Camelback golfers teamed up with golfers from Gainey Ranch in a fun event Friday. The competitors played on the magnificent Ambiente course at Camelback Golf Club. Not only does Ambiente offer a spectacular Scottish links style course, it is in immaculate condition. Unquestionably, it’s the finest course in the area.
Everyone finished with a smile. With absolutely perfect weather, a fabulous course and great company, it was a wonderful day to be in Scottsdale, Arizona. There were no snow shovels, no mukluks and no signs of frostbite. Some place better to tee it up? I can’t imagine where that would be.
Here’s a look at the “net scores” turned in on the day. We played from the forward tees (equivalent in slope and rating to the middle tees at Gainey) so the course was far gentler than it could have been.
All the individual matches were close with one exception. Roland Eckert turned in a very strong performance for Team Camelback with a net 67. However, he ran into Gainey’s answer to the Tasmanian Devil. Marwan Jalili carded a net 61 to defeat Roland four and three. Marwan’s exceptional round was about a 270-to-1 odds effort for a 22 handicap player. Pat Collins (Gainey) defeated Scott Clay (Camelback) on the 17th hole. Howard Garr (Gainey) dispatched Matt Levy (Camelback) on the final hole. Mark Van Ark, Ross Yeo and Tom Copithorne (Camelback) each defeated their opponents, Ron Dobkin, Sandy Wiener and Mike Forde (Gainey) on the final hole. Scott Hull (Gainey) tied his match with Bob Sznewajs (Camelback). Marshall Block (Gainey) finished with a net birdie to salvage a tie with Reggie Winissinger.
The course was in great shape. The greens were fast and true. As would be expected, the #1 Handicap hole on the course (#5) played the toughest. The average score was just over bogey. The real surprise comes from the fact the #6 Handicap hole (#18), a par five a nickel shy of 500 yards long guarded by water played as the easiest hole on the course (5.31 average score). I know the course and I can assure you that is not the easiest hole on the course. I think it’s a testament to the fact that head-to-head match play brings out the best in a golfer. Six out of the eight matches came down to the final hole and the competitors rose to the challenge.
Although the team competition remained unsettled, a man named Terry Philips was the ultimate winner of the match. Terry is a member of the grounds crew at Gainey Ranch Golf Club. He was recently diagnosed with leukemia. When the $240 in prize money was distributed to the competitors, each and every man in the room from both Gainey Ranch and Camelback Golf Club, asked that his prize money be contributed to help Terry overcome some of the financial challenges he is currently facing. I tip my hat to all of the true gentlemen that played. They’re all winners.
Here are a few photos from the match play event. Click on any one of them to begin a slide show.
Marshall Block and Ron Dobkin
Matt Levy and Marshall Block
Levy, Jalili and Eckert wait on the 1st tee
Sznewajs, Van Ark and Hull
Block, Winssinger and Wiener
Levy and Garr
Dobkin and Sznewajs
Collins and Clay
Wiener begs Yeo for strokes
Jalili on the 1st tee
Jalili after second straight birdie
Sandy Wiener follow through
Wiener urges ball onward
Clay likes the shot
Mike Forde, Pat Collins, Tom Copithorne and Scot Clay
Golf cannot be mastered. Some of us play just for that reason. It takes fortitude, determination, patience, persistence, dedication, money, more money and balls to play the game. Avid adherents to the game play in vicious downpours, freezing weather and gale force winds. It’s a game that means everything, yet it means nothing.
With the passage of years, we all develop our own “systems” intended to guide us to mastery of the game. Some have better systems than others. Some take lessons. Some buy the latest and greatest equipment. Some practice without respite. Some meditate. Others adopt strange diets and drink magic potions. Some cheat.