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Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 ELKS TOURNAMENT A SUCCESS

A 49! Great Playing!
Yesterday, after almost everyone was gone after the playoffs and the final results were posted, an Elk member who is also member of Elk City Golf & C.C. came to me and said, "This is my favorite tournament of the year. I truly enjoy it. Thank you for your hard work.". It was a very nice compliment and I appreciated it, but knowing this local businessman, I am sure he first thanked the host committee of the Elks Lodge without whom, my work would not be relevant, maybe not even needed.

A tournament's success depends on a lot of things. For weeks before a tournament, especially a fundraising's  tournament, there is a group of people who wake up and plan their day around three things: contacting sponsors, contacting golfers and coordinating with the golf course. In short, a fundraising  tournament does not happen only because you reserve a date at the local golf course, or because your local pro knows how to do pairings or knows the rules of golf, it happens because a group of people who work together for one cause.

Usually, when the tournament is successful, the golf course's staff are usually the ones who get the nod from the players, however, keep in mind that our work is the easiest of all: type the pairings up (of 100-150 people who were recruited by the host committee), type rules (usually following the written rules of golf by the USGA), finish and publish pairings (usually in coordination with the host committee who has received requests, which in turn helps us do pairings the players will be comfortable with), do scorecards, do a scoreboard, and get paid.

None of that would happen if the host committee did not do their work as there would be not enough players, sponsors, and therefore money to have an attractive payoff, raise money for your cause and pay the course and the staff that helps, all at the same time.

By what I can see, over the years, in the yearly Elks Tournament, there is an "official committee" that starts things, and an "unofficial committee" who voluntarily helps with whatever they can, from calling friends to make a team to contacting sponsors or bringing goodies to the golf course, to encouraging other players to make more teams.

So, before getting to the results, let's all thank and congratulate Ann Cowan and her committee (to the best of my knowledge, Don Birdwell, Gary Jennings, Rob Muncrief, Charlie Kauk, Aaron Kauk, Craig Martin, Rusty Wilson among others) and anyone else who helped, for their truly hard work in getting this tournament "on the books", and in the column titled "successful" which netted at least $6,500 for the local Elks Lodge.

Thirty four teams (one hundred and thirty six players) played this year's event which at the end, were divided into four flights: A,B,C & D. One of the rules of this tournament that makes it for an exciting finish, is that all ties up to a third place finish, are decided by a playoff on the course. There is no "splitting" of payoffs. And for this reason, there are usually several playoffs, usually watched by many of players who participated in the tournament or members of Elk City Golf & Country Club, or friends and family of the players. THERE IS NEVER A PLAYOFF THAT IS NOT WATCHED BY AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE, AND IN MOST CASES BY 50 PEOPLE OR MORE!

On Saturday, there was one playoff for 2nd and 3rd places on the "A" (two 52's) , "B" (two 58's) and "D" (two 67's), all three of which among two teams. The largest playoff consisted of five teams who tied for first place in the "C" flight with 61. It was actually six teams who tied for first in "C", but one of the teams had left before the playoff. It was this playoff that started last, and therefore, the one Mona and I went to watch after posting all scores. By the time we got to the first tee, two of the playoffs had ended and the players and spectators of those, had come to watch this five team playoff.

To my recollection, there has not been a more competitive and fun playoff to watch, not to mention "a more fitting end" of sorts. More of that at the end, for now, here are the results:

"A"
1st (49) - "Digger's Diggers": Craig Martin, Rusty Wilson, Aaron Kauk, Bret Matlock
2nd (52) - "Matt Salazar": Matt Salazar, Chris Martin, Erik Fix,
3rd (52) - "GunkelKlan": Paul Gunkel, Dustin Gunkel, Dustin Mahoney, Clint Hughes

"B"
1st (57) - "Wolf Flips" - Brad Spitzer, Robert Lakey, Jamie Lakey, Danny Crabb
2nd (58) - "Dodson's Construction" - Greg Dodson, Charlie Kauk, Joe Wynn, Brandon Thomas
3rd (58) - "Fmilia": Kim Jordan, Brandon Engel, Will Malloy, Heath Martin

"C"
1st (61) - "Proud Dad": Wes Marshall, Tasha Marshall, Krystal Marshall, Jaryn Rainey
2nd (61) - P.O.L.P.: Gaylan Edwards, Randall Wright, Leon Stuart, David Poole
3rd (61) - "Cowan": Ann Cowan, Cooper Cowan, Michael Cowan, Butch Golsberyy
T4th (61) - "Stone's Pebbles": Terry Stone, Nick Hall, Robert Williams, Evan McElheney and
"Hylton's": Billy Bashaw, Brian Markham, Ky Markham, Rayden Markham
Missed Playoff: "3/4's Millers": Bob Miller, Drew Miller, Casey Miller, Jesse Arrowwood

"D"
1st (66) - "Route 66 Car Sales" - Josh Shinault, J.L. Shinault, Kaith Carter, Aaron Long
2nd (67) - "Dunn's Are Not Done" - Darrell Dunn, Bobby Dunn, Chad Armante, Steven Dusek
3rd (67) - "KECO's Very Best": Amber Brewer, Tori Windsor, Kathy Bell, Kristy Lovelace

FUN PLAYOFF;

"THE PUTTER GIVETH AND THE PUTTER TAKETH AWAY"
The rules for playoff in the Elks Tournament call for each team to play alternate shots. If a tie persists, teams drop a player per each hole tied.

There were 6 teams tied for first in the "C" flight, all tied with 61's. One team did not make the playoff ("3/4's Millers"). Three pars on #10 and two bogeys, left three teams "in the money" fighting for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

On #11, "Cowan" ran into trouble and made a double bogey, finishing in third place.

But the real fun was just beginning...
#11 "How did that stay out?" David Poole and the POLP team
react to a narrow miss. Proud Dad now had to make one
from 7 feet to continue. And they did.
On their third shot, "Proud Dad"'s team (without Proud Dad himself, who had been dropped after #10) had gone over the green on #11 and had a tough downhill chip coming back, while "P.O.L.P." had a relatively easy 25 footer for birdie straight uphill. David Poole narrowly missed his birdie putt, meanwhile, "Proud Dad" had chipped to a tough seven footer for par, that Jarym Rainey "lipped in" to continue the playoff.

On #12, Tasha Marshall and Randall Wright hit pretty nice tee shots, both long and on the left side of the fairway, both David Poole and Jaryn hit nice shots on the green, with Poole's ball about ten feet longer than Jaryn's. Randall Wright putted to a virtual "tap-in" par, while Tasha left Jaryn another tester from about 4-5 feet, which she handled perfectly: dead center.

#13: When you have to make a 12 footer to continue a playoff
and you make it... emotions run high!
On #13, each team only had one player left, Tasha for "Proud Dad" and David Poole for "POLP". David hit first and did very well from 210 yards, leaving himself a 10 footer for birdie. Tasha, from about 150, hit to the back of the green to about 45 feet. Her first putt went by by about 12 feet, and had to hit her third shot before David hit his second shot. She made it dead center. David putted his a couple of feet short, and there they went to #14.

On #14, they both hit good tee shots, and again, both hit the green in regulation, and again, David inside Tasha, whose 25 footer lipped out leaving a tap-in for par. David's 15 footer attempt was short by about 3 1/2 feet and then missed, giving Tasha and "Proud Dad" the win in the "C" flight.

It was pretty neat following and witnessing good shots, especially great pressure putting. What Jaryn did on #11 and #12, and Tasha on #13 and #14, is not usually the outcome in other playoffs, most of which I have witnessed, miss those putts outside  4-5 feet to lose the hole, especially when the opponent is already in, and you have to make to continue the playoff, as it was the case from #11 to #13... and the case on #14, when David blinked and missed a short one to fail to advance to #15.

It is worth mentioning that "Proud Dad" ended up being a pretty good name for a team that Wes Marshall put together with his two daughters and a close friend  who has been "almost like adopted" into the family. First, Wes decided to get dropped after the first hole and left it up to the girls to win ("WISE DAD"?)... and make dad proud, which I'm sure, they did! CONGRATULATIONS!

P.S. I don't have all the teams' pictures because I had the pleasure of playing myself in the tournament (with our usual team of Keith Hulen, Kaleb Keith and my wife Mona, all of whom made my day on the golf course a great day! thank you!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 TUMBLEWEED

In some ways it was a weekend to forget: rain on Friday night and Saturday morning that accumulated almost five inches, which made course conditions unplayable and forced us to cancel the Saturday round, which in turn, also led to some cancellations that forced us to make new pairings on Sunday morning, the only round of the tournament. thwart       

In other ways, the situation gave us the opportunity to find out how much players, local or those who come to visit, enjoy Elk City, our club's and members' hospitality, and the Tumbleweed itself; plus, there is a feeling that of how much people realize the effort that goes into this tournament, and don't want to add distraction to our efforts (THANK YOU!). 

We started with a field of 72 couples and ended up with 60, most of those couples who cancelled had also seen that the rain was going the way of their city and were not even sure if we would even have the chance to have a one day event.

When a two day tournament is reduced to to one round, the chance to catch up or thwart other teams' efforts to catch up within your flight the next day are gone... no "day money", no excitement of competition with those of your skill level, and no "bump rule" in effect, which adds a lot of excitement to the finishing of scores on the second day, thus, most of the motivation about competition is gone, yet, all those who stayed with the hopes of playing at least one day, also felt that one day was better than none, and were rewarded with a beautiful mild day of summer with just enough clouds to make it a perfect day for golf, and had a great day with their hosts or guests, whatever the case may have been... and yes, I believe our unique way of doing flights also adds to the fun of watching the scoring!
Due to the lack of a clubhouse, the Saturday party had to be moved the the Elks, where we were given the opportunity to serve our own food from our food department. At the Elks, "Professional Volunteer" Ann Cowan, son Michael and grandson Cooper (her partner for the tournament) prepared a nice set up for about 100 people.... in the end we needed more space! The food prepared by Jennifer Francis and her staff was great, the band was pretty good and the dancing was awesome, especially by Monty and Patty Lorenz, who gave a great show.

That said, we could not have done this with outside help from sponsors (check scoreboard picture at end to check out our supporters), all of whom donated from $100 and up (some very generous). No matter what you all did... THANK YOU!

On Sunday morning, after finding out who cancelled and who stayed, we ended up with six flights, and also ended up with the most playoffs ever in the 35 year history of this event, with one flight having 10 teams tied for first with a 70! 

The final results were as follows:

CHAMPIONSHIP:
1. (59) Dustin & Tori Gunkel Windsor
2. (60) Brad & Dayva Spitzer
3. (61) Taylor & Jamie Cameron
4. (62) Rusty & Kelsi Wilson





"A"
1. (64) Eddie & Mary Jane Repp
2. (65) Monty & Patty Lorenz
3. (65) Cooper & Ann Cowan
4. (65) Caden Calaway & Kelcee Millican
(Note: 6 teams tied at 65)




"B"
1. (68) Galen & Susie Oliphant
2. (68) Mike Belter & Kelli Asher
3. (68) Mike Cowan & Kathy Bell
4. (68) Brandon & Melanie Engel
(Note: 7 teams tied at 68 for 1st place)




"C"
1. (70) Dustin Mahoney & Mika Webb
2. (70) Dewey & Reta Coats
3. (70) Neil & Christina Hohnke
4. (70) Tony & Melissa Dibler





"D"
1. (71) Conley & Sheri Ernst
2. (72) Adren Cunningham & Judy Manor
3. (72) Robert & Chanda Shepherd
4. (72) Aaron & Gwili Kamphaus





"E"
1. (79) Kim * Keli Jordan
2. (81) Charlie & Ashley Kauk
3. (81) Billy & Hayley Bashaw
4. (81) Brian Felch & Gwen Davis










Monday, July 31, 2017

2017 CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: LOGAN GORE, NEW CLUB CHAMPION

Two weeks ago, it was hard to tell if we were going to have a Club Championship as scheduled.... we only had five entries! As this weekend rolled in, we had 61, including five juniors!

And though it was a few less that in the past two years, the quality of the field was about the best in recent years with nine players in in the Championship Flight, including defending (and four time) champion, Joby Gray.

After Saturday's opening round, it looked like "experience" was beating youth: Mark Fairchild opened with a 66, followed by Jordan Williamson with a 68 and also Logan Gore with the same score. One back at 69, was Rusty Wilson (last year's runner up), and at even par 71, was defending champion Joby Gray.

Meanwhile, in the "A" flight, young Baylar Barnett led with a 72, sixty four year old Craig Martin was next at 73, followed by Brad Spitzer with a 74. There were two 75's (Brandon Thomas and Jeff Donaghey) and a 76, Terry Pasby.

The "B" flight was led by another highschooler, John Harguess who had an opening 78, he was followed by a 79 by Greg Dodson, and three 80's by Kim Jordan, thirteen year old Drake Hughes and Bobby Wechsler.

The "C" flight was no different... Lynn Bailey led with an 82, followed by Jeff Smoot with  an 83 and Luke Lewallen with an 85.

Billy Bashaw led the "D" with a 90, followed by Gary Jennings with 92 and Don Murphey with a 96...

In the ladies, Ann Cowan led defending champion Kinsley Hall by one with a 75.

Sunday morning was great for golf.... cool, cloudy and just a slight breeze

The ladies led the field at 8:00 a.m., followed by two groups that needed to go early. In the end, Ann Cowan prevailed with a hard earned 75 against Kinsley who had a flat 80.

"D" and "C" flights were next, "B", "A" and Championship next in that order.

In the "D" flight, Billy Bashaw and Gary Jennings, who started two shots apart,scored matching closing rounds of 86, giving Bashaw the win, and Jennings the first net. Don Murpehy came in second gross and Phillip Byer second net.

The "C" flight was a mirror of the "D", as Lynn Bailey, the first day leader stayed there after a closing 86 while Jeff Smoot did not have his best day. First net belonged to Scott Ellis and Dave Bank who matched 135's. Second Gross was Craig Phelps who added an 81 to his 89.

"B" Flight was a "dog-fight". Robert Lakey added a 75 to his opening 80 ton win by one over Greg Dodson (79-77=156) and Kim Jordan (80-76=156), and by two over John Harguess (78-79=157) and three over two players who came at 158: Drake Hughes and Paul Gunkel. First net was Kim Jordan, second net was Greg Dodson.

Experience played a big role in the "A" flight. Sixty four year old Craig Martin, who course record 58 in the old layout was never matched, opened with a 73 and was trailing young Baylar Barnett by one who had opened with a solid 72. At day's end, Martin (affectionately known as "Digger" or "Mr. Golf") came back with an even par round of 71, beating Baylar who came in second with a 147 after a closing 75. In the fligt, David Dyson and Tate Trotter, had identical rounds of 80 and closing 70 that earned them a tie for first in the net.

.... and the Championship flight. What a weekend. Great play.

Mark Fairchild added a solid 73 to his opening 66, and at three under par 139, could not prevail against Logan Gore who added a closing round of 64 to his 68, giving him a final score of 132 and a seven shot win. According to Rusty Wilson (opening 69) , Mark Fairchild and Jordan Williamson (opening 68), Logan played flawlessly, hit all 18 greens in regulation and putted for eagle in every par 5 hole, making a difficult comeback by anyone after he took the lead after the first 8 holes, and forcing mistakes by others when they tried risky shots.

Logan has been pretty close a couple of times, but could not "close the deal", this time, a bogey free 64 is "all" it took!

Congratulations!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

FATHERS' DAY TOURNAMENT...

On a very hot day where temperatures reached 100+, we had a wonderful response from our members and usual visitors and had over 60 teams including dads who played with more than one kid.... Damon Butcher played with three of his four golfing boys.... that was some workout!

By the mood of the players, you would have thought that it was a normal day at the course, when we all know it wasn't. But the optimism in Elk City has no end! You people are all inspiring!

Here are the results for each flight (the top four and ties in each flight were recognized):

"A"
59 > Rusty & Kelsi Wilson
60 > Gary & Luke Phillips;
         Damon & Bryce Butcher
61 >Paul & Dustin Gunkel
        Jack & Jake Coody




"B"
63 > Rob & Carter Muncrief
        Damon & Brayden Butcher
        Bobby & Blake Johson
        Mark & Mitchell Hudgens
        Charlie & Aaron Kauk




"C"
66 > Bob & Drew Miller
        David & Travis Poole
        Barry & Tate Trotter
67 > Larry & Tony Hudgens
        Damon & Grayson Butcher
        Scott & Aaron Ford
        Chris & Jordan Stark
'       Bob & Casey Miller

"D"
68 > Randy & Brent Morse
        Jeff Donaghey & Billy Bashaw
        Randal Wright & Pete Stover
        Rachel & Haylee Poole





"E"
72 > Rick & Shawn Ezell
        Robert & Nathan Gore
        Frank & Stephen Craven
73 > Ken Howell & Bobby Martin
        Brian & Dex Felch
        Terry Morse & Dustin Martin
        Paul & Sam Firth
        Mike & Conner Carlucci

"F"
75 > Rick & Allison Rainey
76 > Gary Jennings & Jim Womack
        Andrew & Jamie Peffer
77 > Don & Cody Murphey
        Tony & Chad Mikles




This year's Fathers' Day Pics for the annual card featured David & Travis Poole and Michael & Nathan Womack.




















For all pictures, click Father's Day Photos

Sunday, June 4, 2017

PUTTING YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD!

We all wish that the tornado of May 16 had been a bad dream that we all had, a nightmare. But, as it turned out, it was very real and very damaging, especially to a community where everyone knows each other. It is like it struck a big family, and in many ways it did, and because of that, we all saw how a family can get up after being knocked down... but not knocked out. How very grateful I am that there wasn't a fatality in "our family".

The girls at the snack bar may have very well saved me, several golfers and the maintenance crew. It was because of their vigilant attitude that I went out on the course to ask all golfers and maintenance crew to leave the course before sending our snack bar staff home early, in case the storm hit as it was predicted by the weatherman. I know very well that had it not been for the Arine, Alisha and Alyssa, I would not have paid as much attention to the weather and would have stayed working in the office late in the afternoon, when I couldn't be interrupted. What a mistake that would have been, as in the process, we lost the clubhouse, our rental barn and over 150 trees, inventory, range balls, range mats, and God knows what else we'll find missing.

The next day, although I knew that our clubhouse and several of our members' homes had been destroyed, and although I remember that we got busy taking things out that could be salvaged into a storage place, Wednesday and Thursday following the destructing tornado, is a blur: it is like it was the reaction we needed to have as we made decision after decision, and always being in the "same page" with others, like programmed robots.

Without details, I remember several of our members coming to help other members or help us at the club to pack and move things out of the rubble... Larry & Lana Hudgens, Allen & Kathy Robinson, Debbie Dunn, Bob Miller, the Culver kids, Tim DeWitt and son Conner, all of the members of the board who were in town, even those who had been hit in their own homes, and several others, including some volunteers that I had never seen or met. 

Then, it all struck at once, Brad Gilbert called an emergency meeting of the board with Ed Hughes and myself present. What should we do about the immediate future? Should we pause and recover before continuing operations, or, should we continue operations while we recovered? It was a "slam-dunk": WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE OPERATIONS AND DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO SERVE OUR MEMBERS AND COMMUNITY OF GOLFERS. THIS TORNADO HIT US HARD, BUT IT DID NOT PUT US OUT. FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS IS "MAKE THE OIL & GAS HAPPEN IN TWO AND A HALF WEEKS".

The following weekend, we witnessed how much our members and golfing friends love this club when several dozen people came to help clean up the course. For a couple of hours each day, I went around thanking people for their help, taking pictures of this amazing show of unity and care for others. My only regret is that I was too busy getting the pro-shop and office ready along with the snack bar, and I could not thank everyone personally during the time I visited. For that reason, it is impossible to thank everyone, here or personally, but, from the bottom of my heart and with all of the gratitude our board and staff can have; THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

After only two days of people bringing their own equipment, friends and family, the golf course itself was almost ready for play... though it did look different without about 150 trees down or bare. 

In the process, every board member got involved, with Rusty taking the lead as former president since Brad's home and Joe Wynn's home as well were pretty badly damaged and they also needed to deal with their own losses and insurance transactions.

Our crew (Ed Hughes has an amazing group of workers with Josh, Trina, Johnny and Chad), our members, our snack bar staff (Jennifer, Alyssa, Alisha, Arine, Lyndsay), our friends and the Chamber of Commerce (Susie Cupp and Debbie Smoot), all worked non stop. Even people like Kent Miller (PGA Professional, Clinton OK) and Mike & Steve Whitaker (Woodward, OK) entered in the picture, organizing and making special plans for very special circumstances, and on June 2 and 3, from three small trailers instead of a comfortable clubhouse, with a tent instead of a dining room, with twisted and broken carts instead of nice clean ones, and with a golf course with no trees, instead of the beautiful course we had, we held the annual Oil & Gas Tournament, almost 50 years, uninterrupted. None of that could have happened if our members, the Chamber of Commerce, our staff and friends, HAD NOT PUT THEIR BEST FOOT FORWARD to make this happen, which makes these seventeen days nothing short of amazing by showing how working together with people who care for other people, can accomplish anything!

On Memorial weekend, we opened the course for members and friends who helped, on Tuesday, May 30th, we resumed the Tuesday night Scramble and we continued to be opened in the afternoons... then, two amazing days of golf during the Oil & Gas...

Wow!! THANK YOU ALL! 

Without all of these people and their hard work, the following winners would have not had had a chance to even participate!

"A"
106 - Culverstone Homes
109 - Doug Gray
112 - Thru Tubing Solutions







"B"
115 - Terry's Furniture
116 - Paul Jones Drug
116 - Bogey Boys






"C"
124 - Range Pro
125 - 1st National Bank
126 - Moran Equipment
(Schwab's Dogs Bumped with 121





"D"
129 - Weatherford Cement
130 - Redbone II
130 - Advanced Air






For pictures of the amazing weekend where our members and friends helped us, click Amazing ECG&CC's Members & Friends, Click>> Amazing People

For Pictures of the 2017 Oi & Gas Teams, Click Oil & Gas Teams >> Click Teams

For all other Oil & Gas Pictures, Click Other Oil & Gas Pictures>> Click Other

Monday, May 15, 2017

MAY 2017

May 13: Member-Guest. Great friendship in this event that is more like "Friend-Friend" Tournament, as we allow members invite other members to the tournament. As last year, we had guests from as far as far as Arizona on the west, and as far as Pennsylvania on the east. Joe Wynn, Greg Dodson and Craig Martin have hosted these super nice group of people that they met on a trip to Cancun in 2015. And of course, the usual friends from in town or neighboring cities... all are welcome here!

The Tournament started with a horse race on Friday the 12th, and we had two flights, "Studs" and "Nails"... you figure out who is who...In one flight, Rusty Wilson and brother Gary won on the 9th hole against Craig Martin and Shanw Dunphy (Arizona), Joby Gray and Logan Gore came in 3rd. In the other flight Heath Martin and Kim Jordan won for the second yer in a row, they were followed by Greg Dodson and Jim Skelnik, and in third, Ricky Nagle & Brandon Engel.

In the tournament, there are no ties and all ties are settled on the golf course with an actual playoff, if same score listed, final results are in order after playoff:

"A":
57-Keegan Hall & Toby Davis; 59-Mark Fairchild & Andrew Albert; 59-Joby Gray & Logan Gore

"B"
62-Barry Trotter & Tate Trotter, 63-Craig Martin & Shawn Dunphy, 63-Craig Phelps & Kelly Smith, other 63's Rusty Wilson & Gary Wilson, David Poole & Travis Poole

"C"
66-Jeff Donaghey & Eddie Savage; 67-Kelsi Wilson & Julie Recker (*); Ann Cowan-Michael Cowan
Other 67's James Ainsworth & Wes Marshall and Heath Martin and Kim Jordan

"D"
69-Brad Spitzer & Cody Varnell; Joe Wynn & Ken Recker; Rusty Ridling & Chad Cummins

(*) While taking pictures I witnessed some very nice shots, but none as exciting as in the playoffs, where Kelsi Wilson made it possible for her team to win the five way playoff for 2nd and 3rd places. On the first playoff hole (#1), with the hole stuck on the back left of the green, Kelsi and Julie's second shot was about 35 left of the green, with very little green to work with and a slight breeze coming from the south, it was nearly an impossible shot... Kelsi flopped her wedge, hit on the fringe and rolled to about 6 feet and then rolled it in to continue. On the second hole, Ann & Michael, had a birdie putt fro 4 feet, and Kelsi and Julie a putt from 20 feet, a putt that Kelsi rolled in to tie the hole rar, it was special, with several seniors graduating, three of them being the best in their respective teams: Kinsley Hall, Kelcee Millican and Colin Dyson, along with Conner Carlucci, Sierra Stout and Morgan Graham. Coaches Tim Ellison and Brian Hunt gave nice heart-felt speeches about their teams

May 8-9: Boys State Tournament. Boys started with a so-so, 307 and were several shots back of second, but, on the second round, aided by even par rounds of 72 by Colin Dyson and Conner Carlucci, the team had a 300 and pulled within two shots of second place. On the third and final round, the team ran out of steam and finished fourth. Nonetheless, it was a much better finish that no one expected after the first three tournaments of the year, including our local invitational where Elk City finished a disappointing fourth. Best player in the state tournament was Conner DeWitt with a 222 total .

May 6: Third Annual Path To Golf Tournament went great with a total of 20 teams and 78 players. Prior to the tournament, Shawn Wilson started with a prayer and host Jeremy Gray gave us several examples of why Path to Miracles and Rob's Ranch are places to support people with addictions. I personally had a request of having four of our kids who made a team (Baylar Barnett, John Harguess, Sam Firth and Tate Trotter) play with the Rob's Ranch team, all of whom are an inspiration to all of us, and especially Jason who despite his handicap of not having arms, plays great golf.... I wanted these kids to see how people can overcome obstacles with trust in God and personal will power. Neither team disappointed anyone, in the end, Jason wanted their autograph and was sent a cap with all four kids' signatures. We had three flights, and the results are as follows:

A:
51 - "Gary's 4" Gary Higginbotham, Kaitlyn Clarke, Kevin Clarke, Arthur Wilkins
52 - "Joby's Crew" Joby Gray, Eric Fox, Terry Stone, Logan Gore
54 - "Riverside's Best, Chris Martin, Clinton Simon, Perry Adams, BEar Aneshansley

B:
T55 - "Moran Equipment", Brad Harguess, Toby Davis, Brian Carnes, Keegan Hall
T55 - "Brian's Kids", Brian Hunt, Justin Twyman, Blake Johnson, Jordan Williamson
T56 - "Kim's Foursome" Kim Jordan, Joe Wynn,Rusty Wilson, Greg Dodson
T56 - "Family's Business" Ann Cowan, Sean Cowan, Michael Cowan, Ryder Cowan

C:
T59 - "Tinny Boppers" Baylar Barnett, Sam Firth, Tate Trotter, John Harguess
T59 - "Pellow House" Jeff Westphalen, Jeff Hobby, Rodge Dwinelle, Dennis Maddon
60 - "Justin's Band" Justin Ediger, Mike Stout, Terry Jordan, Jimmy Busselato

May 3-4, Girls State Tournament: Our girls never really got it going and it was not their best week of golf, despite the higher than usual scores, they came in third place in the tournament, and both, Kinsley Hall and Kelcee Millican made "All State". Kinsley will be playing college golf for St. Gregory University.

May 1st: Boys Regional in Weatherford proves to be a very challenging test where boys qualified for the State Tournament by placing third, the last available spot. In a very windy day, our kids shot, 318 and 307 for a 625 total. Conner DeWitt (75-75) and Tate Trotter (76-74) shot 150's, Baylar Barnett 156 (79-77), Colin Dyson 169 (88-81), John Harguess 180 (85-95).

April 25: Girls win Regional 4-A Tournament. Kinsley Hall is medalist with a 71, Kelcee Millican 3rd with a 79. Bayllee Miller shot 80, Sierra Stout 91 and Morgan Graham 112. The team's total was 321. Hard to say what their chances are, but if all regional tournaments, which are played all over the state, are an indication, they only got beat by one team across the state. Newscastle was second with 360, and Clinton was third with 378. Chloe Black, from Newcastle, last year's individual champion, shot a 75.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

APRIL 2017 (& some March, February and January)





2017, April 28> One more "in the books". Interbank Golf Outing closes the month of April with an outing of over 120 players, some of whom were very excited and some of whom were very visible. And no, that is not a wig!


2017, April 22: I attended a my first "fish fry" ever, where Vera Gilbert was successful in showing me how to eat my first "crawl fish"! (and second, and third and a few more). Here, I caught her with a mouth full of some delicious dessert she made... Great baker!

April 25: Girls win the Regional Tournament to qualify for the State Tournament, with Kinsley Hall taking individual honors with a 74. Kelcee Millican followed with a 79.










2017, April 20> Elk City Boys team "get it together" and win Clinton Invitational with a 307.Brayden Butcher, also from Elk City, but not on the team because he is home schooled, wins individual with a 307. 

In our team, Colyn Dyson shot 75, he was followed by Tate Trotter (76), Baylar Barnett (78), Conner DeWitt (78) and John Harguess (83)   














2017, April 17 > Girls take second place in the 4-A State Preview at Hefner Lake. Kinsley Hall (again!!) led the team with a 72, on a day where her putter was not working as well. She took second individually... BTW, many of us would like to have a 72... period, no matter how! Kelcee Millican shot 76, Baylee Miller 86, Sierra Stout 88, Morgan Graham 119. Haylee Poole played as individual and shot 95.



2017,April 13-14> Girls win again! (Clinton Invitational). Kinsley Hall shot a low round of 68! And this time, the "no-surprise" second best score of the team was Baylee Miller who shot a 74! (there's no stopping this girl!). As I understand, they won by over 50 shots! Way to go girls... and coach Brian Hunt! Boys did not fare as well at Lincoln Park West, but Conner DeWitt continues his good play and was the only player with a sub-80 round with a nice 74!

BTW... the boys team has several good players who seem to be on the verge of breaking through... Be patient!

2017, April 11 > Special date for me and our family. My brother Javier would have loved to be part of this, he loved people and fun... and GOLF!. First day of Men's Tuesday Night Scramble draws a crowd of 47 players in eleven teams. Great afternoon for golf, pretty good teams too. The team of Tyler Windsor Gunkel (LOL), Rick McNeal, Larry Lockett and Rocky Andresen won first with a 28, with five (5) (FIVE!) teams at 29!

Great Season's start!

2017, April 10 > Conner DeWitt, who placed 3rd in the Elk City Boys Invitational, leads Elk City Team with low score of 77. Elk City placed 4th among the visiting schools. After a very good start of the season, the team does not seem to find their way to low scores. Here are the rest of the scores: Colin Dyson 88, Baylar Barnett 85, Tate Trotter 87, John Harguess 89. Individuals Sam Firth 85, Conner Carlucci 89.

Elgin Schools won 1st with 331, followed by Altus with 333; Weatherford came in third with 336, and Elk City fourth with 337.

Low Individual was Josh Fairchild from Altus with a 75, with teammate Caleb Morrow coming just one shot behind at 76. Tanner Harris (Elgin) and Conner DeWitt followed with a 77, and the last score under 80 was Donovan Osborne (Cache) with 78.

Meanwhile, Elk City Girls, on the same day, won their third tournament in a row. Kinsley Hall 83, Kelcee Millican 87, Bailee Miller 86, Sierra Stout 88, Morgan Graham 109, Haylee Poole (Ind) 97.  Bailee Miller is probably the "Most Improved" golfer of 2016-2017, as she barely picked up the game in mid 2016 and has been consistently scoring in the 80's and solidly becoming "#3 Bag" and scratching up.

The whole team seems to have great chemistry among the players.

My Granddaughter Ana Micaela and
I with the Masters putter I brought
for her in April 2014 when she was
barely 4 months old.
2017, April 9 > MASTERS SUNDAY!! As it has been our family tradition the last few years, my daughter Paola comes to watch the last round of the Masters with dad. We had a "belated" birthday celebration and party for dad, watched The Masters and after Sergio parred #13 after being in trouble, we began cheering for him to catch Justin Rose.Nothing against Justin Rose, but to me it was "meant to be" that one day Sergio would follow Seve and Jose Maria as a Masters champion, besides, I have a "Spanish Connection" of sorts since part of my mother's family came from Spain, and also because I had the pleasure of playing nine practice holes for for the Mexican Open in 1978 with the late and great Seve Ballesteros, nine holes that would shape the rest of my life: the course was playing very tough, and I had a pretty decent round of 36 (one over par for the nine), while Seve had a 29! It sort of told me: "You're good, but not good enough to play golf for a living with the best golfers in the world". I'm glad... I would have never come to Elk City!

2017, April 8 > Had a wonderful nine holes alone with one of the kids who loves golf in Elk City... Travis Poole (we have many of them, and any nine holes with anyone of them would have been great). When I play with a group and we have competitions it is great and fun and energy building. When you play with one only, it makes it more of a friendship.


2017, April 3 > Girls win their own High School Invitational with a 323. Kinsley Hall led the team by earning medalist honors with a 74, followed by last year's State Champion Chloe Black (Newcastle) who scored a 77 and our own Kelcee Millican a 78. Baylee Miller, a freshman, seems destined to be one of the best in Elk City as she scores an 83 just months after she took up the game. The other two girls were Sierra Stout with an 86 and Morgan Graham 101. Haylee Poole is coming along great and her 87 in the JV Team was low among all JV teams or individual girls.  For picture album of this Tournament, click here: 2017 ECGirls Invitational. 

2017, April 2: Juniors: Tres Hill and Nathan Womack "survive" the weather and win their age division in the Silverhorn Junior Invitational. Great Going guys!

2017, April 1: The Club's Fundraiser Tournament was renamed as the "Grady Lantz Memorial", and while the weather was terrible, the participation and support could not have been better. 36 teams participated. 
"A">> T1st (65's): Russ Smith & Eddie Davis, Blane Short & Toby Davis; T3rd (66's) Sean Cowan & Brad O'Hara, Brian Hunt & Blake Johnson

"B">> T1st (69's): Tate Trotter & Ryder Cowan, Ronnie Smith & Alex Alvarez; 3rd (70) Aaron Kauk & Kim Jordan

"C">> T1st (72's): Tres Hill & Colin Dyson,  Barry Trotter & James Atkinson; 3rd (73) Jack Christian & Craig Phelps

"D">> 1st (78): Rocky Andresen & Donny Burson; T2d (79's) Mike Stout & Mike Carlucci, Jeff Rule & Terry Anderson, Jeff Donaghey & Billy Bashaw

March (Other): Tres Hill (14) shoots personal best with 64; Joby Gray shoots personal best at the Riverside Golf Course with a 63

February: John David Jones aces #17.

January: Joe Wynn is first newsmaker of the year with his ace on #7.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"I'LL ALWAYS BE PART OF THE CLUB, RIGHT?"

One of the favorite pictures I had the pleasure of taking of
Grady... was driving home when I saw him with his horses,
so I stopped and took a few pictures. He loved horses, golf,
friends and cigars... and of course: Mel!
Mr. Graydon Lantz passed on February 20, sometime before midnight in Oklahoma City. He will be greatly missed.

Grady, as he was affectionately called, was one very special person to everyone whose life he touched. He was one of those people who commanded respect by just the way he conducted himself. A gentleman's gentleman.

Grady loved to play in tournaments,
here with son David in the
Father-Son Tournament
I was never quite comfortable calling him "Grady" when talking to him, even though he said to me long time ago to do so, thus, if I was talking to him, I skipped the name and I said something like "good morning", or "how did you play today". I only uttered the name "Grady" when I was talking about him to others, like this post. He was truly a man liked by everyone and I bet that if you asked ten random people what they thought about Grady, eight would say "old style gentleman", one would say "great guy", the other would say "sweet man"... or all three. One thing that I will remember, is that I never saw Grady not smile when he was talking directly to you.

Grady always attended the employees'
Christmas party with Mel. 
Behind that soft smile that always seemed to be holding a good cigar, there was this sportsmanlike, but killer instinct in any competition, whether in sports or business, he played to win. I am not sure when he took up golf, but I knew that golf, horses, cigars and most of all, family, were his favorite things. In parties, he seldom stayed late, if he attended, and preferred to go home to be with his wife Mel; in golf, he played as hard as he could, never giving up if the round started bad,  and when finished, he just had a glass of tea or soft drink and would go home right away.

The everlasting cigar in his lips,
even when hitting a shot!
I always kidded his regular group that they had changed the rules of "Wolf" in their group so that they would be more competitive with Grady. He didn't care, he just enjoyed friendships, the sunlight, a little competition, and the harder it got to win, the better he felt when he did.

He loved all kids of golf competition, and certainly he liked to play in tournaments, especially those that tested your personal skill (individual tournaments). In the Club Championship, we started a "Super Senior" flight back in 2012 (he was 77 at the time) and though he competed against men 10-12 years younger than him, he was never out of the top three (except once), winning once.

"Deadly" around and on the greens!
The time he finished out of the top three was because he was forced to quit after a near heat stroke by the group he was playing with. He had opened the tournament with a 78 (two better than his age at the time) and was doing very well and on his way to another "Super Senior" title when he got really hot, and his playing companions (who were not in his age group) forced him to quit. Later he admitted that it had been the best thing to do for his health.,,, but at the time, he just wanted to continue playing.

You could count that on July 4th,
Grady would sport a great looking
and patriotic shirt.
Grady the golfer, was not much different than Grady the member, or board member. He took his tasks seriously, and always tried to find the most effective way, with fairness, to resolve an issue in order to succeed, only in this case not for himself, but for the club. Above all, he cared for the club and people, and always wanted to make the best decisions for it's success, sometimes injecting a new perspective on an important issue out of his bank of wisdom, or sometimes by merely playing the "devil's advocate" to bring up a point that no one had thought about, and sometimes by leading on a issue he believed in. In meeting, when at times, people began voicing opinions at the same time and interrupting each other, Grady would wait for the precise moment that he knew he would be heard, he would speak softly, and everyone listened.

Grady giving a "High Five" during a post
tournament challenge. In this photo, he just lost
first place to closest to the pin to the 18th
green. He didn't care, he loved competing.
I had the pleasure of watching play, or of playing with him many times, and he always had this demeanor, this posture, this personality that you knew that he was always playing to win. Period. After the round, he'd sit and be your friend again, but in competition, second place was not his favorite thing.

The last official action on record that Grady took in a board meeting was that of making the motion to hire me as manager of the club last December. Looking back, he seldom was the first one to make a motion to move forward in something, so this was very special to me... (thank you!).

Loved playing with friends in tournaments...
Sometime in early February, he did not feel good and went to the doctor (if I understand correctly, his friends urged him to go after a few days of complaining about his energy level) who sent him to a specialist in Oklahoma City. A few days later the bad and sad news came that he had terminal cancer.
And he never came back to Elk City. While in the hospital, he received family and friends, and the last non-family member to visit was his long time friend, golf companion and fellow board member, Joe Wynn.

... with friends in his daily group... 
During the board meeting of Monday, January 20, just a few hours before Grady passed in Oklahoma City at the Baptist Memorial Hospital, the board members were sharing their "Grady Memories", all sad knowing that he would not come back. Brad Gilbert shared that he had seen him the week before and that he looked great, if no one had told him about the cancer, he would have never guessed that Grady was that sick. Then Joe shared his last visit with him. It was the day before, Sunday the 19th, "at the end of the visit, Grady said to me" Joe recalled with a broken voice, "Joe, I will always be part of the club, right?" YES SIR!... (and of everyone whose life you touched). 
... and even with "strangers", here with my
daughter Paola when they won their flight
in the Tumbleweed Couples. 

Grady, Thank you for the memories and thank you for sharing that unquenchable passion for life with all of us.

BELOW THERE ARE SOME COMMENTS ABOUT GRADY, EITHER POSTED IN FACEBOOK OR SHARED WITH ME PERSONALLY...

"Doc" Ware (First Baptist Church): I was blessed with the honor of leading Grady Lantz to the Lord, That day, he was in pain, but he said to me that it was the greatest day of his life"

Oh yes... he seemed to like the color blue as well!
Joe Wynn: "He was one of my best friends ever. He never said a bad thing about anyone"

Charlie Kauk: "He will be missed, but never forgotten"

Ed Hughes: When I ended in the emergency room and sent a text to the board, I wasn't there five minutes and Grady came in to visit with me. He always cared for the club, but mainly for the people who worked at the club"

Ed Hughes: "He was one of the fairest men I knew in the board over the years. One time when we were going to hire his grandson for the maintenance crew, Grady said to me, 'Don't hire him because of me, hire him if you think he is going to do a good job, and, if you need to fire him, don't keep him because of me either, you do your job, and he needs to do his'... That was Grady", Ed said.