For the first time in three years, The Camel Cup has been brought home. With sixteen spirited and competitive individual matches and eight tough team matches, the team from Camelback Golf Club defeated Gainey Ranch 15-9 on the Padre course. Camelback golfers had the edge 9-7 in the individual matches. They also prevailed 6-2 in the team matches.
Gainey’s Sam Engel took home low gross honors with a strong 67 from the White tees. Sam’s opponent, Chip Nelson, threw four birdies at him, but he couldn’t quite overcome Sam’s six birdies and fell to Sam one down.
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
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.