Rock's adventures in Ohio

Rockpyle’s Ohio Adventure

Mark down another Ohio in the books (my 5th). It was an excellent weekend of golf and camaraderie, the excitement of introducing a good friend to the madness and watching him enjoy himself and fit in really well, and the usual hijinks and hilarity that can’t quite be passed on through an email retelling.

I entered this weekend with the remote possibility of winning the Ohio Slam, after winning the Brick in Cincinnati. I did not expect to win because I hadn’t actually been playing very well, but was hitting the ball much more solidly than the last couple of years, so I was enjoying golf so much more. At Cincinnati, my inflated handicap and John’s modified Stableford scoring put me at a real advantage if I could manage my way around the course. I executed that plan to perfection and had a pretty good round to boot.

At Ohio, the straight stroke play format was going to punish my blow ups and not overly reward my hard pars, so I went with no expectations of winning. As it worked out, the course was brutally hard on everyone, and in the carnage, my managed round came so close to winning (two strokes away from winning outright) that I felt like I had thrown away a real chance. Either the 10 on #6 which was almost a 5, or my 8 on #16 where I had two flubbed pitches from within 20 yards. Anyway, I found it interesting that I went from no expectations to counting the ways I had lost it so quickly.

Next year, I expect my handicap to be back in the 15-18 range and I will be back to not much chance at the tourney rounds.

Some highlights and memories:

Interesting Rules Situation (to me): On 18 in the tournament round, my buddy Paul hit an approach to the front of the green where he could not see it as he walked toward the green. Roger Georg (?) then hit his approach and deflected Paul’s ball closer to the hole. The assembled crown saw it, and I kept my eyes on the spot, walked directly to it and marked his original spot. I then yelled something to him that was apparently not clear enough to let him know what I had done. I went back to conversing with the assembled gallery and did not notice that he didn’t replace his ball at all. It only came to light when Coops came off of the green asking who had left a marker on the green.

My assumption is that there is no penalty for a player who doesn’t know that his ball was deflected. As a spectator/committee person, what is my responsibility for doing something about it when I find out after the hole has been completed? Is there any obligation to have him play from the correct place? Decision 18-5/3 seems to say no, based on the completion of the hole.

Bringing a newbie: Paul Schulte is a good golfing friend who I had tried to get to come with me a number of times in the past. He is a regular attendee of my Northern Michigan trip, but because he missed that trip, he managed to swing permission to come to Ohio. It was nice to see him fit in so well at Ohio, and when asked what made him want to come, his response made me happy: “All I know is that I have seen Rob come to these things over the years, and he always comes back with a smile on his face, so I wanted to come.” A perfect advertisement for RSG Outings!

So-So Golf: Nothing terribly exciting to report on the golf itself. Each of my rounds was in a tight range of 99-105, with a few pars and not very many excitingly positive shots. The MPM round (against Paul) was a victory for me, but not very many MPM worthy situations. I do have one picture of Paul wrapping himself around a small tree to play a shot. Watching Brent Hutto plumb bobbing a putter from 180 yards made for a good picture during his round with Kern (they ended up All Square). As I said earlier, this has been the year of solid ball striking leading to mediocre scores, but has been a needed positive golf year for me.

Homebrew, Microbrew and Coronas: Saturday night found us done with dinner at a reasonable hour, so a bunch of us adjourned to Kern’s (and my) room to finish my homebrew and sample some microbrew Growlers and homebrew brought by Chuck Bernard (the most accomplished homebrewer in RSG). It was a pleasant evening and when Kern was ready to turn in, we moved the party outside and ended up spending some time talking with the Mexican laborers who were staying next door. Mark got a chance to renew his acquaintance with Spanish, we learned about the crappy job of laying liner over landfills (yuck!) and we got to taste their hot sauce by taking shots out of their 32 ounce bottle of Tapatio. Yummy stuff! They tasted the microbrew and decided that they would stay with their Bud Light and Coronas.

Return to The Peddler’s Inn: The Peddler’s was quite the experience at my first RSG-Ohio. It was the launching point for the “Shut up and get in the minivan” adventure, the site of me being propositioned by a fine fellow in a Green Bay Packers shirt, and some good guitar music. This year, it was a smaller and less adventurous outing. Mark G., Paul S. and I stumbled over there after we finished the homebrew and Growlers outside the Red roof with our Mexican neighbors. Mark was in fine form, displaying his free spirited dancing to the karaoke; making fast friends with buxom young softball players and a high spirited Alabama fan; joining said ‘Bama fan in attempting unsuccessfully to renegotiate closing time and being an all around fun guy. I was tempering my intake after midnight, so was a sobering and responsible witness and babysitter, karmically repaying the favor to those who have taken care of me in the past. Mark, I’ve got your back any day!

So, it was awesome seeing everyone again, playing with Mark, Chuck, Dave T, Gary, Neal, Kern, Brent, Thor and WeeMon. Heart aching sadness over Pflum’s family tragedy, and the overwhelming desire for next year’s events!