The fifth Major? RWB 2010

29 08 2010

For years there has been heated debate about whether a fifth tournament should be added to the current list of majors. The Masters, the U.S. Open, the U.S. PGA and the granddaddy of them all, the Open itself, are the tournaments that every golfer dreams of winning. Now, I believe, is the time to add another tournament to the list. The Players and the World Matchplay have been promoted as possibilities, but I have another suggestion. Like the Masters, it is played annually on the same course. Like the U.S. Open, it is played on a course with fearsome – some would say tricked up – greens. Like the Open, it has a proud British background. And like the PGA, many of the competitors are household names only in their own houses. Step forward, if you please, the Glacier Greens Labour Day Weekend Red, White and Blue!

Steeped in history, the Red, White and Blue is about to celebrate its tenth anniversary, during which time it has had no fewer than eight different winners – many of them contentious and some whose names on the Big Club trophy should really be asterisked. If you would like to know more about the tournament’s storied past then you should scroll down to my third ever blog, published in February this year, imaginatively entitled ‘The Red, White and Blue – a short history”.

As for 2010, the competition is as fierce as ever and the competitors the usual disparate – and desperate – bunch of hackers. With the scandalous exception of el Bandito Juan, who was declared co-winner of the event in 2006 – this loophole has since, of course, been closed – one thing that all past winners have in common is that they are not actually very good at golf. How could it be otherwise, when the tournament results are calculated purely on net scores and Berger Doubles are an integral part of the scoring system? To my mind, this is what makes the R, W and B worthy of the title of ‘Fifth Major’ – it stands out so clearly from all those other same old, same old tournaments around the globe.

At the time of writing there are a dozen or so entrants for the 2010 tournament. There could have been more, but entry criteria are stringent and some have failed to meet them. Peter Dobbs, for example, has taken umbrage at my refusal to give him a more generous handicap on the grounds that he’s recently had a couple of open heart surgeries or some such thing. No medical exemptions on this tour, Dobbsy! Glen Parsons, knowing that his high handicap might lead to success but fearing what wife Maureen would say if he showed up at home with the Big Club, has withdrawn in the interests of domestic harmony and John Ringstead’s letter of withdrawal states that he has decided to ‘concentrate on painting his railings’. Nice one, Picasso! Dave Laird has been honest enough to go on record as saying that he would rather not spend the entire Labour Day weekend in the undergrowth of Glacier Greens, while for others (and yes, some of them are teachers) the $15 prize / entry fee would appear to have been an insurmountable obstacle.

“But what of this year’s actual entrants?”, I hear you ask. Well, in alphabetical order, with handicap and other pertinent info attached, here they are:

Dave Brooker (9 hcp, including penalty strokes): If the three stroke penalty for being last year’s winner wasn’t enough, my putting is so bad that I drove over my putter in the Eurovan yesterday in an attempt to ‘give it a damn good lesson’. Still, I suppose that shows that my driving is pretty accurate.

Bud Bryan (13 hcp): Born in Portsmouth at the dawn of the 20th century, the amiable Mr. B has a few kind words for his fellow competitors. “They’re all assholes”. I don’t think he meant it – he was probably just referring to Adrian and Bruce.

Dave Buckley – Jones (21 hcp): Often found in cahoots with Mr Mills and Mr Fitzgerald, the man with the poshest name in the tournament field loves the cut and thrust of competitive golf, especially when it involves slagging off teachers.

Bruce Coulter (6 hcp): Bruce Almighty made no attempt recently to hide his glee at learning that his handicap had just gone up from 5 to 6. He failed, however, to realise that he still has the lowest ‘cap in the field and therefore no chance of winning.

Vic Crisp (19 hcp): Winner of the 2007 edition of the R, W and B, thus making Victor a particularly appropriate first name, Mr Crisp is always a tough man to beat on net scores. Has never really stuck to his vow of silence on the golf course.

Martin Davies (17 hcp): Another past winner, way back in 2002, Martin has shown little form in the tournament of late. On the other hand, the Welsh Wizard is always a pleasure to play with.

Joe Dunham (16 hcp): Smokin’ Joe, so called because of his truly prodigious length off the tee, has one real aim in the tournament – to finish higher in the standings than Adrian Haut. Surely a very attainable goal…

Dan Fitzgerald (11 hcp): Dan has found some novel ways to avoid the tournament in the past – ‘going to Afghanistan’ was particularly impressive – but this year he failed to find an out. Somewhat like his situation whenever he finds himself in a bunker.

Elmo Guinan (15 hcp): Mr 59 himself. Owner of the second most impressive flop shot in world golf, unfortunately the rest of Elmo’s game more closely resembles what might be played by his big  red namesake from Sesame Street.

Adrian Haut (12 hcp): I have in front of me an email from Mr Haut accepting his invitation to play in this year’s R, W and B and describing himself as the pre tournament favourite. You need to understand that Adrian lives in a parallel universe in which he has some kind of decent short game…

Robin Houlgrave (14 hcp): Winner of this year’s Celtic Challenge and before that the Vegas Invitational, Robin has never fared well in the Red, White and Blue. He’s fine off the white tees, OK off the blues, but the reds? Hasn’t got a clue.

Jack Jackson (13 hcp): First time entrant in the tournament, JJ has fine golf skills and – fortunately – a good sense of humour, but does he really know what he’s let himself in for next weekend? I think not.

Stan Mills (10 hcp): There are those who think that Stan is indeed the man and that he will walk away with the Big Club this year. I happen to agree with them, which almost certainly spells disappointment for the wee mon.

Mike Worley (8 hcp): Some say his golf swing is reminiscent of a fly fisherman in hip waders, but Mike is another man with genuine title aspirations. However, when the decks are cleared for action, will he be able to hook the big one?

So there you have it – as fine a group of golfers as you could wish to see (unless you prefer watching golfers who are any good). Who will add their name to the proud list of winners on the Big Club and then have to persuade their wife that the magnificent trophy should be accorded a place of honour and not, as has allegedly happened in previous years, dumped in the crawl space? All will be revealed next week in the tournament summary…

All da best.

Dave B.

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8 responses

29 08 2010
Martin

Hi Dave…as usual a great post and what a brilliant idea. I think you should write to the PGA with your suggestion. With support from Glenny, Bandito, Robyn and all of us, they can’t resist. It’s not possible.
See you on the weekend for my two rounds with the lads

29 08 2010
Bagger Dave

Thanks Martin. I’m glad you approve. Perhaps I’ll invite a PGA representative to witness at first hand the array of talent at the R, W and B. Or perhaps not…

30 08 2010
Glenny the Sandbagger

If indeed, the powers that be are considering a “fifth major” and , it is their intention to define said tournament as a sandbagger special, I should think your chances are very good. Never have I seen such a collection of inflated handicaps all lined up for one weekend’s play. Brooker a 9? Haut a 12? Davies a 17 and Crisp a 19?
A rogues gallery it is.
Have fun, boys and may the worst golfer win. Hope to be able to join you next year.

30 08 2010
Bagger Dave

I’m shocked at your attempt to besmirch the reputations of the likes of Adrian, Martin and Vic. And this from the man whose own picture hung in the rogues gallery at Glacier Greens just a short while ago, as undisputed sandbagging, er handicapping, champion of the club. Shocking allegations!

D.

30 08 2010
The Chief

Just a few notes to add in response:

Brooker – Blogger extraordinaire; gentleman more often than not; little chance to repeat as champion due to his putting…jab after jab after jab! Also Canada has increased its immigration cost from $5 to $50 and being a teacher David will not pay that much. Chip close and you have a faint chance.

The Great Robinski – Little chance of playing three good rounds in a row, especially if he’s my partner.

Bud – Budly, Budly, Budly…old body worn out…new excuses every day….losing his sense of humour. A nice guy but nice guys finish last.

Bruce – just missed winning the Club championship; just missed the Senior Championship. Can’t wait to have his picture holding the Red, White and Blue trophy, hanging in his garage.

Joe – Buying new clubs indicates his determination to win….definitely the dark horse in the tournament. Even promised to use a new ball (impressive for a teacher)

Adrian – has a tendency to emulate Brooker’s putting style once or twice a round. Hopes to get to the prize table before Elmo.

Elmo – world’s greatest sandbagger. Takes pride in shooting 110 and winning 8 skins.

Hope the sun stays out.

30 08 2010
Bagger Dave

Fair comment about my putting, Adrian, but I’m confident I can find a new, improved stroke by the weekend. When the others read your comments about them you may find yourself playing as a singleton on Sunday p.m….

31 08 2010
Glen Livet

Wonderful Competitors all
From the mosquitoe ridden shores of Lake Superior I send you all greetings and good wishes for a wonderful tournament. Presently I am homeless and living in a second hand vehicle but my misfortune does not diminish my joy of thinking about all you hackers swearing blue murder as you hack through the RWB. Good luck one and all, no, I will not miss you and the RWB at all as I head with my mistress towards a prime feast of Atlantic lobster.
I am enclosing a cheque for $50, made out to Bugger Dave to buy you all a pint after the tourney. Please be sure to ask him for your pint as he has recently had moments of mental instability
Regards
PD
p.s. Written in the parking lot at the local Walmart, reminiscent of a scene from the movie ‘Deliverance’

31 08 2010
Bagger Dave

I couldn’t find the $50 attached anywhere to your email. Bastard.

Seriously, though, Peter – I hope you guys are continuing to have a great trip and I look forward to receiving updates as you wreak havoc along the eastern seaboard.

D.

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