Discover more from Strokes Gained Retired
The Diamond Ridge Scuffle
Round Two of the Crabcake Cup
Saturday, April 23, 2002 @ 3:45AM. Your Hack was up and getting ready for his April match in the Crabcake Cup. I had to drive to Diamond Ridge Golf Course in Windsor Mill, MD, just west of Baltimore near Security Blvd. It was a good 2 and 1/2 hour trip from the beaches in DE and our tee time was 8:10AM.
As many of you will remember, I belong to the “Hamsterdam” Golf Club which is a virtual club of golf sicko’s from the Baltimore area affiliated with the golf media company No Laying Up. The Crabcake Cup is a season long match play event held monthly at various public golf courses in the Baltimore area. I wrote about my April match in this blog post: The Pillow Fight at Rocky Point
As is typical for your Hack, I arrived about 90 minutes early after miss-estimating the travel time. A quick cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich and I was on the range with a large bucket of balls trying to get loose after sitting in a car for so long. The range session was good although there were a couple of hosel-adjacent strikes that reminded me to stop swaying back and forth when swinging.
I met my opponent on the putting green. Mike P. (aka @DJsCokeDealer) is from Arnold, MD and I played a round with him at Queenstown earlier in the Spring. Playing from the one up, white tees, Diamond Ridge measured 6300 yards and I had to give up 4 shots to Mike. In an odd twist, two of those shots were on Par 3’s the 5th and 10th holes. Mike’s wife is expecting their first child May 5th and we were happy to get the April match in before the happy event. Another match was paired with us that featured Steve who regular readers will remember from my post about the earlier Spring meetup game (Queenstown Meetup Game). Steve was playing his match against Harry, a 1 handicap from Darnestown, MD - a true bomber.
As usual, your Hack was the grandfather of the group although Steve was at least within 20 years of my age. He is also the most degenerate gambler of the bunch and we played a separate money game with auto 2 downs even up.
Mike made a “comfy” bogey on #1 to best my uncomfortable double to go one up, while Steve blew his drive OB right and I went one up on the money game. A par on #2 got me back to even in the match and 2 up on Steve. Mike and I struggled to make bogeys on the next 3 holes, but his stroke on the par 3 gave him a 1 shot advantage and he quickly followed up with an awesome birdie on #6 to put him 2 up.
Meanwhile, Steve settled in and flipped my 2 up lead on the money game to even and 2 down on the press. My drive found the hazard on the short #7 and I went 3 down in the match with Mike and 1 down, 3 down, and 1 down in the money game. It was bleak as we stumbled to close the opening nine.
The second nine saw me 3 down to Mike and I’d lost 3 ways to Steve in our money game. I’d shot a miserable 44 with no birdies, two doubles and 1, 3-putt on the front. I’d only hit 2 greens in regulation and my chipping was a mess. On top of that, the 10th hole was another par 3 where Mike got a stroke. I checked our group chat on WhatsApp and one of the boys - Jelley - had posted a message telling Mike to be careful because “Jeff is a back 9 assassin”. With that going for me, I doubled the cash game bet for the back nine and got ready to make something happen.
Mike gave me a big assist by double bogeying his stroke hole on #10 when I missed that green short and hit an indifferent chip. Still 3 down. A par on #11 got me back to 2 down when Mike made a mess of the hole by trying to hit as many trees as possible on the par 5. Your Hack started hitting greens and fairways again and Mike missed some putts as we halved our way through the next 5 holes. Mike had a couple of chances to put me away didn’t take advantage. We came into #17 with me 2 down with 2 holes to go.
In the money game with Steve, I’d worked my way to 3 up and 1 up on the press through #16 as my opponent had an unfortunate case of the lefts that resulted in some bad double bogeys. Although I’d lost 3 ways on the front, there’d be no blood if I could hang on because the back nine bet had been doubled.
#17 is a short par 3. I hit the green with a 9 iron and Mike left his shot short in the front bunker. Steve hit a great shot to about 10 feet and had a downhill birdie putt. I made my par and Mike missed his par putt after a good bunker shot - 1 down with 1 hole to go. I sweated out Steve’s birdie putt which looked in the hole until the last foot or so when it leaked off to the right.
The closing hole was a 510 yard par 5. Steve and I were in the right rough about 245 out and Mike was in the left rough about 225 out. Meanwhile Harry bombed a drive over the corner and had wedge to the green. When his driver was on, he had flip wedges into the par 4’s and short irons in the 5’s. Unfortunately, he had the right block going on the back 9 and had to play from some parallel fairways. Still he was 1 up on Steve going into the last.
Steve hit his 3rd shot to about 3 feet for birdie which brought him back to even on the press in our game. However, Harry also made birdie so Steve lost his match 1 down. Mike game me the ultimate gift by hitting a flared 2nd shot down by the telephone pole holding the netting on the driving range. Having to punch out left handed, he was on in 4 and missed the par putt. My 3rd shot was about 15 feet above the hole and I left the birdie putt about 1 foot right and beyond the hole.
Your Hack had come back and was able to shoot 39 on the back nine to halve the match. Although I’d struck the ball much better and hit more greens, Mike’s putter ultimately gave me the opportunity to come back. I’d lost one way to Steve on our money match and I happily Venmo’d his winnings after losing 3 ways on the front.
All in, the day was a lot of fun. I sit 0-0-2 in the Crabcake Cup. Diamond Ridge is a good course and was in decent, not great shape. The company was awesome however. Thanks boys and I’ll see you next month.
Cripple Creek has its first team match away against Bayside on Monday. Stay tuned for the results and thanks for following along with your Hack’s golf adventure. Keep it in the short grass.