Men’s Day, one day before Thanksgiving: If you were wondering who the turkeys were and your names are not Nichols or Ogrin, then look in the mirror. On a day when the course beat up 95% of the field, the team of Mike Nichols, Bailey Ogrin and guests from the law firm of Caprio & Crown won a “no contest” verdict with a nine point thrashing of the rest of the field. Not only did they eat our dinner, but most of the desert as well with Bailey gobbling up five skins, Nichols & Crown one each leaving two left overs for Vlah and Hourihan.
As for the mere mortals with team scores clustered between 130 & 135, they were only 9 points behind the winners at 121.
Monday’s match was held on the Camelback Ambiente course, one of the finest golf course layouts in the Valley. Two-man teams competed in a modified Stableford format. Sandy Wiener drew Heard Broadrick as a partner. For the first nine holes, Sandy could have stayed in the club house. Heard came out like a snake bit horse and shot a net 33 on the
front side and single-handedly accounted for sixteen points. They only needed six more between the two of them to win first place. They got nine more and took the crown with points to spare. Harold Hoeg and Scott Hull edged out Laurence Rosen and Howard Jones by one thin, lucky point to take second place. Rosen and Jones retained their amateur status by finishing out of the money.
Broadrick and Hoeg went home with the lion’s share of the skins pot with three each. Rose, Jones and Wiener left with the table scraps.
Jim Mantle was the only golfer to come close to shooting his handicap in the Pat Collins Men’s Day East event Wednesday on the South Course of Talking Stick. Mantle managed to card a round only three strokes over his handicap to capture low gross honors. Talking Stick brutalized everyone else in the field with lightning fast greens, nearly impossible pin placements and bad karma. A dozen players were more than ten strokes over their handicaps. Ken Vlah was twenty!
If the price of a round of golf were to correlate well with the quality of the golfing experience, Troon North would be one of golf’s great courses. The GolfNow.com rate is north of a hundred dollars with some tee times calling for a $235 fee. And GolfNow.com generally offers some pretty heavy discounts.
Unfortunately, Troon North is not a world class course. It is a fine course and I recommend playing it. The views are spectacular. The course is fair, at least as fair as a “desert course” can be. But it’s a public course. As a result, it gets a lot of play. It has been my experience that public courses with plenty of play host golfers that don’t seem to know the purpose of the little sand canisters mounted on the carts or the rakes that adorn the sand traps. To some of their customers, ball mark repair is a concept as foreign as a Tibetan poetry reading.