Eighteen of us left Scottsdale on the morning of January 2nd. We were bound for Puerto Peñasco, Mexico for a couple of rounds of golf at one spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed course. Thursday’s Tournament was won by Kathy Thompson when she ran away from the field winning by 10 points over second place finisher, Troy Jarvis. The second day’s tournament belonged to Samir Sleiman. He walked away from second place winner, Troy Jarvis, by 9 points.
However, steady wins the race. Troy Jarvis’ consistent play made him the overall champion. Troy averaged 79 in his two days of play. Troy easily outdistanced the second place finisher, Samir Sleiman, racking up 54 points to Samir’s 41.
This was no easy task. Jack Nicklaus was apparently fighting with someone when he designed the course. Although it is magnificently beautiful, it is a tough, tough track. There were only four birdies in two days of play. The average gross score was 102! The average to handicap was more than 11 strokes over the top. One and only one of the 28 rounds was at handicap. It is a great, but challenging course. One thing that all participants agree upon is that it takes balls, lots of them, to play Vidanta.
Here are some pictures of the tournament and a few thrown in of the dinners. Clicking on any of the images enlarges them for your viewing pleasure (or chagrin).
Pinetop, Arizona was the site of some fun golf and great camaraderie this past weekend. More than a dozen Camelback Golf Club members and some additional friends and family played golf at more than 7,200 feet high in the mountains where long drives went longer than ever. Participants played one or more of some great courses.
Torreon offered magnificent views and a course to test any golfer’s skills. Silver Creek was a great layout with eighteen challenging and beautiful holes. Pinetop Lakes Country Club was a scenic test of golfing skill. Finally, the historic White Mountain Country Club gave every golfer breathtaking views and some monumental tests of golfing skills.
Being a gracious host for dinner and golf must pay rewards in golfer heaven. Mike Smothermon carded at 75 Monday at White Mountain Country Club, but his wife, Vicky, finished with a strong round of 79 (net 64) to more than hold her own. Mike shot a 69 on Sunday giving him low gross honors two days in a row. Continue reading “High in the Pines”
232 ladies had great fun for a great cause. Well, maybe the lady who hit three balls in the pond on #18 didn’t have as much fun, but it was still for a great cause. Approximately $60,000 went to the Semper Fi Fund as a result of this year’s tournament. We had perfect weather, two fabulous golf courses, a staff that catered to every need and a cadre of volunteers that put heart and soul into this wonder event. If I said here are a few pictures of the participants, I’d go to prison for “gross understatement”. Here are lots of pictures. Enjoy!
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.
It was a storybook ending. The young prince slayed all the dragons and ascended to the throne. Bailey Ogrin added another jewel to his golfing crown by winning the 2014 Inferno Cup. He came into the final day with a comfortable lead, but he didn’t let up on the field. He and his partner on the day, Anthony Arvidson, blistered the course to win the day’s event and earn another 340 points toward his crown. Ogrin carded two eagles in route to a nearly flawless 66. Arvidson did his share by shooting a 67. Together they put on a golfing display that will long be remembered. Bailey is a true gentleman and no one is a more fitting and deserving champion.
The other money winners finished in the top three in the “average points per event played” category. Anthony Arvidson finished in third place with 140.3 points per event. Skyler Irvine took second place with 142.8 points per event. He was unable to attend the banquet and seemed stunned with his win when I ran into him at The Coffee Bean this morning and shared the good news. The $500 first place went to Matt Bintzler with an average of 147.9 points per event. Continue reading “The Inferno Cup’s Beautiful Ending”
With only two rounds left in the 2014 Inferno Cup and with over six thousand dollars in cash and prizes on the line, not one of the forty-seven competitors is out of the running. The awards fall into one of three categories – cash, more cash and merchandise. The top eight finishers go home with a pocket full of prize money. First place walks with $1,200.00. The second money race involves the highest average number of points won per event played. There is a five event minimum for these awards. In the merchandise category, our sponsor, Van’s Golf Shops, has generously contributed golf clothing, equipment and supplies. Here’s how the three categories are stacking up with only two events left to play.
First Place – Bailey Ogrin has a good grip on first place, but Howard Jones can overtake him with strong performances on Wednesday and Friday. Ogrin is 219 points ahead of Jones. Jones’ current “threshold” is 120 points. In other words, Jones must win more than 120 points in an event before his point total can increase. The number of points available in any given match is a function of the number of players and the team size. But it’s reasonable to conclude that it will take a first or second place finish for Jones to earn points. If Jones wins Wednesday and Friday while Ogrin finishes less than first, Jones wins the title. If Jones finishes first and second, the race is too tight to call. As it currently stands, Ogrin is not scheduled to play Wednesday; Friday will be his only chance to pad his totals and with his current threshold at 181 points, it will probably take a first place finish to do that. Game on! Continue reading “The End Time Cometh . . .”
This year’s Ryder Cup competition was fabulous. It’s tough to beat the fun that was had by playing five different formats and mixing it up with ten different competitors. Admittedly, the weather was less than perfect; there was a slight breeze for a few seconds. Temperatures were incredibly comfortable. Only in Scottsdale!