Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Longest Day of Golf 2011: Play by Play
By Jason Weiss
Well, I did it!
It took 12 grueling hours, ten bottles of water, six golf balls, four protein bars, three bottles of Gatorade, and a partridge in a pear tree.
In total, it took me 463 strokes to get around El Caballero Country Club six times. That number was assisted by both Mother Nature deciding to take it easy on me, and a four-foot gimme radius for the first three rounds.
I present to you a running diary of thoughts, highlights, and achievements throughout the marathon. Note: all times are approximate.
5:35am: BEEP BEEP BEEP. As my alarm goes off, I can only think to quote Ron Burgundy in the movie Anchorman: "I immediately regret this decision."
6:37am: I start on the third hole (don't worry, I went back to finish the first two holes before lunch) with a monster tee shot down the left side of the fairway. I hit a wedge to the middle of the green and two putt for a par. One down, 107 to go. "Oy vey," I thought. After all, we are playing for the Los Angeles Jewish Home.
7:50am: It is every golfer's instinct to drive from the 18th green into the clubhouse, where an ice cold adult beverage is usually ripe to be consumed. Not only this day. An immediate right turn and back to the first tee. First round statistics: I shot 73 (remember the four foot gimme radius) with three birdies (No gimmes on birdie putts) and played one hour and twenty minutes.
9:20am: Round two is in the books. This was probably my least favorite round. The light at the end of the tunnel was too far in the distance, and the excitement of what I signed up for was in the rear view mirror. I made no birdies, shot a respectable 79, and was just happy to get it out of the way in 90 minutes. Thought for the second round: "I've just played 36 holes at El Cab in the time that it takes most members to play 12 holes. This is how El Cab should be played!"
9:40-9:55am: My best three-hold stretch of the day. On holes 39-41, I went birdie-birdie, birdie, including a 130 yard bunker shot to eight inches. I could hear my dad saying "I hate you" after the third tap in. I shot 75 in round three. Halfway home.
11:55am: Here's a question that I had never thought about before Monday: How many consecutive holes must one play in the same golf cart before the batter light turns on? Answer: I first noticed it on hole 60. At 63, I changed carts. Time for lunch.
12:00pm: Lunch. A turkey sandwich, fruit salad, pasta salad, chips, and a slice of apple pie were accompanied by a nice speech from Jewish Home CEO-President Molly Forrest. I don't really remember what she said. All I remember thinking was "Ahhhh, air conditioning."
1:05pm: I made a friend at lunch, and we decided to play our last two rounds together. His name was Jason as well, and was the second youngest participant, at 42. He was a really nice guy, but not such a great golfer. I tried to give him a bunker lesson. It didn't work. My lesson to him for the rest of the day: "Jason, when you hit in the bunker, just pick it up. We don't have time for you to hit four shots in each bunker." He agreed. Round four: 77.
2:40pm: Second wall. Hole 80. I don't know what you know about a golf swing, but a golf swing is more body than arms. The two have to work together for the ball to be hit far and straight. My arms and body are no longer working together. If my golf swing was Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston circa 2005 before lunch, it is most certainly Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston circa 2011 now. The honeymoon is over...this is no longer fun. Round five: a really surprising 78.
3:15pm: Hold 86. "Another $200 for the Jewish Home" was the mantra that Jason and I kept repeating after every hole as we played in the heat of the day. "Keep grinding."
4:15pm: As I stick my tee into the tee box on the first hole for the SIXTH and final time, I realize that I've made it. Ninety holes down. Only one more round to go. If my body wasn't shaking, I would've leaped for joy.
6:55pm: Victory! As my four foot par putt hit the bottom of the 18th hole, my day was over. I had done it. One hundred and eight holes of golf in one day. I raised my arms as best I could and triumphantly high fived my playing partner for the afternoon. Round six: 81. Four Hundred and Sixty Three total strokes.
As I type this with my bruised hands, while sitting on my sore rear end, which is still not as sore as my legs and feet, I am overcome with a sense of pride and humbled by the generosity of everyone who supported me throughout this challenge.
When I decided that I was going to raise money on behalf of the Home for this event, I would have never anticipated that I could raise over $10,000. I am truly touched by this feat.
I would like to thank you personally for all of your support. I look forward to playing in this event for years to come, and your support is greatly appreciated.
If you'd like to talk about this event, ask any other question about the event or the Home, please feel free to leave a comment.
Labels: El Caballero Country Club, Fund Development, Fundraising, Golf, Jason Weiss, Jewish Home, Longest Day of Golf, Los Angeles Jewish Home, Marathon, Philanthropy, Putt, Seniors, Staff, Stroke, Swing