July 21, 2006

The 16th annual Goodboys Invitational Golf Tournament starts later today at Butter Brook G.C in Carlisle, MA, with the remaining rounds being played tomorrow at The Overlook G.C. in Hollis, NH and at Green Meadow G.C. “Jungle Course” in Hudson, NH on Sunday.

Unlike previous years, when teams were selected and the focus was on “partnering” your way to real success, this year’s event will focus on individual play. This puts those Goodboys occasionally (or regularly) subjected to inexactitude when it comes to aim and distance in their golf games in a very dicey way, indeed. This year, when things go wrong, you can’t blame your partner or his game, it’s look in the mirror time, dude. So, while tropical storm Beryl slides right over where the Goodboys would typically play but are not this year (showing their uncanny ability to read the tea leaves and the weather gods), each Goodboy will be asleep in their bed knowing that success or failure this weekend rides on them and only them.

Here’s how this not-so-unbiased observer sees the event playing out; it also gives everyone out there a chance to, in a sort of distanced fashion, meet the Goodboys themselves:

Years on Tour: 12 (1994-present)
Prior Aliases: Dandy
Championships: 4 (1994, 1997, 2000, 2002)

It is generally recognized that in the world of golf there are two kinds of players: technical players, who approach every aspect of the game scientifically and deliberately (Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods come to mind), and feel players, who approach the game from a more physical and emotional angle, like John Daly and Greg Norman. There’s no right way or wrong way here – the only goal is to do whatever-it-takes to put that itty-bitty little white ball in a slightly-larger hole, and take as few strokes as possible to do it. I say this only because with El Dandito, we’re talking about a techie golfer to the nth degree: every thought, shot, and motion is carefully calculated, every address and set-up regimented, to achieve only the maximum results. My guess is that, playing without the limitations of partners who couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn with a hooded 4-iron, he will both exploit and excel in this kind of individual format.

Years on Tour: 8 (1998-present)
Prior Aliases: High Wire
Championships: 0

Goose is one of the nicest gents you’ll ever meet in Goodboys Nation. Dude garnered his current nickname when one of his drives once nicked a lounging Canada Goose at a charity event. (Good thing, too – his original “High Wire” nickname was pretty lame, if I do say so myself.) When Goose struggles, it’s usually off the tee, as his iron play and short game are rock-solid dependable. Given that Goose has the longest tenure of any player in this year’s event never to have won a Goodboys Invitational, he’s most people’s sentimental choice. Unfortunately, I think El Dandito will play the role of spoiler.

Years on Tour: 13 (1991-1993, 1995-2000, 2002-present)
Prior Aliases: None
Championships: 2 (1995, 2003)

Nicknamed for famed wrestler “Killer” Kowalski, he’s the #1 handicapped golfer in this year’s event (he’s like a 10 handicap, I think). Simply put, no can beat Killer’s game, as he has all the tools. (In fact, I would say the most dependable thing about Killer as a person is his golf game, but that’s another matter, entirely.) Can dude win the Goodboys Invitational? Definitely. Does dude want to win (and therefore take on all the responsibilities that come with winning, like having to plan and coordinate next year’s tournament)? That’s a whole ‘nuther question entirely. I think it was Killer who was once quoted as saying, “if you have a 18-inch putt on the 18th hole on the last day to win this tournament, there’s a whole lotta clubs in your bag you oughta think about using instead.”

Years on Tour: 12 (1993-present)
Prior Aliases: None
Championships: 1 (2003)

Cubby is perhaps the most unassuming of all the Goodboys. It seems no matter what the state of his game is – which on any given day can run the gamut from awful to atrocious – he’s always smiling. Even when he’s looking for his ball (which, admittedly, is most of the time), he’s smiling. And why not? He loves being a Goodboy, and for the rest of Goodboys Nation, the feeling is mutual. Legend has it he picked up his nickname as a result of a childhood resemblance to the equally-legendary Mickey Mouse Club member. While Cubby is getting alot of strokes in comparison to the rest of the field, without a partner to pick him up by playing lights out and lending stability to the cause, all by himself I gotta think he’s a long-shot at best.

Years on Tour: 13 (1991-1993, 1995, 1997-present)
Prior Aliases: Hit Dog
Championships: 3 (1992, 1995, 1997)

Trying out his new nickname in formal competition for the first time – he got it from his steady play on the same weekend David Duval was making his comeback to excellent play at this year’s U.S. Open – it’s a lock that Doogy won’t let something so mundane shake his golf game. While there is nothing about the Dog’s game anyone could consider outstanding, he is freakin’ steady to the point of dulling his competitors into submission. How he handles the pressure of playing all by his lonesome this year is anyone’s guess, but here’s thinking that unless he catches some kind of wonderful, he’s destined for the middle of the pack.

KERNEL KLINK (a.k.a. “The Kernel”, “The Inebriator”)
Years on Tour: 2.5 (1991, 2003, 2004**)
Prior Aliases: “Lou Gorman”
Championships: 0

Everyone’s still trying to figure how the Kernel got his original nickname of Lou Gorman, then-GM of the Boston Red Sox. After all, his first name isn’t Lou, and his last isn’t Gorman, either. Just one of the mysteries of life, like how many Botox treatments House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi needs to keep up appearances. (OK, that was a low blow – sorry, Nanc!) At any rate, the Kernel is not a great golfer, but, like Doggy Duval, he is one of those who are always around the fairway and greens enough to stay in contention. Personally, I love the guy – I just don’t think he’s got enough game to make the top tier. (But that’s OK, neither do I.)

Years on Tour: 15 (1991-present)
Prior Aliases: “Rocket”, “Dysfunctional”, “Doug E Doug”
Championships: 4 (1991, 1993, 1996, 2000)

The Great White Shank (or, “TGWS”) is, along with Killer and The Funny Guy, one of the “Founding Fathers” of Goodboys Nation. With The Funny Guy, the only other Goodboy to have attended all fifteen previous Goodboys Invitationals. Has an amazing ability to work the ball from left to left – hence the nickname. As firey and opinionated on the course as he is off, TGWS will need to keep his tee game and emotions in check if he hopes to get even close to the top tier. He’s also breaking in a new swing, which is never a good idea when the pressure to win is on. Like Cubby, not having a good golfer to partner with (you didn’t think he won all those championships by himself, did you?) is likely to eat him alive.

Years on Tour: 15 (1991-present)
Prior Aliases: “Hogan”, “Snake”, “Velcro”
Championships: 3 (1991, 1993, 1999)

The Funny Guy – nicknamed for his God-given ability to: a) flirt with pretty girls, and b) identify the absolute best way of getting under the skin of his fellow competitors, be it with with incessant chatter, cynical observations, or other distracting techniques – is, to be frank, the oil that drives the Goodboys Nation engine. Like The Great White Shank, he too has never missed an event in its previous fifteen years. Once one of the better golfers in the Nation, the demands of corporate life and the $31 million budget he oversees now prevents him from attending to his golf game as much as he’d like. Now more at home in a dark Las Vegas bar filled with pretty girls than on the golf course, he still has remnants of a once-solid game, but definitely not enough to tangle with the big fellas. Personally, I’d love to see him take the prize, but seeing his putting game of late, I’m picking TFG to finish dead last.

If my predictions are proven correct (i.e., El Dandito finishing first and The Funny Guy finishing last), it would mean that both will have to tolerate each other’s grandiose dreams and human limitations over the next year, since their finishing positions mean that they would have total control over everything associated with the planning and coordination of next year’s tournament. Lucky them! Will it happen? Stay tuned.

Filed in: Goodboys by The Great White Shank at 01:40 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. Good luck to all at the Goodboys Invitational, but especially to my bro, TGWS !

    Didn’t anyone ever tell you to not try out a new swing when going into an event? Although usually a long-shot to win, maybe TGWS is just trying to ensure he misses the dreaded top spot?

    Comment by Dave Richard — July 21, 2006 @ 3:49 am

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