I’m sure you’re wondering what that headline is about…
Yesterday was the third-annual Writers vs. Superintendents tournament hosted by Ian Andrew, he of Andrew Golf and Weir Golf Design fame. The previous two outings took place at Cutten Club in Guelph, where supers captain Dave Kuypers grows grass and keeps the place in remarkable condition, and last year that was augmented by adding Galt Country Club to the mix. This year’s outing was hosted by Oakdale’s Mike Dermott, who also happens to be an expert at keeping the rough dense and the greens slick as a fish caught in a BP oil spill.
The writers were represented by Jason Logan, and Chris Fry from SCOREGolf, freelancer and Score contributor Rick Young, the Globe’s Jeff Brooke, Ian and myself. The supers included Kuypers, Dermott, Jarred Barakett (a consultant, formerly of Deer Ridge), Cherry Hills’ John Gall and Plant Products’ Jason Ireton. Finally, CPGA Biz Development guru Jeff Dykeman defected from the writers, making an ill-timed jump to the team of Supers.
The writers were smoked in our initial matches — which are played over 36 holes in four different formats (2-man scramble, alternate shot, better ball and a final match that is usually determined depending on where scores stand). Last year we managed a halve, and were bursting with confidence despite the supers adding John Gall, a fine player, to the mix.
The result? A trouncing. The badly-paid typists hit wonderful shot after wonderful shot en route to a 10-5 victory. Don’t even get me started about the now legendary 3-wood one writer hit from 238-yards to five feet on the slippery 8th green on the Thompson nine (renamed the “Lauren” Thompson nine in honor of the GolfChannel hottie) that translated into a team eagle. Or Jeff Brooke’s remarkable driving prowess while taking apart Gall and Barakett, or Jason Logan’s steely determination and Fowler-esque prowess that led to a string of birdies and eagles to gain a comeback halve against Dykeman and Ireton (who maintains a remarkable game and a scratch handicap).
With the supers down 7-2, a decision was made to finish the matches in the gloaming with two 3-man scramble matches, meaning we took to a now deserted Oakdale at 5 pm to complete the tournament. Needless to say though the Andrew/Logan/Young group couldn’t hang on in the dwindling light, losing to a team led by the power of Ireton’s bombs, while Chris Fry’s smashed draws took the Thompson/Brooke team to 3-points and a victory.
With that final success, the hacks managed a resounding pounding of the supers, proving, once again, that the pen is mightier than the aerator — something we also expected anyway.
In truth, it was just fine, competitive golf over 36 holes on a great course. Trash was talked, shots were made and topped, and legends (especially about the now infamous 238-yard 3-wood, ahem) were struck. All in all it was great fun. Now if we can only talk Andrew’s business partner into coming off the DL and joining us next year, I think we could give the supers a real pasting.
For me one of the most interesting elements of the event was the final scramble where the winner of the hole was given the opportunity to pick the tee played from. On our team that meant we picked some red tees — that allowed us to try to drive the 3, 5, and 7th holes by playing them from anything from 245-yards to 300-yards. It made for exciting golf — since the closest I get to the women’s tees is while walking by them.
I’ve always thought Oakdale was good — but now I’m convinced it is exceptional, especially on holes like the 230-yard 5th on the Thompson nine, which might be the best par-3 in Toronto, and the 10th on the Homenuik nine, which is simply and exceptional long four over great rolling land.
For the first time I also played the Knudson nine, designed by Robbie Robinson and opened in 1957. Though far less flattering through the opening holes than the other nine, it actually ends on a series of strong par-4s and a fine uphill par-5. Sure the greens don’t rival those on the Thompson course, but it was better than I expected.
- My review of Oakdale G&CC, done in 2006, can be found here