72 intrepid golfers again braved the winds of Pebble Beach
and the treacherous greens of Augusta National, not to mention
the late hour, to once again take part in Thursday night's Pro
Golf. This year a formal training session was held at our
exclusive putting green, otherwise known as Frank and Vinnies.
There novices learned from veterans the proper method of dropping
dice and were schooled in the fine art of yelling "go for
Tiger Woods should beware because to reach the final four
skins game required a minimum 10 under par score for the two
courses combined. Defending champion Devin Flawd, Terry Coleman,
Rob Kircher, and Pat Mitchell each carded remarkable 9 under
scores but were caught on the outside looking in at the finals.
Efforts to reproduce the "Old Course" at St. Andrews
were thwarted but a wonderful second option was brought forth.
The final golfers and their rabid fans were mystically transported
to the pearl of the mid-west, Minster, Ohio, home of the famous
Arrowhead Country Club! We even had lifelong Minster resident
and assistant GM Bruce Monnin reading the yardages and shots.
Actually the crowd of onlookers (around 30) nearly matched the
total population of Minster.
A skins game is where one of a foursome of golfers attempts
to beat all the rest by having the best score on a hole. If the
hole is "halved" that is tied by two or more golfers
the skin is carried over to the next hole.
The finals almost were not held when eight-time consecutive
finalist, assistant GM Ken Gutermuth (would someone explain to
me the odds of someone ending up in eight straight finals of
a random dice game? And yes we all watched him like a hawk!)
attempted to bribe the caddy into disappearing with his vaunted
nemesis "the big fuzzy dice!!" The pressure and excitement
must have played heavily on the four finalists minds because
the first seven holes were halved mostly with pars. The lack
of birdies made us wonder if the course had been sprayed with
Finally on number 8, a 339 yard par 4, leading qualifier Dennis
Nicholson (qualified with a 13 under) won with an unmatched birdie.
Ken won five skins at the 226 yard, par 3, number 13 and that
knocked Henry Richardson III and Jeff Mullet out of a chance
for the win. Ken would hold second, Henry third and Jeff fourth
as the final skins were played out.
Dennis won the wood, the beginning of a good sports weekend
for him, Ken was heard to mutter something about "d___ big
fuzzy dice", and Henry and Jeff vowed to roll better next
year. Congratulations and thanks to all the duffers.