An excellent adventure in Marysville

Warren Montgomery  -  September 2, 2015

Missing it already I thought I'd put down some thoughts on the grand finale.

The trip down was more adventure than planned. A last minute medical issue left me unsure I'd be able to come until 10AM Wednesday, at which point we
flung everything into the car, flew to Marysville, and crashed (having not slept much the night before.)

Thursday AM. A good night sleep had us to Marysville GC ahead of everyone, and I was just starting to wonder if I had the right place when the out-of-state cars started rolling in. (I counted something like 12 states and 2 provinces in our attendees). I went off in about the 3rd group with Gary and Patrick, both big hitters I've played a few rounds with. The course was interesting in spite of the poor turf conditions from the weather. I actually had some game on the front 9, making some up and downs and putts. Gary continues to play better every time I see him, and Patrick is simply amazing. The back 9 was an adventure, with the dogleg par 5 and the two crazy dogleg par 4's. On the first one (with an invisible pond in the 90 degree corner) we saw the group ahead playing from beyond the pond and all went for it. Everyone found their balls except me. Don't know where it went, The shot was better than the one I hit in the afternoon, which cleared easily. I suspect it just got lost in the turf somewhere. One of the most amazing shots I saw in 4 days was Patricks 3W? on 17. After hitting a tree and winding up over 250 to a green protect by water he launced at it, got on, and sunk the putt. Easy birdie (He nearly made the 18 in 2 as well.)

Thursday PM: A chance for redemption with Thor, Chris Georg, and Craig Thompson. Craig and I were both trying to play "morning guy". I came close
on the front, and between the two rounds I think I parred every hole. Along the way I witnessed Rock's 100 yard dash against a speed cart towards the
pond on 7. (I had considered letting my cart cruise down that hill but realized quickly the potential for disaster. Even with 4 wheels mine won't always go straight.) The back was a bit painful. An airmailed bunker shot on 10 for me, Wild right OBs for the others on 11, and lots of problems on 12. We did play 13 and 14 well (I even made it over the pond this time), but as I left the tee I couldn't unlock the brake on my cart, and wound up having to call Craig for rescue (rolling a microcart on the front 2 wheels only isn't easy). It was a good round though in spite of that. Chris is crazy long -- get control of that hook and he'd be hard to beat.

I was a little leary about Benny's when we showed up and they said we could only have 3 tables, then waited a long time, but the Pizza was worth the wait and the band wasn't half bad. (I don't understand though why a bunch of women way too young to have been around when "hang on sloopy" was popular seemed to be doing some kind of cheerleader routine to it. Is that some Ohio state thing?) I ate way too much popcorn and Pizza, but swapped some good stories about tournaments and RSG events.

Friday at Mill Creek. I always liked Mill Creek, which is a humble but interesting course like the one I play every day. I missed the pairing with Thor and Dave T. I had the last couple of times we played there, but playing with Roger Geog, John Green, and Craig was a nice group. I remembered just enough of the course to be dangerous. We started on 16 (the shotgun start worked pretty well to get our larger-than-normal group around in time to make the PM round.) I knew about the pond, and successfully dodged it, but still choked a chip. 2 was a frustrating hole as Chuck and I both hit uncharacteristically right. (Later I looked at the tee box and markers and the whole thing was pointed into the woods -- never trust the tee box as an alignment aid!) There were more than a few surprises, like the little fingers of water on 12? (dogleg par 5 with water on left). Nobody remembered that was there until we were flirting with it. As I played the back though I kept wondering where "the stupid hole" (the crazy dogleg par 4 nobody I played with ever figured out) was, and when we were waiting on the 14th tee I realized it had come, and announced to Roger and Craig, who didn't remember it, that this was iindeed the stupid hole (though not as stupid as one of the holes at Buck Ridge). The influence was immediately apparent -- Roger teed up a ball and stepped up to hit -- his putter. Didn't happen any other time, must have been the influence of the stupid hole. We had bad layups, chunked approaches, shots that airmailed the green, and I think a few "x"s on it.

Buck Ridge. Another one I had fond memories of playing some interesting matches on. My PM group was with Tex, Neal, and Bill O. Tex had arranged a
match against Neal and Bill's best ball, and I was happy to sit out, not being really sure of my game yet. Again, playing a shotgun start saved what could have been a really long day. My game was uneven, taking some time to adapt to the much dryer conditions, but it was fun. It was really nice to see Tex make a run of 4 birdies, then barely miss the putts on the next 2. Neal and Bill were keeping up until then, but no match for that run. The festivities at Boston's were nice, with a chance to give Thor a few memories. (Loved that bag!)

The Tunamint round (Indian Springs). Some day I'd love to play Indian Springs -- when it's dry, off sane tees. As it was the course was drowned making those 6700 yard blues play maybe 500 yards longer, and I felt like I was in a US open for Bogey golfers -- no hope at par since I couldn't reach most holes, only a question of how many disasters I'd have. I played with Chris, Scott, and Mike Plowinsky, (who I played a lot of rounds with at RSG-Bandon a decade ago but not much since). It was painful watching the groups ahead start and seeing the number of provisionals hit (and unfortunatley played). Our group escaped the first few holes pretty well, though nobody was going to be in contention. There were some odd incidents. On 12, Chris airmailed the green, then put a provisional in good position on the green. He looked for the first ball anyway, thought he found it, and after measuring for relief from unplayable decided he couldn't get a good swing on the drop. He picked up the ball to start back to hit again, then realized it wasn't his ball. Then he started looking again, as Scott and I kept telling him he didn't want to find it (he didn't). On 15, I was in the fairway and the others right and I barely noticed the long drive marker, which turned out to be Carla. (Meryl missed the fairway), then when moving towards my second heard Scott yell about going left as I watched the ball bounce into the crap. His provisional was out on the right, though we did find the first one and he actually played it. On the last few holes the temperature and humidity soared and I ran out of gas, tripling 17 and doubling 18 to stumble in with an embarassing total. Chris was amazing on 18, nearly reaching in 2. Carla played with Rock and told me he had a really good round, so the result wasn't a big surprise. (We had a preview
of the new Rock's game earlier in the summer when he played our home course with us and had 3 birdies from perfect approaches.) I retained my record of
having never written my name on a single hole prize marker in 7 years of RSG-Ohio. (I don't think I've ever been earlier than about the 4th group, but mainly I think it reflects the fact that my game is boringly average).

Match Play Madness. That's always the highlight and this year no exception, though for the first time nothing really weird happened. I played Bill O (our 3rd MPM match), and Carla played Jerry Raack. Having played with Jerry before I thouht he might be a problem for Carla, but they played a pretty good match. Bill and I seesawed the first few, with most holes being won or halved in pars. Nobody played out of any place really strange, and we all enjoyed it.

Sunday golf. Thor's weather mojo worked again, the rain dissapated as soon as we got on the course. I played with Meryl, Eric, and Craig off the back 9 first. After a couple of mediocre holes and a WTF pull into the woods on that first hole in the woods I got revenge on the par 5 in the woods, nearly jarring a pitch and tapping in for birdie, I think my only one of the weekend. The front wasn't as pretty. (If I play this course again I might even remember the par 5 with the crap on the left you can't see off the tee and not lose a ball there). We all learned some new vocabulary from Meryl, and everyone had some good holes. After that it was a quick so-long in the parking lot and an uneventful return. (Monday golf would have been nice, but given we have to come most of the way back to Columbus on Labor Day for a tour finals event we needed some time at home to shovel out the mailbox and mow the hayfield.)

Hope to see everyone again at some future RSG event, whether in Columbus or elsewhere. Thanks for the great membories of this one.