Tournament in a Day

We have flirted with a personal goal for years. Walking 72 holes in a day - a four round tournament in one single day! In the summer of 2006, we set the date and were bracing for the long walk but a couple of days ahead of schedule we got on the course just before 7 am and did not stop until 8:30 pm. Four 18 hole rounds…72 holes total.

  1. 7:00-10:15 Round one – We played well enough to get the kinks out.
  2. 10:30-1:30 Round two – the course has dried out and we feel good. Its getting pretty hot.
  3. 1:30-2:30 Break to take a shower, change clothes, and rehydrate.
  4. 2:30-5:30 Round three – we were joined by a single who understood what we were doing and got into it.
  5. 5:30-8:30 – Fourth round...just keep moving
  6. 8:30 – Two large Labatts on tap please...they were good!
  7. In 13 1/2 hours we walked over twenty miles, played 72 holes, went through two sets of golf clothing, drank uncounted bottles of water, and ate a lot of sports bars.
  8. We hope to do this once a year for many years to come...but we might need to keep moving further and further north to accomplish it!
  9. BTW – we didn't swing a golf club for the next two days!

We repeated our 72 hole/tournament in a day in 2007. We started by playing two rounds on Marysville Golf Course in Marysville, Michigan, which is a challenging, hilly, and wonderful public course. We then drove through Port Huron, picked up lunch and continued to the Port Huron Golf Course. Once again we hadn't planned on doing the 72 hole four round tournament, but the tee times and pace of play made it possible. That day we walked 42,368 steps, which is about 22.5 miles! Katrin used a pull cart and John carried his bag for three rounds and a pull cart for the fourth round. BTW - we finished the four rounds at 8:15 PM and there was enough light for an additional nine - but how would playing 81 holes sound when beverages and dinner sounded a lot better!

Now we're planning on turning the 72 hole/ tournament in a day into a fund-raiser to support preserving open space and wetlands in Michigan. To raise funds, supporters can pledge per hole, per par, per birdie or as a champion sponsor join us for 1-4 rounds of golf. Let us know what you think about that.

 
 

John at the scene of his hole-in-one (see # 6 below).

 
 

John's Golf Highs

My game is pretty solid. I shoot between 6 over to 12 over par. When I am on my game I hit fairways and greens then 2 putt. But it is a tenuous grasp I have on the fundamentals and often the rub of the green conspires against me. The following is a list of the precious few great moments in my golf life.

  1. Eagle, Par 4, 325 Yards, Fourth Hole, Red Course, East Potomac Park, Washington, DC. After a reasonable drive to the right side of the fairway, I hit a pitching wedge to the front of the green. The ball tracked directly to the pin and dropped in! My first eagle.
  2. Par Round, Blue Course, East Potomac Park, Washington, DC. A links course, East Potomac Park is a classic municipal course located on a island in the Potomac River. There are about ten trees on the entire course. With the wind blowing at 15 to 20 mph, I shot birdies on the nine holes going out (with the wind) and bogies on the nine holes coming back into the wind for Par! It still is the best round of golf I have ever played.
  3. First Place, 5th Flight, Port Huron Golf Club Invitational. Playing with my father, we won our flight by one shot in a great ham and egg performance. A three day event in which we struggled through tough competition, foul weather and a tenuous father/son relationship. It was fun.
  4. First Place, Mount Vernon Country Club, Member-Guest. Playing with my friend Ihor, I shot the best competitive round of golf ever. A 74 on my ball alone. Our net score was 54 fully 12 strokes less then our nearest competitors. Sandbagger? No way, just a moment in time where every shot was straight and solid.
  5. Eagle, Par 5, 525 Yards, Sixth Hole, Marysville Golf Course. Two great shots, driver and 3 wood, left me with a short pitch to the hole. Using a 54* wedge I dropped the ball about a foot on and to the right of the hole, the ball took a slight bounce to the right and rolled straight to the pin..... EAGLE!
  6. Hole-in-ONE, Par 3, 121 Yards, Thirteenth Hole, Port Huron Country Club. I have played this course on and off for my entire life and never even flirted with an ace on this short hole. This day, I hit a 54* wedge smooth. The second it left the club face it was on the pin. As is landed it was a slam dunk, straight into the hole. ACE! The following day Katrin hit a shot at the same hole the arced around the concave green and rolled straight back to the hole. It stopped with nearly half the ball hanging over the edge of the hole. Amazing, the closest I have ever seen a shot be an ace without going in.
  7. First Place Team and Long Drive, PMA outing, Angeles Park, Los Vegas. A great scramble team and a long drive that just barely caught the edge of the fairway.
  8. The oddest rub of the green. Eagle, Par 5, 480 yards, Seventh Hole, Centennial Golf Course. During a Kodak outing in which I was playing as a guest and trying to just enjoy myself and stay out of the competition, the worst case of good luck occurred. My drive on this short, dramatically down hill, Par 5 hooked hard into a tree and stone fence on the left side. All the noise effects were apparent, the crack of ball hitting tree and then the click of the ball hitting stone. When we arrived on the scene there was no sign of the ball. Down the fairway was a unidentified ball that seemed too far away to be mine but it was not either of my playing partners. Presuming that my ball was in the hazard but wondering whose ball was down the fairway, I dropped and played a provisional ball. I punched out of the rough approximately 50 yards, just past the unidentified ball in the fairway. Once my partners hit their second shots we moved to the two balls in the fairway, remarkably the unidentified ball was mine. Clearly marked (and now scuffed) and sitting approximately 130 yards from the pin. Checking with the tournament host about the sequence of events, he ruled that my original ball was still in play. A pitching wedge put me three feet from the pin and I made the putt for an eagle. The oddest golf experience of my life. While the eagle was fortunate enough the drive ended up being the longest drive of the day and the eagle made me winner the event by one stroke. Unfortunately the person I beat was the Kodak Vice President who sponsored the event. And all I wanted to do was to quietly enjoy a round of golf. Rub of the green, indeed. It can work for you or against you.
 
 
 
 

Katrin's Golf Highs

I started playing golf when we moved from Washington DC to Los Angeles right after we were married. Up until then, I considered golf an idle pass-time of overweight men who smoke cigars, drink beer, and chase little white balls around on an overpriced and over-fertilized piece of grass. So why did I start? I love being outdoors, I'm competitive and athletic, and I didn't want to stay at home while John played golf. So I took my first lessons at Griffith Park in Los Angeles with Paula. I would say it took me about three years before any hint of time on the range paid off . . . but John always believed I could be a good golfer.

I play off of the second tees - usually senior men's or the whites if John moves back to the blues. We need about 600 yards between us on the golf course to make for a good competitive game. My drives only go about 180 yards and I play in the mid 80's to low 90's. Most importantly, I love being outside and meeting the many passionate and quirky golfers that we've had the pleasure to play with.

I have many memories of playing golf and my game is just starting to come around so that the score card has less and less double bogies and more and more pars. Here are the few memorable moments of my 'illustrious' golf career:

  1. Women's Long Drive: 2003 PMA Golf Outing at Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort: The woman's long drive hole was on the back nine, which gave me plenty of time to warm up. The hole was a slight dogleg right with a generous downhill lie. I walked up to the tee, John told me what line to take - down the right side, cut the corner and land in the middle of the fairway. I had one chance and had to forget some of the blooper drives earlier in the round. To put it simply - it was if the ball was attached to a string of John's advice and as it flew closer and closer to and then over the long-drive marker I started running down the fairway. I had always wanted my name on one of those cards. When I go to the card, I saw that I was the first woman to sign it! As it turns out no one passed me the entire day and as soon as my name was announced at the closing luncheon I jumped up and looked rather foolish. Working out in the weight room had paid off!
  2. 45-hole tournament in a day: December 2003 Grand Harbor, Florida. John's sister and brother-in-law transferred their golf membership to us for two weeks and we had great weather the entire time. On one day we had played the two courses 'River' and 'Harbor' and as we drove in I reviewed the score cards. I noticed that we were exactly even after 36 holes of golf. Of course we had to have a play-off and I am happy to say that we were 100% even up to the 44th hole...but on 45 I had a bad chip and John made a par putt. I was pretty proud of myself to have held my own with him all day.
  3. Birdie on one of the hardest holes we've ever played. In December 2003 we were playing the River course in Grand Harbor, Florida. The 467 yard 14th is a daunting par five signature hole. From the senior tees you have to hit a drive about 150-170 yards to land in front of a mangrove swamp that requires about 75 yards of carry to then keep going for another 100 yards, so that you have to hit again to get into position to go over even more mangroves to the green. This hole is a bonanza for jitters and lost golf balls. On this day, off the tee my drive landed dead center in the fairway in A+ position. I then used an Adams wood to carry the ball over the first set of mangrove swamp and luckily my ball hit the right side of a downhill slope and rolled up to the edge of the next mangrove area. OK - so now I'm getting giddy - I launched an eight iron over the hazard and it landed on the green about 20-25 yards from the pin. Hey a par on this hole is rare and I was glad to have not lost a ball yet. As I walked up to the putt, I read the line, and struck the ball perfectly. A greens keeper was watching and as the ball rolled in I didn't make a scene - but I was yahooing all the way home that day!!
  4. Almost Aces: I've had two instances where we just don't understand what kept the ball out of the hole (as described above in John's #6). My other one happened this past December when we were playing the Harbor course at Grand Harbor - the 15th hole is a tricky par three and from the white tees I had 154 yards. The pin position was completely blind and if you miss-hit on this green your ball will roll for yards and yards off the green before stopping. I used my trusty 7 wood and launched a perfect shot towards the hole. Of course no one saw it land and as I drove up, I had my sand wedge and putter in hand. I figured I was in trouble. John had walked up as his ball was short on the front side. As I was getting out of the cart he said, "don't bother bringing your putter." My ball was hanging on the edge of the hole - how it didn't go in we just don't know. I shot a 36 on that side that day and it was my best nine ever!