Now there’s a good lookin’ bunch of Theta Chi Gentlemen! From L-R, the attendees at OXBB2019 were: Mike Haas, Mark Bowling, Charles Moore, Randy Stewart, Kevin Sandlin, Jeff Swanson, Jay Gibson, and John Scott.
Some things stayed the same as last year. We played 18 holes of regular, singles golf on Friday. We went to Pub 319 for dinner on Friday night, and afterwards spent the evening reminiscing between our building and the 9th green of the Dogwood course. On Saturday, we played 2-man teams in the morning and 4-man teams in the afternoon. We ordered pizza to be delivered after Saturday’s 36 holes, and – despite the rain – recovered nicely from a long day of really fun golf. The Waynesville Inn tried to feed us a line of BS that there was no longer an omelette station for breakfast, but it turns out they were just setting low expectations. The omelettes were great.
One change from tradition from the past few years also remained: we no longer wear our Blue Blazers for dinner on Friday & Saturday night. However, we still maintain the name “Blue Blazer Brigade” to honor the 6 who started the whole tradition.
Jay Gibson took low score honors and closest to the pin on Dogwood #4. Mark Bowling hit the longest drive on Carolina #9.
Saturday Morning: 2-Man Teams
We took the singles 18-hole scores to create Saturday’s two-man teams. We used a similar format as last year, in which teams are given 2 mulligans (one per 9 holes), a “Portuguese Caddie” (kick the ball from anywhere not on the green), and 15 feet of string to add to any putt. Those were quite popular last year, but this year reiterated that it is very difficult to kick a golf ball. Very difficult. But Jay Gibson seems to have practiced this art. Then, we added to these tools a new device: “The Dominican”, in which the player can throw the ball as far as he wants (or is able) from anywhere not on the green.
The comedy that ensued from watching some of these 50+ year old men try to throw a golf ball was gut wrenching. Whether we tried to toss it underhanded to land lightly on the green and roll up to the cup (did. not. happen.) or we tried to chunk that sucker as far up the fairway as we could, we pretty much failed, almost as badly as trying to kick that little white dimpled ball.
Saturday’s competition came down to the wire, or, more literally, the string. One of the prizes for Saturday’s competition is for the most string remaining unused at the end of the day. The most string pays cash and gets the team 2 strokes off their score, so it can also mean victory. When the first 18 concluded on Saturday at lunchtime, Kevin & Randy had finished at 11 under par, Jay and Charles had finished at 9 under par, and Mark and Mike had finished at 11 under par. However, Mark and Mike had no string remaining, but Kevin/Randy and Jay/Charles did.
But who had more string? There is no way to predict such a thing, but Kevin/Randy and Jay/Charles had EXACTLY the same length of string remaining, which was about 3-4 inches. We compared the two lengths of strings six ways by Sunday: they were exactly the same length. What are the odds?!?!? Incalculable!
That mattered because if Jay/Charles had more string, then they would get the 2 stroke bonus and be tied with Mark/Mike and Kevin/Randy at -11 for the win. If Kevin/Randy had more string, they would win with the 2 stroke bonus. So, off to the green for a putt-off, first to break the tie for the length of string. And then, if Jay/Charles won the putt-off, we would have to have another putt-off to determine the winner of those at 11-under par, which would be all 3 teams.
We ended up getting the Old Starter Dude to pick a spot and a pin on the practice putting green. But who would putt first? Huge advantage to see the line! Jay held out a fist and demanded of Kevin, “How many tees?” “Uh, two!” Kevin totally guessed, but guessed right, so Jay & Charles each putted to within about a foot of the pin, completely revealing the line of the putt. Then Kevin hit the putt. Victory for Kevin & Randy!
Side note: Swanson had his worst day ever on the golf course on Saturday morning. He and John Scott finished at -5, but Jeff suffered through the entire round.
Saturday Afternoon: 4 Man Teams
We’re getting on up there, so Saturday after lunch it took a bit to get us all going. Randy darn near fell asleep waiting on the tee at Carolina #1. The afternoon format was similar to the morning’s format, except each team of four got 3 mulligans, 3 Portuguese caddies, 3 Dominicans, and 25′ of string. There was no string controversy Saturday evening. In fact, team Mark/Mike/Jeff/John scored a new record at -19 and 5′ of string remaining to team Randy/Jay/Kevin/Charles -17 and about a foot of string left over. An epic duel!
Team Charles/Jay/Kevin/Randy did well. In fact, we were 10-under par on the back 9, having used a Portuguese Caddie and 2′ of string to produce a 1 on the 200-yard par 3 on Carolina. But it wasn’t enough, because Team Jeff/Mark/John/Mike finished at 19-under par with several feet of string left. No contest. And Mark Bowling was basically Happy Gilmore off the tee.
Some more random thoughts from the weekend:
- Albatross! – We’ve never experienced a 3 under par shot in any of these weekends, but because of string, Portuguese Caddies, and Dominicans, we had an Albatross, 3 eagles, and a “hole in one” (on the scorecard).
- Turklings – On Blue Ridge we say a Turkey Hen and her 4 chicks. Being educated men, we knew of course that baby Turkeys were called “turklings”, right??
- Jay, Charles, and Randy’s amazing throwing arms – Randy is sticking to his excuse that his foot slipped, but that was after his opening statement of the morning, “Yeah, I’ve got a pretty LIVE throwing arm from my tennis serve.” This, after 10 days of prednisone because said “LIVE arm” had blown up like a grapefruit.
- Jeff’s terrible awful bad Saturday morning – You’ve already heard about it, but here’s a video to see what Jeff’s swing was like. Jeff, keep that left arm straight!
- The great “no omelette“ conspiracy hoax – They said there was no omelette station, but there was indeed an omelette station…both days. And they were good!
- The rain’s perfect timing – At the end of Saturday afternoon’s round, black clouds took over the sky and it started raining huge, cold drops of rain, but the sun was still shining on one part of the course near our building. The result was like being IN the rainbow, and seeing shimmering rain along with rainbows across the entire sky. We were mesmerized. Mark’s picture captured it pretty well.
- Long round, late dinner – We ate dinner at 9PM Saturday night while figuring out the prize money and sipping on cold beverages.
- Duck Crossing! – We had to make way for a mama duck and her baby ducklings crossing the fairway.
- What’s that called again? – Since nobody could remember “Portuguese Caddie” or “Dominican”, the most common question was, “How many Pakistanis do we have?”
- The Love Master – Charles introduced us to his new favorite comedian, “The love master”. Google it.
- Fainting Goats – No idea how we got on this topic, but Fainting goats:
. Got to get me one of those.
- Back Tees – We played the back (blue) tees on Saturday afternoon, so Carolina #4 turned into a 200 yard par three, which Captain Jay and his team promptly Aced, thanks to a Portuguese Caddie and 2+ feet of string.
- “NO CHEATING!” – Since we all know Jay’s propensity to, uh, stretch the truth on the golf course, this rang out as a constant reminder to cut the string from the middle of the ball to the front of the hole.
- The Democrat Republican debate – Who knew Randy was the only Democrat in attendance? We voted, and he gets to return, because OXBD and we love you Randy!
- 2Gether, 4Ever – At least two pairs stayed paired together in the same cart the entire weekend: Mark & Mike and Kevin & Randy (despite our political differences even
- Pub 319 was a little busy, so we asked, “Can we sit eight people at a table for four?” They were kind enough to oblige us.
- Deliverance Hole – You remember that awful hole that takes a hard dogleg right straight up the hill towards the house at the top of the hill? Well, people live at that house now, and all we can say is that we definitely heard banjos playing. Clearly. And meth. Lots of meth. They also had a dog named Cujo. True story.
- Cannibis – We discussed and experienced the many benefits of CBD oil for pain relief.
Under New Management? – We met the “new owners” of the Waynesville Inn & Country Club who claimed to have “big plans” to upgrade the facility. Hopefully that includes drinking water on the course, functioning ball washers, and perhaps some building maintenance? We can hope, right?
- PC Sports – The ridiculous sports at PC and the others weird college sports. Did you know PC has a bass fishing team and a women’s wrestling team? But not a Men’s LaCrosse Team? What’s up with that? And have you seen this “sport” in India called “Kabaddi“? Yeah, it’s not a sport. It’s like professional tag.
More pictures to commemorate the weekend
Next Year: OXBBB2020
OXBBB2020 will be our 29th year. The dates are set for July 24 – 26, 2020. Save the date. Mark your calendars. Plan for it. Then the following year will mark 30 years of OX BBB. That will be epic.
For those of you who could not make it, we missed you, and we hope you can attend next year. As we age, it’s less about the beer and bars, and far more about the camaraderie on and off the course. The course gets longer, but the golf tools get more interesting every year.
Also, next year, we shall rename “Portuguese Caddie” to “Smails” as a nod to Caddyshack. We may or may not institute a rule in which you must play an entire par 4 hole with a single club, as a nod to Tin Cup. What other golf classics can we introduce into the OXBBB weekend? We’ve covered Caddyshack (Smails) and Happy Gilmore (Mark) and will now hit Tin Cup. All for another really fun weekend that always goes by far too quickly.