By Keith Sievers
Fall is really upon us and the Men’s Golf Association (MGA) played its Fall Shamble on Friday, October 2 in glorious 70-degree weather without a cloud or drop of humidity insight. Once again, we maxed out the cart capacity with 96 registrants, a new record for this event. Twenty-four teams with an even spread of handicaps were drawn in the blind, playing a one-day Shamble format.
In a Shamble, the best drive is selected from the four players and then everyone plays their own ball to the hole, with the two best net scores counting toward the team total. Emerging victorious with a score of 19 under par was the team of Dan Bennett, Jim Wait, Bill Littlefield and Ron Reemsnyder.
Wade Starling, Jerry Urnaza, and Tom Palmer won the Closest to the Pin awards on the Par 3 holes, with Tom claiming both Creek 8 and Choctaw 9. Congratulations to our winners. Sorry, there are no pictures of the winning team, but with the large fields, the MGA is still using tee times with no gatherings planned after the event.
In a busy month, the MGA also held the Battle of the Ages Tournament on October 16 and 17. In this Ryder Cup-style tournament, two teams of 24 players each competed in rounds of Alternate Shot, Two Man Best Ball and Individual Match Play.
Once again, we had ideal conditions for play both days. Team One consisted of MGA members 70 and older, while Team Two represented the 69 and younger crowd, thus the theme of Battle of the Ages.
B.J. McCranie and Andrew Sterritt, our golf professionals, each captained a team. On Saturday afternoon when all individual match points were added up, the “Old Guy” team aged 70+ captained by B.J. walked away with the championship crown. It was a tight competition, but in the end (as an old guy) I’ll conclude wisdom and craftiness born of age won the day.
The MGA has had a great year despite COVID, and I want to recognize the organization’s board and our committee volunteers.
Our vice president is David Jett, who helped with our transition to Golf Genius in 2020 and maintains the league’s main web pages. Steve Mitchell is in his third year with the MGA as our treasurer and has had a busy year managing record tournament payouts and budgets which are constantly changing due to adjustments we had to make for COVID.
David Keller, our secretary, has been trying to keep up with our on-line meetings and email threads, which has been a tall order this year. John Hansen has done the heavy lifting with maintenance of our Golf Genius tournament websites and as the head rules official at Big Canoe He helped us keep pace with the many local rules changes in 2020.
Tim Towle joined us this year as our primary Food & Beverage liaison, and has done a great job developing a solid relationship with the new Clubhouse staff and managing the many small details F&B entails.
Jim Rice, who has served the MGA in various capacities for well over 10 years, has been an invaluable advisor on a wide range of topics, helping us solve the many issues we faced with his wisdom of experience.
Unlike much of what we see in the news today, this group of gentlemen worked together with creativity, mutual respect, a spirit of cooperation and a focus on result. It has been an honor and my good fortune to have worked with them through my two years as president.
Stay safe and enjoy the fall weather on the golf course!
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