Tee Tattler

Hello from the Illinois Valley Country Club!
In last week’s exciting action:
The Thursday evening competition was going to be a new kind of format in which you get your whole handicap but instead of subtracting your handicap at the end of the round, you get one Mulligan for each handicap stroke. So, if you are a 9 handicap for 9 holes, you would get to play 9 Mulligans. The guys up on the teebox made an executive decision to instead play skins for $10. We begrudgingly went along with it but this week we do intend to play the Mulligan game. Todd, Troy, Jesse, Graham, James, Colby and I braved the sunshine and warm weather to play. I got a surprise birdie on #2 for the first skin. Todd and I had birdie putts on #3, I sunk my 25 footer and Todd had a little 4-footer which he sunk as well or I would have had an amazing 2 skins in a row. James got the KP on #4 with a nice ball that stuck hard and didn’t roll off. He made the validation putt for a par. We came up against a couple guys on #5 so we skipped around them to be polite and allow them to not have any pressure. No skins for the next couple holes and nobody put the ball on the green on #8 so we marched on to #9 for a third shot carry-over KP. My drive landed in across the lateral ditch on the teebox side and I risked a shot through the cottonwoods by hitting directly toward the fairway across the Kerby Ditch. I did this last week with Tracy and couldn’t find my ball, although it made it over all the trees that we could see anyway—I found it 2 days later when driving up the cart path-it had hit the very top of the big cottonwood and ended up at its base. Anyway, my ball was behind the cottonwoods and I didn’t have enough room to hit high enough so I pulled out my driver and hit it low. It whizzed past the trees and barely ticked a branch, which accentuated its slice which landed it right at the little cedar stump by the 150-yard stone. I hit a great shot from there but came up a little short on the fringe. Todd hit two great shots but his third shot was also just a bit short. This left Graham and he hit a great one, landing it in the center of the green. He also ended up with the last skin with a tap-in putt.
On Friday night family, friends, fun and kids night we had only Graham, Jesse, Todd, John and Grey and Ashton. On #10, John’s ball went high and plugged somewhere in the center of the fairway-we gave him a free drop. On #11 John’s ball plugged in the center of the fairway again, and again, we gave him a free drop. His second shot also plugged and we gave him a third free drop. Then, Todd both got on the green, Todd putted twice for a par and now John had the birdie opportunity. I won’t say “of course” but..of course he squandered it and settled for par. On #12, John again plugged but I found his ball. Todd got a skin with par. On # 13, Jesse and I both got on the green, Jesse was close for KP. Jesse had an excellent opportunity to get the skin as well, from about 4 feet but he left it short by about 3 feet! On 14, John and Graham were both on. Graham two-putted his, leaving John with an excellent opportunity to get a skin with an 8-foot putt. I won’t say “of course” again, but, of course he missed it. On #16 from the front teebox, John hit very close but didn’t quite get on. Then he gave Todd a hard time about his drive and Todd hit just about 4 inches further than John, about an inch from being on for the KP. On #17, Graham and John were both on, Graham getting the KP by about an inch. And finally on #18, John and Todd both on the green, John comes up a little short and Todd sinks his 6 footer for the last skin.
On Saturday, the guys came out at noon for a beautiful day. I had to do firewood so I showed up late and saved the $20 entry fee, so I won there, anyway. I think there were 10 of us at the end. It was nice to have Danny out there after missing quite a few skins games. I didn’t write down all the skins but I did see Jesse had 2 or 3 $20s in his hand so he finally got a couple skins.
And finally on Sunday afternoon, the weather seemingly perfect, Todd, Graham, Jim, Donny and Jesse went out at 3 p.m. Graham birdied #1, Jesse birdied #2. Jesse also got KP on #4 for but 3-putted so didn’t validate the KP—Todd sunk a birdie putt for a skin and Donny got the last skin on #7. Todd said that the wind came up and made it interesting.
The leaves are really falling heavy now and it is getting hard to find a ball in the rough. Jesse has been dutifully blowing leaves off the green and we are all very thankful for that.
I checked on the spillway that I was talking about last week and found a very large pile of sticks, mud and seaweed on the bank. I found out that Gary had pulled a bunch out after I did the previous day or so. That beaver is productive! I hope to take a long bar and get the stop boards out-just hope the beaver doesn’t fall a tree into the opening. I did notice that the beaver dam has the same shape as Hoover Dam, with the edges tight up against the opening and the sides angling inward upstream, so that the dam wedges itself against the banks on either side. I wonder if the engineers had studied beaver dams when designing Hoover.