Mexico, Camelback and Golf

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An unnamed member of the group’s best wedge shot was into the fan in his hotel room.

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.)

2015 Camelback Golf Club – Ladies Club Champion

Emotions Ran High
Ann Seybold is a relatively new member at Camelback, but based upon her reaction after making a long putt, she’s loving being there.

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.

Ladies Club Championship 2015 (5 of 106)
Gail Kennedy – the 2015 Ladies Club Champion

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.

All Hail Brad Sinclair – 2015 Camelback Golf Club Champion

Brad Sinclair - 2015 Club Champion
Brad Sinclair – 2015 Club Champion

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.

Camelback Men’s Match Play Championship Enters the Semi-Final Round

Rudi Barich makes his putt on #8 Padre
Rudi Barich makes his putt on #8 Padre

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 Member/Guest – Best of Class

Champs
John and Don Hudson – 2015 Champions

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.

Member-Guest 2015 (139 of 140)

In the Spirit of the Season – the Gift of Camaraderie

Bob Sznewajs' team takes first place
Bob Sznewajs’ team takes first place

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.

Van Ark wins low gross
Van Ark wins low gross

When the last man walked off the course, the team of Bob Sznewajs, Roland Brendel and Howard Jones had conquered the field. Playing a Modified Stableford format with the team’s best ball, they were exceptionally strong racking up 36 points. The team of Mark Van Ark, Pat Collins and Howard Garr played extremely well scoring 33 points. On any other day, that would have probably been good enough to easily beat the field. Ron Dobkin and David Harbour both played well, but didn’t get the support needed from their teams to climb to the top.

Low Gross

  1. Mark Van Ark – 76
  2. Roland Brendel – 78
  3. Howard Jones – 79

Low Net

  1. Howard Jones – 63
  2. Mark Van Ark – 66
  3. David Harbour – 69

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.Stats20141219

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble . . .

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Ogrin speaks with the mortals while standing on water.

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.

Continue reading “Gobble, Gobble, Gobble . . .”