Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Day One: Wake Me Up (Wham)/Forest Dunes

(tape delay on posting: Wifi at the cabin is slow, slow, slow and I can only do one thing at a time on the computer. After Day 2's morning music selection, I have decided to title each day based on an 80s tune. We'll see how that goes. After reading the lyrics to this song, I've realized I didn't listen much to the lyrics...).

Even a 5:45 am flight is early for me, so when Tony thinks on Friday that maybe he’ll stay up all night to take me and Tom to the airport -- I say fine (even though I guess I looked horrified enough that he stayed in).

Off we head to DFW at 3:30 am. This time with no luggage because Frank has our clubs and our bags in his truck (which we found made it to Holland safely -- and he didn’t even have to use one of Pete’s irons for self defense on the ride). Tony drops me and Tom off -- or as Tony calls him, my “Golf Husband.” I don’t know how many of these trips we’ve been on, but it’s been over 10 years. This trip will be interesting: Me and Tom are definitely "regulars." This is Pete and Frank's third trip. Ron's second. And Paul, Jeff and Cory are newbies (Cory has been up here and played a few courses, but don't know if I'd count it as "this trip").

We get to security before security and have to wait. One camper -- newbie Cory -- arrives. He’s pretty chatty this early considering Tom says he’s not a morning person (and quite a beer drinker -- can go beer for beer with Ron). Then we have a Pete and Paul sighting at check in. Get through security with only one incident -- Cory loses his sunscreen.

Get to the gate. Finally a Jeff sighting (he and his wife stayed at the Marriott near the airport to optimize sleep time). They all go and find McDonalds (doesn’t open until 5:00 am). Board and take off to ORD. Uneventful flight. Crossword. Soduku. Solitaire on the Kindle. Jeff sleeping. Pete and Paul sleeping. Cory upgraded to first class. Head to our gate for Traverse City, losing Paul on the way for his first vacation cocktail. Take off from ORD and land in an hour in Traverse City, grabbing a Big Bopper (ice cream cookie sandwich) and my first Vernors at the airport.





Off we go to Forest Dunes. Frank and Ron are less than an hour away from the course. We have about an hour and 20 minutes. Pull up to the sign for our obligatory photo (this group isn’t as up for posing for photos as Daigle and Robert were last year -- or Mark, Mr. “Take My Picture.”)

Pull into the parking lot and Frank and Ron are unloading Frank’s truck. No damage. All clubs accounted for. None broken. Go to check in. Unfortunately, no Twitter greeting like last time. But, they did give us this great deal. Hoping that they would have had an area explaining the new Tim Doak reversible course that they are building (or would it be courses?). They’ve broken ground on it. Can’t wait to hear more about it than, but here’s a link to the announcement this week: http://www.linksmagazine.com/the-buzz-article/double-the-fun  (and this week GOLF Magazine ranked the Top 100 Courses You Can Play and Forest Dunes moved into No. 21 (with Erin Hills in Wisconsin at 22), moving up 12 spots.
Entrance to Forest Dunes (Pete, Paul, Jeff, Cory)

Tony's Pork Butt and Ribs in Dallas
Go to grab lunch while watching the club championship tournament (pretty slim pickings with only about 20 participants total for men, seniors and women). We still haven’t determined the food situation yet, but we think that, like usual, I’ll keep the breakfast, lunch, tip and dinner kitty and then because there was “discussion” -- drinks and stuff on the course you’re on your own. I’m also keeping the stable ford tournament kitty -- $100 per person. All places pay out. Tom will keep track of the adjusted quota during the week.

Good thing that we haven’t figured out the food situation because we sit down and then players start wandering off -- Cory, then Jeff, then Ron, then Paul… think we’ll be herding cats -- don’t know about how drunk cat herding goes -- this week.

3:00 pm tee times and Jim the starter leads us off -- giving us that special bug spray for the gnats that sometimes appear on the course. Was hoping Brodie, the Australian Shepherd on the Golf Channel (I think the superintendent’s dog) would greet us. No luck. Get the obligatory group photo (but Tom’s camera was not set right so I’m hoping on Paul’s camera) at the tee box and then off we head. This round we’re playing cabins in each group (me, Tom, Cory, Jeff and then Frank, Ron, Peter and Paul). Games within groups this time are optional -- we’ve elected to play skins and trash. The greens are supposed to be running faster than usual this time because of the club championship.

Cory has a wee bit of trouble off the first tee. Ditto for Jeff. Tom goes deep. I didn’t do anything stupid but it wasn‘t exactly the way to start off 12 rounds of golf. Tom, of course, hits it down the middle. But, we’re off on a beautiful, but warmer than usual day at Forest Dunes.





The gnats seem out more than most years. Actually, in full force and we keep spraying the stuff and it seems to attract them even more. The marshal tells us that if we take our hats off and then put it on the top of our putter and hold our putter over our head like an umbrella -- it gets them away from our face. Don’t have the photo documentation of this, but everyone looked pretty silly doing so. Surprised there aren’t more pictures on Facebook or Twitter on this occurrence (potentially a wives tale to make golfers look like goofs).





Forest Dunes has a bunch of tee boxes -- including ones that Tom hasn’t played -- combos. And he pretty much cleans up -- he had four birdies and an eagle to shoot a 78. And he’ll be adjusted for the next round based on this amount of points accumulated.

I shoot and 86 -- I’m happy with this. I’m happy with ANY round in the 80s (even low 90s) in Michigan. Jeff’s in the 80s as well. Cory -- well, not so much. But the beer is flowing (Labat’s Blue Light for me and Tom). And Cory is really excited about this amazing divot he took -- and didn’t document. I mean, really excited about the divot. Jeff has a little anger management off of #14, a par 4 on the back side after the bathroom with the pond (drivable from the combos with all of the sand dunes on the right that I usually head into) that I don’t really like (but actually finished this year) -- the one before the par 5. He duffs it into the gunk between the tee boxes and then hits his driver on the tee markers (these nice solid pine cones -- I have one in my backyard). Find out later that it has a nice little dent in it.

It’s hard to blog on this trip anymore about the courses, because I’ve played them. And love them all. If you want more course descriptions, read earlier. Forest Dunes is a gem (except for the gnats). The front is in the forest, the back is links (well, some, but there’s still a lot of trees). The fairways are in perfect, barefoot condition. The greens are fast (we not only had our first eagle and first birdies (from Jeff and Tom) but our first four putt (from Jeff). I managed to play the entire first round with one ball -- until the 18th -- hit a cart path and who knows where it went. And then my first bunker the entire round. We finish off on the 19th Buy Hole with Jeff taking the greenie away from me, but missing his birdie putt.

Texting Tony about the pork butt he was smoking at home -- he sends a picture of it. Looks great and he says tastes great (even though needs more sauce). Then sends an update on the PGA Championship -- at that time 5 are tied at the lead at 10 under, with Phil and Furyk one back.

Pack up the cars and off we head to Boyne, stopping at Burger King (culinary mecca in Gaylord), package store on the way. Checking in is fun with 8, but Boyne is ready for us (no Logan). Drop Frank and his crew off at his house (I guess Frank is afraid of the dark). Then we head to Creekside. Time to unpack and turn in.

Well, shower as well -- I get the room on the first floor with the bathroom across the hall. Men must have designed it because the showerhead is too wide for the shower and in order to take a shower without getting my hair wet, I have to take my shower outside the shower. Puddles. Oh well. But I needed to shave my legs and didn’t want to get my hair wet. I know, my problem. But a design flaw in the Creek side (and other) cabins at Boyne.

Sitting at the dining room table with Tom blogging while Cory is trying to get Jeff moving (he’s not the biggest morning person -- he was the last one at the airport and I hear he’s the last one to get to the tee box at Bent Tree).

This morning is the Mountain courses -- Alpine, then Monument. It looks like I may be post uploading blog stories on this trip as it’s 6:15 am. No sighting of Jeff yet. And nothing from Cory. Don’t know if this is how the week will go getting out of the house. We’ll see.

"Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" was track #3 on the album Make It Big. It was written by Michael, George. Lyrics courtesy of MetroLyrics.com

Jitterbug
Jitterbug
Jitterbug
Jitterbug
You put the boom boom into my heart
You send my soul sky high when your lovin' starts
Jitterbug into my brain
Goes a bang bang bang 'til my feet do the same
But something's bugging you, something ain't right
My best friend told me what you did last night
Left me sleepin' in my bed, I was dreaming
But I should have been with you instead
Wake me up before you go go
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo yo
Wake me up before you go go
I don't want to miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go'
Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo
Wake me up before you go go
Take me dancing tonight
I wanna hit that high, yeah, yeah
You take the gray skies out of my way
You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day
Turned a bright spark into a flame
My beats per minute never been the same
'Cause you're my lady, I'm your fool
It makes me crazy when you act so cruel
Come on baby, let's not fight
We'll go dancing, everything will be all right
Wake me up before you go go
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo yo
Wake me up before you go go
I don't want to miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go'
Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo
Wake me up before you go go
Take me dancing tonight
I wanna hit that high, yeah, yeah yeah, baby
Jitterbug
Jitterbug
Cuddle up, baby, move in tight
We'll go dancing tomorrow night
It's cold out there but it's warm in bed
They can dance, we'll stay home instead
Jitterbug
Wake me up before you go go
Don't leave me hanging on like a yo yo
Wake me up before you go go
I don't want to miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go'
Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo
Wake me up before you go go
Take me dancing tonight
Wake me up before you go go
Don't you dare to leave me hanging
Wake me up before you go go
I don't want to miss it when you hit that high
Wake me up before you go go'
Cause I'm not plannin' on going solo
Wake me up before you go go
Take me dancing tonight
Yeah yeah

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