10-24-17-By Ron Majors
A beautiful Fall evening attracted a nearly full field of 18 serious competitors to play the friendly Front 9 to conclude the 2017 ATAG season. The Front 9 unexpectedly challenged the field which produced scores from -2 to -9. The Commissioner’s team of Don Nichols, Tom Lewis, Tim Martin, and Tom Houle charged to the top of the leader board with a respectable score of -9, leaving the hapless “Tortoise Team” of Mike Schmal, Old Tom Player, Scotty Greene and Ed McCormack to convey the victory brew to the winners.
Unfortunately, slow play again became a factor despite the recent story line about the “dream team” a few weeks ago and the Acting Commissioner’s pre-competition plea for prompt play to avoid advancing nightfall. The aforementioned “Tortoise Team” managed to fall a hole and a half behind by the 7th hole. It was later disclosed that the slow play was caused, in part, by looking for numerous errant shots by all team members. That cause was evidenced by Pink Lady winner Ed McCormack’s score of net 44. All “Tortoise Team” members were cited for slow play and Letters of Reprimand were placed in their personnel files. Consideration will be given at the Winter Meetings to dividing future ATAG competitions into a “Hare Division and “Tortoise Division”.
On a bittersweet note, Ansley Head Pro Patrick Higgins is leaving next week to assume the Head Pro position at Achasta Golf Club in Dahlonega. The well liked Patrick joined the post competition ATAG revelry in the Grill for the last time. We wish him the best. Several ATAGers are lobbying for an Achasta road trip to visit Patrick in the near future.
It was another great year for ATAG. This reporter is looking forward to next year. The 2017 Closing Ceremonies will be held Tuesday November 7 in the Grill. See you there.
LOW NET AND LOW GROSS
Jeff Colbath earned Low Net honors and $18 for his sizzling score of net 33 narrowly edging out last week’s winner Tom “Houligan” Houle by one stroke. Ron Majors stumbled into Low Gross with a lackluster score of 42.
SHOT OF THE DAY
Doug Gooding claimed Shot of the Day honors by holing out his wedge shot into #5 for an Eagle 3. (Commissioner’s Note: This was the only Eagle of the year– other than Bill Meagher’s combination Eagle-Hole In One earlier this year which earned ATAG “Shot Of The Year” honors.
One each by Tim Martin(#5), Scotty Greene(#2), Ron Majors(#5), Tom Lewis (#9)
INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM SCORES
Team 1: –9 Doug Healy(47/39), Bill Buist(50/37), Jeff Colbath(45/33), Tom Kisgen(51/38)
Winner Team 2: –12 Don Nichols(47/36), Tom Lewis(47/39), Tim Martin(44/36), Tom Houle(43/34)
Team 3: –4 Ron Majors(42/38), Tom Thornhill(42/36), Jim Williamson(45/37), Old Tom Player(52/41)*
Sponsor Team 4: –2 Mike Schmal(43/37), Old Tom Player(52/41), Scotty Greene(43/35), Ed McCormack(57/44)
Team 5: –5 Craig Sellner(54/38), Doug Gooding(46/39), Jim Rowley(47/36), Tim Martin(44/36)*
* Denotes Draw Partner
It was another great year for ATAG, a year that started with the surprise announcement that the Commissioner was stepping down from ATAG after over ten years at the helm, leaving some concerned that ATAG would become a rudderless group without the coordination and discipline of a commissioner. And many were forlorn to learn that the Commish would no longer be chronicling the weekly matches that players looked forward to reading to see the match results as well as to see who would be praised as well as possibly lambasted for their behavior.
I am pleased to say that ATAG continues stronger than ever thanks to the efforts of four core ATAGers–Doug Healy, Danny Morris, Jim Williamson, and Ron Majors–who took it upon themselves to organize the matches and to submit a write up each week to the Commissioner for publication in the ATAG Reporter, and in turn, the Commish agreed to continue keeping the stats. So, in essence, it appears that ATAG has morphed from a monarchy/byzantine form of leadership to one that is more in line with a ruling oligarchy of four acting commissioners with a titular head known as The Commissioner. (don’t ask me to explain)
Some of the year’s highlights:
Despite the construction of the clubhouse building that forced ATAGers for the first three
months to gather post round in the tennis facility, attendance remained strong. There were 25 matches (with only 3 rainouts) that saw a total of 437 players gather on the Ansley tee box, drawn by the quest for the Golden Ale, and the “allure of golf in a bucolic setting juxtaposed against a bustling skyline”. (quote from the 2011 Life in Atlanta Men’s Book which can be reviewed on the Ansley website.)
Bill Meagher’s Shot Of The Year, a Hole In One on 6-27-17 on Number 18, witnessed by the Commish on his first return to action. Only the second hole in one in ATAG history after a ten year draught. Mr. Meagher also made the news for winning his first ever Low Net earlier in the year and then followed that later in the year with his first ever Pink Lady which now makes him a full fledged ATAGer.
The aftermath of Tropical Storm Irma failed to keep 15 dedicated ATAGers away from their weekly fix as players sloshed around on a rain soaked course full of fallen tree limbs and other storm debris.
The Commish celebrated his 70th birthday by unabashedly moving up to the senior White Tees (no problem with the ego but apparently to the envy of others)
Russ Jobson inadvertently, but with no authority, told the barkeep earlier in the day of a match that due to the weather there would be no ATAG match. He was wrong and ATAGers were deprived of their chicken wings. Dubbed “Winggate”, Mr. Jobson was later forgiven for his egregious error.
“Steak Night” at the residence of Scotty Greene was yet another success in the continuing tradition of ATAG.
The best team score of the year was 16 under while the worst performance was a score of 5 over. Personal best scores were reported by Brooks Cowles and Tom Houle. Full reporting of the stats will be given at the closing ceremonies on November 7.
There was another “not so fast” low net award which was reversed upon a post round review of the scorecard, causing the recipients to later fork over their ill gotten gains. (Same thing happened last year. The names of the perpetrators are being withheld to protect the innocent.)
That’s it for a brief recap of the 2017 season. Let the ATAG Oligarchy roll on!