The weather is unpredictable in Michigan, especially in March. As we got nearer and nearer to this past Saturday at noon, the kickoff to the 2018 season of the RE/MAX Grand Rapids Mediocre Golf Association, two things were becoming obvious. It was going to be our biggest turnout in the short history of the GRMGA, and it was going to be freaking cold.
Your chapter leader was stressing out all week checking the weather report and player count. As it became evident that it wasn’t going to snow and we were going to play some golf, I kept waiting for people to bail out because of the projected 40 degrees and 25 mph winds. That didn’t happen! Surprisingly, everybody showed up eager to play and early! Everyone except A-A-Ron who showed up right at noon dressed like he was dressed for the Iditarod.
Hey! At least he showed up and performed! The course was in about as good as shape as you an expect in late March, and while there is not a ton of out of bounds stakes on the course there were plenty of high scores due to the windy conditions, deceptively fast greens and some water protected holes.
Speaking of water, on hole two we noticed what appeared to be some sort of redish chemical or possibly blood in the near by pond off the green. Defending champion Todd “Black Tees” Caudill joked about jumping into it and turning into a ninja turtle. As I ran over for a closer look, debating what type of golf game I would have with the power of the Ooze I was hopeful that I was about to uncover a murder. When I reached the pond with my camera readied, I noticed that it was about 5,000 goldfish… hovering for warmth or potentially having some sort of freaky goldfish swinger party. It wasn’t as cool as solving a murder, but still cool.
As the day went along, and fingers started to freeze, the spirits did not drop at all. It was pretty obvious that the new members were going to fit right in. Drinks were being had, smack was being talked, recaps of amazing shots and mediocre play were being shouted between groups. If this is how hyped everyone is in the freezing cold I can’t wait for the warmer months.
The play was mediocre of course, with some of the favorites shooting higher than expected scores. Limited opportunities for penalty strokes helped some of the more mediocre golfers stay in contention for much of the day. When the scores were calculated it was discovered that we had a tie at the top! Defending champ Caudill and new guy Aaron Brock each recovered from a poor opening 9 to tie at 92. After a one hole playoff, where both players shot Mar, we went to the putting green. After a putt off it was STILL tied so we went to a one hole long put closest to the pin. Todd went first and ended up about 4 feet away. Aaron went second and drained a 40 footer for the win and the giant check!
Todd didn’t seem too upset as it was reveled shortly after that he and new guy Brad “putting is dumb” Camling won the coveted two headed trophy- something that Todd mentioned he wanted to win this year. Thanks to his 6 penalty strokes, Brad finished in 10th in his first outing. If he ever decides to take the time to read the green on his puts, he might have a victory in his future. He also took home “most mediocre.” Solid day for Brad.
We had an A-A-Ron at the top and at the bottom with Romo taking the key to the red key. I think he is just happy not to have frostbite.
Lt. Suck had an absolute giant meltdown as he is still searching for his first giant check. After shooting the best opening 9 score by 3 strokes, the Seven and Sevens must have kicked in as he shot 13 strokes worse on the much easier back 9. That put him in a 3 way tie for seventh new guy Michael Mather and Dan Romero. Four way tie if you count Dan’s golf ball sized dips that played all 18 with him. Watch out for Romero guys, his handicap keeps dropping and he can post low numbers when feeling it.
Closest to the Pin went to new guy Scott Millword, allegedly anyways, as nobody picked up the marker. Based on the size of Scott and the tough looking beard, everyone just took his word for it. Long drive went to John, who unleashed a massive drive on hole 10. So long was the drive that your chapter leader had to call him to tell him they forgot to put the marker out. “No” he said smugly, “It’s over the hill.” He has three baby girls under 3, I am surprised he hasn’t traded in his golf clubs for batons already so that drive was impressive.
A little #humblebrag for myself right now as I finished tied for 5th with an even 100. Would have been a 99 for a solo 5th if I hadn’t been forced to take a lost ball penalty after losing a ball on a dive that was hit in the fairway. If I could ever figure out how to hit the ball more than 120 yards with my irons, I might break 90 someday. All in all, an amazing kickoff to the season. Either everyone is excited for golf or hoping to win the trip to Vegas. Keep it up all year!