Tee Tattler

Happy autumn from the Illinois Valley Country Club golf course!
In last weeks’ action, the Monday night guys had a very small turnout due to the “iffy” weather conditions looking like rain. It actually turned out to be really nice but as the sun receded over Woodcock Mountain the temperature dropped quickly and we all finished #18 quickly to run to the clubhouse for a little warmth. Since Todd, D’Lynn, Dalton, Troy, Chris and the other low-handicap golfers got scared off by the earlier rain, some of us hacks had a chance at skins and KPs. Only Graham and I put bets down for KPs and neither of us stayed on the green on #13 and #16 but on #17 both of us landed on the green. Graham’s shot ran to the far edge and my 9-iron stuck about a foot from the hole and then backed up to about 10 feet. I also sunk the birdie putt so I got a skin there as well as the KP. Eugene won a skin on #6 with five excellent shots for par. On #18 everyone hit long shots off the tee-box but mine went really high and barely made it past the ladies’ tee. I sent the next shot nearly into the woods and the following shot was far short of the green. Only laying 3 shots in, I didn’t figure I had much chance at a skin, so I hit the 3-wood from about 170 yards and it stuck and plugged into the green about 10 inches from the cup for the last skin. There obviously wasn’t much money in the pot as only five guys showed up but it sure felt good replenishing some of the cash I had lost all summer to Todd and D’Lynn.
We were able to play again on the absolutely beautiful Wednesday evening and nine guys showed up. I was a little late getting to the first tee-box because I took a trip down to the river pump to winterize it. Jake White was also late and we hurried up to catch the guys but hitting into the setting sun made finding our first few shot very challenging. We caught up with the group on #13, just in time to lay some cash bets down for KP. Amazingly, I hit the narrow green with a 3-wood shot that should have ran off the back and into the woods but the ball dug into the lovely, receptive green turf and backed up 2 inches for KP. I also sunk the putt for birdie and a skin. Graham hit the long par three #16 for the second KP and Todd put one very close on #17 for the third KP. On #18, Roland suggested a third-shot KP and a few of us jumped on that idea. I crushed a perfect drive down the left side and rolled nearly to the Kerby Ditch, followed by a huge 3-wood to sit a few yards from the green. Colby in the meantime hit a great second shot and put his third shot just a few feet from the cup. The tension filled the air, along with cigar smoke as I approached my third shot–of course I chipped short, giving Colby the third shot KP and he sunk the birdie putt for the Skin. The last skin had been won by Roland on #11 with a birdie. Skins paid out $15 each and KPs paid $9. We all got back to the clubhouse before it got cold and were able to enjoy a little conversation afterward.
Friday night skins were canceled as it rained very hard but Gimmees Grill had some nice specials so a bunch of us showed up anyway and had some nice fellowship over dinner and cocktails.
Sunday afternoon was a little disappointing with only 4 golfers showing up-Todd, Jim Losey, me and Graham but the incredible autumn weather, leaf colors and the fantastic shape that the course has become this fall, made it so wonderful to play. Todd won 4 or even maybe five skins, Graham won one skin with a great birdie on #7 with a great drive onto the #16 teebox and then a dart onto the green and a perfect putt for birdie. KP was a carryover from the difficult #4 to the short #8. Todd hit one initially close, followed by a dramatic shot by Losey that just rolled off the right side, Graham hitting one up just short but right at the pin and mine going just over-finally hitting the iron shots decently. Hole #9 was a free-for-all the entire hole with everyone in trouble at some point. Todd sunk a 50 yard chip for birdie though and collected a whopping 15$ for the (five, six maybe seven skins).
We are having a “Turkey Shoot” tournament Sunday, Nov. 20, tee-time at an easy 11 a.m. A small, pre-Thanksgiving Turkey dinner will follow the tournament to whet your appetite for Thanksgiving festivities. Dinner will also be available to non-golfers and spectators. Tournament fees will be only $50 per player with green fees, carts, prizes and dinner included. We hope to have a nice end of the year send-off in anticipation of the 2023 season. The course is looking really nice and greens are running quick and difficult.