The third annual Jean Short Open might become known for the year it rained the last three holes. It might become known as the year Haas was resplendent in all white. But, no matter what the lasting memories will be, each year plays out in a slightly different manner and has its own feel. This year was no different. It brought perhaps our highest level of actual golf, the usual classic moments, and without a doubt the best outfits ever. Let’s summarize.
Every year the JSO opens with the “outfit reveal.” This is usually the funniest 15 minutes of the day when we are in a nice safe place and don’t have to be burdened with shame and embarrassment. I always seem to be the first one to go, because it is assumed I will have the worst and least funny outfit. That was probably true again this year although I tried to step it up with the 2XL Big and Tall Eagles Shirt (Officially Licensed). I thought I was upping my game, and in fact was so mortified buying this I actually left the store once, only to give myself a pep-talk and go back inside to spend the $7.99. We got a good laugh, but as usual, I was quickly outdone.
I mentioned on the ride over that last year I wasn’t even that embarrassed walking into the golf shop. Rand made sure to remedy that situation this year with this ensemble. It’s all about level of commitment, and obviously Rand takes pride in his staunch JSO record. Whether you preferred this, or Haas’ all-white masterpiece is a matter of taste, but I made sure I was lagging well behind when we got to the course. For the third straight year, no employee of the golf course so much as blinked at us. But, I feel like we set a personal best for odd looks from other golfers. In somewhat related news, Pickering was in awful shape, but the 1st green remains the 6th trickiest putting surface in the state of Pennsylvania.
This year, by fate, we added a little wrinkle. In the procuring of outfits, Rand and Haas both ended up with identical Coors Light belt buckles. These things happen. I think we are getting closer to an official sponsorship from Coors Light, but regardless of that, we decided that the winning team would take the two buckles, earning the right to wear them in next year’s event. I can’t wait to don mine in 2012.
Let’s get to the actual action. Some memorable moments…
The Third Hole:
We have special events for all the par 3s. On the 2nd, if you are closest to the pin or farthest away you must drink a beer. At that point in the round, it should be a pretty innocuous event, but I made the fatal mistake of not eating enough before the round. Between our pregame beer in the parking lot, my first social and my reward for having my tee shot on 2 repelled into the nothingness by the steep hill left of the green I was playing with fire. I was feeling it a bit on the 3rd tee, but managed a good drive. As we approached the ball, I thought to myself, I’m a little drunk. I offered the following quote, “I need an order of pancakes. I’m kind of sh*t-faced right now.” By the 5th fairway, I had my bearings again.
The 6th hole is a par-three we play using only our putters. It measures about 200 yards, so it’s no pushover. We also play a shamble, so each team goes to the best tee shot and plays in from there. On six, our opponents sprayed their shots in opposite directions. We thought they were going to play one ball, so we picked up the other and headed toward the green. As it turned out, they changed their minds. So, up by the green, Rand yelled in their general direction, then sent the ball back with his wedge. It was one of the most accurate shots of his life. Tracking all the way, the mystery man froze like a deer, couldn’t get out of the way, and took a one-hopper off his shoe. It happens.
One of the more interesting parts of the day is the food order at the turn. Unfortunately, the grill was closed. If it is closed at 3 pm on a Saturday, when is it open? Anyway, this kept Rand from ordering the first cheesesteak in PVGC history. The tally ended up something like: Safety sixer of Coors Light, 3 bags of ice, 4 dogs, Toastee Crackers, Sourdough Specials, some Hot Sauce chips(?), and other assorted goods. Somehow I forgot to order my Twix bar. Still a little upset about that.
I parred the 16th ( a 150 yard par three over a pond) using only my driver. This included what was most likely the best “chip” I’ve ever hit. Rolled up a no-brainer to about 2 feet. The par closed out the match, 4&2.
Rand spent a good portion of the round trying to hit his tee shot off an empty Coors Light can. On the 17th, we finally relented. It went a bit right.
As always, there was a bonus for “special” shots. Haas hit two memorable ones. First, double hitting an iron shot from the fairway (didn’t know that was possible) and then nearly piercing Rand’s ear with a skulled flop shot attempt from next to the 9th green.
Perhaps you remember me mouthing off about the weather. Well, that 10% chance of a shower turned into about 100% with a few holes left. Not sure what Haas is doing in this picture, but I’m about to launch a drive on the easiest par-5 in the World. I’m not sure what the scorecard says, but I hit driver-SW. By the time we got to the 18th, everyone was pretty well soaked, and we were reminded exactly how uncomfortable denim can be when wet.
I think that about covers it for the year. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the greatest pictures this year. We were a little rushed out there. Next year, I’m going to be sure to get a shot of the feast we partake in after the round. It’s just a troubling amount of food. I’m sure my fellow players will be happy to fill in a few details that I missed. See everyone next year.