All Hail! The Cup is Home

The CupFor 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.

Camelback’s Peter Arena and Gainey’s Bill Petsas shared low net honors with excellent scores of 68. Camelback’s Hans Birkholz and Gainey’s Jr Grow ended up one stroke back at 69.

An interesting sidelight to the match involved the skins match. There was a lot of time and effort invested in putting the competition together. Negotiations between the clubs were lengthy and at times, complex. One of the issues discussed was whether or not the skins should be validated, i.e., where a skin is not won unless the winner gets a net par of better on the subsequent hole. The Gainey team felt strongly that there should be no validation requirement.

When all the cards were evaluated, there were five skins. Jim Mantle (Gainey), Hans Birkholz (Camelback), Matt Flores (Camelback), Bill Burleson (Camelback) and Bill Petsas (Gainey) each walked away with $120 for his efforts. However, had the validation requirement been in effect, only one skin would have been paid and that would have been a $600 skin.  Four out of the five did not validate. What’s surprising is that the four that failed to validate were the players with the four lowest handicaps in the group. The only validation came from the golfer whose handicap was more than double the average of the other four. Jim Mantle would have gone home with $600.

It seemed like all the participants had fun and some new friends were made while old acquaintance were renewed.

A special, albeit mysterious, thanks to Aaron Thomas and Bill Newton. They contributed handsomely to the victory for the Camelback team. Shiloh Hagey also contributed to the effort and as always, we owe him a debt of gratitude for his efforts. Course Ranger Rick Issac did another fine job of player assistance while monitoring the tournament.

Finally, a very special thank you to Camelback member Bob Joselyn who spent hours sitting in hundred degree heat in order to capture some memories of the event.  A few of his images are shown below. Click on any one of them to enlarge it. Enjoy!

War Games – Camelback Golf Club versus Gainey Ranch Golf Club

Marwan Jalili - hot, hot, hot!
Marwan Jalili – hot, hot, hot!

The golfers of Camelback Golf Club responded to an invasion of club wielding infidels from Gainey Ranch Golf Club Friday. The battle was joined on the Padre course at Camelback and sixteen linksters went head-to-head in match play. When the field had cleared, the sides remained deadlocked at four points each.

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.

Roland Eckert carts a net 67
Roland Eckert carts a net 67

Low Gross

  1. Mark Van Ark (Camelback) – 77
  2. Ross Yeo (Camelback) – 78
  3. Matt Levy (Camelback) – 79

Low Net

  1. Marwan Jalili (Gainey) – 61
  2. Mark Van Ark (Camelback) – 66
  3. Roland Eckert (Camelback – 67

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.

Course Review – Troon North, the Pinnacle Course

troon-northIf 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.

Continue reading “Course Review – Troon North, the Pinnacle Course”