the final spot in the money just edging out Steve King and Bill Petsas and the other thirty-five teams between them and the trophy.

The entire photo gallery from the tournament and the antiHoliday Classic 2012 (19 of 212)cs following can be found by looking at the right-hand column of this page and clicking on “Tournament Pictures”. Our spy-cam was hard at work in the Member’s Grill following the golfing action. THoliday Classic 2012 (94 of 212)hose requesting the original copies of their photos may pay in cash, credit card or monthly installments. It sounds suspiciously like blackmail, but it’s simply a concept called “dark marketing”.Holiday Classic 2012 (87 of 212)

Some of the awards not awarded include, (1) “Tallest Team” of Steve King and Bill Petsas, (2) “Iconoclast of Fashion”, Mike Steele, (3) “Patriotism Award”, Chris “What a cHoliday Classic 2012 (177 of 212)ountry” Balakas, (4) “Coldest Beer”, Carie, (5) “Best Moustache”, Laurence Rosen, (6) “Best Winner’s Smile”, John Goesling, (7) and “Most Deserving Non-Winners”, Jim Woods and Howard Jones.Holiday Classic 2012 (188 of 212)

The Gainey Cup points for the tournament have been tallied and can be seen by clicking here.

It’s already time to sign up for the next big tournament, The Winter Classic on January 12, 2013. See you there.

King holds Court – Friday, November 30th

Dunes 4Steve King raised an interesting philosophical question during Friday’s round. On the #4 hole of the Dunes course, he took his customary large, arcing and smooth swing. The ball landed short of the pin and clawed its way into the hole for Steve’s first ever hole-in-one. A zen like problem comes to light when considering the fact that Steve’s handicap entitled him to a stroke on the hole. In other words, he shot a net zero on the hole. When you think about it, this is precisely the score he had before he played it. Did he in fact play the hole? Tom Hansen, Bruce Partridge and myself all applauded Steve – with one hand – as he grinned his way off the tee box. KingPuttsThe conundrum of his playing the hole remains, but will probably be settled when his club bill arrives shortly. If it’s about a thousand dollars higher than normal, he did play the hole. Based upon the number of drinks Steve bought in the Member’s Grill, I suspect I know the ultimate answer. And, no . . . Steve did not have hole-in-one insurance.

Despite Steve’s heroics, his team finished a distant last. The team of Laurence Rosen (good karma from the night before), Rick Brown, Dan Hourihan and Jim Stewart came in first. Jay Yourk, Jim Woods, Dennis Kildare and George Stelmach finished in second – four strokes back.

Low Net

  1. Laurence Rosen – 65
  2. Jay Yourk – 66
  3. Rick Brown – 68

Low Gross

  1. Jay Yourk and Rick Brown – 74
  2. Laurence Rosen – 82

See complete results.

Handicaps would be updated at midnight, just in time for the Holiday Classic golf tournament. Surely it was only coincidence that the course played two strokes tougher than it historically has for the field. Now if the truth be known, we’re playing the ball down now. No more “lift, clean and place”. The higher scores may simply be attributable to this reality. Either way, only seven of twenty players beat net par.

Wednesday – November 28th

Gary Anzalone with crownIt was Gary Anzalone Day at Gainey Wednesday. Gary took home low gross honors. Gary took home low net honors. Gary’s team took second place in the team game. Gary birdied #3 Arroyo. Gary birdied #3 Lakes.

Low Gross

  1. Gary Anzalone – 77
  2. Dave Inman and Scott Thompson – 81

Low Net

  1. Gary Anzalone and Dennis Kildare – 69
  2. Steve King and Jim Stamatis – 70

View complete results.

The team game ended in a three-way tie. The winners emerged after a scorecard playoff went back four holes and George Stelmach, Vinny Sollitto, Jim Speck and Laurence Rosen edged out Gary Anzalone, Dave Inman, Jim Woods and Jim Gabriel.

Skins winners remain a mystery. The club still hasn’t sent the sheets with overall results and as of Friday, they still weren’t posted in the men’s locker room.

It’s interesting that the Arroyo/Lakes combo has given up an average of 85.8 strokes per round over the past thousand rounds, but Wednesday’s average score was 87.3. A cynic might suspect that a pending handicap revision and a big Gainey Cup tournament only a couple days away had some bearing on the relatively poor scoring. However, an optimist and believer in human nature such as myself, is more inclined to believe the poor scoring was a result of the frigid temperatures and wind driven snows so common in Scottsdale at this time of year. I even heard a couple of golfers suffered from frostbite. Hopefully, they’ll recover by Saturday’s Holiday Classic.