Tee Tattler

Season’s Greetings from the Illinois Valley Country Club.
A couple of new things that I have noticed in the valley: The City is working hard on the water station next to the golf course putting green, they have brought in a bunch of gravel, sediment fence and all the trees and brush are gone. It is kind of neat to be able to see through what was formerly trees and brush and to be able to see the green and some of #1 and #9 greens and fairways; the Little Pantry owner has been seen in his shiny blue helicopter coming and going, checking on his project, he flies the chopper out over the course as he comes and goes so we see him often; I was out in town on Christmas Day and it is amazing how few people were out, 199 highway had no cars in town, a gentle fog had settled and the Christmas lights were glowing a soft, comfy essence.
In golf news, on Wednesday only Jakob, Todd and James showed up for skins. James won 4 skins, Todd put a ball close on both 3-pars, winning a skin on #8. As they approached #9 green, Todd announced that they would pass on getting a skin on #9 and instead walk down #1 to the 150-yard tree and hit backward, up and over the trees onto #9 green. Jakob put his shot very close and made his putt to win the last skin.
On the Friday night before Christmas we were able to gather Colby, Todd, James O, Graham, James B, Eugene, Me, Danny and Donny. Tundra and Odie came along to chew up some golf balls. Colby stated out strong with a birdie on #10. Eugene got KP on the difficult back tee on #13 and sunk his par put. Todd birdied #15 with a nice drive backed up with two excellent shots and sunk his birdie putt too. On #17, Todd put one very close but failed to make his birdie putt, James was on the edge of the green and sent a screamer at the pin, the ball hit the pin and dropped mightily for the skin birdie. It was so cold out there that everyone made a beeline to the clubhouse after #18, all except Todd, who bought himself an electric jacket. It heats in two zones so he can adjust according to which part is cold. Tracy got one from Taylor for Christmas, along with a box of golf balls and a golf cart heater, so she has no excuse not to play winter golf.
And on Monday, Christmas Day, I sent out a message to enjoy the mild weather and Todd, Eugene, John, Jason and I all met up. We played a little different format in which, instead of paying out skins based on the total number of skins divided into the total money collected, we played carry-over skins, so we divided the total amount of money by 9 holes and each hole would pay out a certain amount. Then, if nobody won a skin on a hole, it would carry over to the next hole, if nobody won one there, it would carry over again. Todd got the first pair on #2 with a par. Eugene put together two great shots on #3 and just missed his birdie putt, but still good enough to win the skin there. John put his ball close on #4 for the KP but, in his words, had a “rummy” putt so settled for par, so no skin there but John collected the $5 KP money. Todd again took the double skin on #5 with a set of nice shots and a couple decent putts. On #6, we all had great drives, mine ran the sparse rough all the way to Chuck and Dorance’s tree stump (my Dad and his long time twilight league partner took it on themselves to dump their ice bucket water one of the little trees that were planted in about 1982 and were able to save it when all the rest dried up—it eventually died after about 20 years, but the stump is left), anyway, my drive was longest somehow. On #7, we played from the wayyyy back teebox and again, everyone put great drives out there. It is about 250 yards, even with a good drive on that hole for your second shot but all 5 balls were close to the green. Eugene was about 12 feet and looked to get a skin there but his ball took a break line and sidled by the cup at the very end. Jason put a ball on #8 for the KP. And on #9, everyone but Todd put balls in ditches, woods, rough. I hit a second drive that was a straight stinger and it almost made it all the way to the Kerby Ditch. The day was so pleasant and warm that we were able to play in short sleeves for a few holes. Todd remarked that we might not have a lot of river water this Summer if it stays warm, but it was nice to be able to enjoy such a nice Christmas Day golf outing with some awesome guys. Afterward, John and I met up at Pappy’s to visit with Joel, who was having a nice lunch with Melissa, Sloane and Stella—Stella had a growth spurt and has lost all her baby fat and is turning out to be a pretty little red-head (she punched me for saying that)!
Hope everyone had a nice Christmas and wishing everyone well going in to the New Year!