A Tooonament For All Time - Originally Posted
The Raptor watched a LOT of golf this past
weekend. It all started on Thursday with the trio of Palmer,
Player and Nicklaus opening up the playing of the 76th Masters
Toonament in Augusta, Georgia.
|With 13 Masters Tournament
Wins, The Trio Of Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack
Nicklaus Are This Generations Iconic Golf Figures...They Are
Shown Here Preparing To Start This Years Masters Golf
The first day of play was a blur but The
Raptor managed to listen to or watch The Masters from 6:00 AM
(Golf Channel - Morning Drive), through the day (www.masters.org -
live stream), on to the live telecast from ESPN at 3:00PM and
finally, the rebroadcast of the telecast a 8PM.
Come Friday, The Raptor hosted a "symposium"
at Skeeters Pub which was attended by a group of about 40 to 50.
The highlight of the afternoon was the visit by The Raptor's
spawn, Andrea who has developed a real interest in players such as
Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott...hhhhhmmmmmm...
By Saturday, the leader board included past
champion, Fred Couples as well as Jason Dufner. It was
Dufner who generated some buzz as he showed some rebound from his
disappointing loss to Keegan Bradley at last seasons PGA
Tournament. Both Couples and Dufner came out of the box a
little stodgy and fell into the pack while Peter Hanson parlayed a
brilliant 65 into the lead for the final day. Playing in the
last group with Hanson would be none other than 3 time past
Masters Champ, Phil Mickelson, who had played inspired golf since
an opening round 74.
While others had faltered during rounds two
and three, Mickelson had been awesome...carding a 68 - 66 to get
within reach of a fourth "Green Jacket". The fourth would
put him in company with Palmer and the previously unmentioned
Tiger Woods with Nicklaus holding the most at six Green Jackets!
Meanwhile, pre-tournament favorite, Tiger Woods seemed to play
uninspired golf for all four days and finished at 5 over par,
which was 15 shots from the leaders. Another pre-tournament
favorite, McIlroy, had sniffed the leader board after two rounds,
positioned at four under par, only to shoot 77 - 76 on the
Sunday morning dawned warm and sunny and the
players all seemed a bit nervous as they conducted pre round
interviews with television reportes who seem to come up with the
stupidest questions. The whole tournament took a dramatic turn
early on when Louis Oosthuizen, the diminutive 2010 Open Champion
struck what many think is a truly magical golf shot.
The Raptor was not watching the television at
this point but was listening to the radio broadcast while driving
to Mom's house with Andrea, The announcer seemed laconic in
his analysis of the shot..."Oosthuizen has selected a four iron
and the shot is away...it hits the front of the green and begins
to bump and roll towards the back of the putting surface...it's
angling towards the flagstick...it's creeping up to the
hole...it's in for a double-eagle!"...
|Louis Oosthuizen And His
Caddy React To A Double-Eagle (Albatross) At The Second Hole
On Sundays Masters Goldf Tournament
The shot propelled Oosthuizen to the top of
the leader board and almost immediately, Mickelson made a triple
bogey six on the fourth hole after an errant tee shot on the
lengthy par three. Bubba Watson, who had been lurking amongst the
leaders for the first three rounds appeared to be a non factor at
this point...Standing on the fifth tee at 6 over par, he managed
to birdie one of the hardest holes on the course and played solid
golf through the 11th hole. Unfortunately at miss hit on
Augusta's 12 hole...a dynamic 3 par resulted in a bogey and Watson
once again found himself down in the pack.
Watson, who has a unique view on everything,
somehow found his game and reeled off four straight birdies to
reach the clubhouse at 10 under par. Oosthuizen, after jumping to
the lead with the double eagle on hole number 2, bogeyed holes
four and ten but recovered nicely with crucial birdies on both
incoming par fives and the pair moved back to the 18th tee for the
sudden death playoff.
Both Watson and Oosthuizen missed makeable
birdie putts on hole 18 and then went to the 10th tee which by now
was lined with about 10,000 patrons - or so it seemed. Both
players, feeling the pressure hit poor tee shots. Watson
ended up deep in the right woods, while Oosthuizen hit trees too.
Fortunately for Oosthuizen, his ball settled in rough, almost 220
yards from the putting surface but, with a clear shot.
Watson, on the other hand was seemingly going
to have to "punch out" and attempt to make his par with a chip and
a putt. Golf is a funny game...just when you might think
Oosthuizen was in the driver seat, he hit his approach poorly and
could not find the putting surface. Watson then hit a dramatic,
hooking nine iron which rocketed out of a clearing in the trees
and arched onto the putting surface...12 feet from the
hole!...advantage Watson. After a valiant attempt by
Oosthuizen to perform a chip and putt par he settled for a tap in
bogey. Watson, having to two putt, cozyied up his birdie
attempt and made the short conversion to win the playoff and The
Tooonament. An incredible and inspirational win for all time
in what was arguably one of the best Masters Toonaments ever...
|Bubba Watson, Wearing The
Green Jacket, Masters Champ - 2012...
LOL - Originally Posted 03/27/12
A Catholic priest, an Indian doctor, a rich
Chinese businessman and an Italian from New Jersey were waiting
one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers in front of
The Italian from New Jersey fumed, "What's with those jerks? We're
waiting fifteen minutes between shots!'
The Indian doctor chimed in, 'I don't know, but I've never seen
such poor golf!'
The Chinese businessman called out, 'Move it, time is money!'
The Catholic priest said, 'Here comes the greens keeper. Let's
have a word with him. Excuse me, sir!' said the priest, 'What's
wrong with that group ahead of us? They're
rather slow, aren't they?'
The greens keeper replied, 'Oh, yes. That's
a group of blind fire fighters. They
lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we
always let them play for free anytime.'
The group fell silent for a moment.
The Catholic priest said, 'That's so sad. I
think I will say a special prayer for them tonight.'
The Indian doctor said, 'Good idea. I'm
going to contact my ophthalmologist colleague and see if there's
anything that he might be able to do for them.'
The Chinese businessman replied, 'I think I'll donate $50,000 to
the fire fighters union in honor of these brave souls!'
The Italian from New Jersey said, 'Why the f*ck can't they play at
Tiger Woods Has Returned - Originally Posted 03/26/12
The Raptor sat at the kitchen table Sunday
afternoon reading the newspaper and keeping ears open for Tiger
Woods eventual march up the 18th fairway at Arnold Palmer's Bay
Hill Club. As the day started the jury was out on whether
Mr. Woods would take the 54 hole lead he had built to the house.
Perhaps the demons of old would surface or one of the pursuing
batch of capable PGA pros would craft a impressive final round and
leapfrog the field to victory.
|Tiger Woods - In A Classic
As it turned out, Tiger played a steady if
not overpowering round of golf on a course set up to the severest
of conditioning. Without digging too deeply, it should be
noted that of all of the players finishing in the top 10...Tiger
was one of two finishers who were able to play the course under
par on Sunday. The others being Brian Davis and Ryan Moore.
Notables such as Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, and Ernie Els
struggled on the wind swept, firm and fast putting surfaces and
Tiger foil Phil Mickelson finished in a tie for 24th...13 strokes
off the pace.
The Raptor has to look at this and wonder how
the "Tiger Haters" (and there are many) are going to react...you
may recall that Tiger won the Chevron Challenge last fall and The
Haters pooh pooed the win as insignificant since it wasn't a full
Now perhaps the Haters can say that since
Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy were not present this past weekend,
Tiger has once agin earned a hollow victory. Oh Well!
It's now on to The Masters and you can dig
deeper here at this site on The Golf Page to learn more.
On not of concern...towards the end of
yesterdays event, Tournament Host, Arnold Plamer, suffered from
some sort of heart problem and was not able to be present when
Tiger made his triumphant walk up the 18th. It is reported
that Arnold is OK but everyone connected with his legacy must be
shaken by this development...get well soon Arnie!
Breaking News! - Whispering Woods GC
Under New Management - Originally Posted 02/27/12
It's not often that The Raptor is caught
speechless...but today it happened. As The Raptor was
sitting at the desk...TCB...a call came in from none other than
John Britton, owner of several local businesses including
Whispering Woods Golf Club.
Mr. Britton had called to tell The Raptor
that he has negotiated to pass on the management of Whispering
Woods to current PGA Golf Professional and Director of
Golf...Richard Rocky. This is breaking news in the golf
community of near epic proportions! Needless to say, The
Raptor tried to act professional and chat it up with John, but the
thoughts were racing and after a brief conversation, we ended the
|Pictured Here Is The WWGC
Proshop and Outdoor Cart Tent which also serves as the
"Asphalt Bar & Grill"
I immediately sent a congratulatory text
message to Rich and he contacted me shortly after to confirm the
deal...Rocky will develop a management company and operate the
facility in the same manner as the SMS Group operates Erie Golf
Club. Rocky was bubbling with enthusiasm as he discussed his plans
to open the golf club as soon as possible and he also mentioned
his intention to have a "member's" meeting in the next few weeks
to discuss the change.
While it is too early to evaluate how this
development will shake out...it's bound to shake up a few people.
The Raptor is looking forward to promoting the golf club as much
as possible so stay tuned for further developments.
Jamokes and Jugdish - Originally Posted 2/16/12
The Raptor has been checking out on the
classic film, "Animal House" lately and is continuously amused on
how much of an influence it's scenes have had on our society.
During the second scene in the film, the hero's, Kent and Larry,
met the gang at Delta House and begin their trip into a world of
debauchery and deceit.
Classic Animal House Heroes...Larry
(Pinto) Kroger, John (Bluto) Blutarski and Kent (Flounder)
Dorfman walking into the "Zoo Fraternity"
Kent and Larry had stopped earlier in the
evening at the Omega House and had meet the films villains Doug
Nedermeyer and Greg Marmalard. During the course of their
visit they had been viewed by the Omega crowd as a "wimp and a
blimp" and subsequently introduced to other undesirables such as
Mohammed (Arab), Jugdish (Hindu) , Sidney (Jew) and Clayton (Blind
Man In Wheel Chair). After the introductions, Nedermeyer
gives the brush-off to Kent and Larry by stating in a straight
face to "help yourself to some punch and cookies" Later on,
Marmalard brings Kent BACK to the undesirables area and says "then
you'll have lots to talk about"...roflol!
The Omega House Undesirables....Lonny
(Larry) Kroger, Mohammed, Jugdish, Sydney and Clayton
enjoying some punch and cookies...
This attitude of inferiority in the form of
undesirable stereotypes like Jugdish and Clayton survives to this
day and is an important part of our societal norms. Infuse some
other derogatory terms such as "Jamoke" which the Urban
Dictioary describes as "a clumsy loser who is incapable of doing normal
human tasks" and the reader gets an idea of the painful routine
The Raptor goes through when trying to balance and engage the
various personalities who are important to The Raptor's summer
This air of superiority was in full display a
couple of weeks ago when The Raptor organized an outing at The
Lake Shore Country Club. The weather has been especially
mild as of late and it was the week of February 4th when The
Raptor sensed he could sell a golf date with his large circle of
acquaintances. There were several roadblocks to a successful
event. For starters, the circle is multi-locational so the
interested parties would include both Omegas and Deltas.
The Raptor sent out a general message to
about 50 players in the circle regarding a match for Saturday
February 4th at Lake Shore and received a respectable number of
confirmations from the Deltas but none from the Omegas. As
it stood, The Raptor knew that the Omegas were interested in a
match but the location and or players was a concern. The
rationale involves a "pecking order" of desirability when it comes
to the playing of golf shots in this region. And a visit to
Lake Shore would necessitate having some Jamokes in the vicinity
of the Omegas and it is common knowledge that Jamoke can rub off
and attach itself to the unsuspecting Omega. The Raptor
sensed that discussion had ensued amongst the Omegas as to the
desirability of a match at Lake Shore.
The Omegas are primarily housed at the
exquisite LakeView County Club while The Deltas are housed at the
inferior Whispering Woods Golf Club. Unfortunately,
Whispering Woods closes for winter and Lake View could be open but
due to it's location up on the ridge south of I-90 it is mighty
cold this time of year in addition to having soft turf conditions
which preclude the use of golf carts...
|Lake View County Club - Hole
#10 - Gawd!...What A Hole!
Option number two for The Omegas would be to
play at the lovely Lawrence Park Golf Club which generally has
excellent turf conditions in the winter and is located much nearer
to civilization. As a result it would be more desirous than
a visit to Lake Shore as The Shore has fallen on hard times and
does not meet the expectations of the Omegas.
|Lawrence Park Golf Club -
Hole #1 - Short But Sweet...
By the time Friday afternoon had arrived The
Raptor was sitting on a roster of roughly 10 players and elected
to send out another query for the Omegas and as a result several
Omegas called in and "kind of" confirmed a spot. However,
there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth since the concern
by a couple of the uncommitted Omegas was the potential pairing
with a "Jugdish". This is what I mean by painful. That
somehow the Omegas among us are so focused that they can't afford
a match with a Delta and would not commit to a match as result.
There was a real possibility that The Omegas would back off a
visit to Lake Shore and instead meet at Lawrence Park.. To
The Raptor, this is plain embarrassing
|Lake Shore County Club -
Hole # 17 - A Classic Four Par!
However, this all seemed to change once the
Omegas had conversed amongst themselves and deemed a match at Lake
Shore as acceptable. So the Omegas were grouped together in
order to avoid any exposure to a Jugdish. What was The
Raptor to do? Breath a sigh of relief?
This painful routine continued the following
day when an Omega elected to come out to Lake Shore again but only
agreed to do so provided he didn't have to play with any Jugdishes...geeze...talk
about superficiality! So this put The Raptor in a tricky
position since there were no other Omegas on the roster, it was
plainly apparent that some Deltas would be involved. While
the match went off with out a hitch, The Raptor was saddened and
disturbed by these attitudes.
It does not make for a fun day when The
Raptor has to be concerned with every little aspect of the process
and it's starting to wear...why can't people just get along?
These incidents of histrionics make it extremely difficult for The
Raptor to continue with this endeavor and as a result I believe
it's time to move on.
Heads Up! It's Tee Time! - Originally
Posted January 17th 2012
The Raptor was standing outside tonight at
about 5:30 in the gathering darkness amazed at the balmy 50
degree temperature which had melted all the snow which had dumped
on the region over the past weekend. Unfortunately, the warm temps were
coupled with copious amounts of rainfall, perhaps dumping over an
inch of hard rain during the course of the day. This turned the
back yard into a soft sea of grass/mud which our pet seems to
enjoy tracking into the house...
These weather incidents certainly have
everyone wondering if Spring will be early or late this year.
Early is good and we can hope that is the case. There are a
number of gathering developments to note...
First, the WWGC lost another prominent member
as Dave Hewett has decided to join the LVCC for the 2012 season.
Dave had been longtime member at LV and joined WWGC during the
tumultuous 2007 golf season. During his time at WW, Dave played a solid
game and regularly was in contention for the annual Club
Championship...coming in second to Lucas Marsh last
It is well documented that Dave is a serious
player and as such spends a lot of time at the practice range.
Since LVCC has completed a magnificent practice facility, Dave had
elected to take his talents to North East...
|The New LVCC
Short Game Practice Facility - Finally A Reality After Being
Planned For Over Ten Years! - This Is A Game Changer...But A
Pool Would Have Been So Much Nicer!
Special props are going out to Dave and his
good buddy, Dave First who teamed up to win the EGDA Senior Better
Ball this past season at the Lawrence Park Golf Club! As has been
the case, a playoff was necessary to determine the winner and the
Hewett/First team was able to prevail over the team of Ron Coleman
and Rick Federici.
Results Of 2011 EDGA Senior
Better Ball - aka The Streeter Cup
|| Hewett, David O
|| First, David
|| Federici, Richard A.
|| Coleman, Ron
|| Paris, Bob
|| McKibben, James
|| Sherman, John
|| Downey, Chris
|| Fugate, Doug
|| Tarbell, Ellery
|| Keller, Jim
|| Reichard, David
|| Pepicello, Tony
|| Raptor, The
|| Carlotti, Rick
|| Natalie, Lou
|| Capotis, Homer
|| Capotis, Mike
|| Arrigo, Matt
|| Cascioli, Terry
|| Kowalewski, Dave
|| Seus, Rick
While at it, The Raptor would like to note
that the team of Tony Pepicello/The Raptor finished tied for 6th
in the same event! Tony Pep played to a magnificent 3 under
par 69 while The Raptor was no slouch either shooting a fine 83.
It should be noted that our net score of 64 earned sixth place
honors as well...it was a job....done...
|Dave Hewett - Gone From WWGC
But Not Forgotten...
Dave joins a growing list of past WWGC
members such as Rick Carlotti, Ron Coleman, Shawn Wallace, Nark
Noce, Ray Kallner and Chad Bednarski who have joined other clubs
for necessitous and compelling reasons. Their absence is
disappointing as The Raptor had noted last year since it gives the
impression to many that WWGC is NOT a desirous locale.
There are a number of factors which can make
or break an avid golfer and his "affiliation". Price can be a factor. Course
Conditioning is a major determination. And lets not forget
amenities. If you consider these three criteria alone, WWGC
Consider that a single membership for 2012 is
$2,100.00, if you put down a $500.00 deposit by 12/31/2011.
Missing the down payment bumps the fee to $2,300.00. If you
consider that a 2007 membership was $1,000.00 without carts, this
$2,300.00 price tag will make it challenging for the zero-sum
members among us. Maybe this fee is a tad hefty when
compared to such exquisite tracks as Elk Valley, Erie GC and
Downing. But, when "real" clubs such as
LVCC develop convoluted "buddy" schemes to entice players the
ability to hold onto members is difficult.
Course conditions? Let's face it WWGC is a
dump/dog track...just ask RDD! The turf care crew always gets a sluggish start to
the season and then plugs the greens in May. The holes
usually heal sometime in early June, just as the really hot
weather is coming. So the players see outstanding conditions
for about two weeks. Then, hot humid conditions roll in for
July and August which renders the fairways wet from irrigation
while the greens become slow as molasses.
How bout amenities? Clubhouse?...not. Locker
Room?...not. Pro Shop?...sigh. Equipment
selection? Great if u like Titleist. Food groups? Hot Dogs and
Pizza. Table service? Well... you get the picture...
So what gives? The place is awful
right?...WRONG! WWGC is great! A serious player can play every day
that ends in the letter "Y". There is always
someone looking for a game! The staff is very forgiving and
they only talk and snigger marginally behind the member's backs.
If you think golf is a game meant for walkers...join a flat track
like Downing...the Woods has the coolest holes in town!
|WWGC - Hole 15...The
Raptor's Ravine...choke on it Ray!
Amenities? Let's face it...the Asphalt Bar
& Grill makes special events like The Prep Scramble and The Chili Cook Off what it is! And our couples
scrambles are great fun too!
|PGA Pro Richard Rocky and
WWGC Staff...Leah and Courtney...put it away Don!
So get ready gang! It's less than 75 days
till April 1st! This should be great!