Tee Tattler

Season’s Greetings from the Illinois Valley Country Club!
It was requested that I mention a few newsworthy things from around town to, you know, save small events for posterity.
So this week– the Lil Pantry got their sign-letters on the building and most of the parking lot lights up. The KOA did some finish road grading on the steep driveway and we could see the big machines up there finishing some more earth moving. The downtown business people met at Pappy’s for a little holiday get-together and I gave them a little tour of Taylor’s Country Store remodel-in-progress. They/we had about 12 of us, Amy and Megan put on a nice little meeting and everyone looked all professional–all except me, as I had to saw up some firewood just before, so I showed up with sawdust and bar chain oil on my normally dapper clothing–ha ha. And the Chamber of Commerce put on a really nice event at the Visitor’s Center with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a bunch of darling elves handing out candy, hot cocoa and presents to the little kids. Bertha Miller was one of the “older” cute little elves and all full of smiles and spreading her usual goodness. And Pappy’s had a wreath making class on Sunday afternoon, the place smelled just lovely with pine, fir and cedar boughs and all of the little berries, cones and what-nots to add to the wreaths.
As far golf goes–it was a busy week for me at the sausage plant but a bunch of guys were able to get out there for skins this week.
Monday had Graham, D’Lynn, Troy, Jakob, Colby, Todd, Danny and Roland out there. Graham birdied 10, D’Lynn birdied 15, Graham got the carry-over KP on 16, Jakob got a single KP on 17 and Colby got robbed of several skins by Todd, who sunk long putts to steal Colby’s skins. Colby has recently decided to stop taking practice swings prior to hit shot and it has really improved his swing and downward force–as an added bonus, we don’t anticipate his shot and look up, only to find that he was only on a practice swing.
On Tuesday, I spoke with the agronomist from Wilbur-Ellis and he directed me to go out and find out what kind of weeds and fungus we have in the greens. I passed the Tuesday morning guys out there and the weather was so pretty that I considered staying and ditching the afternoon at the plant but decided I should go back and help ship Christmas gift boxes. Todd birdied #1, Rhino caught up with the group on 2, Colby parred #7 for a skin, Graham reports that he was kind of hacking that day and had to hit his shot from behind the new row of trees between 6 and 7 fairways. Colby got KP and birdied #8 for a skin and James reports that he had some decent drives–well, any news is news, right?
On Friday afternoon, I determined to leave work for a couple hours and get out with the Friday evening guys (evening being from 2:30 till dark at 5 this time of year). Todd, Colby, Jesse, James, Danny, Troy came and we talked Eugene into coming along– he applied some “hot salve” under his sweater to try and keep warm enough to play. Graham parred #1, Todd hit his drive into the cross-ditch on #2 but chipped out and put his third shot onto the fringe of the green, he chipped close and sunk his par putt for the second skin. I put a ball down the center of #3 and Todd mentioned that the hole was ripe for picking. I hit a decent shot into the right side of the green and put a chip really close and got a skin for my par. On #4, at least 5 balls were on the green and mine turned out to be closest by a little bit. A couple guys sunk their par putts so it came up to me to either settle for a par tie or get with it and sink my birdie putt for 2, which I miraculously did, to collect the KP as well as the skin. #5 was all woods, cussing, lost balls in the leaves and general frustration. Todd did sink a really long, curving par putt to tie the skin with poor Danny, who claimed to have needed one to get even. On #6 Danny a short drive and then put his ball 2 feet from the cup on his second shot. The fog had settled very thickly so it was difficult to see but the sound of it plopping helped me to see the ball next to the pin. Eugene remarked that he was going to have my eyesight checked, being able to see the white ball in the white fog and I told him that I had just decided to use echolocation instead of eyesight. On #8, with the thick foggy air, most guys decided to club up to make sure they at least reached the green so most shots went over the back. I had clubbed up by twoand then reconsidered and went back down a club. Todd remarked that we would likely be carrying over the KP for a third or fourth shot KP on #9, maybe even having to go to a fifth-shot to make sure we paid out the pot. I put the ball about 15 feet from the cup for the tentative KP, as we now have to “validate” the KP by making par. I stepped up confidently and raised my backswing just far enough so that I could just let the putter drop, the ball made its way along the curving break and stopped at the edge of the hole, teetering for a moment before dropping in with a satisfying clittery clunk for my second KP and another skin. On #9, Eugene sunk a long par putt for a potential skin but Todd spoiled it with a nice breaking putt that he hit with his wedge. Todd paid me out $72 for my KPs and skins. Finally got even with June through December’s bets, actually not even but satisfying nonetheless.
And on Sunday, Jesse, Roland and Graham and I showed up to try to beat the rain (weather people said it would be partially cloudy and 54 degrees), we played one hole and it dumped on us so Graham took Odie and split, us other fools stayed and enjoyed an almost sunny afternoon until we reached #8, when it again dumped for the last 2 holes. Roland had some really nice drives and second shots, while Jesse and I were chipping really close. We decided that we would make a nice scramble team, so long as me and Jesse didn’t have to drive too many times. I did hit one onto the #16 green from 190 yards and it rolled up within 9 feet, just a little more oomph and I might have had a hole-in-one.
The course is surprisingly firm, even with all of the soggy rainy weather, so fear not and come play.