On the weekend of March 21 and 22, eight couples competed in a first annual golf challenge on the Sun Lakes Country Club golf course. There were four couples representing the USA and four couples representing Canada in a two day event that was based on Ryder Cup format play. Couples representing the USA were David and Debra Emerick, Steve and Mary Oester, Randy and Kelly Dennis and Dennis and Elsie Hagen. The Canadian team was represented by Brent and Jan Batting, Rob and Ingrid Jefferies, Wayne and Elaine Donovel and Ted LaPlante and Mavis Nixon (organizers of the event).
On Saturday the participants played in couples matches utilizing a six/six/six format which was six holes of best ball, six holes of alternate shot (otherwise known as divorce golf when couples play poorly) and six holes of scramble golf (make up golf). The team (couple) with the lowest score (minus team handicap) after the round earned one point for their team. After the first day of competition the Canadian team led three points to one (still anyone’s victory). Scores were posted on an attractive scoreboard that was constructed by Rob Jefferies.
On Saturday night, Ted and Mavis hosted a barbecue at their home and both teams enjoyed a tasty meal provided by all couples. There were even two prospective couples in attendance at the barbecue wanting to be competitors for next year. After the meal, teams gathered around the fire pit in the back yard and the team captains (in Ryder Cup style) selected opponents for Sunday’s eight match play games based on individual handicaps.
The competition gave the players some insight into the adrenalin and stress involved in team competition as well as a social outing that can be looked forward to as an annual event. Each match on Sunday was worth one point to their team toward capturing the trophy and bragging rights. The Canadian team continued their fine play from Saturday and captured five matches out of the eight giving the Canadian Team an 8-4 victory. After the trophy presentation on the patio at Mulligan’s, Rob and Ingrid hosted a get together of participants at their home. This was also a fun event where everyone re-hashed their matches.
It was agreed by the group that the invitational competition would expand to 24 players next year, six couples from each country (the same amount of participants in the Ryder Cup).