Old Del Monte, Monterey
September in the Monterey Bay is where it's at! The summer fog drifts out to sea and the spectacular Indian Summer weather and clear skies return annually like clock work.
This was the NorCal hickory golf club's 3rd year playing at Del Monte with most of our local players making the short journey from their nearby homes. Dave McMurtrey, Bob Keeler, and Dan Vordale representing Southern California and the other half of our state. John McIntosh and wife represented the fine state of Arizona.
The 2016 Monterey Hickory Classic got started Thursday afternoon with nine holes at Spring Hills followed by bocce ball, wine and a pot luck dinner at the Schlick's ranch home, just off the 12th fairway. The wives were soon pitted against husbands on the crushed oyster court and promptly dished out a can of whoop-ass. Thank you Willy and Susan for your generous hospitality.
Friday, September 16th
The first order of business was to hand out the customized mesh pattern golf balls that all competitors were required (highly encouraged or face peer ridicule) to play. Three golf balls are more than adequate ammunition for Del Monte and most left with their full arsenal. A big thanks to Dave Brown, owner of the McIntyre Golf Ball company for such a speedy order. Plan on using the ball again next year!
Scoring this year was a bit higher than usual due mostly to some tricky pin locations. Battle scars of 5 putts and more were a common theme heard at the post round gathering. Yours truly, after swapping my tried-and-true putter with one from the loaner sets, set off with a 3 putt from 5 feet on the first green and never recovered. It was tuff putting out there!
Rising to the top, Willy Schlick, was crowned our 2016 Monterey Hickory Champion with a hard fought even par 72 and the only competitor in the field without a double bogey or worse. Bob Keeler was runner up missing by a mere shot (73). A valiant comeback after an opening 10 on the first hole! Nice playing Bob. NorCal's poster boy, John Sweeney, finished 3rd.
2015 gross winner Gary Yoro and our 2016 gross champion Les Teuteberg have several things in common. Both were first time hickory players (and remember there is no driving range at Del Monte). Both are plus handicap players and both share the Spring Hills course record (63). But hickory golf isn't always that easy. Nearly all the players could best Les' quadruple 8 on the 3rd hole. 12 steady pars however, helped neutralize the slight blemish en route to a permanent plaque on our perpetual trophy. Thanks for playing Les!
Here's a few pictures that showcase what the event is all about. A big thanks to the Del Monte staff and grounds crew for another fantastic venue. We'll see you again in 2017!