"Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac." — Comedian George Carlin
Last Thursday, we had a tee time in the early morning. This was going to be four guys, playing a team best ball, with the teams being decided after we threw the balls in the air. The two balls, settling closest to one another were the partners. This is an impossible game when one of the four doesn't show. We waited until the last possible second before we started out as a threesome.
The elder statesman in our group suggested that every six holes, one of us would play with a "phantom pro" as our partner. I later found out this was a game called "Ghost."
The "Ghost,, or pro, would make par on every hole. The other two players were partners and would play against the pro and his designated "six-hole" partner. Each player would receive whatever stroke on the hole his handicap allowed.
When the round was completed, two of us lost while having the pro as a partner. The guy who suggested the game said this is a rare occurrence. If you have the pro, and are receiving strokes, that's a difficult combination to beat. But on a grander scale, a round that could have been just so-so ended up being a lot of fun.
Each week, I get as many results as possible from courses all over our area, with tournaments, scrambles, team events, etc. An example is the Tuesday Ladies' League at Wentworth. I get the results Wednesday, and the winners listed with the type of game they played. I have got to tell you I had to look up a format called "Pink Ball." This is when you have teams of three or four, each player plays their own ball and one plays the "pink ball." The "pink ball" score plus the best ball in the group counts as the score for the hole. The lowest aggregate score and the lowest "pink ball" "walk away with the money." The bottom line is the players are competing, they are mixing up their game, and they are enjoying themselves.
Going back to my Thursday round: One requirements was that there would be no "gimme's." I asked the elder statesman why wouldn't you pick up, if you are out of the hole? His reply gave me insight not only to his competitive nature but also why he was such a good putter. "If you have a one- or two-foot putt when it counts in a match, how are you going to perform? No gimme's!" There is an argument that if a player is not putting for anything that would count, pick it up. It will move the game along and your playing partners are not standing around waiting for you to finish the hole.
With the "Dog Days of August" right around the corner, some are battling the golfing doldrums. They are playing the same game, with the same players, on the same course, and often have the same results. Don't be afraid to change the game you play. There are many competitive games you can play as a single, twosome, threesome, or foursome. Play a round from a different set of tees. Play with only three clubs. Play an alternate shot format. Play for something: money, a drink, a golf ball or lunch. These games will keep you sharp. When you are playing for something that really counts, you can fall back on your experiences with the different formats. Remember, when it counts, putt 'em out, no gimme's!
• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: The 2016 Men's and Women's Two-Day Member Guest is in the archives. On the men's side, it was Rob Brewster and Tom Merrill taking first gross. First net went to the team of Jim O'Connor and Russ Roberge. For the women, it was Alice McElhinney and Terry Durkin taking first gross and Toni Belding and Tina Endicott with first net. Toni had a nice weekend when she beat Martha Jamieson in a playoff for July Champ of the Month. Next weekend, the NHPGA will have their Pro Championship at the NCCC 18. The event will begin with the Pro/Member event on Sunday. The club championship is scheduled for Aug. 13-14.
• Indian Mound, Route 16, Center Ossipee, (603-5397733): In the River's Edge Quota game, Norm Roy posted a +5 and also got closest to pin. Nine and Dine had 45 players, and the winning team was captained by Wayne Grenier. The On the Links League had a great 2016. The team winners were the Jackson Six and The Clan, led by the Mitchell family. Thanks to all the courses where competition was held: Indian Mound, Linderhof, Province Lake, Omni Mount Washington, Wentworth, Bethlehem and Maplewood. The Member-Guest will be played Aug. 5. The interclub will be traveling to Ridgewood this week. For more information, call the pro shop.
• Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The 2016 Memorial Hospital results are in the book. There were three divisions, Mixed, Ladies and Men. In the mixed division, it was all "Coleman" as Curtis, Dixie, Parker and Noah Coleman took first place. For the ladies, it was the team of Deb Bryant, Jessica Ross, Barbara Pinkham and Cricket Catalucci taking the top spot. On the men's side, first place went to Bill Caron, Kevin Montminy, Mark Harris and Al Swallow. Closest-to-the-pin winners were Chris Rowe and Jessica Ross for the ladies and David Cassidy and Don Copsey for the men. Long drive champs were Michelle Ramsey and Blake Roberts. On Saturday, the Jackson 18 will host the Wedelen Ski Club Tournament. On Sunday, it will be the Mixed Team or "Divorce Open" taking place. A reminder that on Aug. 8, the greens on the front 9 will be aerified and on Aug. 15 it will be the back 9.
• Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: The Hale's course is benefiting from the nice weather as conditions are great and players are responding. In Men's League play, Dave Pierce posted a +6 in his weekly quota and Wendall Lincoln hit a shot seven feet from the pin to get the CTP. On the women's side, two players, Jill Lucchetti and Dottie Heffernan, posted +11 and +9 in the quota. Sandy Wolner was the sharpshooter on #3 as she put a shot three feet from the pin. "There's always time for nine" at Hale's. The Sunday "Nine, Wine, and Dine" continues to be a popular outing. For $55 per person, you get nine holes of golf, cart, a dinner with wine and dessert. Make tee times with the pro shop, and dinner reservations with the hotel at (603) 356-7100.
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: July is "Family Golf" at the Eagle. Discounted rates are offered every day after 2 p.m. when adults play with junior golfers. The cost is $15 for adults and $10 for juniors when they play together. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will have a clinic Saturday, July 30, at 11 a.m.. The focus will be on hitting your irons and hybrids. The cost is $20 and the class is limited to six students. In the Thursday Eagle League, it was the team of Marion Wachnicki, Mike Peloquin, Janice Adrews and Dan Andrews taking the top spot. Second place, on a match of cards, went to the team of Anne Lee Doig, Briggs Bunker and Terry Fitzgerald. Joan Aubrey got closest-to-the-pin honors. The Tuesday Mixed League saw the team of Rita Stoessel, Ruth Kump, Rob Taylor and Russ Veale take first place. Closest to the pin went to Sally Treadwell.
• Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: Congratulations to Kim Rovzar for winning the Ladies President's Cup. Kim defeated Lisa Warren in a competitive match that required Kim to fire a career best of 71. Congratulations to Jose Azel who defeated Larry Sanborn in the final of the Men's President's Cup. More accolades to Kim Rovzar as she posted a 36-hole total of 161 to win her 10th consecutive Club Championship. Ellen Mueller posted a 166 for second and Jamie Toohey posted a 168 for third. In Wednesday Scotch Doubles, Gene and Maddy Leblanc won on a match of cards over George and Lorraine Harden. Rob and Ellen Mueller finished third. Closest-to-the-pin winners were Jim Dubeau and Nancy Mende. In the Tuesday Social League, the team of Mike Tarantino, Jim Stanford, Jim Stone and Paul Means took first. Second place went to Gene Leblanc, Dave Mills, Jan Maczuba and Bert Kendall. In the four-club Round Robin, played at Indian Mound, Province Lake finds itself with a slim lead over Lake Kezar and Indian Mound. Ridgewood is in fourth place, but with the next match at their course on Aug. 1, they hope to narrow the gap.
- Category: Sports Columns