20th (and final?) Carroll Valley Golf Outing

Last week was our annual golf trip to Carroll Valley. Bob T. has been running this event for twenty years now, consistently drawing 35-40 players every year. Sadly, I get the sense that this may have been the last one, as there have been hints of such for a while now, and we did things like emptying out the hole-in-one fund this year. Looking back, it really is remarkable that Bob has been able to organize something like this and get that many players to drive and fly in from all over the country every single year, with many of these guys now retired and living in Florida no less. By comparison, just last month Kat tried to organize a single day golf outing for a group a third of the size and had to give up because we just couldn’t find a suitable weekend until June! What Bob has been able to pull off for twenty straight years is simply amazing and if this was the last year of the event, it will surely be missed.

Seven of us drove out on Thursday morning and this year we decided to play a course along the way called The Bridges, located in Abbottstown, PA. It was a decent course, but lacking the challenge and scenic views of Carroll Valley. I played reasonably well considering it was just the 2nd round of my season and my short game was pretty abysmal. I shot a 101 but with a lot of the strokes accumulated on just a few blow-up holes. Managed to win 11 out of the 18 skins against Tom and Jones (haha, yeah Tom Jones, I know), which is a good thing because my game would go to crap after that round.

Friday morning at 7:30am, CVG was buzzing as it always is on the first day of the event, as the anticipation of a great weekend abounds and players are still arriving (lord knows how early they have to hit the road in order to arrive by the 8am starting time). For me, it’s one of my favorite moments every year. The slight morning chill, the excitement of the golf to come and saying hello to old friends (they’re senior citizens, get it?) we haven’t seen in a year or more. It’s just a really great vibe and sets the table for the next three days.

8am came, we took our group picture and the golf began. And as I mentioned before, it was all downhill for me golf-wise from there. I did actually hit a serviceable drive and crushed a solid hybrid for my 2nd shot, but then one over-cooked 7-iron and the wheels came off my game. The main problem was the rough was pretty grabby this year and I guess I started swinging harder to compensate. Long story short, I didn’t figure it out until Sunday, and my weekend went like this-

Fri. morning: somehow managed to finish tied with Tom for the C-flight lead.

Fri. afternoon scramble: I hit a lot of good shots and my teammates said I carried us, but we just couldn’t put up enough birdies to win any prizes. In retrospect, I should have asked myself why I played better in the afternoon round and I would have come to the conclusion that it was because in the scramble format I got to hit from clean lies the whole time. Stoopid me, I just thought it took my 18 holes to warm up.

Sat. morning: Horrible round. Absolutely terrible. By the back nine I even started to hit a couple of shanks. I started getting afraid of what would happen every time I took the club back. Suffice it to say, I was out of contention for C flight. Jones and Tom were starting to get heated up though and were playing well. They got the day 2 C-flight money.

Sat. afternoon scramble: More good golf. Shocker. Got to play with long hitting Greg R, Mr. Consistency John G. Sr., and smooth-putting Chas. Hitting from perfect lies, I was again looking like a golfer and pitched in considerably on our way to a round of 7-under, good enough for second place.

Sun. morning: More awful golf. A couple of shanks. Twoin’s elbow was hurting too, so the two of us were like the walking dead out there. At least Tom and Jones were playing well, basically going head to head for C-flight in dramatic fashion, but ultimately their thunder was stolen by John G. Jr. surprisingly winning C-flight out of nowhere. As for myself, somewhere in the back nine I realized it was my tempo that had gotten quick and that the rough was the culprit. It was too late to save my round but at least I started to hit a few good shots on the way in, but as Twoin likes to say, that’s like whipped cream on shit. I was happy with my finish on 18 though, playing my big sweeping hook off the tee through the wind, starting it out towards the road and bringing it back to the green and ending up in the back fringe. With a two-putt from there, I finished with a nice clean par. If that was the last CVG golf outing for us, which I hope it wasn’t, at least I went out on a good note.

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