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!
Here are pictures for your enjoyment. Gainey Cup standings can be found by clicking on the link above. One event to go!
The 2014 Gainey Ranch Golf Club Desert Shootout is in the book. The Member-Guest was a raging success with a course that was in nothing short of spectacular condition and with weather that only an Arizonan can take for granted. Over a hundred competitors dueled for two days (not counting practice rounds) and when the dust had settled and the smoke had cleared, long time member Jerry Whalen and his guest, Dave Stewart reigned supreme. This was Jerry’s first trip to the top of the metal platform in the annual event.
The format was interesting and challenging. It brought out the best and the worst from the players. The most interesting part of the challenge (and the part that truly separated the men from the boys) was the nine holes of alternate shot golf. It wasn’t a contest for those who could make the great shots. Anyone can make a great shot. It was a contest for those who didn’t make the lousy shots. A slight mistake could and did cost teams three and four strokes on a single hole. But (as of this writing) no one died and most team members are still speaking with each other even if with a hint of acrimony and contempt.
One of the highlights of the tournament came when Head Golf Professional, Matt Anzalone, slipped an exploding ball onto the tee box just before Duke Nguyen took his swing in the “Sink or Swim” chipping competition. As you can tell by the expression on Duke’s face, he wasn’t expecting the blast. Unlike golfers such as Anthony Arvidson, Duke was caught completely off-guard by the explosion. (Arvidson has grown accustomed to the phenomena – about a third of his drives explode upon impact or disintegrate in mid-flight.)
Judging from the smiles on all the faces of those watching the tournament photo presentation on the big-screen after the awards dinner, everyone was thrilled with the event. (More photos here.) With the possible exception of a couple of non-golf related issues, the tournament was as close to perfect as could possibly be imagined. Kudos to all of those who made it happen.
Raoul Encinas and Harold Hoeg captured the 2014 Member/Member crown with a gritty performance in the season’s richest tournament. Many teams would have thrown in the towel after a particularly rough start in Saturday’s final round, but these guys dug deep and pulled it together and earned a one stroke victory. You can see pictures of the champions and a hundred other competitors by clicking here. Click on the individual pictures to enlarge them.
Anthony Arvidson and Tom Hansen shared second place honors with Don Coolidge and Joel Temple. The full leaderboard is shown below.
The weather was great. The course was in excellent condition. Play was slow. The food was great and the atmosphere was festive. With the exception of a few little glitches, the tournament was a great success.
Some people had expressed concern that the number of teams would be down from last year due to the implementation of USGA recommended rules on handicap allowances that made the competition more equitable. It appears the reverse was true. The number of teams competing rose 31% over last year. The amount of money bid in the team auction was up by nearly 70%. By every measure imaginable, the event was a grand slam homerun.
One other interesting statistic offers further proof that a more level playing impacted the play. A comparison of last year’s scores with this year’s totals stands out like a beacon of hope. In this year’s event, the difference between the winning team and the team finishing dead last was twenty-eight strokes. Last year, the difference between first and last place was forty-four strokes – 57% higher than this year. The MGA board needs to be commended for taking the sometimes difficult steps necessary to bring greater equity and fairness to the field of play. A fine course, great food, good friends and a fair field – what more can we want?
Viva Encinas and Hoeg!
There was a huge turnout for the Winter Classic. When ninety-four players had turned in their cards, the team of Robert Martz and Robert Martz emerged victorious. They were tied by the team of Jim Mantle and Lynton Kotzin, but won the tie-breaker. With a host of new members participating for the first time, we saw some great golf played on the Arroyo/Lakes course combination.
I’ll have a full analysis of the results once I’ve had time to process the scorecards. It’s clear already that with faster greens and hungrier Canadian Geese helping balls slide into the water, the winning scores were not as good as last year’s, but that didn’t get in the way of having a great tournament.
Mike Wentrup remains on top of the Gainey Cup Leaderboard, but the field is closing in.
Gainey Ranch Men’s Golf Association is hosting our 11th Annual Fundraising Gala
in conjunction with
The GRMGA Charities have contributed to:
Dinner & Special Holiday Entertainment $50 Per Person | $100 Per Couple (Made payable by cash, check or credit card to the MGA Charity) *Includes event and food, drink specials will be available and charged to your member account.
Donations of time, money and silent auction items are being accepted. Please direct all inquiries to Dave Inman (480.951.9133) or Mike Miller (480.483.3646) to help.
All donations to the MGA charity event are tax deductible and are payable to: Gainey Ranch MGA Charities Tax ID#: 83-0404497
Space is limited, so reserve early.
The first 180 people to reserve will be seated in the Ballroom. Overflow, if any, will be in the Member’s Grill.
Register online or contact the Gainey Ranch receptionist at 480.951.0022 to pay by check.
The season’s first big tournament is in the book. First Place in the 2013 Fall Classic has been claimed by the team of Jeff Smith, Gene Kloeckner, Mike Wentrup and Greg Nelson. They edged out the team of Mike Nichols, Howard Jones, Julian Fruhling and Gerry Bloch by one slim stroke. Buck Grier, Gary Reibman, Don Coolidge and Al Cozzi finished third. Congratulations to all.
The weather was absolutely perfect. The course was in good shape especially so soon after the over-seed. All golfers – some more than others – had a good time. Some great images
came out of the tournament and can be seen here. If anyone would like a hard copy of any of the images, let me know and I’ll try to accommodate.
There were some interesting discoveries made during the course of this event. I learned that Gerry Bloch can make thirty foot putts whenever he pleases. He just doesn’t always want to do so; he feels that would be showing off. Julian Fruhling routinely uses the flagstick to stop his trap shots. Bryan Noonan’s caddie can’t read putts after the fifth green. Nick De Santis’ fairway swing improves after his eighth shot. Buddy Stein doesn’t play two nines; he does two shows. Jerry Whalen’s swing was created using spare parts from the TaylorMade factory. John Gruenhagen gives golf lessons to Charles Barkley. But by far and away the most amazing fact discovered during the Fall Classic is that Anthony “Mr. Stick” Arvidson actually uses magic clubs. Check out the iron he used during this swing. I can assure you that I have no clubs in my bag that light up without being plugged in. Where can I buy some of these?