Around The Green
Chardonnay Golf Club
June 27, 2006

June is the first month of summer and we had been having some rather cold days in this month. Fortunately by the time this tournament rolled around the weather started to be summer like and warmed up. We had a very good turn out and actually had more players than we had booked. Chardonnay has been very good to our club and they were able to find room for all of our players.

Some of the fellows came with their A games and played a very tough golf course like they owned it. Several years ago Tom Kiernan played with the golf committee and played a fine round and won the tournament. Maybe Tom likes this course a little bit, he told me that he was at one time five shots under par and STUMBLED around and only shot even par 72 for a net score of 66 to take first place and shoot the low score of the day. Nice round Tom and you are banned next year to give someone else a chance. Several other players had good rounds and just one shot behind was Pat McLauglin with a 90 net 67 to take second place. That was a pretty good round for a high handicapper as there is a lot of trouble to be found on this layout. Another great round was recorded by one of our low handicappers. Chris Zaczek shot a two over par 74 net 68 and could only earn third place.

Our club is getting very competitive this year and it is good to see so many great scores being posted. Nice rounds guys and they weren’t the only good rounds at this tournament.

Turkey Creek and Empire Ranch
July 13 and 14, 2006

Two years ago the committee started to throw around the idea for a summer two-day trip. Last year we put together a trip up to the Gold Country near Angels Camp. The players who attended had a good time and we tried to book the same trip for 2006. Unfortunately, due to much higher room rates we were unable to make it work. We ended up with a hole in our schedule and were having trouble finding something suitable to fill this spot and be reasonable in cost. After a suggestion by Bim Sullivan about Turkey Creek we called around and were able to book this at the ninth hour.

We made our way up to Lincoln and we all met up at Turkey Creek. Those who were fortunately able to make the trip were treated to playing at one of the nicest new courses I have played in a while. This course had a little bit of everything, short holes, doglegs both left and right, some water and one great finishing hole. It is worth the trip up there to go play this course.

The small group of players who attended stayed the night at a very nice hotel in Rocklin and we all went to dinner at the hotel. We shared a great dinner with many bottles of fine wine and some funny and enjoyable conversation. With twelve firemen you can imagine the racket we were making. Thank you all that attended for a very fun evening.

After being at a tree lined golf course we came to the golf course at Empire Ranch a little jaded. Maybe it is unfair to compare a links style course to one that is visually as pretty as Turkey Creek. Once we were on the course it became obvious that Empire Ranch was also a fantastic layout. Personally I liked it quite a lot and it had a lot of good holes. Maybe playing from harder tees was one of the reasons I liked it, on the first day we played the shorter tees and I had a hard time off the tees. On the second day we got to hit our drivers all day and I enjoyed this course. I would recommend playing here, but beware of the back nine it is really tough with another great finishing hole, a par three into the wind and about two hundred and twenty yards.

We are talking about playing in the same area next year and would like some feedback if there is interest in playing up there in the summer. We would like it to be a two-day event with us staying over night. I hope that all of you who attended had a good time and thanks for the fun dinner.

Shadow Lakes Golf Club
August 1, 2006

Several years ago we played at Shadow Lakes, that year their course was in such poor condition that I hadn’t played the course since. This year it was in much better shape and it reflected in the good scoring during the day. The fact that we had perfect weather helped as it can get really windy out in Brentwood. One thing about this layout is that the greens there can give you fits. If you are on the wrong side of the hole three putts will be in the cards and four putts … well I bet someone probably had a four putt.

At the start of the day, Mike Kirk who lives out in Brentwood showed up and wanted to play. We had an opening in one of our groups. It consisted of two of our best golfers, Chris Pratt and Chris Zaczek who both have single digit handicaps. And to top it off Rueben Ramos is a solid golfer also. Well good luck, no pressure Mike. At one hole we were on the green and looked back at a drive that had to be 350 yards or more. We started speculating about which player hit such a huge drive and every name but Mikes came to mind. Guess what, Mike can hit a ball a little to bad he can hit it very little with his irons good double-bogey Mike. Ha!!Ha!! Ha!! You get the last laugh your nice 92 net 63 took first place and that is the best example about what handicaps are all about. Chris Pratt shot 72, Chris Zaczek shot 75 and Rueben Ramos shot 84 and Mike Kirk is the winner. Nice foursome guys and some good scores. Four players were tied for second place and they all had nice net 66s. One was Rueben Ramos who was having a great round, but when the rules committee was watching him he got a little nervous and claims it was my fault he made a couple bad shots. The other three were Willie Cassillas, Raphael Gordon and Larry Yup. Sorry guys on another day those scores might have been good enough for first place.

Windsor Golf Club
September 5, 2006

Ahhhhh Windsor, I have loved this course since the first time I set foot on it. It is a course that on paper it seems like you should just eat it up. Well there is a reason they played a Nike tour event here for several years, looks can be deceiving. All the things I like about this course are still there, but the thing I like the most is the old style feel of the course. One of our players has played great all year, but has not been rewarded because his handicap is to low. Chris Pratt has finally figured it out, shoot under par and you might have a chance. Chris shot 69 and tied for first place and earned low score for the tournament once again. Billy Kneis shot 87 net 65 to share first place. I played with Bill at Shadow Lakes and I’m not surprised he won here. He must have stayed away from the big scores at Windsor. The playing partners of the two winners were in a tie for third place. George Garcia shot 81 net 68 and Ruben Ramos shot 85 net 68. Ruben claims he has dropped six strokes off his handicap and it is finally paying off in our tournaments.

You all will most likely not read this article before our next tournament but if you do I will see everyone at Silverado.

Photos by Enchanted Forest Production


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