There is snow on the ground now, but this past weekend managed to be wonderful for golf.
Going in to the weekend, I had to get ready for Sunday’s annual “Car shamble” at Muskego Lakes Country Club.
I bought a new driver on Friday during North Hills’ pro shop sale – $149 for a brand new TaylorMade R1 with a stiff shaft was simply too good of a deal to pass up on. Saturday morning was my chance to try it out at North Hills, and it did not disappoint: I had six good drives and five that were not lost. I can work with that!
Sunday was the annual Muskego Lakes car shamble, which is maybe my favorite end-of-the-season tradition. My friends Justin, Jimmy, Jeff and I teamed up and were hoping for a good finish.
One of the great things about the car shamble is that, regardless of how your team places, there is almost always a chance to win something. Following last year’s event, our team finished much better and was chosen for the post-tournament 18th hole shoot-out: A 100-yard shot uphill against 19 other competitors. I choked, badly, hitting my attempt fat. I had the second worst shot in the entire competition, and have to admit that my mind has gone back to it too many times in the past year.
What I consider to be my “Funny story” about last year’s car shamble involves the event’s follow-up: While on the course, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel golf writer Gary D’Amato met up with us and hung out for a few holes. We talked extensively about golf writing and Wisconsin/Midwest golf, and he told me to make sure I check out the article the following day.
“‘It’s kind of weird,” said Paul Seifert of Menomonee Falls, “But it’s pretty cool.'” That was my principle quote used for the article, making me wonder: “Am I not as smart as I think I am?” Seemed likely.
This year, our team played horribly, shooting +12 and finishing in thirteenth place. The good news: The first, fifth, seventh and thirteenth place teams were slotted to be in the shoot-out. Finally, my shot at redemption!
Jeff and Jimmy preparing for our shoot-out on 18
As the worst qualifying team in the shoot-out, our team led off. I chose to start, and with an inward wind and the green uphill, was between clubs with a pitching wedge and 52-degree. I chose the 52-degree, and took a couple of practice swings, to which the course owner said, “We’re not planning on being here all night, guys.” I shook it off and swung hard. The ball came out unbelievably high and straight at the pin. It faded a bit, and landed what looked to be about ten feet right of the hole.
There were some claps from the crowd, and I was told I should at least take my hat off to acknowledge the cheers. I did, but didn’t think the result was THAT good.
All four of our team members hit the green, and another guy looked like his approach actually hit the hole and rolled around it before coming back down the front. It turned out he put too much back-spin on the ball, having landed just inches from the pin. One of the ladies, in blue jeans and a Packers Starter coat, hit her shot really tight, and two of the other jean-wearing ladies in her group looked to be just as close.
When all was said and done, and the crowd “Swarmed” the green to measure the shots, I was somehow second closest, pin high and about eight feet right, to split the pot of $380.
Finally, I can forget about last year’s choke, and in pressure situations start thinking to myself, “Okay, Mr. Big Shot, let’s put this tight.”