Even though my 2015 is off to a slow start, a continuation from my lack of playing in December, I did manage to have a golf related weekend to start the new year.
My friend and “Journey to Augusta” contributor to this site, Andrew Ganey, invited me to caddy for him during the Saguaro Amateur that took place at Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Arizona.
The original plan was for us to head down to the Phoenix area in the early AM (I’m talking like 3am) and drive straight to the course for the practice round that was supposed to start at 11am. Mother nature had other ideas though and when this insane storm front moved into the area we decided it would be best to leave on the 31st and make sure we at least got the Phoenix valley.
We had everything loaded up and ready to roll around 12:30pm PST and hit the road. The storm system that was “supposed” to move into Vegas around 3pm was about 5 hours early and unknown to us was wrecking havoc on the highways in Northwest AZ. Luckily before we started driving I took a peek at the WAZE app on my phone and saw some pretty disturbing pictures of I-40 just outside of Kingman, AZ which was part of our route.
No worries, I planned a little detour that took us south staying in Nevada for a while. Then we hit this mess in Searchlight which is only about 4omin south of Vegas:
Not your typical sighting on the way to Phoenix from Vegas. Snow storm was crazy!!
What had originally been planned as a 5hr drive to the hotel in Chandler turned into a 6.5hr drive through some pretty crazy weather, at least for this desert dweller. I’m not a fan of the snow at all and hated every second I spent driving in it. Stupid Mother Nature. Once we got to Chandler I got my Chick-Fil-A fix and everything got back to normal rather quickly.
The first day was a practice round for us and I decided if I’m going to do this “Looper” thing I need to do it legit at least once. So I strapped the bag to my back and caddied the practice round they way you’re supposed to. To my surprise my fat, out of shape ass did alright. I wasn’t the fastest caddy out there by a long shot but I held my own and made it through all 18 holes. The worst part of the entire day was the frost delay. Southern Dunes is south of Phoenix in Maricopa and there is absolutely nothing around to protect the course from the elements. The cold front that had came through Vegas continued to head south and sat over the Phoenix valley for the entire 5 days we were there.
Temps in the morning were in the lower 30’s which meant frost delays. On Thursday the delay was two hours and we were concerned that getting in all 18 holes was going to be a challenge. It was but we did manage to get in all 18. It was cold that day, I had the full layering in effect and I was still cold as hell, thankfully there was very little wind and the sun did manage to show itself a few times.
Another frost delay set everything back once again and right from the start I was worried getting in all the holes was going to be a challenge. The weather was a little better on Friday, the clouds were not as abundant and we did get to see the sun quite a bit.
The Saguaro Amateur is a great tournament and the field is filled from top to bottom with some of the countries best colligate golfers. There were representatives from so many colleges, UNLV, Arizona, San Diego State, Wisconsin, UNR, Stanford, Pepperdine, Grand Canyon, the list of participants went on and on. I’ve been to the Colligate Masters, out at Southern Highlands, a few times and have see the top colleges compete on a very challenging course but being this up close was awesome. You want to talk about talent, I was beyond impressed with the skill set some of these kids posses. It was a blast to watch them take on Southern Dunes.DAY 3 & 4 The last two days of the tournament were by far the best weather wise with Sunday being down right spectacular. Frost delays still hampered the starting times but we still managed to get through every round with a very close to not being able to see the ball finish on Saturday.
This was one hole I absolutely loved watching the participants in the Saguaro Amateur take on. The Par 3 4th at @akchin_sodunes #golf #azgolf #saguaroam2015 #southerndunes A photo posted by Mathew Wangrycht (@thebreakfastball) on
Andrew didn’t play his best which I know was upsetting to him. He’s a much better player than what his scores showed. In the conditions and considering the competition though he has no reason to be too upset. Some days you have it and some you don’t.
I had a blast even though I didn’t take one swing on the course, which was tougher that I ever thought. The course out at Southern Dunes was in fantastic shape. The fairways were nearly flawless and the greens were perfect. They did an outstanding job getting the course ready and it showed.
It was cold as balls (mainly early in the morning) but we had a blast out at @akchin_sodunes for the @saguaroamateur. Southern Dunes was an outstanding host and the course was in fantastic shape. I’m looking forward to making my way back some day to play it for myself and see if I can break 150 like @andrewcganey said I’d shoot. (Can you feel the love) #golf #azgolf #playtroon #southerndunes #saguaroam2015
It’s a course I cannot wait to go back to and play someday for a couple of reasons. The first being it’s a great layout that was a ton of fun to walk so playing it I can only image is equally as fun. The other reason is more personal. My good ole buddy Andrew told me I would have shot 150 from the tips which brought on a roar of laughter from the group. I took into consideration he shanked a few shots (multiple times on one hole) and scored a 9 on the last day as to why he was so quick to crap on my game but I’m going to use it as motivation.
Clearly I’m not the level player Andrew is but I’m no way in hell 150 strokes on that course. [shaking fist vigorously] I’ll show you Mr. Gamey!! (It’s Ganey but the starter announced him as Andrew Gamey on the last day. hahah)
So that’s how I started my year off. Walking four rounds of golf at a very nice course in the middle of nowhere and not swinging a club once.
Hopefully in the next couple of weekends I can get my ass out on the course and actually play some golf. The only positive in my 10 week layoff from playing is I’ve been chipping and putting like a beast in the backyard, now that it’s functional. Yesterday I made some much needed progress in the garage and I now have access to my hitting stall again (Christmas can complicate your life in so many ways, thankfully the boxes are now where they are supposed to be) and plan on putting it to use VERY soon!