The course seemed to play a little tougher – or should I say, less easy – than it did Wednesday. There were only nine birdies in the group. Bob Ewing accounted for one third of that total. Summers, Jones and Bob Kennedy claimed the rest. The scores returned to normal with players averaging three strokes over handicap. The weather was perfect. The course is in great condition. And smiles decorated the faces of all the participants – even Sandy Wiener’s!
It defied explanation. Fifteen Camelback golfers decided to bring their “A” games to the course all on the same day. Scores averaged more than three strokes below what would have normally been expected. Forty percent of the field posted scores in the 70s on the Ambiente course. Some golfers played very well; others played better than that.
Ron Dobkin rode his well-earned 21 handicap in route to a gross 79, net 58. He was eleven strokes under his handicap. It was his best round in two years. Interestingly enough, the competition was so tough that Dobkin’s net 58 only got his team a tie for second place. Regardless, it was a spectacular effort.
Dr. Jack Summers took medalist honors with a fine one-under-par 71. Bob Ewing was another competitor carding a super round five strokes under his handicap. Seven of fifteen golfers shot below handicap. Statistically, a golfer normally shoots three strokes over handicap. I’m not sure what virus had infected the field, but if it could be bottled and sold, there would be an insatiable market.
It was indeed an unusual day. With only fifteen golfers, it’s notable there were twenty gross birdies. Every single hole on the front side yielded at least one birdie. The third hole gave up four of them. There were eleven net eagles and one net double-eagle. Ron Dobkin had a net one on the challenging ninth hole. More than eighty percent of the scores recorded were net pars or better. The average gross score was 82! If I were to pick one word to describe Wednesday’s play … Wow!
Everyone is back. Everyone survived, but not from a lack of effort. Great dining, super weather, outstanding golf and a party or two (or three or … ). Our trip to Puerto Peñasco was a wonderful event … actually a series of events.
We enjoyed golf at The Links at Las Palomas. The course was in good shape. The layout was interesting and fun. The views were awesome. Matt Flores brought his “A game” and carded a 66, but only because he missed a few putts that could have easily brought him a few strokes lower.
The following day, the group played the Jack Nicklaus designed course at La Vidanta. The course was in immaculate condition. It was an absolutely spectacular layout that offered some real tough golf. I must assume Jack was fighting with Mrs. Nicklaus when he was designing that course and redirected his anger toward us. Scores weren’t as low as they were the previous day, but the experience will not soon be forgotten.
The dining experiences were top notch with (obviously) some great Mexican food, super Italian, German breakfasts, and marvelous sea food. Rocky Point is a shrimping village and we made a serious dent in the fleet’s catch. How fresh were the oysters? We watched as the fisherman hauled them directly from the ocean and put them on our plates. That’s pretty fresh.
Here are a few images from the trip. Others will remain private unless the subjects miss a payment. (Click on any image to enlarge it.)
Camelback Golf Club’s Ladies Champion for 2015 is Gail Kennedy. She lit it up with a two day gross of 159 to capture the crown.
Diane Hunter won the Championship in the Low Net category. Her two day total was a scorching 136. It was a super event. A tip of the hat to Matt Person for coordinating another great Camelback Golf Club tournament.
Here are some pictures of the action. Clicking on any image will enlarge it and put you into the “slide show” mode. Clicking on the “x” in the upper left corner will close the slide show.
Brad Sinclair captured the 2015 Camelback Club Championship by firing a seven over par 151 over two days of great competition on two of the Valley’s finest courses. He shot 75 on the Ambiente course in Friday’s round and carded a 76 on the Padre course Saturday. He all but took ownership of the three pars winning three out of the eight possible “closest to the pin” contests. Dave Allen and Ross Yeo finished in a tie for second place.
Frank Bogacz took the overall low net championship shooting an eight under par 136 edging out John Elick by a single stroke. Doug Hunter finished two strokes back while Dave Towers ended the tournament three back. It was a tight, extremely competitive match and everyone (except Bogacz) could look back with the “if only that one putt would have fallen” memory. Alright, maybe not everyone. I’m thinking I would have been in great shape if only about fourteen more putts would have fallen.
The Camelback Golf Club team of professionals and all of their staff again proved they’re the best in the business. The tournament was run without a hitch. The food was fabulous and the wait staff turned in another all-star performance. My only regret is that I didn’t join Camelback years ago when I first came to the Valley of the Sun. A special thanks to Shiloh Hagey for his tireless efforts and outstanding performance.
Enjoy some pictures from the 2015 Club Championship. Rudi provided us with some great golf “expressions”. The riddle of the day is “Who is that Championship Flight playing from the bushes and behind the tree?” Thanks also to Liz McCarty for taking six hours out of her day to take some super photos.
Steve Finberg (I hope).
Doug Hunter on #18.
Doug Hunter – another winner.
Frank Bogacz holds the prize.
Frank Bogacz – expressive.
Everett Davis – mixed emotions.
Hans Schuetz – fine form.
Dick Reid with a long putt.
Dave Allen on the final hole.
Ross Yeo’s third shot on #9.
Everett Davis – “Go Baby Go!”
Looks like maybe Aare’s putt didn’t fall.
Rudi Barich – Apparently not the shot he had planned.
Bob Trees anticipates the fall.
Pat Canavan watches the ball.
Scott Schneider successfully out of the trap.
Howard Jones – may not have made the putt.
Dan Bartlett – English is his first language.
John Elick thinks the food was fabulous.
Phil Ortez follows the flight.
Hans Schuetz – follows through.
Aare Kuusk looks for the bottom of the hole.
Rudi’s working on something.
Dave Allen – Get in the hole.
Ross Yeo looking for birdie.
Dave Allen champion’s form.
Jeff Clark – Get in the hole you ####.
Howard Jones – still knows how to thrown the knuckler.
Shiloh passed out money to everyone but me?
Sure, I’d grin too if I’d just finished second like Mr. Elick.
Hans finishes #18.
Sam – Just one of our champions.
Ross Yeo tied for second in the gross category.
Everett Davis – after the putt.
The Champion – Brad Sinclair
Dave Towers goes after the green.
Gene Anderson – no mulligans.
Brad Sinclair makes the turn.
Ross Yeo – finished second.
Frank Bogacz wins with flair.
Scott Schneider from the #18 bunker.
Scott Schneider on #18 Padre.
John Elick’s granddaughter celebrates with Grampa.
Dave Allen waits his turn.
Ross Yeo bringing it home.
Gene Anderson – figuring it out.
In the hole!
John Elick – The envelope please.
Dan Barlett’s second shot on #18 Padre.
Dick Reid follows through.
Dave Towers optimistically watches.
Roland Eckert’s signature swing.
John Rae – played well.
Doug Hunter – a good attempt.
Jeff Clark strikes his putt.
Frank Bogacz – Championship form.
Everett Davis with his own special English.
Bogacz – the form of the low net champion.
John Elick – for the want of but one stroke.
Gene Anderson – almost in.
Towers takes the scenic route.
Rudi goes for the green.
Scott Schneider waits his turn.
Hans’ wins the award for “most charming”.
Jeff Clark – premature smile?
Scott Schneider takes it to the hole.
Frank Bogacz – one more time with feeling.
Roland Eckert tends the pin.
Great staff – another perk for Camelback members.
Rudi takes it to the hole.
Roland Eckert – the twist.
Dan Bartlett tries to change gravity after a shot on #18.
Dick Reid follows his putt.
Frank Bogacz – low net champ with Brad Sinclair – low gross champ.
Championship Flight golfers aren’t supposed to be in this!
It hasn’t lacked for excitement and suspense. Entering today’s quarter-final round, the teams of Ross Yeo and John Elick, Roland Eckert and Dick Cahal, and Dan Bartlett and Glen Morga had already secured spots in the semi-final. The remaining spot would be determined when club champion Mark Van Ark and Bob Shaps locked horns with Rudi Barich and Bob Kennedy. With great competitors facing off against each other, everyone expected a fierce and competitive match. It lived up to the expectations of all.
Van Ark and Shaps were fast out of the gate and jumped out to an early lead. Their early dominance threatened to get Barich and Kennedy down, but anyone that knows these guys understands the old line about “Don’t shoot him; you’ll just make him mad.” I’m still recovering from a burn I received when Bob Sznewajs and I played Barich and Kennedy in the opening round. With two or three holes to go, we had them pinned in a corner. Then Rudi got “the look”. His focus intensified and I made the mistake of reaching in front of him while he was lining up a putt. He burned my hand with his gaze. We lost the match.
Rudi and Bob battled back today with tenacity. They
won the match one-up after twenty holes. It was an exciting and eventful match. Congratulations to all the competitors for an outstanding and spirited effort.
The semi-finals now find Barich and Kennedy taking on Yeo and Elick while Cahal and Eckert confront Bartlett and Morga for spots in the championship.
Here are a few images from today’s action. Click on any image to enlarge and enter slideshow mode.
Camelback Golf Club’s 2015 Member/Guest Tournament is now a memory, but what a great one it is. John and brother Don Hudson survived an incredibly exciting shoot-out and emerged as the 2015 Champions. With pit-bull tenacity, the Hudson boys held off a monumental challenge from Mark Van Ark and Rollie Brendel on the first extra hole of the competition. It almost seemed as if it were preordained. The Hudsons home is Regina, Saskatchewan and they played in a flight just so named. As the only southpaw in the shoot-out, John presented a challenge to the photographer who had to be fast to get around to face him when he was addressing the ball. Congratulations to all the participants and thanks for putting on a great show.
The Tournament Committee and the staff of Camelback Golf Club rewrote the book on how to put on a great tournament and an event with total “class”. The courses were in great shape – a standing ovation to the Golf Course Superintendent. Rob Bartley’s team rose to every challenge with total professionalism and class. Shiloh Hagey conducted the event as if he were directing a symphony orchestra. No work of art is without flaw or not subject to personal views and interpretations, but even those few things that didn’t go perfectly will only serve to make future events even better.
It’s no small feat to put on a four day event like this one, but everyone rose to the occasion. The breakfasts were delectable. Lunches were fabulous and the tournament banquet Saturday night was nothing short of a masterpiece. The dinner was great. The service was without parallel. Staff was efficient and friendly. The entertainment was top-notch – lively, fun, yet polished. You could enjoy the music and still actually converse with a guest without resorting to the use of a megaphone. I have experience with other clubs in the area and I can assure you, no one does it better than Camelback Golf Club.
You can view some of the action from the shoot-out and the banquet below. Clicking on one of the images will put you into the “slide show” mode. You can see the emotions, the highs and the lows of the competitors. Scott Schneider and his guest, Dave Neal claimed the title in the Paradise Valley Flight. Mark Van Ark and guest Rollie Brendel proved they had real “game” by winning the Calgary Flight. Doug Clark and George Shinn walked away with the Scottsdale Flight crown. John Elick and his guest, Dean Lindberg grabbed the title in the Edmonton Flight. The Flagstaff Flight was claimed by Everett Davis and guest Jerry Foy. The Hudson brothers ran away with the Saskatchewan Flight and the overall championship. In the final analysis, we were all winners. Our prizes were the joys and pleasures that come from having great golf courses, a Camelback staff that does it right and a Tournament Committee that poured heart and soul into making our experiences the building blocks of great memories for years to come.
Champion John Hudson and an example of why photographing left-handers is difficult.