Fore The Good Of The Game
THREE RIVERS — My first recollection of playing in a Scramble was in the late 1970s at Sauganash Country Club on a Sunday morning.
The format was set to be played in a foursome. Instead of each golfer in the foursome playing, and scoring, his or her own ball by the hole, all four players would hit the tee shot on each of the nine, 18 or more holes. The best of the four drives would be selected as the ball position where each of the four players would play from for the second team shot. The best second shot would be selected of the four and they would continue that same sequence until the hole is completed. The team records its score. They maintain that same form of play through all designated number of holes for the Scramble event.
The Scramble format was originally designed to be played for special fundraising and/or fun events to include novice or occasional golfers, who usually would shoot extremely high scores and are known as ‘high handicappers’. The more experienced and low handicap golfers in the foursome (or twosome, or threesome...or FIVEsome; all became popular) helped keep the ball ‘in play’ and the team score more competitive. The main focus of early Scrambles could involve more golfers, giving everyone a chance to be competitive, enjoy the game, and speed up the pace of play.
Over the years, more rules’ variations were implemented to make golf more interesting and challenging. Serious golfers enjoyed playing in scratch leagues and skin games within their selected two, three, four or five-person scramble teams.
Now defunct, Oldsmobile sponsored The Oldsmobile Scramble, an annual tournament across the United States, with both scratch and handicapped divisions. Any participating golf course could promote and stage their individual events, with winning teams competing to win an all expenses paid trip to designated resort courses, such as Disneyland.
Winning foursomes in each division qualified for regional playoffs from each golf course that staged the event. Winning foursomes would compete at a course within their region/state and try to qualify to play in the finals at the designated course that year for a chance to win the Championship..
Even though Oldsmobile is no longer in business, currently, Scrambles are sponsored every week at area golf courses for one reason, tournament or another. A prime example at Pine View Golf Club is the upcoming 31st Annual Wildcat Open Golf Outing, Saturday, June 29 at 9 a.m. It is a fundraiser to benefit Michigan High School Athletics with prizes in nine divisions: Twosomes for men, women, couples, seniors, men 18 and under, women 18 and under and one adult/one youth. Entry fees include 18 holes with cart, food, drinks, prizes and fun for all! See the ads in this paper.
Don’t miss the Summer Junior Golf Clinics at Pine View. Each session is limited to six students. The clinics will include all aspects of the game on the following six Thursdays. Ages 6-10: 9:30-10:30 a.m. and ages 11-15: 10:45-11:45 a.m. Call Pine View for more information.
Let’s talk about League play at Pine View. Mark’s Automotive Golf League played last Monday, June 17 with Don Menken winning the special event for the day, whatever it may have been. Other prizes were awarded to Mark Roth for the long drive; Frank Wagner was Closest to the Pin, and also won low net with a 33. Low Gross was earned by Paul Blank firing a two-over par, 38.
In the Area Companies League special events, Matt Berry was closest to Hemlock No. 14 pin with his tee shot. Ken Wesley made the longest putt on the next hole, No. 15. Tom Mattox scored a beautiful low net, 26, the best of all 22 players!
Eric Nuyen and Jim Snyder lead the league in week nine with 220 points. Mike Clancy and Jeff Patterson are second place with 214 points. There are six teams with 200 or more points with their eye on overtaking the leaders. I’d say they have a good chance.
The Tuesday Bag Ladies League is still led by Celeste Crespo and Ann Richmond with 160 points. Sue Kaiser and Donna Snyder are a mere six points behind in the second position. Sue won the special event with most putts on the Spruce Front.
Looking at the scores in the Pine View Duffers League, I question their name. Great Scott! The leaders, with 180 points, shot a 38 and 47 on Hemlock Back, which I think is the toughest nine of the 36 holes.
Applause for John Scott and Jeff Scott. The second place team of Brad Cole and Scott Dolfman each shot a 41 and gained four points on the Scotts for a total of 154 points.
Tuesday Night Handicappers played Hemlock Back. Bob Weatherwax won the event, Closest to the Pin on No. 12 Jay Fink and Eric Nuyen maintain their slim first-place lead by one point over second place team, Brett Geier and Al Thorbjornsen, 198-197. Brett and Al fired a pair of 36s to Jay’s and Eric’s 42 and 44. That enabled the second placers to gain 15 points from the week eight standings. Dave and Matt Hinman shot 40 and 41, picking up 14 points on the leaders and giving them a third-place total of 186 points.
Rain! Rain! Go away. Come again another night. If it rains at night, it leaves a dry day on the golf course.
Sauganash was soaked like four out of five days. That makes it Sauggy, for sure.
In spite of the showers, the Monday Night Scratch League was able to get their round in on the back nine, resulting in the low Best Ball on the night by Matt Hillman and Kim Hubbard with a two under, 34. That carried them to their eighth win with no losses to lead the league at 171 points. Denny Goodpaster and Rick Laux are in second with 142.5 points. Third and fourth position is separated by less than one point. Ray and Swinehart have 37.625 and Drake and Davis have 37.375.
There were only two skins on the night. Josh Quake got his with a birdie on No. 15. Steve Davis birdied No. 16, accounting for the second one for the league night.
Tuesday, June 18, the Elks League got their nine in. Rick Lull won the special event prize, closest to the 100-yard marker on No. 13.
The BSI League, the same night, on the front nine, Tim Sylvain hit his drive on the par three No. two hole, closest to the pin for a prize. Mike Charvat still showed off his stuff with the long drive on No. 7.
On Monday, June 17, the Independent League at Sauganash had two winners. Erick Babcock hit the long drive on No. 3. On the par five, No. 6 hole, Steve Sanders hit closest to the pin with his regulation shot. Did you make your birdie Steve?
What a rainy day it was on Wednesday, Stag Day at ‘The Bush’. Jim Patmalnieks, owner of Back Yard Stumps was the sponsor for the day. I would guess that some of the golfers got drenched. Some didn’t get to play. Others my have got lucky and dodged the heavy downpours, bee-lined it for cover, returned to the course where they left off as the rain let up, and, perhaps, finished.
It must have been a wash out. I didn’t receive any stats on the day. When I left, there was water standing on the greens. St. Joe Valley Golf Course was in the same boat. (Mmmmm, maybe not a good choice of words).
By the sounds of things, Friday and Saturday, golfers made it to the links enjoying sunshine and fair weather at both Pine View and Sauganash. The first round of the Ryder Cup between Klinger Lake, Island Hills and Sauganash, was played Saturday, June 22.
While Sauganash prepares for their monthly member Scramble event on Sunday, June 30. Pine View is set for the 30th Annual Special Olympics Golf Outing on Thursday, June 27.
Weather predictions appear to be conducive to dry, warm weather. We need it for the good of the game and the good of the golfers.