Who are these mugs, you ask? Why, it’s Steve “Killer” Kowalski and Pat “Doggy Duval” McLaughlin, 2010 Goodboys Invitational champs, who, 15 years after triumphing at Goodboys V at Killington (VT) G.C. once again lapped the field to take the coveted Spielberg Memorial Trophy, the symbol of absolute excellence for a Goodboys weekend.
And what a weekend it was! Not only did the ‘Boys play in the hottest conditions we’ll likely see in our lifetimes – thanks, Al Gore – but did so on courses ranging from “well, this is a wide open cow pasture” to “Holy #@$!, these greens are running faster than illegals out of Arizona!“. In between, it was plenty of Sam Summers, decent food at some Portsmouth eateries, plenty of sharing of Goodboys stories of lore, and a few surprises along the way.
Friday began with a “grip it and rip it” round at Sagamore-Hampton G.C. – perfect for getting acquainted with your partner for the weekend and making those critical last-minute adjustments to your swing in anticipation of the challenges to come. The day was positively sweltering – as hot as weather I’ve ever played in – but there was a breeze now and then, and everyone rose to the challenge, shooting their number within a stroke or two. It didn’t count, but it helped served the purpose.
My favorite memory of the entire weekend was, after the rest of the Goodboys had headed down to Portsmouth to check in at our hotel, me, my partner Ron “Cubby” Myerow (above, front row right), and Killer (he in the cowboy hat above yours truly) sitting in the air-conditioned clubhouse, Sam Summers all around, renewing aquaintances and watching British Open highlights in beautiful HD. Me, I could have stayed there all weekend and just phoned my score in. Considering what I shot the next day, perhaps I should have.
Thunderstorms came in that night, and we had a nice dinner at The Common Man before heading out on the town. At a harborside bar my partner tried his best to pick up a German tourist, but I think she was: a) married, and b) going for a run the following morning. [Ed. note: neither of which would have mattered much to me, but then again, I'm married and I don't run.] We hooked up with Doggy Duval (who had spent his day in an air-conditioned office) and the Goodboys were officially gathered for the 20th year.
Saturday dawned bright and hot, but the humidity switch had fortunately been turned off – damned good thing, because The Ledges G.C. in York, ME was plenty tough without Ma Nature making it an even more difficult setting than it already was. This course, as beautiful as it is, is muder for a high handicapper like me. The fairways are pretty tight, but it was the greens that made it really tough. It’s a testament to the skills of the other teams that only my partner and I put up a big number (and I do mean big) on such a difficult course. We were the only team truly out of it after Saturday, setting up for an unforgettable closing round on Sunday.
Saturday night was, arguably, the highlight of the weekend. Wisely ensconsed in what was once the vault of a bank (bars and everything!) at Rira’s Irish pub, the Goodboys rolled out the official Songbook (Sammy Davis Jr.‘s “The Candy Man” was a highlight), flirted with waitresses, yakked it up, paid off humilation bets, and generally had quite the time for themselves.
Humidity and temperature-wise, Sunday was the best day of the three for golf, and The Links at Outlook in South Berwick, ME didn’t disappoint. Wide open and British Open-esque on the front, tight and hilly on the back, it was a veritable “Run for the Roses” between the top three team, coming down to the last hole in perhaps the tightest finish in Goodboys history. When all was said and done, the team of Killer and Doggy Duval might have won the day, but a misplaced approach shot or a missed putt, and we could have had the first three-way sudden death playoff in Goodboys history.
In the end, all bets were paid off, photos taken, and the obligatory jacket ceremony conducted with the usual pomp and flair. Another Goodboys weekend had been filed away into the record books, and a new Exec-Comm ponders all the options and possibilities for Goodboys XXI. The lads, some tired, some hungover, some a little of both, all scattered to the four winds, glad to have been a part of it all, glad to have it over.
And what of The Great White Shank’s quest? You know, that 30 balls a week regimen to achieve my goal of breaking 100 during a Goodboys Invitational round for the first time? Well, let’s just say that if it weren’t for my swing coach Ben “The Funny Guy” Andrusaitis identifying my “death move” I doubt I would have shot that 98 (!) on Sunday at The Links at Outlook. The 105 I had on Friday wasn’t bad, the 120 at The Ledges (a combination of poor shot-making and poor course management) was beyond abysmal. But Sunday’s combination of trusting my new swing move and executing superior course management made it all worthwhile. Thanks, TFG – I owe ya one.
Congratulations to the champions (whose picture will soon adorn Goodboys Nation weblog), and a big thanks to all the Goodboys for making Goodboys 20 such a memorable weekend. Hail Goodboys!