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Golf club news

Eben Harrell

Last weekend the Aspen Golf Club held its annual member-guest tournament, a two-day event where local golfers team up with a nonmember to compete for prizes in a number of different formats.There are various schools of thought on what sort of “guest” makes the ideal playing partner for such an event. Some find the finest golfer they know, others hire a high handicapper, and some simply sort through everyone they know and find the person they haven’t yet had a fight with on the course, and who when they invite to the tournament doesn’t answer “thanks for asking, but I wouldn’t play with you even if it was an invitation to heaven or Augusta.”This year, the “sticks” (as good golfers are known) swept the sandbaggers, with two scratch golfers – Andy Mill and Jeff Tasker – winning the championship flight. The social highlight of the weekend was Saturday evening’s “horse race.” A horse race is a member-guest tradition in which teams pitch in money on the first hole, tee of at once, and through six or seven holes are eliminated until a single winner takes home the pot.It’s always quite a spectacle: Watching a dozen or so golfers playing the same hole at once: Divots flying, carts all over the place, balls crossing in the air like missiles in some doomsday Cold War scenario. But there’s an order to the chaos: The beer cart, where almost every golfer eventually ends up. Eliminated teams place bets on who they think will win (hence the term “horse race”). With a large crowd watching, the pressure can build to an excruciating pitch.This year, my partner Brian Overbo and I won after seven grueling holes. It was no thanks to me; I was crippled by a sore hamstring and a reoccurring snap-hook. Overbo, a former city champion, has no problem playing for money or under pressure. In the heat of competition, he’s as cool as an Aspen 7:30 a.m. tee time. He’s also someone I’d play with in heaven or Augusta (although I’m pretty sure they may be the same place).Here are the final results: Championship Flight: Tasker and Mill (first), William Swanson and Bruce Swanson (second), Eben Harrell and Brian Overbo (third). First Flight: John Siberman and Frank Spofford (1), John Bell and Neil Ross (2), David Amory and Uli Gerch (3). Second Flight: David Caldorola and Stephen Jaworsky (1), Jens Bach and David Bach (2), Chris Peshek and Shawn Spadi (3).Eben Harrell’s e-mail is eharrell@aspentimes.com


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