Friendly match at The Preserve

The group getting instructions from the starter prior to our North/South Match.

It was dark when our two eightsomes finished up the 13th and final hole of our North/South “Battle of Bandon” match at the new Preserve par-3 course at the Bandon Dunes resort.

Not “getting dark”. It was dark.

As we walked up the hill — many tired and sore but happy — to the grille room at the adjacent Bandon Trails facility, there was eager anticipation of which team won the coveted honor of “Best of Bandon”.

But first, I heard Frank Tichenor (hobbling with a bad knee) say almost to himself, “This place is magnificent. Incredible. This was the best golf day of my life.”

This place is magnificent. Incredible. This was the best golf day of my life…” — Frank Tichenor, Forest Hill Field Club

Coming from someone from New Jersey, most of whom don’t typically gush with compliments, that said it all.

The Preserve is a fun place.  In fact, it SHOUTS FUN. Thirteen magnificent golf holes crafted (or not) into a very small 20-acre footprint.  Rules are relaxed regarding number of golfers in groups (hence our two 8-somes), but the starter simply asks that everyone respect traditional decorum while on the course.

Even with other groups in close proximity, there was no tripping over anybody or errant golf balls causing problems.  In fact, other than the occasional roar of good-natured competition (fueled perhaps by a few beers and cigars toward the end of the day), we scarcely knew we weren’t alone.

At the end of the day, the South team prevailed over the North by a score of 151 to 158, counting the best three scores on each hole (par 156 total).  South Team captain Jon Kiger awarded the gold chocolate bar MVP prize to Jerry Matthews 25-year CGCS who plays out of Brookfield Country Club in Roswell, GA.  Jerry tallied four birdies on the short track.

Silver chocolate bar for the MVP on the North Team went to Geoff Montross, PGA pro and son of Walter Montross, CGCS retired, from Virginia.  The North team drafted Geoff to split up the two PGA pros in the group (including Robin Boyer from The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay, guest of Superintendent of the Year Paul Carter, CGCS), who otherwise would both have both been on the South team.

Some photos from The Preserve:

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