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

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.





Old golfers never die…

1 04 2012
...they only lose their balls.

…they only lose their balls.

I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but I found myself actually whining when my tee shot finished right in the middle of the 16th fairway at Glacier Greens the other day. (And no, I wasn’t playing # 14 at the time, if that’s what you’re thinking). “I BELTED that,” I said to my playing partner, Joe Dunham, “and it’s STILL twenty yards short of the fairway bunker.” Smokin’ Joe – who’s used to my occasional outbursts of self pity by now – had two points to make in response: firstly, and fairly reasonably I must admit, why on earth would I WANT to be in the fairway bunker? And secondly – and this was the one that hurt – I wasn’t exactly getting any younger, so what else did I expect? Losing a few yards off the tee was an inevitable part of becoming a senior golfer.

This was the second time that my advancing years had been brought up in conversation recently. On the other occasion, one of my younger siblings – they’re all younger, now I come to think of it – had pointed out that I turn 60 next year. Technically, this is true (December 8th, if you want to start saving up for a gift), but I hadn’t really thought of becoming old any time soon. I’m not really ready for it. In fact I berated some poor guy on the phone last week for the green fees he wanted to charge for a golf trip that I’m helping to plan on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State next month. He told me that the five of members of the group who were over sixty would get the discount senior rate at a couple of the courses, while Steve Ellis and I would have to pay full whack. I pointed out that he’d make more money if he gave me and Steve the junior rate and charged all the old guys full price, but he didn’t seem to grasp the economical advantages of my suggestion.

So there are obviously pros and cons about getting older. And then this morning  I received an email which definitely tipped the scales in favour of embracing the concept of joining the senior ranks. I’d like to share the email with you:

RULE CHANGES FOR SENIORS, 2012 SEASON

Please note the following modifications to the rules of golf, as pertaining to Senior Golfers, to take effect forthwith:

1. Any ball sliced or hooked into the rough shall be placed at an equidistant point on the fairway without penalty. Seniors should not be penalised for hitting into tall grass that the greenskeepers failed to mow.

2. A ball hitting a tree shall be deemed not to have hit the tree unless it rebounds onto the fairway. Bad bounces should play no part in senior golf. The player shall estimate the distance the ball would have travelled had it not hit the tree and play from there.

3. There is no such thing in senior golf as a ‘lost ball’. A missing ball is clearly on or near the course and will at some point be pocketed by someone else, making it a ‘stolen ball’. Obviously it would be unfair for the senior golfer to compound the felony by calling a penalty upon him/herself.

4. Any putt passing over the hole without dropping shall be deemed to have dropped. The law of gravity supersedes the rules of golf.

5. Putts that stop close enough to the cup to be blown in, may indeed be blown into the hole without penalty. (This does not apply to a ball stopping more than six inches from the hole. No one wants to make a travesty of the game).

6. It is not necessary to record three putts. Having spent decades suffering on the golf course, senior golfers have endured enough hardship already.

7. There is no penalty for so-called ‘out of bounds’. If penny pinching golf course owners bought enough land to begin with, ‘out of bounds’ would not be an issue. Senior golfers deserve an apology, not a penalty.

8. There is no penalty for a ball entering a water hazard. Golf balls should float and senior golfers should not be penalised for manufacturers’ shortcomings.

9. All golfers will have seen advertisements claiming that scores can be improved by purchasing new golf equipment. As most senior golfers are on a fixed income, they are unable to buy new equipment. In equity, seniors may subtract from their net score not more than one stroke for each club in their bag that is more than five years old.

10. Bunkers. You’re kidding, right? What would a senior golfer be doing in a bunker? Free throw, obviously.

As stated above, these rule changes for seniors come into effect as of April 1st 2012.

Yours in golf,

Olaf Rilpo (Senior Golfers’ Rules Committee)





B.C. Bud

22 02 2012

Dear Chief,

Just a few quick lines to let you know how things are going in sunny Comox. First off, it actually is sunny in Comox today. True we had a bit of a frost delay this morning, and granted Dave Laird  is still firmly of the opinion that the day would have been better spent working as an (unpaid) labourer on his son’s house rather than spend 4 hours shooting 105 yet again and having to buy Steve Ellis another coffee. Glen Parsons, who cheerfully admits to ‘not being much of a mudder’, is still in a state of shock at being expected to play in temperatures hovering around 6 degrees C. (Serves him right for floating around the Caribbean in his cousin’s gin palace if you ask me). As you know, muddy fairways don’t bother me so much, me being British and all, and it definitely helps being able to tee my ball up on the nearest glob of mud: I’ve been hitting some great 3 woods off the fairway (well, great if you consider 170 yard 3 woods to be great. I do). On the other hand, I actually pulled my groin hitting out of the mud on #6 fairway the other day, so it’s not all wine and roses. Robin’s playing very steadily and doesn’t complain much – he never does, does he? – and is quietly becoming the star performer in the group. But the main focus of attention over the past few days has been the Budmeister:

Is it ‘Honest Bud’ or ‘Not Quite As Honest As He Appears’ Bud?

Last Friday we played our normal three v three, best aggregate net score wins game, as we often do when six of us show up to play. As you know, honesty is key to this game, as each group is responsible for keeping its total net scores and then comparing them at the end. Following the time-honoured ball toss on the first tee, Robin, Lairdo and I finished up playing against Bud, Elmo and Steve. Our group played steady if unspectacular golf and finished with an aggregate net score of 217, or 4 over par. It would have been a couple of strokes better, but for Robin and me somehow switching balls half way down the last hole and thus having to take automatic doubles. Bah! We were hoping it wouldn’t affect the outcome of the match but, sure enough, Bud’s group came in at 216 to win by a single stroke. Double bah!! Somewhat glumly our group paid for the post round coffees in the clubhouse and generally bemoaned our misfortune (or stupidity – call it what you will), while Bud’s group exulted in their victory. “And boy, you sure hit my driver well on those last couple of holes, Bud!”, said Steve. “Pardon?”, I said, “YOUR driver?”. “Shut up, Steve”, said Bud. Too late, the cat was out of the bag. Clear infringement of the rules, two stroke penalty for using someone else’s club. Only trouble was, we’d already bought the coffee and Bud was claiming it wasn’t a ‘proper’ rule anyway. All appeals to his sense of justice and fair play fell on deaf ears. The fact that Robin and I had fessed up to our own faux pas made no difference either. Even my plea to Bud as a fellow Hampshire Hog (motto: ‘Ampshire born and ‘Ampshire bred – strong in the arm and thick in the ‘ead) had absolutely no effect. Calling him a cheating b*st*rd made me feel a bit better, but still didn’t get me my money back.

Today, however, fortune dictated that Bud and I were on opposing sides once again and this time my threesome scored a pretty comprehensive victory. I tried not to be too gleeful as Bud paid for my coffee, not even throwing in the old line about how it was the best coffee I’d ever tasted. Then, unasked, Bud slid a toonie across the table in my direction. ” Now, Brooker,” he said, fixing me with a pretty evil glare, “We’re quits.” “Er, thanks Bud,” I gulped. I guess now’s not the time to mention a certain person in our threesome hitting the flagstick with a putt on #8 today. Probably best left to a future occasion. Anyway, the good news is that Bud has been officially upgraded back to “Honest Bud” again. “Honest Dave?” Not so much. I guess I’d better buy him a coffee on Friday…

In the meantime, Chief,  I hope all is well with you in Arizona. Yes, I am glad that it’s so sunny and warm there and no, I don’t want to see your  knobbly knees when you get back, however brown they are.

All da best!

‘Somewhat Honest’ Dave