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Monday, December 31, 2018


Note: we will add pictures in the next few days!

Last day of the year!


Without a brick laid down for reconstruction and a local economy that saw not much improvement in 2018, we were able to retain about 80% of our membership, and we survived well as a club. I do believe that the setback with the delay in payment from Philadelphia Insurance forced us to improvise during our season and become stronger. WE THANK YOU ALL LOYAL MEMBERS WHO HAVE TRUSTED THE DIRECTION OUR LEADERSHIP HAS SET! In fact, kidding aside, I am looking forward to celebrating 100 uninterrupted years as a club (2037), you should join me! What a Centennial Anniversary this will be! I can only imagine some of our juniors who by then will be middle aged prosperous and productive adults, perhaps with kids, having a blast in our club (with the old farts that never gave up). Pardon the language! Trust me, in the end, we will go from a trailer to a nice clubhouse and from a swimming hole, to a swimming pool!

Let's get back to golf!

There were two new tournaments, both of which will stay in 2019: Diamond in the Rough Ladies Invitational & Chamber of Commerce Fall Scramble.

Several times during the year, especially when we were hosting events that brought visitors from out of town, our board and staff were praised for the way we were able to handle these events. Credit goes to our membership, our staff, my wife Ramona, and the "never give up" and optimism of all of them. In fact, in 2019 we landed both the girls and the boys 4-A Regional events. 

Personally, I am very pleased with the season as far as golf in general and tournaments is concerned. Our "finest hour" was during the bad weather (it rained all the day before and most of the morning of the tournament), first time tournament of the Diamond in the Rough. To begin with, this year the Women's Golf Association was revived by a group of very enthusiastic ladies, many of whom have a hard time breaking 100 in their own ball, but who are a "plus handicaps" in the area of promotion and enthusiasm! The tournament drew over 100 ladies, but due to bad weather that Saturday in October, several cancelled and we ended up with 82.... let me say this: IT WAS FANTASTIC! There was a tie for 1st with a 63, and no time for playoff: Tori Windsor-Haley Gray and Lori Garrison & Dana Loffer.

Our South Central Junior Tournament was great, and the club staff received many compliments from the parents who visited, telling us, "you guys do more for the kids than clubs with a nice clubhouse... you make us feel at home". I have to say that in Elk City, with or without a clubhouse, we always try to make everyone feel at home. Our own Tres Hill had the lowest score of all flights, including one of older kids, with a 67!

Our Club Championship did not have any participating ladies, but, it was one to remember! David Poole opened with a 65, the lowest opening round since Joby Gray did the same in 2012 and led by only one over Mark Fairchild. On Sunday, David starting pulling away on #6, and led by as many as five shots into the back nine, however, Mark put a little pressure by birdieing #15 and #16 and cut the lead to three going into the dangerous #17, playing a little into the wind. As many of you know, this 217 yard par-3 requires all your concentration, especially when the wind is in your face, a little "hicup" there and you can end with a 6 or more. After Mark placed his ball safely on the green, David Poole proceeded to make a hole in hole in one! The five shot lead into the last hole proved to be insurmountable! It was Mark Fairchild's third runner-up finish in the last 8 years. Four time champion Joby Gray had two rounds in the low 70's and was never a factor. To our knowledge, it was the first hole in one in this event, and if not, at least by the eventual champion. Tate Trotter, 15, added a 67 to his opening 74 and won the junior flight by one over Baylar Barnett.

The annual Tumbleweed Couples was won by Keegan Hall and sister Kinsley. It was their third win in this event. They had two 57's and comfortably won by four. Closest to the hole on #10, was awarded to a Hole in One by Christine Hohnke. To our knowledge, it was the first hole in one in this event as well.

The KECO-Tripoint, usually played on the second weekend of July, was moved to August. Many people thought it would not be good for the event, they were wrong, as usual, it was full (this year the KECO-Tripoint will be moved back to the last Saturday of July, The Club Championship will be moved to the second weekend of July and the Diamond in the Rough will be moved to August 24).

The Member-Guest was won by Aaron Kauk & Bret Matlock with a very nice 57. It was Aaron's first win in the Member-Guest. Perseverance pays off, these two friends have been playing for several years.

I leave my year's favorite for last (yes, I will recognize a little "favoritism" here, but you will all understand): As usual, the Father-Son Tournament (father, nephew, father-daughter, grandpa-grandson, mother-son/daughter/grandkind) proved to be one tournament that has not suffered losses in the last few years, and the field, as usual, was over 130 players! This year it was my "favorite" because I played with my grandson Sergio who was visiting for the summer, and because we shared a wonderful day with "Mama Golf" (Ann) Cowan, Michael Cowan and Cooper Cowan, plus, my sister Chuchina, who doesn't play golf, followed us all 18 holes. The tournament was won by David & Corbin Dyson with a 59. By the way, Sergio IS NOT a golfer, butt a good athlete, he has a lot of swing speed, though he rarely makes square contact. This day, he made contact 4 times, all of them with his driver.... and we used his tee shot all four times!

Thank you all and we wish all of you a fantastic 2019!

Saturday, September 8, 2018


The end of a playoff
The tournament hosted 29 teams that were divided in four flights, with the top three teams in each flight cashing in. As it is tradition with this tournament, all ties in paying places must e broken on the course, and there were several of these (all scores with an "*")

Long hitting Keegan Hall rounded up a team of other long hitting golfers and with a 53, won the Annual Elks Tournament by three shots. His partners were Andy Davis, Toby Davis and Garrison Mendoza.
All Playoffs in Elk City draw big galleries, whether it is
for 1st in the Championship Flight or for 3rd in the "B"

The rest of the "A" Flight was: (56) Alex's Pro-Shop (Alex, Mona, Jeff Donaghey & MIke Clinton) and (57) Gunkel Plumbing (Paul Gunkel, Tyler Harrison, Clint Hughes, Chuck Wade).

The rest of the flights were as follows:

*(59) Digger's Diggers (Craig Martin, Rusty Wilson, Aaron Kauk, Bret Matlock)
Jana Wynn Finnell celebrates getting
closer to the hole than the previous
competitor. No one got closer after
her shot to 8 feet on #17.
(59) Cimarex (Rob Muncrief, Carter Mucrief, Jonathan Butcher, Kregg Wood)
*(60) Paragon Communications

(64) Ernst (Conley & Shery Ernst, Steve Welch, A. Underwood)
KECO Girls, winners "D"
*(65) Family Traditions (James & Tana Smith, Jason & Jamie Hulin)
(65) Barber-Dyson Ford (Corbin Dyson,

*(69) KECO Girls (Amber Brewer, Tori Windsor, Christy Lovelace, Kathy Bell)
(69) Titus Services
(71) MCE (Darrell Dunn, Bobby Dunn,C. Amari, Steve Dusek)

The day was highlighted by the participation of two all-women's teams, one of which won the playoff for first place in the "D" Flight, and the other one which was captained by the winner of the closest to the hole on the tough #17 (Jana Finnell).

Friday, August 17, 2018


Before I go into the tournament specifics and winners, allow me to thank all sponsors, especially those who do not participate or who do not have someone from their business participate in the tournament. Your contribution makes it easier on all organizers not only to give more and better prizes to the winners, door prizes; but also helps promote Elk City in general with a reputation of a great tournament visited by many, from Lubbock, TX to Tulsa, OK; and from Kansas to the Dallas area.

Every sponsorship is important, so thank you to: Moran Equipment (Josh Moran), Redbone Services (Wes Marshall), Great Plains Bank (Mark Russell, Tony Mikles, Jeff Waters), Barber-Dyson Ford (David Dyson), Spitzer Publishing (Brad/Dayva Spitzer); Doug Gray Auto (Doug Gray), BVG Construction (Brad-Vera Gilbert), Terry's Furniture (Joyce Schones), S&S Quality Carpet (Dave Schneberger), Interbank (Darin Schmidt, Mandi Wilson), Albert Brothers (Jimmy Albert), Chuck's Burger Restaurant (Chuck/Gena Kauk), Bank of Western Oklahoma, Culver Electric (Brandon-Jill Culver), First National Bank & Trust (David Atkinson), Mane Attraction (Neil-Christine "Hole in One" Hohnke), Premier Dental (Pete-Sheri Stover), Cloud's Lawn and Irrigation Services (Rodney-Sarah Cloud), J&J Sales (Joe-Dewana Wynn), L&R Tire (David-Rachel Poole), Gunkel Plumbing (Paul-Dee Gunkel, Roger-Gunkel), Jeff-Linda Rule, Smith Nissan (Jeff Smith), GAS (Williamson Family), Womack's (MIcahel, Kathy, Rick).... you all made Elk City Golf & Country Club look great!

At first, the tournament was threatened by rain... again! Memories of last year's first round cancellation and possible total cancellation crossed our minds. We delayed the horse race 30 minutes on Friday and it went without a problem as David beat Goliath... Eddie and MaryJane Repp, beat David & Rachel Poole (David is our current Club Champion, Rachel has been our club champion twice in the last seven years and they have won this tournament more than twice) and Rusty & daughter Kelsi Wilson, who have won the Tumbleweed twice in the last seven years, and Rusty coming from a record setting of 26 on the back nine on his ball just two weeks ago! Eddie, and especially Mary Jane, played mistake free; first beating David & Rachel in a chipoff on #8, and then Mary Jane holing a tough 4 footer after Rusty and Kelsi had ran into problems on #9. It was truly great to see how an "underdog" can sometimes beat the favorites! 

When Saturday came and no rain followed, the tournament went underway without a sign of a problem. After the flights were drawn, these are the differentials in scores:

Championship: 57 to 60
"A" 63-67 (there were no 61's and 62's)
"B" 68-71
"C" 72-75
"D" 76-79
"E" 80 and over

Keegan Halll and young sister Kinsley opened with a 57, as did Rusty and Kelsi WIlson. At 59 were Joby-Hayley Gray and Dustin Gunkel - Kelly Powell, at 60, Shorty Charensook-Megan Blonien. On Sunday, Keegan and Kinsley matched their opening score and won by 4 over Dustin & Kelly who also matched their own 59. Rusty-Kelsi had a 62 and Shorty-Megan had a 59 and tied at 119, and a playoff followed which was won by Shorty-Megan for a solo 4th.

After Saturday, there were five tied for the lead at 63: Chris-Robin Evans, David-Rachel Poole, Perry-Paige Adams, Tyler-Tory Windsor & Wes-Tasha Marshall. With scores from 63 to 67, it would be a shootout on Sunday, as anyone in this group was capable, and did, shoot in the 50's. Unfortunately and extremely sad for the tournament and for our friends Perry and Paige, we had a withdrawal because of a very serious reason: Paige ended up in the hospital that night losing a baby in a miscarriage. Our prayers and thoughts were with them then, and now, and hope for peace and healing in their family.

The Sunday "shootout" materialized... Wes-Tasha Marshall and David-Rachel Poole both shot 59's, four better than three other teams... it also put them in jeopardy of being "bumped", as the "bump-rule" was in effect, with a bump number of 3-5. Tasha Marshall volunteered to select from the blind draw and picked the only one number that would hurt those two teams... a 3!, thus, they were bumped, making room for other teams to move up in the flight. The final results were:

1st Chris-Robin Evans, 2nd Tyler-Tori Windsor, 3rd Tooby - Rachel Davis, 4th Levi-Kathy Robison.

Another flight where any of the teams were capable of shooting 3-5 shots better than they opened with! The flight was led by four teams with 68's, followed by five 69's. Highest score in the flight was a 71. The number drawn by one of the players in that flight was 3, making the target score 133 (68+65), so any team with a total score of 132 or better, would be bumped. The first "casualty" were Eddie-Mary Jane Repp who followed their opening 68 with a 63 (they would have needed for a 5 to be drawn to be first place); the second casualty were Brad-Dayva Spitzer, who followed their 68 with a 64 (they would have needed a four to be drawn). That left the flight as follows:

1st Jack Coody-U.V. Williamson 2nd Jeff-Amy Brown 3rd Jerry-Jackie Oldham 4th Aaron-Kara Kauk

Even though the number drawn was also a 3, no casualties by "bumps" in this flight, as no one scored lower that the 141 target score (72+69), in fact, no one reached it, so all were "safe". There were two playoffs, one for 1st and 2nd at 142 between Brandon-Melanie Engel and Jeff-Linda Rule, who tied at 142, and one for 3rd & 4th between Carlos-Tammy Alaniz and Phil-Devona Friesen who tied at 144. The final results after playoffs were:

1st Brandon-Melanie Engel, 2nd Jeff-Linda Rule, 3rd Carlos-Tammy Alaniz, 4th Phil Devona Friesen. 

Finally a 4 was drawn! And it helped the leaders stay as the leading and winning team. This was one of the smaller flights with only eight teams. It started with a spread of three strokes, 76-79. After no one was "bumped", the results were as follows:

1st Galen-Sussie Oliphant 2nd Joe Kim Brady T3rd Jerry-Cheryl Southerland & Rodney-Sarah Cloud.

Another 3 was drawn, and two teams were "bumped". Jerry-Karen Sizemore 80-72 were bumped, as were Bobby-Brenda Johnson (81-75).  The leader in the flight was at 80, and with a 3 drawn, the target score was 157, thus the 152 and 156 were bumped, leaving the following results

1st Dylan Ezell-Christy Lovelace 2nd Charlie-Ashley Kauk 3rd Gerald Ashley Kelley and 4th Brad-Vera Gilbert.

In the "Sunday Challenge", these were the winners in each flight:

Championship: 57 - Keegan/Kinsley Hall; 59's Dustin Gunkel-Kelly Powell and Shorty Charensook & Megan Blonien

"A": 59's Wes-Tasha Marshall, David-Rachel Poole; 63's Chris-Robin Evans; Toby-Rachel Davis

"B": 63's Eddie-May Jane Repp, Jack Coody-UV Williamson; 64 Brad-Dayva Spitzer

"C": 69's Brandon-Melanie Engel; Neil-Christine Hohnke, Phil-Devona Friesen

"D": 72's Galen-Sussie Oliphant, Rodney-Sarah Cloud; 73's Joe-Kim Brady, Jerry-Cheryl Southerland

"D": 72 Jerry-Karem Sizemore; 75 Bobby-Brenda Johnson; 77 Dylan Ezell-Christy Lovelace



You can see pictures of this year at: Tumbleweed2018Pics

Sunday, July 29, 2018


On Saturday's first round, David Poole opened the Club Championship with a 65 and at the end of the first day, he led by one over Andrew Albert and Mark Fairchild. .... was at 70, five shots back.

On Sunday, in front of our usual gallery of members who like to watch good golf and cheer for their friends, David put a display of consistency, however, he failed, for the second day in a row, to birdie key hole #15, where he actually saved a par after hitting a ball in the hazard on the second shot. By then his lead was down to three shots as Mark was making a charge, and after hole 16, the lead shrunk to two shots.

What happened next is for the "history" books of Elk City, after Mark hit a good shot to the green, David proceeded to hit his shot IN THE HOLE for an ace which gave him an insurmountable lead made the reachable par 5 #18 a walk in the park. It was Mark Fairchild's third runner up finish, including last year to Logan Gore.

What made this win (and ace) more special for David, was that his wife Rachel, and both of his kids, Haylee and Travis, were witnesses to the feat. Haylee, in fact, followed the group all day as she was our on course "leaderboard" keeper, where she did a great job.

Logan Gore, our defending champion, opened with a 71 and closed with a 75, on a weekend where he was obviously not up to his standards.

The biggest "one day improvement" came after Jordan Williamson, who was three under par coming into #17, somehow, lost his concentration and after a "triple" 6 on #17, and closed with a 13 on on 18 for a 79! Showing not only his resolve but his sportsmanship and respect for the field and his club's championship, he came back on Sunday to play. I have seen many players "withdraw" under such circumstances. Jordan closed with a 69 for a 10 shot improvement, and a show of "never give up" attitude.

The "AA" flight was won by Jonathan Gore, in a great battle with Jeff Donaghey who opened with a 70 versus Jonathan's 72. However, Jonathan closed with a 68 to Jeff's 76 and took the honors by five over Brandon Thomas (73-72) and by six over Jeff and Jack Coody who closed with a 70. !st net in this flight was Jack Coody with a 130.

"A" Flight was won by Kim Jordan and Greg Dodson who scored 157. Because they had to wait over two hours for another group to finish to see if they won, it was not possible to do a playoff, so they were declared "co-champions". The net winner was Robert Lakey with 130.

"B" Flight was won by David Lantz with a 166, first net was Joe Wynn with a 135.

"C" flight was won by Ricky Marr with a total of 180, and Don Murphey won first net with 139

"D" Flight was won by Robert Gore with 177, and first net was Brad Gilbert with 140.

The juniors had a great battle between Tate Trotter and Baylar Barnett. Tate had opened with a 74 and Baylar with a 75, by the end of the first nine on Sunday, where Tate took a 5 shot lead, everyone thought it would be an easy win... they were all wrong. Baylar played an exceptional back nine and closed with a 66, matching Tate's 66, and Tate won by only one shot.

The overall Senior Flight had c-champions in Jeff Donaghey (70-76) and Jack Coody (76-70). Again, there was no time for a playoff due to the difference in times finished.

The "Young Seniors" was won by Jeff Donaghey, Net was Robert Gore with 133

The "Mid Seniors" was won by Jack Coody, and Net winner was Rusty Ridling with 134.

The "Super Seniors" was won by Robert Lakey with 158 and the net winner here was Robert Miller with 139 who beat Dave Bank by only one.
This year there were no women participants.

You can see all the tournament's pictures by clicking: FacebookClubChampionship

Saturday, June 23, 2018


The tradition continues.

The Annual (and popular) Father-Son Tournament drew a total of 60 teams (including a few who doubled up and played with more than one team). As usual, we had several teams from out of town.
David Dyson and son Corby took first place overall with a crafty 59, and beat four teams by one shot. David also played with son Berek, they shot a 62.

This was the smallest field since 2011, the first year I handled this tournament in my arrival to Friendly Elk City USA, with some of those missing being out of town (the Gunkels had not missed one yet in the last seven years, but this year they were in Florida) and some former and current members who decided to skip it.

I personally had a great time. Usually, I don't play these local events, but have played this with my daughter Paola and husband Jeff as partners, now, this year I played with my grandson Sergio, who isn't a golfer (the way I played, maybe I'm not a golfer either! LOL). We had a great time playing with Ann Cowan & son Michael, who also played with his son Cooper. Thank you to Monica Finnigan from Weatherford for helping me with the scoring and thank you to my sister Chuchina who patiently followed us all 18 holes even though she is not a golfer (never took up the game, so she had never stepped in a sand trap... until this day!)

Here are the Results by Flight (Ties were split, there was not tie breaker):

59 - David - Corbin Dyson
60 - Rusty - Kelsi Wilson
60 - Gary - Luke Phillips
60 - Damon - Brayden Butcher
60 - Jimmy - Andrew Albert0

64 - Bobby - Blake Johnson
64 - Ann - Michael Cowan
64 - Donny Burson - Jacob Chouinard
64 - Bobby Wechsler - Luke Lewallen

66 - Mark Simpson - Sarah Copeland
67 - Chad - Cameron Marcum
67 - Quint - Bryler Nichols
67 - Kelly - Gerron Smith
67 - Jack - Jessica Coody

71 - Tana SMith - Will Malloy
71 - James - James Jr. Porter
71 - Jeff Smoot - Jacob Cupp

74 - Michael - Cooper Cowan
74 - James - Cameron Smithook
74 - Gary Jennings - James Womack
74 - Aaron - Kory Kamphaus

82 - Allen - David Robinson
84 - Justin - Drew Ediger
87 - Terry - Cassie Stone (Falen)

This year's traditional recipients of "Dad-Son Golfing Pictures" were Ann Cowan, David Dyson and Damon Butcher. These are people who make it a habit to play with family/kids outside a tournament.

Pictures: go to Facebook to the link: PhotosFathe'sDay 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018


The 81st Anniversary of the Elk City Golf & Country Club was celebrated on this day with 80 golfers, including a dozen or so veterans, Melvin Fluty (Mark Simpson's father in law), whose five brothers and father were veterans as well, starting with World War I and ending with the Vietnam war (one or the other fought in each of the major wars of the 20th century).

Before the start of the tournament, we had a small ceremony in which Charles Simpson Jr. sang the National Anthem (a beautiful a Capella rendition) while Larry Hudgens, Melvin Fluty and Brad Gilbert raised the American flag over the small canopy that serves as outside eating area and scoring board area.

The field was divided into 4 flights, and the winners were as follows:

1st (62) Keegan Hall - Toby Davis
2nd (63) Aaron Kauk - Rusty Wilson
3rd (63) Mark Fairchild - Andrew Albert
(Tied teams went to a playoff)
Note: ironically, the red sign "YIELD" is behind them... we better "yield" and pay attention when these these two guys are hitting, especially since they both hit it well over 300 yards!)

1st (67) Adam Pennington - Kyle Collier
2nd (68) Jack Coody - UV WIlliamson
2nd (68) Tres Hill - Travis Poole
(Tied teams split winnings)

1st (72) Mike Clinton - Cameron Kerr
2nd (72) Joe Wynn - Charlie Kauk
3rd (72) Mark Simpson - Charles Simpson Jr.

1st (79) Tate Finnell - Keaton Finnell
2nd (79) Brad Gilbert - Mike Proctor
3rd (83) Blake Brewer - Amber Brewer

For more pictures, visit our club's page at http://facebook/elkcitygolf

Saturday, May 19, 2018


This year, the 2018 Member-Guest was moved one week back from normal: usually it is held the Saturday before Mothers' Day, thus, had we kept the same date, it would have been a great day for golf, and, it would have been before the anniversary of the tornado. This year, I'm glad it was after the anniversary of the tornado. There is no special reason, it just felt that those who participated, truly enjoy being members here.
"Anniversary Reunion" May 16-2018

Let's go a few days back to the anniversary of the tornado. We had Channel 5 here, asking questions about the effects of the tornado, recovery, etc. We had a group of people, mostly members, who organized a get-together last Wednesday May 16. I met new people -neighbors who don't play golf who got affected by the tornado. it a reunion, and in some ways, needed to be before the annual members' gathering for a golf tournament.

The change in date also gave us a day in which we had to call the golfers in twice due to dangerous weather close to Elk City. Happily, the storm went around us and it only sprayed a few drops of water with a few scary "noises". I hope it rains tonight... way after the tournament!

I felt that many who played today truly enjoy being members at Elk City Golf & C.C. and wish other had a little more patience, so, I was even going to play in the tournament, but my partner had medical orders that made him cancel. It's okay, we will have another chance, and though it was the smallest field in the Member-Guest since I came to Elk City, it was the "warmest" and most appreciative. In many ways, I can identify with a "connection" to each one of the members who played, and many of the guests, some of whom have been coming for years.

As usual, the tournament was started with a horse race on Friday afternoon, which always brings a crowd. It was won by Ann Cowan and son Michael on the last hole after Michael made a 15 footer that went right in the middle of the hole. Second place belonged to Logan Gore and bother Jonathan who missed from about 13 feet, and third place went to David Scheberger and Kallen Nichols who were eliminated on #8.

The tournament field was divided in three flights while Paul Gunkel, Brad Gilbert and Carter Muncrief expertly grilled hamburgers and pork chops for the participants, right next to the scoreboard placed under the canopy-cart port by the temporary clubhouse. It was a blast, and it was as if everyone who was there, truly enjoyed not having a clubhouse. This was definitely a "club's tournament"... a members tournament.
It was the fourth year in a row that Cameron Bumgarner and Shawn Dunphey from Arizona came to play in the tournament. Come back!

The field was divided in three flights, and the winners were:

1st (57) Aaron Kauk - Bret Matlock
2nd (59) Keegan Hall - Toby Davis
3rd (62) Rusty Wilson - Brandon Engel

1st (67) Blane Short - Adam Pennington (*)
2nd (67) Jeff Smoot - Donny Burson
3rd (68) David Schneberger - Kallen Nichols

1st (72) Jonathan Butcher - Jared Williams
2nd (73) Jeff Rule - Lynn Bailey
3rd (73) Aaron Kamphaus - Don Patterson

More pictures at:

Horse Race: Click Horse Race

Tournament: Click Tournament

Sunday, May 6, 2018


The fourth (third in Elk City) annual Path To Miracles (founded by Jeremy Gray) tournament was a total success. Twenty one teams participated in this fundraiser to keep funding the Path To Miracles project that helps individuals with addictions. So many lives touched by Jeremy Gray and his people, some even played in the tournament, some who have gone through the program and recovered, and some currently in recovering stage.

Prior to tee time, Jeremy spoke about Path To Miracles house, along with Rob's Ranch, where he went to do recovery himself several years back. He finished his presentation with a very sincere and powerful prayer.  Jeremy Gray has outdone himself! When he meets our Maker, He will say "Well Done!"

This year there was plenty to see and talk about, starting with the first shot of the day on #13, where Jeff Donaghey made a Hole in One with a 4 hybrid. A little into the sunlight in the morning, Jeff knew his ball was on line, but did not realize it went in the hole until they got to the green. He played with Michael Cowan, Ann Cowan and Cooper Cowan. (Their team shot a 59)

The twenty one teams were divided into two flights: Top seven teams and ties, and rest of the field.

Here are the results:

"A" Flight:

55 - Doug Gray Auto (Joby Gray, Craig Martin, Rusty Wilson, Brandon Thomas)
55 - Jack's Backbone (Mike Clinton, Heston Brown, Toby Davis)
56 - 3B Pumping (Baylar Barnett, John Harguess, Tate Trotter, Sam Firth)
57 - Blake Johnson (Blake Johnson, Bobby Johnson, Conner Dewitt, Brad Harguess) (*)
58 - Anadarko Dozer (Russ Smith, Ronnie Smith, Rocky Andresen, Natalie Smith)

(*) Blake Johnson's Team score shows 59, but it was an error in posting, the correct score is 57 and it was not corrected before the picture with the score was taken and published.

"B" Flight
60 - Aaron Musick (Aaron Musick, Tanner Underwood, Ryan Hayes, Blake Walker)
61 - Paul Gunkel (Paul Gunkel, Greg Dodson, Kim Jordan, Brad Gilbert)
61 - Remax (Mike Stout, Mike Carlucci, Rony Jones, Justin Ediger
61 - Rob's Ranch (Jason Baldwin, Doug Hayes, Tyler Redburn, Ned Baldwin)
61 - Path To Miracles (Jeremy Gray, Nick Baker, Dusty Davis, Timmy Cummings)

Click Path to Miracles Photo Album to see all pictures of the Tournament

Friday, March 30, 2018


#12 - Golden Bell
Sunday April 1st will be the beginning of Masters week by featuring juniors from all over the nation in their annual "Drive, Chip & Putt" contest. Every time I see this competition I can't help but think what a joy and what a privilege is for these kids and families to go to Augusta National and walk the emerald and most perfectly manicured turf in the world.

The Masters is unique because of many traditions not held in any other tournament, including majors. It is my favorite tournament to watch, and believe it or not, I have many memories of shots that I have seen over the years, and even before that I had the pleasure of visiting Augusta National during the 2014 Masters with several of our members, I already knew every hole by memory just by watching the telecast every Masters since 1972 (at the time, they only showed the last 6 holes, starting sometime in the nineties or late eighties, they starting showing all the holes).
This is the view Phil Mickelson had in 2010 when he hit
a 6 iron to 7 feet for an easy birdie.

For instance, I can't forget the best finish ever for a winner, when Jack Nicklaus shot 33... in the last 10 holes in 1986 to win by one over Greg Norman and Tom Kite. He birdied #9, and then shot 30 on the back nine with a bogey on #12.... There were so many wonderful shots that day, his second to #15 where he made eagle, and his tee shot on #16 where he almost made a hole in one making the gallery go crazy, and of course, the "yes sir!" (Vern Lindquiist) after jack's putt on #17 to take the lead. I litteraly had tears in my eyes!

Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player & Arnold Palmer walking to
the first green of the Par-3 Tournament in 2014. It would
be the last time "The Big 3" ever played together.
Or Tiger, on his first round as a professional, he shot a fat 40 on the front nine, then coming back with a 30 on the back, then after shooting 65 on Friday, he took the lead for good and won by 12... over Tom Kite. Then of course, the Masters Committee saw to "Tigerize" the course because Tiger was hitting short irons to all par-5 holes.

Or Phil Mickelson's 6 iron shot from the rough, between the trees on #13 in 2010 to 5 feet on his way to winning (the day before he made eagle on 13 and 14 and lipped out eagle on 15!)

Or last year, Sergio saving par on #13 from "jail" and winning by one.

Or Tiger's chip in on #16 while playing with Chris DiMarco..

Your kids can caddie for you in the Par-3 Tournament
(Phil here sporting those green shoes and belt
that Kuchar made fun of!
Or, or, or...

So many moments!

But the thing that attracts me the most are the traditions that NO OTHER TOURNAMENT HAS! The Champions dinner; Each hole is named after a flower that adorns the fairway or around the green; The "Drive, Chip & Putt"; the Par-3 Tournament (until 2014, the year I went, the Par-3 Tournament's last pairing was Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player); the "water skipping" contest on #16 among the players during the practice rounds; the limited number of tickets sold; the affordable food for spectators; the annual invitation to all past champions to play in the tournament and the invitation to play to those who qualify; the rules to get invited; the amateurs who always get invited (on the first round, the U.S. Amateur Champion always plays with the defending Masters Champion); the "Crow's Nest" where all amateurs stay during the Masters; the secrecy of the purse until it is paid; the courtesy to PGA Professionals who can get in every day during The Masters at no cost (that is how I got in in 2014); And, let's not forget that The Masters
Water color picture of last year's
Champion, Sergio Garcia while
practicing on #9.
Committee has a lottery for about 40 reporters of the hundreds that attend the tournament, and are allowed to play on the "holy grounds" on Monday after the tournament, from the championship tees and with the same hole positions as Sunday. It is said that the best score (some reporters are really good golfers) is 84 (let's put it like this: who is the best golfer who you know in Elk City? I doubt if they could break 80 on that course with the same conditions on Sunday, maybe even 90. These guys are good... just like the TV ad says!

In addition, as the first major of the year, and whoever wins it, not only gets to come back forever, but also becomes an honorary member, and the only one who can pursue the "season's grand-slam" (no one has ever done it in the same calendar year, though Tiger, won the last three majors of 2000 and the 2001 Masters to be the only player ever to hold all four majors in a row). Also, there is a "Champions" Locker Room and a locker room for everyone else.

Previously, Ben Hogan won The Masters, the U.S. Open and The Open (British Open) in 1953 but did not compete in the PGA Championship because his return from Britain conflicted with the date of the PGA Championship, and perhaps also because you had to pay 36 holes a day, and Ben Hogan's legs were not as strong after his 1949 accident.
Jordan Spieth  teeing off on #1 on Par-3
Tournament. Won the Par-3 in 2014, won
the Masters in 2015. 

And then, there is Phil, who had someone make him a pair of green alligator golf shoes with a matching belt, golf bag and wallet. When he came one day to the practice area on Wednesday last year, Matt Kuchar saw him and said, "Wow, Phil! Look at that outfit. What gave you the idea?" Phil answered, "You have to win three green jackets to be able to wear an outfit like this"... Kooch saw him, straight in the eye and said, "I see. I hope I only win two!"

So, let's enjoy Masters week. Pick your player....

Now, back to Elk City... On Saturday morning (April 7), we will have a "Masters" Tournament for members. You will pick 2 players from those who made the cut and add your net score to their Sunday round and see who wins, The winner of each flight (we will have 2 or 3 flights, will get a "Masters Annual", a beautiful book with this year's Masters players, winners, and stories (it usually comes out in September).
My pick? Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.

Below, "The Big-3" tee off at the 2014 Par-3 Tournament

The King... 4 Time Master Champion
1958, 1060, 1962, 1964
7 Total Majors

Jack Nicklaus... 6 Time Master Champion
1963, 1966, 1967, 1972, 1975, 1986
18 Total Majors

Gary Player. 3 Time Masters Champion
1961, 1974, 1978
Nine Total Majors