Tee Tattler

Hello from the Illinois Valley Country Club!
In this week’s action, on Monday we had a handful of guys show up. Todd reports that everyone won a skin. Notably Todd, Eugene and Jim each won a skin. Colby and Graham both won two apiece. The trouble with everyone winning a skin is that the prize money stinks, so each skin was worth only $3, so Colby and Graham got their money back plus a dollar and the other guys ended up losing two bucks each—still a fun evening in great weather.
On Wednesday, instead of the promised 7-iron only format, we played Chapman format. In Chapman, both players hit drives then for the second shot, they switch shots and each player has to hit their partner’s ball from its driven location. From there, the best shot is chosen and both players hit from the best second shot location, they play into the hole using that format, which we call “scramble”. I showed up kind of late and with no partner but luckily Neal was sitting in the clubhouse, chatting with Huey and he decided he wanted to play. Now, to set the scene, me and Neal probably have the two highest handicaps of nearly all of the normal Men’s Club guys so we did not expect to have a pretty scorecard. Well, we meshed like Velcro cause every time I had a bad shot, Neal would rescue us and same the other way. We ended up shooting a 26 net score, which is 6 under par and took $50 from the pot. Shooting second was a tie between Todd and Jesse and Jim and Colby with a 30 net score. I had my name on two of the KP markers but Poke’s shot on #17 beat me out, and then Jess and then Todd both closer than mine on #13. For the long drive, Colby wrote his name then Jake beat Colby but Troy pounded one deep for the last name on the marker. This week I suppose we will be playing the 7-iron only format.
On Thursday, I was supposed to be preparing to pick grapes and make wine over the weekend but Tracy informed me that she wanted me to golf with her so I allowed myself to be dragged to the course on a terrible 80 degree afternoon with an awful cool breeze. To make matters worse, the greenskeeper had mowed nearly the whole course, creating a green carpet instead of interesting clumps. Jim was on the range when we got there, hitting some balls and waiting for Donny to show up. They joined us and Tundra and we had a nice evening. The course was full of players but everyone had a nice pace so it was calm and relaxing. Jim took $5 off of me for a KP and then I tried to win it back on #9 so he took another $5 off me. Lucky for me he had some Apple flavored fermented drink in his cart so I was able to get some of my money back in sips. We met at Pappy’s afterward and Ash and Grey came down to keep us company.
Friday night skins had about 12 people show up but I seriously had to go home and get ready for wine making so all the info I got was that James won everything. James can be really really good at this game—the emphasis in that statement is on the word “can” ha ha.
On Saturday, we put on a Greenskeepers revenge tournament. Todd and Colby set some really hard pin locations near the edges of greens and on slopes and tee boxes behind trees, sometimes with no line of sight to the green. Troy, Roger and Jake were 1st with 35,36-71 and with 5 birdies. Tied for second were James, Ty and Jesse with 39,37-76 and Todd, James and Don at 37,39-76 and then a tie for last with Colby, Rich and Scottie with 43,37-80 and Graham, Eugene and Tom 39,41-80. These are decent scores considering the difficulty of the putts as the slightest aim off the mark allowed the ball to run off the green, sometimes far off of it.
We hope to punch greens this week some time so be aware that they may be fuzzy and have sand on them to allow them to recover from the punching.
And finally, it is time to put seed down on the practice green. This has been without grass for more than 3 years as I worked at getting the irrigation all set up and working, I call it the never-ending plumbing project. I have 50 lbs of Perennial Ryegrass seed that will come up quickly, helping to stabilize the sandy surface and provide a nurse crop for the 50 lbs of Penncross Bentrgrass that will fill in and provide the tough grass that can be mowed so very short. There are numerous “elephants” buried in the surface so we can set pins that will make terrific breaking putts off the rounded mounds, hoping to have some fun evenings playing little mini-tourneys after it gets established.