The first round of match play in the world's second best amateur golf tournament -- the U.S. Amateur -- was on the Golf Channel on Wednesday, but they switched to a boring pro-tour "round-up" before it was over. In the Amateur, some guy had just birdied the seventeenth hole to square his match with some other guy, and the two of them were the only players still on the course, and I was angry because I wanted to know which one of them would advance. I tried to look up the result later, online, but I couldn't remember the name of either guy. If the Golf Channel ever decides to cover the world's best amateur golf tournament -- my club's men's member-guest -- stuff like that won't happen, I promise you. Incidentally, I would happily watch anyone's member-guest on TV, in preference to, say, the Champions Tour. Here's Chic, our chairman, smoking one of the cigars that were available for purchase this year for the first time, at a very modest markup:
Until the Golf Channel comes around to my way of thinking, you're going to have to watch in person, or make do with photographs. My club has many spectator viewing areas, so that when you yourself are not playing golf you can watch other people. We have sort of a terrace, with picnic benches, above the eighteenth green:
And when the benches are full you can stand behind them or sit on the wall or bring chairs down from the clubhouse porch:
The kids who work in the golf shop watch, too:
During the putting contest each year, some guys move several chairs and a couch over to the far side of the practice green. If you had to pay for seats, those would be the most expensive ones. There's a big drop-off right behind them, but no one has tipped over yet:
The putting contest, like much of the rest of the tournament, is beer-oriented:
For several years, the putting-contest record-keeping has been handled by Katie, who works in the golf shop and is Mike A.'s daughter. She has the most legible handwriting in the club. She's leaving for college in a week or two:
Putting-contest qualifying goes on late into the night, with illumination provided by C.J. and Jaws:
During the putting final, on Saturday evening, we have pizzas from Nancy's restaurant. Nancy also does the steak dinner, on Friday, and all the breakfasts and lunches::
We renovated our clubhouse slightly several years ago, and shortly before we did the women decided they would rather have what until then had been the men's locker room, which was bigger. We said OK, because who cares? After they'd moved in, though, they decided it was too dark and that they wanted to move back. We said OK, because who cares? During the men's member-guest, however, their toilet is temporarily available for use by men. It's not in a stall; it's in a little separate room, which is cleaner than any part of the men's locker room. Or, at least, it was:
We also used their locker room for golf-bag-and-Bloody-Mary storage. (Les had brought the Bloody Marys from home.)
And we had an improvised beer cart, driven by Page, who is Keith's sister:
Lots of people -- including some guys' wives and children -- watched the final shootout, on Sunday:
Some of them also took part in the raffle:
My brother and I were in the shootout, because we had won our flight, but we were (deservedly) eliminated on the second hole. Addison and his guest, whose name is Mike, caddied for us until we flamed out. Addison and Mike were college teammates -- they graduated last year -- and they were also in our flight. That's Addison in the shirt with "31" on the back. Katie's carrying the trophy.
The winners were Ed and his son Nulty. When Ed chipped in for a birdie on the third shoot-out hole, he and Nulty gave each other a sort of preliminary celebratory man hug:
Then, when Ed sank a long putt for a birdie on the final hole, for the win, they gave each other the real thing:
Here they are with their trophy, along with Nulty's brother, Clai, who caddied for both of them and probably could have managed a couple of other golf bags, too. The guy on the far right is Corey, our pro.
Corey has a daughter, who was also in the gallery. Her name is Olivia. She's almost two:
Nothing to do now but wait till next year.