R+B 2016

18 09 2016

Every September for 16 years now the Red, White and Blue tournament (or RWB, as it soon became known) at Glacier Greens has consisted of three rounds of golf played from all three tee boxes over the course of two days. This past weekend the intention was, as usual, to play 18 holes on Saturday and the final 36 holes on Sunday. Saturday morning, however, dawned dark and very, very wet – so wet, in fact, that Len Doyle cancelled the usual Men’s Morning competition. My first thought was that we should press on regardless – after all, we’re proud west coast Canadians and unlikely to dissolve in a spot of rain. I looked at the faces of my fellow competitors for confirmation that we would go ahead as planned, but all I saw was a lot of head shaking. “Not me, buttercup,” as Stan Mills so eloquently put it.

Plan B was quickly decided upon: 36 holes on Sunday, blue tees in the morning and, as always, the reds in the afternoon. But what should this year’s tournament be called? B+R didn’t quite have the right ring to it; R+B sounded better. But who would have the Rhythm and who would be left singing the Blues?

These guys?

Did these guys have the rhythm? Nope.

These guys?

These guys? Nuh uh.

What about them?

Any of these? (Maybe Joe’s snooty look gives it away.)

It soon became clear that last year’s winner, Chuck Kennedy, was under strict instructions from Mrs K not to return home with the Big Club and he left his best shots until the last nine holes when he was sure he had no chance of retaining the trophy. He finished fourth. Murray Polson (12th) and Bill O’Neill (6th) had apparently got the same memo but Murray managed to really focus his efforts on coming last and therefore got first pick of the prizes – a golfing Toronto Maple Leaf, if you will. Sadly, just like the Leafs, first pick didn’t work out too well.

Newcomers Brian Goodwin (7th) and Robbie Moore (8th) showed promise – and Brian clearly picked up on the varying quality of the wrapped prizes that would be on offer, announcing that he would select his own prize if he got the chance. He never did, but he is to be commended for coming up with such a cunning ruse and at least was able to avoid this year’s Truly Awful Prize, unwittingly selected by Murray, which seemed to involve some kind of penis enhancer. It was donated by someone whose identity I cannot reveal but whose first name is Keith and last name Allan. It’s an unjust world when Mr Allan himself was the recipient of  a very nice bottle of red. Keith, by the way, finished in a tie for 10th place with his cart companion Rod Gray. Two other cart-sharers, Steve Ellis (5th) and Dave Buckley-Jones (9th), moved up a spot or two in the rankings after decent final rounds.

The final group included myself – somewhat surprisingly in the hunt, as I had started the morning round at a stunningly pitiful 10 over par after 5 holes – past winner Stan Mills and perennial runner-up Joe Dunham. Stan showered his opponent with praise and insults in equal measure throughout the round, but Joe withstood it all to deservedly win the trophy by two shots. A bridesmaid no more – at last Joe is the blushing bride!


The Rhythm King. Joe gets kissy with the Big Club

At the time of writing, a few hours after the end of the event, I’m feeling a lot of aches and pains as are, no doubt, my fellow competitors. Old age, I’m increasingly discovering, is indeed no place for cissies – but let’s hope we’re all ready to get back at it again a year from now. In the meantime, well done Joe and…

…all da best.

Dave B.

I coulda been a contender – RWB 2015

7 09 2015
Golfing God (and all-round good guy), Mr Chuck Kennedy.

Golfing God (and all-round good guy), Mr Chuck Kennedy

Well, the 16th annual Red, White and Blue tournament is done and dusted and we have a winner who basically lapped the field. Step forward Chuck Kennedy, whose 74 off the blue tees on Saturday (that’s a gross 74, mind you, net 65) gave him an eight shot lead over the rest of the field. By the time he’d shot a net 68 off the whites on Sunday morning his lead was up to 14 and the tournament was, to all intents and purposes, over.

Now Chuck is a quiet and modest man and no amount of cajolery (now there’s a word you don’t see every day) on my part could get him to say anything remotely boastful at the prize giving ceremony, so I will leave you instead with the reasons given by the rest of us as to why things didn’t quite go as planned this year:

“I hurt my back” – Brian Goodwin (withdrew the day before). Plausibility score: 5/10

“I hurt my back too” – Dave Buckley-Jones (withdrew in parking lot Sunday a.m.): 6/10

“I’ve only played twice this year” – Bruce Coulter (12th place): 9/10

“I had enough grief from Moira for winning last year” – Adrian Haut (11th): 8/10

“I only found out I was playing ten minutes before we started” – Elmo Guinan (10th): 6/10

“I had to play 36 holes with Bud on Sunday” – Dave Brooker (9th): (2/10)

“I had to play 36 holes with Bud AND Dave on Sunday” – Keith Allan (8th): (10/10)

“I had to watch Dave’s swing and it totally put me off my game” – Stan Mills (7th): (7/10)

“I’ve never played in the RWB before and nobody explained the rules” – Murray Polson (6th): (3/10)

“I went to the party of the century on Saturday night and got REALLY wasted” – Steve Ellis (5th): (7/10)

“I had to play with Dave. And I’m too old for this sh!t anyway” – Bud Bryan (4th): (5/10)

“I was in charge of the weather AND taking photos, so I couldn’t concentrate properly” – Dan Fitzgerald (3rd): (6/10)

“No excuses. The best man clearly won” – Bill O’Neill (2nd): (0/10)

Bill O'Neill raises a metaphorical glass to this year's winner. Either that or he's having a rest - 36 holes makes for a l-o-n-g day.

Bill O’Neill raises a metaphorical glass to this year’s winner. Either that or he’s having a rest – 36 holes makes for a l-o-n-g day.

And, finally, from the man himself:

“If I’d have known I had to take the Big Club home AND pay half the engraving costs I’d have thrown away 10 shots in the last round” – ‘Champion Chuck’ Kennedy

Er, you’d STILL have won, Chuck…

Thanks to all for taking part. Wonderful prizes, as per usual. Personally, I can’t wait to try out my plastic back yard driving range golf game (for ages 3 and up).

We’ll try it all again next Labour Day weekend.

Dave B.

The greatest par ever?

17 06 2012
Great President. Not such a great golfer.

Great President, but I bet this Kennedy never made a triple sandy par.

Today I played my usual Sunday morning round with the Bruce Coulter gang. It’s pretty low key stuff: probably a dozen or so guys playing a skins game for the massive stakes of two bits a hole, bragging rights included, along with all the abuse you can handle. Bruce always gets things off to a loud start by picking on some poor victim on the practice putting green and then hounding him relentlessly until he gets a response. My theory is that Bruce didn’t get much attention as a kid, but you’d need a qualified psychiatrist to explain what’s really going on in that brain of his. And did I mention that all this is happening at 6:15 a.m? For us, Sunday morning golf is early bird golf.

Bruce makes sure that everybody knows their current RCGA handicap – all skins are based on net scores – and those whose ‘cap has gone up in the past week receive an early barrage of fairly good natured insults, in which the use of the word ‘sandbagger’ is mandatory. Balls are then thrown into the air to decide groups and then a representative for each group putts to decide the order of play. I’ve been pretty much banned from putting recently after a couple of particularly feeble attempts left my group going out last, behind tortoises who in all fairness should probably not be named and shamed but would almost certainly answer to names such as “Bud” and “Joe”.

Anyway, my group foolishly let me putt today, which inevitably led to us going off in our customary position. Our group had a fine array of handicaps, ranging from Chuck Kennedy, who plays off eight, through Mike Worley and myself (both twelves) to Dave Buckley-Jones who plays off 24 and who gets more skins – and MUCH more abuse – than anyone else who plays on Sundays. Dave started off very steadily, with pars on a couple of difficult holes early on, Mike and I didn’t do much of anything, and Chuck just went quietly about his business. Indeed, Chuck was so quiet that it was only when he missed a short putt on the eighth green that I realised that he was still at even par, having made six pars and a birdie on the first seven holes. Chuck then absolutely belted his tee shot on #9, but it skipped into a fairway bunker. His second shot was pretty well hit but just caught a greenside bunker. With a tricky lie he then skulled it over the green into another bunker and an even worse lie. His fourth shot came out REALLY hot and seemed to be heading miles back down the fairway. Yep, you guessed it. The ball slammed into the base of the flagstick and ricocheted straight down into the hole. Three different bunkers on the same hole, culminating in a sandy ferret. That has to be some kind of record – a triple sandy par!

It’s almost incidental to say that Chuck played another great nine holes on the back nine, finishing with an even par 71. And how much did Chuck win for this outstanding display, I hear you ask. Well the answer is, er, nothing. Dave Buckley-Jones was the big winner, thanks to his two pars (but net eagles) on those two early, tricky holes. In Sunday morning golf when you’re playing the skins game, 92 can definitely beat 71. As Sir Alex Ferguson would say: “Golf, eh? Bloody hell”. So no money for el presidente – but the greatest par I’ve ever seen. What about you? What’s the best par you’ve ever seen?

All da best.

Dave B.