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I need to correct something. Tony and Mike are thinking that I am an 18 handicap. My INDEX last year was 17.6, but my COURSE HANDICAP was much lower because of the forward tees that the seasoned seniors were playing. I had a handicap of 10 at Myrtlewood, 12 at Thistle, 10 at Tiger’s Eye and 9 at MBN Southcreek.
I’ll jump in here with my favorite memory. I think I’ve told it several dozen times over the years. I played in my first World Am in 1998 and this year will be my 25th time. This story happened in 2014…
I was in one of the super senior flights and we played Tradition the last day. For the first time, I was in the top 8 the last day and got to play with the leaders. There are 2 people in the cast of characters. The “driver” is the fellow driving my cart and the “cheater” is the passenger in the other cart. Upon arrival the driver and I got to our cart about the same time and this player in a cart beside us told us to watch out for a certain player that was playing with us (the cheater). This player said he played with him one day in the tournament and he was called down for cheating several times during the round. He said we really needed to keep a close eye on him.
Well, the driver felt that he was the perfect man for the job. On the very first tee, the cheater hit his drive into a fairway bunker. The driver makes it a point to ride over there to observe him. Sure enough, when we arrived you could see the clubhead on a fairway wood moving in the vicinity of the ball. The driver yelled out “you can’t move a ball in the bunker..!!”, to which the cheater yelled back “I’m not moving the ball”. The cheater hits his second shot into some bushes to the right of the first green. Both carts drive to that area and all of us (except the cheater) begin looking for the ball. After a few minutes we cannot find the ball and as we walk back to our carts, the cheater is sitting in his cart and had been the entire time we were looking for his ball. As we sat down in our carts, he gets out and begins his own search. The driver immediately follows him to watch what he does. The ball was not found and the cheater had to reluctantly play the shot over.
We had a couple of minor issues before we got to our 6th tee box of the morning. This was a par 3 with a pretty large pond on the right of the green. The cheater missed his tee shot to the right and it came to rest in some grass right on the edge of a bank above the water. His ball was inside the red hazard line, but the ball could be played. The cheater walks over to his ball while the driver is keeping a close eye on him and he immediately grounds his club behind the ball. The driver tells the cheater that he can’t ground his club in a hazard. The cheater yells back that he is not grounding his club and proceeds to hit his ball on the green and then 2-putts for a bogey.
When we get back to the carts the driver is asking for everyone’s score and the cheater says he had a 4. The driver told him he actually had a 6 because he incurred a 2-shot penalty for grounding his club in the hazard. At that time the cheater just went ballistic. He and the driver are trading insults to the hilt. Finally the driver said something to cause the cheater to get into the driver’s personal space and said the magic words…”what are you going to do about it”. Well, the driver just reached back and caught the cheater in his jaw with a pretty good right hook. All of a sudden, I have two 70+ year old men wrestling with each other on the ground. I finally convinced them to quit and they got back in their respective carts. About that time the driver of the other cart returned from the restroom and had no idea what had been going on. We drove on to the next tee box and the cheater never got out of the cart, just rode on in to the clubhouse after the 9th hole, where he promptly took his clubs to the car and left. Oh yeah, the driver of the other cart….he wound up winning the flight.
Scott, thank you very, very, very, very much…!! Will Q-School next month be tee times or shotgun..?
The tee times are not showing up in the phone app. Last year’s times are still there.
Adam, this isn’t Tommy but I can tell you about the situation we had with tee times in flights 5 and 6. Our first day at The Pearl, our group arrived on the 10th tee right on time and we promptly waited 20 minutes for the fairway to clear. Once we finished the hole we were then the FOURTH group on the next tee box, a par 3. We waited on every tee box from that point on and it took us exactly 6 hours to finish. On Tuesday, it was the complete opposite at Barefoot Dye. We teed off right on time on #10 and in spite of one of our players falling head first into the pond while trying to retrieve his ball (quite a story), we played in a little over 4 1/2 hours, which considering the weather conditions, I thought was amazing. But then on Wednesday at Wachesaw East I was in the first group at 8 AM and it was a pure joy to move right along through the first nine and onto the next nine. When we reached the 6th hole we noticed 2 players leaving the green while we were teeing off and we thought that was a little strange. On the next tee box, when we arrived the 2-some had just hit their tee shots and were driving off. We waited and waited and finally completed the hole. When we arrived at #8 tee box, the 2-some was waiting on a 3-some to clear the green on the par 3. They told us they teed off at 10 AM and it took them 2 1/2 hours to play 7 holes..!!
After making such great time through 14 holes, we completed our round in 5 1/2 hours.
So, both of you agree that it’s OK to play the ball down if 1) You get mud on the ball after every drive, or 2) the fairways haven’t been cut in several days (or rye grass overseed is coming up) and the ball is constantly sitting down to the point that you can’t get clean contact with the back of the ball without having grass between the club face and the ball, or 3) there is a heavy morning dew and the fairways have finally been cut after a week-long rain, leaving grass clippings all over the fairway, you have one of the early tee times and for the next 2 hours, every time you find your drive in the fairway, it is completely covered in grass clippings, or finally 4) there was a pretty strong thunderstorm last night, the course has drained well, but there is quite a bit of debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) through the green. What say you…???
Denny, what I’m wondering about is what kind of pre-tournament instruction is the World Am giving the pros? Are they saying “play it as it lies” is the World Am’s preferred option and not adding an option for the pro to make a decision? Shaftesbury Glen was my opening course on Monday and I played a practice round there Sunday. I had mud balls all day long and saw the assistant pro marking penalty areas. I told him about the mud balls and he said he would report it to the head pro but we still played it down on Monday and there was still plenty of mud on the ball. This is not The Masters….most of the courses we play are just not in good enough shape, especially after an evening rain, to play it down all the time.
Rick, I’m glad you at least got to lift, clean and place. We didn’t have that opportunity but as I said due to the conditions it probably wouldn’t have helped. You know, the majority of the courses used in the World Am are normally not in “play the ball down” condition…if you’re playing a casual round you’re usually rolling the ball in the fairway. A thought just crossed my mind…I just realized that the last 2 or 3 years I can’t remember having any course give my flight a lift, clean and place option, and we have had rainy conditions prior to the World Am that left many courses in borderline conditions. Are the World Am people directing the courses to not allow this unless absolutely necessary? I would say in the last 3 years, playing 12 different courses, the option should have been effect at least 2 or 3 times…just thinking out loud here…who makes the decision..the club pro or the World Am…Scott, any comments…??
Scott, in case you are not familiar with it, there is a web site titled “Myrtle Beach Golf Talk Forum”. It is run by Brian Noblin, a golf trip director that I have used for many years. The web address is http://www.myrtlebeachgolftalk.com Click on the “forum” tab and you can always find reports from a number of golfers about courses they just played. They are very good at giving frank, honest opinions about what they experienced. You might want to assign one of your staff to monitor that site for a couple of weeks prior to making your course assignments. Once I received my course assignments I immediately went to the site to see if there were any reports on my courses. The only course of mine that had any reports was Indigo Creek and several people really trashed it, saying the fairways had not been cut in “weeks”. I found that hard to believe and since I hadn’t played it in a while I decided to play it as one of my 2 practice round courses. I played on Friday before the Monday start and guess what…2 inch long grass in the fairways. I couldn’t believe it. On several occasions I actually had to search a couple of minutes to find my ball IN THE FAIRWAY..!! They wound up cutting the fairways before Monday’s opening but they were not cut close by any means. When I played it on Tuesday I was in an 8:09 group and we had a very heavy dew that morning so when I reached my first drive I found it covered in mud and 1 inch long grass clippings. And the pro had told us before we teed off that “the course is in great condition and you’ll be playing the ball down”. Scott, we had SIX players shoot a NET score in the 70’s. Everyone else was in the NET 80’s and 90’s. We should have never played Indigo Creek, even if they had allowed lift, clean and place, there was no where to place the ball. Hope the Golf Talk Forum site is beneficial to you. I’ll still see you next year for my 24th time.
Scott, what about the SEASONED SENIOR flight? Do I have any competition..?
Bob, call up your flight and look at the players. Your index doesn’t have an ‘R’ beside it. You were probably reduced because you have too many white golf shirts……………
If you call up a flight on the course assignments page you will see a full list of everyone playing in the flight. There is a message at the top of the list that states “R – Reduced Handicap Index”. There is supposed to be a capital “R” next to the index if they have been reduced…and I think in the past there was a code somewhere explaining why they were reduced…i.e…no tournament rounds, not enough scores posted, etc., etc. Just wondering why it is not showing up………….
Scott, thanks for the response. I’ll stay with the 80+ bunch. It will be nice to be the “youngster” for a change. Hey Bob…no, Tom Anderson will not be coming back this year but he still talks about taking the flight title from you.
Alex, good decision to play Glen Dornoch. When you see #’s 16,17 and 18 you’ll know why I say that. You don’t want to face those holes during a tournament for the first time.
I was in MB last month and while I was checking in to play Legends I overheard a couple of guys talking about Heather Glen closing. I played Possum Trot a couple of days later and since PT is part of the Glens group along with Heather Glen I asked the pro about HG. He said the developers were waiting to get rezoning approval (I guess to build houses, etc.) and that might take a year or two to happen. He then said that Possum Trot would be closing because their lease runs out this year. He said that the property might be sold to the city and they plan to build sports complexes on the property. Another source of confirmation is the web site http://www.myrtlebeachgolftalk.com . I check it out several times a year. They have some pretty reliable information.