Thursday at The Wilderness is all set

Not long from now we will be starting what has become tradition with the President’s Cup, the Thursday round.

Steel will collect $40 for the game at the course from everyone. Side games within your groups are strongly encouraged and the pairings were made to encourage. Golf is paid at the course, $74 per person, includes golf, range balls, cart and tax. Lodging is $93 plus tax per room, so about $50 per guy or so. Pay for your room at the hotel. Try to check in before golf. Steel needs to send room assignments to the guy so if the remaining can let him know who they are staying with, that would be great.

1pm: Mel, Gres, E, JK

1:10pm: Hoss, Snoren, Marty, Mario

1:15pm: Witt, Dave, CJ

1:20pm: Sheetz, Spears, Bersch, Timmy

1:30pm: Luke, Steel, Field, Furnace

Playing the blue tees, the $40 gets you:

Closest to the Pin: $5 for each hole, 4 holes = $20 (3,7,12,17)

Longest Drive in the fairway: $5 each hole, 2 holes = $10 (1,10)

Low net: $5 each

Net skins: $5 each

Rooms are as follows:

  1. Mell/Steel
  2. Field/Gres
  3. Spears/Furnace
  4. Mario
  5. Bersch, Hoss, Marty have a suite
  6. Sheetz/Witt
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. ?


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Friday Matches Announced

Last night 2 teams got together and decided who would face who and when at The Quarry at Giants Ridge less than 2 weeks from today.  When I say 2 teams,  I mean 1 guy working a cell phone for the CR/Blaine team and 4 guys with little to no attention span for The Rest of the World team.

Spears put us to work too.

Here is how we will match up on Friday June 2nd.

2-Man Best Ball – Friday June 2nd – AM – The Quarry

8:50   Kunza  &  Gres (10) vs. Hoss (7)  &  Luke (6)

9:00   Mario (8)  &  Field (3) vs. Drew (5)  &  Brand

9:10   O65  &  Snoren (16) vs. Sheetz  &  Witt (16)

9:20   Marty (7)  &  Steel vs. Stew (4)  &  Melling (5)

9:30   Tim  &  JK (13) vs. Bersch (2)  &  Spears (7)

9:40   E (8)  &  Gern (10) vs. Dave  &  CJ (13)

2-man Scramble – June 2nd – PM – The Quarry

2:50   Steel/Mario (1.5) vs. Brand/Melling

3:00   Gres/Field (1) vs. Sheetz/Dave

3:10   O65/JK (1.5) vs. Drew/Luke

3:20   Snoren/Tim (1.5) vs. Hoss/Stew

3:30   Marty/Gern (2.5) vs. Bersch/CJ

3:40   Kunza/E vs. Spears/Witt (3)

13 days away!!!

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Friday matches to be set next week

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There has been some developments in recent days.  TK informed me that he is going to be unable to participate in the President’s Cup – 2017.  I’ll have to admit there was a moment of “oh no what can be done”, with about 3 weeks to go.  The situation was quickly resolved though as Marty, who didn’t think he would be able to make it this year, was able to clear up his schedule.  He’ll be making his 6th consecutive appearance.  Glad to have him on the trip.

Now onto further business.

This coming Thursday, May 18th, we’ll be setting match-ups for Friday June 2nd at The Quarry at Giants Ridge.  It will be done at The Spears Residence.  He will pass along the address when he has a chance.  Matches will be set some time around 7pm.  There was talk of golf happening earlier in the day as a lead up to the festivities.

2-man Team Matches will be set by the losing team from last year (CR/Blaine) throwing out their 1st team and then the winning team from last year (The Rest of the World), and looking to win for the 4th year in a row, throwing out the next two and we go from there.

2-man Scramble Team Matches will be set by adding the two players on each team handicap together and dividing by 2.  Then the teams will be matched up by putting the competing teams with similar handicaps against one another.

Saturday Individual Matches will be set at the Villas at Giants Ridge after all of the golf is done on Friday night.

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20 days away!

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Legend at Giants Ridge Course Preview

Back in 2002 when the 1st President’s Cup was contested it was played on only at The Legend.  The Quarry wasn’t ready for this group quite yet.  We played an 18 hole 2-man team match in the afternoon on Friday and a mid-morning Saturday Individual match.  Followed by about a 13 hole drunken scramble.  Less than 50 holes for the weekend?  Boy how times have changed. We are back to our origins for the 15th playing of the President’s Cup.

This year we will play the Individual Matches and drunken scramble on The Legend course.  We will tee it off from the Blue Tees, measuring 6,528 yards, with a slope of 71.9 and a rating of 132.

The first hole at the Legend has created several memories over the years.  There is a forced carry of about 160 yards on a relatively short 365 yard hole.  At the inaugural Prezzy Cup back in 2002, with the very first foursome, we had one of my favorite tee shots ever hit.  Spears stepped up with his partner Sheetz in play but needing to set a tone for his whole team by getting in play and winning the first hole. He proceeded to pop up his driver.  His entire team yelled for it to get over, and it barely did.  It landed on top of a rock on the other side of the crevice and proceeded to bounce high up into the air and out onto the fairway.  After everyone turned their head away from the ball and looked at Spears they saw him with his fist raised in the air and confidence beaming from his face.  The whole tee box pretty much erupted and off he went and so did this event.  Spears and Sheetz went on to win that match and about 7 straight 2-man team matches, on their way to becoming one of most feared teams ever in team golf.

Somebody knocked it tight that day on #2.

The 1st 4 holes at the Legend give you a false sense that this course can be had. There are great birdie chances at each hole, especially the 3rd hole, pictured below.  It is a short par 5 at 476 yards and can play even shorter if you carry the left 2 toes on foot and cut the corner.


Things change on the front 9 with the 5th hole as you begin your trek uphill with a long uphill par 4 that has a fairway that slopes off on both sides.  You then get a long par 3 and a hard dog leg left par 4.

Coming to the 8th tee you see the #1 handicap hole on the course, a 445 yard par 4 playing uphill the whole way.  Par is a great score on this hole, heck double bogey may be too.  The 9th is a great risk/reward par 5 where you need to stay on the left side of the fairway with a driver, otherwise hit a fairway wood to avoid going to far on the right side.  With a good drive you can have a go for the green that is protected by large pond, shown below.  A bad drive or no confidence in with a long approach, a strategic layup is required for a realistic chance at birdie.


The 10th hole is similar to the 1st with a forced carry, maybe a little bit longer this time, but not an overly long hole.  Then you come to the 11th and shortest hole on the course, see below, at 130 yards.  Don’t let the distance fool you, there are plenty of balls in the water here, especially from the guy writing this.

Giants Ridge, Legend Course

On the 12th through 14th holes it’s all about hitting fairways.  If you can you will come out just fine on this stretch.  Oh yeah, make sure you have a fairly fresh drink as the drive from 12 green to 13 tee offers time for drinking and reflection on the first 2/3’s of your match.

Much like the front 9, the back 9 has its teeth on the closing holes.  The 15th is a long sucker with a forced carry on your approach, so a good drive is what you’ll be looking for here.  Sixteen is probably the tightest tee shot you’ll face all day.  The fairway slope and trees in and around the landing area make getting a birdie on this hole truly start on the tee box.  Good luck getting home in 2, with a tree short right of the green and bunkers left and a big slope over there gobbling up mis-hit shots.

Leaving 16 green feels good, you have just 2 holes left on this round.  But you have a long drive (and another drink ready) to one of the most famous/picturesque/difficult holes in the state of Minnesota, it’s shown below.  At 216 yards, almost all of that carry, make sure you pick the right club.  Don’t forget the drop zone is on the other side of the lake.  Most people have a love/hate relationship with this hole.

17atlegendAfter getting past the featured hole you come to 18, which is a pretty average, ho-hum 337 yard par 4 on a golf course with pretty awesome holes throughout.  The back and side of the 18th green is a great place to hang after a trying round of golf.  Topflight Balata commercials have been shot at this very location. It is where a champion will be crowned and a celebration will begin.

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Quarry at Giants Ridge Course Preview

It wasn’t until The President’s Cup was played for a 2nd time at Giants Ridge in 2006 that we had the pleasure of taking on The Quarry.  It wasn’t open in 2002, but from the road you could tell it was going to be something special.  Heck it is the 25 ranked public golf course in the country.

We will be playing The Quarry on Friday from the blue tees.  A par 72 measuring 6,696 yards with a rating of 73.1 and a slope of 132.

The Quarry opens with 4 really good holes.  Number 1 is pretty wide open off the tee and if you hit it in the right spot you can really shorten the hole.  However, the green is large and falls off in the back and is protected in the front by 2 large bunkers.

The 2nd hole is one of this guys favorite holes in Minnesota, see below.  I mean come on look at that thing.  You feel like you can crush a drive into the massive fairway and nothing can go wrong.  The problem is the 2nd shot is difficult and the green has crazy slope.  Oh yeah and it’s 558 yards.


Pretty sure this one went right down the middle.

Number 3 is a tight down hill par 4 and the 4th hole is just a monster par 3 (228 yards) that will require the best shot you hit with that club all day to get close to the pin on a large green.


Good view from up here. Now move so I can hit!

The 5th hole is your first real chance at getting a birdie.  A 485 yard par 5 with an elevated tee.  Put your drive in the fairway and you are sitting pretty.

Both 6 and 7 are shorter holes, a 346 par 4 and 175 yard par 3.  Hopefully the irons are flying in the directions you want by now.  Number 8 is the #1 handicap on the course, a 455 par 4.  Hit a good drive or turn it into a par 5.  A 5 actually isn’t a bad score here.

The 9th isn’t much of a whole, but you can make it one if you want to (see below).  It’s short, so just keep it in the fairway and avoid that kind of madness.


There’s a person up there hitting a golf shot

Somehow he hit a shot out of that thicket

The back 9 is where a lot of fun happens at the Quarry.  The 10th hole is pretty simple if you can avoid one of the only 3 water hazards on the course (we’ll come back to this later).  Eleven shouldn’t be a difficult hole, but getting a par isn’t very easy.  The 12th let’s you get the driver out and go after one, just keep it on the right side if you really get into it.


#13 @ The Quarry

Hopefully you have your driver straightened out when you get to #13.  At 296 yards it gives you some things to think about.  I believe laying up is the right choice for most of us, we’ll see if anybody listens.

The 14th gives you a chance to recoup a shot with a 499 par 5.  The 15th is the strangest, but semi-fun hole on the Giants Ridge property.  At 431 yards it’s long, but most if not all the players shouldn’t be hitting driver off the tee.  You only want to hit it a max of about 230 and that depends on what side of the fairway you end up.  From there you have a 200+ yard shot downhill to a huge green or you can lay up, which many have had to do.  Don’t feel ashamed.

Sixteen is a reachable, if you hit your drive on the right side of the fairway, par 5.  Seventeen is a medium length par 3 with some water to think about off the tee.


The finishing hole at the Quarry is one of great debate.  Some think it’s good, others not so much.  It’s long and a big dogleg.  You could call it a water hole as the lake is out past the fairway.  Several have flirted with the water, although I’m not sure anybody in this group has ever reached it.  The key is to stay left off the tee, shorten the hole and get on the large green and finish the round.  Easier said than done.

We’ll be playing 2 rounds here Friday, so you can get some redemption if things go poorly in the morning.  The afternoon 2-man scramble makes The Quarry very intriguing as there are many ways to play each of these holes.  You should now be ready to play the Quarry.

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President’s Cup Gaming Bundle

Friday matches will be set on the evening of Thursday May 18th at Spears’ house, maybe we can get out on the boat.  Time of said match setting has not been established.

Below is the Gaming Bundle.  The cost this year is $110 per player and you can see below everything it gets you into, pretty much the same as years past.  No bus ride like we had last year included.

The amount is $110 and needs to be paid by May 26th.  It’s advised to pay early.

There is obviously lots of other ways to put money into play over the weekend.  Heck, people are staying at Fortune Bay on Thursday night.  There is also the chance to play 3z-4z and other gambling on the golf course.

 i bet GIF

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The Pre-Prezzy Primer

Some big news broke over the weekend.  No, it wasn’t that Sergio finally cracked through at The Masters.  And no, it wasn’t that Sheetz birdied 3 holes in a row (Tiger charge).  It was that we will be without Karson, a mainstay and original competitor in all the previous 14 “Cups”.  There is a silver lining though.  Once out, but now back in is Bersch.  Work arrangements have changed allowing him back in after being out for several months.  Bersch is an original competitor and has never missed a President’s Cup, so his streak is alive.  Even though he was never gone, welcome him back with open arms.

The Thursday of the President’s Cup has been many things to many people.  This year we will be playing at the course Steel got a hole in one at prior to the President’s Cup in 2008, I think.  Thursday has also been historically the day with the best weather, or at least the last couple of years its been that way.  People have shot career or close to career rounds on Thursdays as well, only to go on and lose that feeling and throw up all over themselves on Friday and Saturday.  The Wilderness course is fantastic and I’m sure there will be people wanting to play more after their first round.  We’ll be staying at the casino, which has always been a fan favorite for this group.

Steel is pulling together the Play & Stay Packages, the price looks to be $131.  Maybe Steel can show his negotiating prowess and get that price down. We’re looking to start teeing off around 1pm on Thursday June 1st.  Make sure and let him know if you plan on playing golf, we’d like to get the tee times set up ASAP.

Later that night is Calcutta.  “The Commissioner of Gaming” is working on projected player values and locations as we speak.  It will happen somewhere in and around The Wilderness Golf Course.

Play golf and get your scores posted.

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Only 48 days until the President’s Cup.

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