Far and Sure

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Faced with scant planning time and an immovable date of Memorial Day weekend, Greg took the reins, organized his team and planned a great, challenging, fun event that is destined to become the fastest growing gutty event in the USA.

In addition to six regular gutty contestants, Greg had encouraged four locals to experience “the gutty”. Not only did they play but all vowed to return next year, each with a few more “gutty” friends.

As you are aware, or will soon discover, Eagle Springs is a golf gem, frozen in time. Exit the main road, and you’ve left the 21st century. In a minute, enter the 20th century and a few seconds later, the 19th. After being greeted by the hospitable staff as if you’ve been a friend of the family forever, there you are, on the teeing ground, creating your own “perfect work-of-art” sand tee. And, after your smashing drive over “The Blinder” -bag pipes a playing- it’s 1893.

After “The Blinder”, it’s “Two or 22”. This iconic “volcano” hole must be seen –and experienced- to be believed. While none of the contestants registered “nary a two nor a 22”, it is duly recorded that the low was a 3 and the high, a 7. Gentlemen, this is something to seriously dwell about for next year’s event. The balance of the layout is no slouch either. A wee nip or nap out there, and double digits await.

The first day was sunny, warm, with nary a cloud. Joviality was to be had by all. After the round and bragging, the buffet dinner was served and was quickly proclaimed by Steve Simer, “the best I’ve ever had at a hickory event”. High praise indeed.

But before darkness loomed, two wily veterans, Greg Smith and Bob Reheard, challenged the two newbies, Denny Lane and Jim Koss, to an alternate-ball match. Clubs by their side, off they went. The newbies quickly won the first hole and rejoiced. After a few holes of jousting, it became evident that the veterans had stopped listening to the newbies banter and were locked into a historic “hickory-zone”. Needless to say, down, down, down went the newbies.

On the final day, a wee bit of Scottish clime had arrived. Indeed, it was yet another glorious day for gutty golf. Following the hard fought round, more bragging ensued, most of it truthful.

At the end of the day, Steve Simer claimed another gutty Championship while host, Greg Smith, captured the Senior Division. But this event wasn’t a tale of victors or losers because it can be said that our Wisconsin Hickory Group has emerged as the real winner. Kudos, Greg and team!

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Bill Ernst

Bill “Ernie” Ernst is a Society of Hickory Golfers Board member and a coordinator of the Wisconsin Hickory Golfers.

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