Admittedly, it was an odd match format, but you would have thought we were at a funeral. There was so much whining and whimpering on the driving range, I worried we’d be shut down for not having a day care license. Places on the course had so many tear drops, they had to be declared casual water. Pouting replaced putting. Pin placements became secondary to chin placements. If the USGA didn’t prohibit sniveling on the golf course, we should adopt a local rule making it a crime.
The format involved being dealt poker cards in proportion to the number of strokes your team finished under par. The lower your score, the more cards you got. As it turned out, the last place team ended up getting about half the number of cards the first place team earned. The task was to create the best poker hand with the cards you were dealt. Obviously, your odds improved as your score improved.
Mike Nichols bolstered his team’s chances by shooting a gross 72 to take the medalist honors. He also took low net bragging rights. His teammate, Skyler Irvine finished second with a strong net 69. Teammate Howard Garr played respectably and it appeared they’d have half the deck to put together a winning hand. The other teams stood little chance.
The last place team on the golf course, Gary Reibman, Scott Hull and whiner-in-chief, Bruce Partridge stood little chance and probably should have folded before the cards were dealt. Once Partridge was stripped of the “extra cards” he had in his pocket, their lot seemed sealed. They were doomed.
The cards were dealt. The teams sparred in the Member’s Grill as they constructed their strongest hands. As the cards were played, the team that dominated on the course appeared to be dominating on card table. Finally, the last place finishers laid their hand on the table – a King high full-house! They had defied the odds and beaten the field.
The last place team left the Grill with the first place money and a set of grins that couldn’t have been removed surgically (although some of the other players were willing to try). Interviewed after the match had been settled, Partridge said it was a great format and he couldn’t understand why others were whining. Scott Hull said it was an outstanding game and should be played more often. Reibman proved to be the only man of honor on that team and bought the score keeper a glass of wine. It seems like that’s the least the team could do after walking away with a hundred fifty dollars. At least Reibman remembered the lyrics of that famous song, “You have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away and know when to buy a round.”
As they walked away, Partridge and Hull sang in unison, “. . . and know when to run.”