The Colonel's Epic Round
A muni-golf report you won't see on the Weekend Sports Roundup
Colonel Chet Davis pulled off one for the ages yesterday, an improbable come from behind win over Stu Wright in the Land Park Golf Championship, besting a field of 75. The Colonel's round can only be characterized as unorthodox, better understood by the likes of John Daley than golf traditionalists like Jim Nance...unless old Jimmy has us all fooled with a sack of chronic hidden up in the Butler Cabin. Unlikely.
Through five holes the Colonel was not faring well against his scratch-handicap opponent, bleeding strokes and then yipping a short grounder badly off the tee. He later said he heard the duffers in the muni-course gallery openly talking about how he was “going mental,” about to melt down like John van de Velde at Carnoustie. On the 6th, the Colonel's caddie Donald Phoenix, a Merlin-like student of sports psychology, instinctively knew what his man needed. He pulled out of the golf bag not a driver or an iron, but a peace pipe. Stu said he saw a thick cloud of smoke rise from the tee box and thought he had this one all locked up. He was wrong.
The Colonel, refocused by the industrial-strength Northern California sativa, got his driver working. He began raining approach shots onto the soft winter greens and draining stupid-long putts from like 15, 20 and 30 feet. Phoenix, channelling Bill Murray’s loopy character Carl Spackler the Assistant Greenskeeper, kept reloading the hippie lettuce throughout the remainder of the round. The Colonel had gone out to the mythical crossroads looking for the devil, but when he got there the dark lord was already passing a large doobie with Fuzzy Zoeller and Bob Marley...so he took a toke and sold his soul in a four-way transaction.
At a party afterwards, Stu Wright, a West Point grad / former Apache helicopter pilot, and ever the gentleman, could only shake his head and offer compliments to the Colonel, who by this point was enjoying himself in the kind of grand fashion that is his trademark: part charming southern gentleman and part twisted Foghorn Leghorn character. He was swerving, shimmying, and laying out a highly entertaining stream of consciousness banter. A perplexed party guest who witnessed the Colonel's shenanigans was overheard asking Stu, "how the hell did you lose to that guy?"
“This is a hybrid..this is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing thing about this stuff is that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus that night on this stuff....”
— Carl Spackler, Bushwood Country Club Assistant Greenskeeper
Stu was giving 11 strokes based on the math that equalizes different handicaps.
Chet’s performance was clutch, but it wasn’t a fluke, as he had been practicing three times a week in the runup to the final.
Teddy Messner, who was originally slated to caddy for Chet but had a scheduling conflict, was overheard saying he was glad Donald stepped in for him.
The account below is from eyewitness David Godby (the hole-by-hole sequence more precise than my general account above):
“It was epic. After Chet evened the match and he'd settled down, THC coursing through the icy veins, he looked at me and Donald and said "I got him." Hole 4 he picks one up. Natural birdie on hole 5. 30 foot birdie putt on hole 6. Stu had to make a knee knocker birdie to tie Chet and keep the match going. Stu was 2 under on the front. Hole 7 Chet made a quaint little putt for par ensuring that the best Stu could do would be to halve the hole. Match over. Chet's last 15 shots were majestic. I'm almost positive that he putted 5 times total on last 5 holes, none of them gimmes. Stu simply ran into a freak storm, an anomaly of nature. Captain Stu was forced to succumb to Colonel Davis. Rank has its privileges.”
January 20, 2020