Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Day 2: Eye of the Tiger (Survivor): Alpine and Monument

Since this is the first day of two-a-days, this song may do the trick: Survivor's Eye of the Tiger.

We’ve decided this trip to keep breaking up the foursomes so that everyone gets to play together. Day 2 we start off with breakfast at the Lodge -- big buffet with omelet station. Pete’s lamenting being able to order off the menu and have Eggs Benedict.  Ron likes mustard with his eggs. Cory has a bacon addiction (as does everyone I know, including some vegetarians). Grab a to-go coffee and off we head to the Mountain to check in for our second round on the Alpine.









This morning it’s going to be me, Frank, Ron and Cory in one foursome -- and we’re letting Tom, Pete, Paul and Jeff lead us off. They won’t let all four carts head up the mountain together -- say they’ll get in real big trouble because it’s confusing when more than one foursome is up there -- odd, but we let them head off and wait (no golf ball adventures for us as a result). Off we head up the mountain for the 15 minute ride, seeing golf balls scattered along side of the road on the way. I’m driving because -- well, I drive.
















Game for our foursome is going to be robins -- no trash. Damn. But, at least there is a game. But, we’re playing off of my handicap -- REALLY? That doesn’t happen much. Cory hits a tree monkey on his first tee shot and manages to keep it in the fairway. Frank and Ron start off in the fairway, but their second shots end up hitting some trees. I, like Saturday afternoon, don’t do anything stupid.

The morning round isn’t too good for any of us. You hear a lot of trees. And a lot of “Dammit, [insert name here]. It doesn’t really get much better for any of us, until Ron. But, the great thing about Alpine is that there isn’t anyone pushing us. At first we’re not even waiting on shots (later, this changes and we are waiting on the others -- who seem to be having some trouble of their own since they are spending a lot of time in the heather stuff.) The weather is perfect. It’s peaceful and quiet. And the beer cart woman shows up.  We’re on vacation so it can be beer or beverage at any time.

On the last par 3 on the front I have a mulligan left and use it -- not necessarily to my advantage, but to my advantage. My first shot ended up in the bunker front. My second shot ended up on the left edge of the green, about 30 feet + away. I drain it (thanks to the flag and the cup) for birdie. Win the hole. Cory has a mulligan left on the next, a par 5. And he elects (smartly) to use it. But, we lose the hole after troubles in the bunker.

 Ron has his radio on, playing what I guess you could call soft rock. But Cory decides to put on what I could only call an 80s mix -- he calls it his Milli Vanilli mix. It’s quite fun after you get the rhythm of 80s music in your golf swing. And remembering back to Air Band days at Davidson is funny.

Get to the 17th hole and on the tee box, Cory is standing over the ball reciting (not singing, Blame it on the rain). Hits. Then stands over by Frank, continuing to recite the song. Frank asks him if he’s seen some stars (clearly Frank does not know Milli Vanilli, so we think this is pretty funny -- during the trip, we’ll find lots of things funny). Ron then almost gets a hole in one. We document his birdie with a photo op. And head to 18.

One thing about having eight people is that everyone seems to interpret the rules differently. We give a mulligan off of the tee each nine. We play all OB, lost balls as laterals. If you’re in a divot, or a footprint, or mud, or… move it out. We’re on vacation. But, find out that Cory thought that you could take a mulligan anywhere. Set him straight. Later on in the day, we find out that Pete told Ron that if you take a mulligan, you have to use that mulligan. And later on, on Monday, we find out that Ron didn’t know about the provisional mulligan rule.

Lunch at the shack in the meadow before our round up the mountain at the Monument. I like some of the holes on the Monument, but not so much on other holes. Afternoon is me, Tom, Frank and Ron -- with Pete, Paul, Jeff and Cory following. One pair of golf shoes I brought that aren’t going to make it back to Dallas because the bottom of one is coming lose -- well, it came lose again. So, barefoot golf it is. Only in Michigan can barefoot golf feel so nice on your feet. Even in the bunkers it’s not bad because the sand is good. Enjoyed round 3 (but didn’t play well).




Finish up and Ron has won all of the robins and we make him buy us a beer (much to his whining) while we wait on the second group to finish up 18 (18 is a tough hole if you don’t hit a good teeshot -- Frank, Ron and I elect to lay up on a narrow fairway and then cross over to the peninsula green with a shorter club -- Tom doesn’t and ends up in the hazard). Head back to get the cars and load up.

Tonight is “Paul’s Famous Burger” night -- first time we’ve cooked on any of these trips. But we need to go to the grocery store. The thoughts of 8 people at the grocery store making food decisions sounds, well, painful (especially given that some are a little beer buzzed), so Tom and I suggest we take Paul and then Frank drops everyone else off. Perfect plan. Especially perfect because Kilwins ice cream is in town and we stop for ice cream (being good hosts since Paul is on his first trip…). Then to the grocery store -- used to be Glen’s and now it’s the Family something or other.

Tony is texting me about the PGA Championship -- Phil and Ricky are neck in neck. A few others close by. But, he has to head to PhD to watch the rest because power is out at the house and the juice on his phone is dying.

Drop Paul off and back to our cabin to shower up and get Cory and Jeff -- who are now into the Crown and having left the kitchen since they were dropped off. And they have LPGA golf on -- not the PGA Championship. We change the channel -- but then, Jeff, who I guess likes to wager on things, won’t believe that at 730 pm that the tournament is still on -- let alone them being on the 15th green. Has to be tape delay. Has to be over. Healthy debate between Jeff and Cory that’s pretty hilarious.  So we head over with the PGA Championship still pretty tight and go over to Frank’s (we’ll call it Frank’s since he has seniority and the other vehicle). And watch Rory win his third straight and second straight major (dammit, Phil).



Great burgers by Paul. And it was entertaining and fun with this group hanging out. It’s a good makeup. With healthy debate on over/under with Pete throwing and breaking clubs. And whether throwing and breaking are the same thing. And, Ron and Tom spend what seems like a couple of hours calculating the stable ford and the standings. Tom knows how, but Ron needs to know. And Pete wants to know. I don’t care.

"Eye of the Tiger" - Survivor
Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance now I'm back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rivals
And as the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

Face to face, out in the heat
Hangin' tough, stayin' hungry
They stack the odds, still we take to the street
For the kill with the skill to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rivals
And as the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

Risin' up, straight to the top
Had the guts, got the glory
Went the distance now I'm not gonna stop
Just a man and his will to survive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rivals
And as the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger
The eye of the tiger

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