Around The Green
|By Darryl Loo|
Welcome to the 2004 golf season. Every year I look to the new season with great anticipation and especially hope for better things to come. I hope to have only sunny days with mild temperatures and no wind. I hope to shoot good scores with the occasional great round every once in a while. I hope to actually lower my handicap this year. I hope to play at least two new golf courses this season. But my greatest hope is to contend for our club title. Every year this is one of my early season hopes, but I have learned that running a golf club and playing well in the tournaments dont really go hand in hand. While I know that reality differs from my hopes greatly if one of these things occur even slightly I will be happy. I do know that I am not the only golfer with great expectations this year, because three of our members have already told me they were going all the way this season. Good luck to all our hopes for the upcoming golf year.
Hiddenbrooke Golf Club
Last year was somewhat of a blur. The year went by so quickly that before I knew it November was rolling around. When we booked Hiddenbrooke at the start of the year I thought it would be the perfect course to end the golf clubs season. For those of you who did not attend the tournament, we are playing at Hiddenbrooke again this year so you can see for yourselves what Im talking about. Hiddenbrooke is a very beautiful and scenic golf course. It was designed by Arnold Palmer and hosted the LPGAs Championship several times. This was the perfect course to separate the flight champions from the also rans. Before the start of the tournament George Garcia held a commanding lead in the A flight and a sizable lead in the overall standings. Several players were within striking distance of the lead but would have to shoot a great score and win the event to have a chance. One player was up to the challenge, last year Travis Rail won the club trophy after several runner-up finishes. At the start of the day Travis needed a win and a poor performance from George. Travis held up his end by shooting an outstanding 79 net 67 to take first place in the A flight. He was followed by his playing partners Willie Cassillas and Tony Hampton whom tied for second place at net 74. They were only out of first by nine strokes. Travis was nine shots better than second place. This was a great round, shot on a very demanding golf course and the greens were in poor condition. The other player who had a great round was John OShea. John shot a fantastic 93 net 67 to take top honors in the B flight. Since then Ive heard that he has retired. This was his last tournament as an active fireman. I have played with John in the past and know what an outstanding round this was for him. Way to go out with a bang. Maybe this is a sign of what to expect of his game in retirement. Big Dave Thompson was the only other player in the field who shot under his handicap in this tournament. He had a solid 91 net 70 to take second place at Hiddenbrooke. His score also allowed him to overtake Steve Coffey to place second in the B flight overall. This is the second time Dave has finished second and he claims that this year he will win it all. Rounding out the top three in the flight was Bill Kneis who shot a solid net 73 to finish in third.
In the end regardless of Travis Rails attempt to retain the golf title his final day heroics fell 0.5 of a point short of being the first two-time winner of the cup. George played into a tie for fifth place to hold off Travis, win the A flight and the overall title with 51.5 points to 51 points for Travis. This was a fitting way to end the season the two were close in the points race all year. I am not sure, but I believe George lowered his handicap a whopping four index points in the past year. Consistent play and playing in all the events paved the way for both players. Perhaps a rivalry is in the making. This year they will get to play head to head if they reach this point again. We are seriously thinking about pairing the contenders together in the final event with one of the committee members. We will let you know in the future. Finishing in third place in the flight was Mike Duncan. Nice effort by Mike after suffering thru some injury problems.
Now I dont want people to think that the B flight wasnt in the hunt for the club overall title. One gentleman looked to be the man to beat for a while. Pat McLauglin was the player with best chance to catch George going into the last event. Last year a member of this group had a chance and came up a little short and it happened again. Maybe this year it will be a different story. Pat was another player who played in our tournaments often and usually well. Keep at it and I believe someone in that group will be in the final group this year. Pats 47.5 points was third overall and enough to take first in the B flight. Fast closing Dave Thompson was in the second position with 45.5 points and Steve Coffey had 43 points for a solid third place finish. In many years this would be good enough to win the flight.
Congratulations George and good luck in defending your title. I know that you will be hounded by all those hungry golfers behind you. Who knows maybe my hopes will be answered. But like John McNulty would say Yea Right. I can always hope, at least until the first tournament.
UPCOMING IN 2004
The new season is here and once again Frank Bonal and John McNulty have produced an outstanding schedule for the club. We have some of our old stand-bys such as the two Silverado courses and two Great new courses in the Greater Bay Area. Shadow Lakes is a new course in Brentwood and it is a really nice course and facility. Please try to play here if you can it will be worth the effort. I havent had the opportunity to play at Coyote Creek yet so I cant tell you any personal insights, but it is designed by Jack Nicholas and hosts a Champions Tour event every year.
FOXTAIL NORTH COURSE
Our first event of the year is being held at the Foxtail golf resort. If you are not familiar with the name it was formerly called Mountain Shadows. They have totally remodeled both courses and reports from other players have been very positive. The tournament will be a shotgun start followed by our Awards Banquet. Please call the golf line and reserve your foursomes so we can get a head count for the caterers. I hope to see some of our golfers whom we missed last year attend some of the events. See you all at the course.
MONTEREY GOLF TRIP
Just a reminder that last year we sold out the Monterey trip and it is first paid will get the spots in the field. Also it would help if you have a foursome to make sure they are all paid and let us know who you want to room with. We are playing at the Fort Ord facility the first day and playing at Poppy Hills the second day. At the moment we have about half of the spots filled already.
SILVERADO COUNTRY CLUB
Silverado has been the premier tournament on our schedule for years. The past several years we have been struggling to fill this tournament. Early this year we were approached by someone to make our event available as a Burn Foundation fundraiser. In an effort to help this worthy cause and due to the fact we have this long running tournament already booked as a shotgun event we agreed to help host this as a Burn Foundation tournament. We will be joined by San Franciscos other public servants the Police Department. I will have more information in the future and will keep you posted. Please try to keep this date open for this worthy cause.