Players layer for New Year’s game | Tee to Green

Jack Frost couldn’t keep some of the Butte Creek CC Men’s Club members dedicated to tradition from participating in its annual New Year’s Skins Game. They wasted no time in getting the 2022 tournament season off and running as they hosted this event which has deep roots at the club, circa 1980, with groundbreakers such as Erin “Big E” Jergentz and Denny Lindo’s Gangsome Group mustering up the morning frost for friendly snowball fights during each year’s frost-delayed playing of the event.

This year the tradition continued with 36 members and guests layering up and loosening up with some warm holiday libations during a frosty New Year’s Day morning. Mother Nature followed her early morning bogey (28 degrees and frost) with a clutch birdie (a fast warm up in temperature with sun-filled blue skies), offering the best weather of this year’s holiday season.

The players traversed the course under the short light of the winter’s day, and as with any skins game, only a humble few were fortunate enough to receive “so-called applause” from their fellow competitors when the day’s results were announced. On the gross skins side, Justin Bowman (who only played 13 holes prior to having to quickly vacate to a family gathering) earned two gross skins with birdies on holes 4 and 7. Ben Knight earned one gross skin with the only birdie on hole 10 (really, hole 10?)! Dominic Benedet (much to his surprise) snagged the final gross skin with a birdie on hole 15.

On the net skins front, Pat Pillsbury craftily took two skins with net eagle on hole 2 and net birdie on hole 12. Justin Bowman’s gross birdie on hole 4 translated into a net eagle earning him an elusive net skin as a single-digit handicapper. It’s safe to say each of these winners won’t retire on their prize money earned, but you can surely hit them up for a hot toddy the next time you seen them at the club, just sayin’!

Kudos to my talented stand-in, writing under the pen name of Snoopy Towers. This name is a clue to his/her identity: can you guess who it is?

Hopefully by the time you read this, wheels have touched down on the tarmac from our trip across the pond and Mother Nature will take mercy on those of us who like hitting that little white ball down the fairway. I know local players are looking forward to a great 2022 golf season, and remember, as Ben Hogan once said, “You can’t birdie them all unless you birdie the first (hole)” — so cheers to a hot start to the 2022 golf season!

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