Three important notes about the weekend of golf: we played the blue tees, or whatever was the 2nd furthest back on each course. I hardly feel like I played a par 3 all weekend; most of them were 180-200 yards. Just not good for my “game”, if that’s what you want to call it.
We also played with no gimmes, which is something I pushed for. I’m sure that cost me 10 strokes too, overall. I am the master of missing the world’s shortest putts. But I think gimmes are a cop-out and unnecessary; people take waaaay too many gimmes they would otherwise miss. Plus my theory is, I didn’t hit it 500 yards to pick it up six inches from the hole.
Final thing that really helped, we decided to play winter rules, which meant you could fluff (pick up and replace) your ball all weekend (except for sand). To me that is a huge advantage. A lot of times you get so many bad lies, buried balls, etc. I’m kind of a purist so I don’t think it’s real golf, but I didn’t fight this one too much.
Oh, and one other rule thing – typically when I play, the one rule I don’t enforce for scorekeeping is if I lose a ball that I KNOW is in play, I don’t take a penalty, even though you’re supposed to. Technically you’re supposed to re-hit from your previous location apparently? But we all just took a penalty stroke whenever this happened (at least I did), and it happened a LOT. Huge pet peeve (#26, actually).
The plan for Friday evening was to go to the Royals game, and I was excited to do so. Game #2 of the season, Friday night against the Angels, beautiful evening and you can’t beat fun at the old ballpark. Even with it being Fireworks Night, we didn’t figure we’d have too much trouble getting in, with 8 guys as it were.
Well, shower up after golf at our awesome Aloft hotel and head downstairs to depart for the stadium, and it turns out two “cool guys” (I don’t need to get into who, but let’s just call them “We love baseball so much, we brought our baseball gloves on a golf trip just for the scant chance we might find 5 minutes to play catch” Guys – to protect their identity, let’s go with “Ace” and “Friendo”) decided we weren’t going anymore, and then the rest of the group caved like a bunch of cowards and I guess that was that. I was about as happy as Ron Burgundy when Veronica tells him he has bad hair. “WHAT DID YOU SAY?!?”
So instead of going to Kaufmann we did something you’d never get to do otherwise – go to an ordinary sports bar and listen to Shane and Kurt have the worst Hall of Fame / steroids debate you’ve ever heard. I’m sorry, but it was. (And yes, I participated, too.) It seriously had to last an hour – but it felt like about a week. Oh – and then the perfect capper to that portion of the evening – Kila Ka’aihue hits a walk-off dong to give the Royals a thrilling 2-1 win. Nice…
I don’t know how long we walked, but it was waaaay too long. I’d say at LEAST an hour, very possibly closer to an hour and twenty minutes. At one point, Shane, Kyle and Manning drove by in a cab and heckled us. We probably looked like in the old cartoons where the person turns into “SUCKER."
Trying my best not to, I was still carrying a simmering anger about the Royals game. We get to Fuel, there was a tremendously loud, 80’s cover band which was good, but communication was borderline impossible. As I stood there, I must have seen the Kila home run about 10 times over the course of the next couple hour or two, I’m not kidding. They’ve got on the Fox Sports Channel that just keeps replaying highlights and ESPN, etc.
We had a 7:30 am tee time and were golfing 36 the next day, so about 11:30 I cabbed back with Jeff. I didn’t check the mileage but it was AMAZING how far we drove back over the distance we walked! Kind of funny, kind of not. I could write a separate story on our goofy cab driver –ex-Army guy who said he eats a steak every day cuz his grandma told him to, told us about his love life, and who did several u-turns and had no idea where he was going even though it wasn’t that complicated – but got back to the hotel about midnight and zonked out.
Saturday was just a beautiful day for golf, all the way through. We got lucky with this being our day for 36 holes. In the morning, we golfed at Deer Creek in Overland, KS: www.deercreekgc.com I shot a 55 and 49 for a 104. It was a great course.
We went and had lunch at our next golf course, Falcon Ridge in Lenexa, KS, before teeing off at 2:30 pm. I shot a 50 and a 56 (with a 9 on each side), for a 106. www.falconridgegolf.com
We ended the night at our hotel bar lobby. It was Ken’s birthday Sunday so the goal was to stay up til midnight – it wasn’t pretty as Manning, Ken and I avoided a few nod-offs, cheersed at midnight, then reported to our rooms at precisely 12:01 am.
Sunday morning we teed off at Ironhorse Golf Club in Leawood, KS: www.ironhorsegolf.com Unfortunately it was EXTREMELY windy and probably more tiring than 36 holes the day before; I shot a 54 and a 62 for a 116. But I loved this course… it was my favorite one on the weekend and I’d like to play it again (next year, perhaps) – my 2nd favorite course was Deer Creek but they were all nice.
It really was a good crew of guys that got along well, Kurt did a bang-up job organizing it like always, and there’s talk of going again next year. I’ve never done a golf trip like this before but I truly loved it – it’s a great feeling when you’re golfing to know “tomorrow I’m gonna be golfing, then the next day I’m gonna be golfing, then the next day I’m gonna be golfing…” and I got to break in my new clubs (Canterbury Park clearance sale! Leave me alone) and that was fun, too.
So basically I got in as much golf in that weekend as I have averaged each year for about the last decade. That’s a good start to any golf season...