Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Last Day of Golf: Push It (Salt n Pepa): Boyne Alpine, Crooked Tree

This is last time to rally and come in first in the Stableford and earn a year’s worth of bragging rights. I’m sure that some people know where they stand, and some people don’t care (like me). Ideally, not being dead last would be good -- but I really don’t care. It’s hard enough getting through two rounds in the last day and I only want to get the ball in the air and not lose too many of them. Come to think of it, I really haven’t lost many golf balls on this trip. I pack more, but don’t lose as many as I think I would. And, find some along the way.

Tee off at 8 am on Alpine. Everett’s doesn’t open for breakfast until 7 am, so we’ve had a “group meeting” about getting in and out of there in 15 minutes. Based on what I’m hearing from upstairs (silence), Cory and Jeff will not be going on this mad dash and we’ll be picking them up on the way back to Alpine.
But, Jeff makes it downstairs. And the other cabin makes it at 7 am. Quick breakfast. Pick up Cory who is perched on a rock waiting for us outside. Off to Alpine. Me, Frank, Jeff and Cory have a nice morning on the Mountain. Jeff is frustrated with his putting. I try and distract him with some nature watching -- doe eating apples out of the tree as we hear Pete roaring in front of us. Wonder if a club has been thrown, or broken. And, the crazy cart girl -- I think her name was Gerri, but she had a stage name and wanted to play wingman to the guys for me. And said that the guy walking in the group in front of us (Tom) was grumpy.
And then the group in front of us gets mighty quiet (except for Pete on the par 3 -- something about bleeping, white, bleeping, hairy something, bleeping, bleep -- I could use exact phrasing, but Mom reads this blog). 

And the group in front of remains quiet the rest of the round. Must be some serious money game going on. They've also slowed down quite a bit. We catch up to Ron on the tee at 16 and find out that "Tom lost it" and "there are no gimmee putts." Probably something more to the story.

We finish up at the Alpine and pack up -- well, our group makes a pit stop for a beverage at the Beach House -- and head to our last round in Michigan at Crooked Tree, down the street from Bay Harbor.

Crooked Tree used to only occasionally be on our course rotation at Boyne. But, we've added it back. And, since this is the last round of the stableford, Tom figures out the standings (because some people need to know) so that we can put the groups in order like a "real tournament" -- leaders going last.

The standings, worst to best: Pete, Cory, Frank, Ron, Liz, Paul, Jeff, Tom. I grab a cart and throw Paul in -- haven't driven him around this trip so this should be fun. The group ahead will be an interesting round.

Crooked Tree has a few odd holes and some odd greens. Number 2 is a par 3 that has a tiered green. If you aren't on the right tier, have fun making par. If you aren't on the green (I wasn't), good luck landing on the green.

On Number 3, they've teed off and I'm heading across the bridge to the forward tees (don't be critical of me playing from them -- we've played over 10 rounds and I need any advantage I can get) and Ron appears, heading back to us -- fired up. Asks us what tee boxes -- Orange. Guess that they were playing from the Purples. More fired up Ron. That taken care of, we continue on.

Watching in front of us, we're not sure what's going on with Cory on the fourth hole. They've played the hole -- and then all of a sudden, he comes running back with his hat backwards and three clubs and plays out the rest of the hole... this happens a couple more times during the round.

Most of the time, their group appears to be marching off the green to their carts. We're enjoying ourselves. Well, maybe not Jeff -- who is now counting his three putts. And it's becoming a regular occurrence.

Crooked Tree also, like Bay Harbor, has some great views of the lake. Really scenic, elevated views. What we didn't know from the last time we played -- just last year -- is that they've changed a couple of the last holes. On #x, the par 3, Paul uses his last mulligan even though he's only a few feet from the hole on his first. Determined to make a hole in one on this trip and this is his last chance. Nope.

On #16, you used to have to hit a fairway wood and lay up because there was a big hill filled with "stuff." Well, they have changed the hole and now there is fairway all of the way down. Granted, if you hit a good drive, you could land in the pond on the right. And then, on #17, a par 5 -- again, you had to lay up if you couldn't go for it with a short club -- and then have a lengthy carry over "stuff" to the green. Well, they have changed the hole and the "stuff" is no longer there. I think I finally made par and didn't lose a ball.

We get to #18 and it's the last hole of the trip. Looks like Tom will be the winner, but Paul has sneaked up on him, having a really good afternoon round. Looks like Jeff, who is up to 13 holes of three putting today, has fallen out of second. I have no idea, since I went on a streak of holes having trouble getting the ball up in the air, before settling down and making a few pars. Clearly the group ahead of us hasn't had a lot of fun this round because they don't wait for us on the 18th green, but proceed to head to the clubhouse and load up. But, Cory greets us -- and to witness Jeff's fourteenth three putt of the day.

Golf is over, but we need to crown a victor on the trip. Off to the harbor for dinner at 17. Some of the group seems grumpy about dinner, but we drag them along anyway. Dinner on the patio. Drinks all around -- even Pete gets into the wine. Tom figures out the standings. The final outcome (everyone is a "winner"): Pete, Cory, Frank, Liz, Ron, Jeff, Paul, Tom (Paul got really pretty close to Tom, shooting a 77 on the last round. I don't know what his quota was).

We still have plenty of money in the food kitty and I've been instructed to spend it all. Based on the drinks and the shots going around, and the disappearance by Ron for a quick nap in the lounge, according to our waitress -- it didn't take much to spend it. Pile everyone in the cars. We have to load up Frank's truck since he's planning on heading out at 4 am (which turned to 5 am, based on the cocktails had). Tom grabs our bags and drops them off at their cabin and witnesses Ron taking two steps forward (and seven back) -- is Paula Abdul 80s? I think so.

Finish up the night at our cabin. Saturday is breakfast and travel back to Dallas day. No golf on the agenda for the rest of the week.

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