Watch the Open and the go play
So anything happening this week?
Kobe who? Hey, it’s British Open Week. Way to go, DL3! So, when golfers aren’t glued to the tube – or should we say, the tele – watching the Open, everybody’s out playing. So despite the saying, “nae wind, nae rain, it’s not golf,” – and we haven’t had much rain, hint, hint – a look at the comings and goings on the local links.
n Today is Saturday, which means it’s Demo Day at the Vail Golf Club. As we all know, it’s certainly not your swing that’s the problem with your golf game. It’s got to be your equipment. From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. – it’s free and open to the public – check out brands like Titleist, Nike and Callaway and others. Golf vendors like EP Sport, Haley, Tehema, Oakley and FootJoy will also be out and there will be selected discounts on merchandise.
n But, wait, that’s not all. There’s going to be barbeque and KTUN will be broadcasting on location from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. And, Vail will be having a game of Beat the Pro on the putting green. Put up anywhere from $5-$100 and, if your putt is closer in than club pro Andrew Peterson, you’ve doubled your money at the pro shop.
n “I’m bringing my A-plus game,” joked Peterson. No matter. Even if the pro does best you, you keep your money in the form of a gift certificate to the pro shop. For more information, call (970) 479-2260.
n Congratulations go out to the winners of Vail’s Buick Scramble qualifier. The team of Rodney Johnson, Tim Goff, Dave Singleton and Mark Colwell, who shot a net 61, is off to Riverdale Dunes in Denver to play in the state qualifier. The kicker? They get to play the round with Peterson. What more could you want out of life?
n By all means, go to Vail’s Demo Day, but, upon further review, it just may be your swing. So check out Session VI of Vail’s Adult Clinics. The one-hour sessions are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Beginners go at 5:30 p.m., and intermediates at 6:30 p.m. The cost for the four hours of instruction is $90.
n The Vail Golf Club will be undergoing a major renovation over the next few years and the club wants to hear from you. There’s a townhall meeting at Seasons on the Green Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend.
n And, while we’re on the topic, my thoughts on how to change the course: 1) Make No. 6 a par-8. That means I’ve actually birdied the hole once or twice. 2) Shorten the par-5, 585-yard 12th hole by, oh, about 300 yards and get rid of that dang tree. I swear I could be playing down at Eagle-Vail and my golf ball will still find that tree. 3) Remove Gore Creek from Nos. 14 and 15. That stretch of water has turned into a cemetery for my golf balls. And, I don’t think I’m alone here.
n It’s buzzing on the Mountain, Summit and Valley Courses as Cordillera has been hosting the Desperado Members Tournament. They’ve got 90 men’s teams and another 30 ladies teams. That many people playing golf must be a good thing. The tournament ends today. Results will be in next week’s column.
n Hole-in-one time: Jack Koo aced No. 11 at the Summit from 222 yards. Congrats.
n Speaking of Jacks, Jack Nicklaus, the Summit’s designer, on opening day in 2001, used a 4-wood from the back tees, which measure 272 yards. (As a side note, this is a par-3?). Anyway, The Bear parred the hole, prompting Summit pro Brock Sloan to say, “Jack Koo beat Jack by two.”
n Moving onto Brock “Dodger Blue” Sloan, um, Rickey Henderson is not the answer. But Sloan and company – as, in fellow golfers Darren Szot, Ed Marzec and John Kuzina – had a dream day July 7. The quartet played all four Cordillera courses – Summit, Mountain, Valley and Short – in one day.
“We averaged under three hours each round,” Sloan said. “I can be done. Good golf can be played quickly.”
n Apparently, Sloan has not golfed with me.
n Talk to your average pro and they always say they can’t get out and play enough. Well, apparently, Eagle-Vail pro Mark Kizzire’s been playing just a little. Wednesday, Colorado’s biggest ‘Bama fan holed out on No. 5 from 124 yards with a wedge. Apparently, Kizzire dropped it in over the right bunker. It hit eight feet from the cup and backed into the hole. “In Alabama, we call that a Hoover,” Kizzire joked.
n Witnessing the event was Kizzire’s better half – Susan – as well as Andrew and Brenda Cuomo.
n Believe it or not, that was Kizzire’s first ace of his career. We won’t disclose his age because that’s classified, but Kizzire’s played a bunch of golf.
“I’ve holed out a 3-wood. I holed out a 2-iron as a kid. I’ve left a lot pretty close, but never a hole-in-one. That was great,” Kizzire said.
n Also great would include 15-year-old David Oliver Jr., of Granite City, Ill. He aced No. 5 at the Willow Creek Par-3, which is no small feat. That’s a tough hole (124 yards), which could play as a par-3 on a championship course. Well done, young man.
n Here’s a nice deal. If you play during peak hours (6:30 a.m.-2 p.m.), paying high-season rates, you get a free round at Will Creek. Call (970) 949-5267 for more information.
n Friday Night Flights continue at 6 p.m. from the first tee. We had a report of a 410-yard drive eight days ago. Maybe, that’s where the weapons of mass destruction are?
n Don’t forget that Eagle-Vail has Couple Night Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. It’s a nine-hole scramble and drinks afterward at Mulligan’s should be in the Constitution, in my humble opinion.
n Shout out to Brady. Keep working on your game. (Like I should talk.)
n Mark your calendars: Women’s Clinics were a hit in June, so they’re starting up another run. Starting Sunday, from 10-11 a.m., it’s a four-week clinic. Call the pro shop for more information.
n The Cotton Ranch Classic is in the books and, as John Facenda would have said, it was one for the ages. In the men’s competition, kudos to champs, Mitch Brasington and Dick Craig. In second were Steve Hoppin and Ron Kubicki. Nice job, guys.
n Cheers also to the fifth-place duo – two of the Vail Daily’s favorite golfers – Tim Garton and Monty McBride.
n On the ladies side, your Cotton Ranch Classic champs are Andrea Ohde and Sande Garton, Tim’s sister-in-law. Gosh, golf must run in that family. Time to get Lara “Tree” Bossow out on the links. How ’bout you, Mara?
n In second place, props to Vicki Esposito and Mary Ellison.
n Today is Cotton Ranch’s turn for the Buick Scramble qualifier. Yeah, the media is meant to be impartial, but we’re rooting for the local teams today. You should too.
n Down in Arnie Palmer Land, they had a nine-hole couples event last Saturday. The winners were Bill and Norma Yeik and Warren and Elaine Lawrence. Closest-to-the-pin were Lynda Ruggeberg and Warren Lawrence.
n So, you missed that nine-holer. No worries. There’s another one on Aug. 16. It starts at 4:30 p.m., and costs $100 per couple with dinner included. Call (970) 328-2882 for more information.
n Way to go, Jeff Cohen. He took a lesson from Eagle Ranch head pro Bob Dunn and promptly fired a career-best 47 for nine holes in Men’s League. Yet another reminder to all golfers, you can get tons of tips from your buddies, but the pros know best. Wherever you play, take advantage of your local pro. They’re there to help.
n Eagle Ranch is having a Parade of Homes this weekend. They will be handing out coupons for a free cart with a paid round of golf.
n It was Media Day Monday for the upcoming Colorado Open. We’ll toot our horn a little bit by saying that our own sports writer Andrew Harley and photographer, Bret Hartman, carded an 81. Way to go, guys.
When his not out playing bad golf or searching for his lost short game, Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.