CARLSBAD, Calif. (January 2, 2011) -- Forty-seven birdies and two eagles. Not bad for 43 players trying to shake the rust off after a wet California December filled with the usual holiday celebrations.
The occasion was the third annual New Year's Skins game, hosted by amateurgolf.com at the fantastic Aviara Golf Club. The Arnold Palmer-design -- which handled our recent wet weather so well we were able to play the ball down -- is always a treat and PGA Head Professional Renny Brown and his entire staff did a superb job making us feel welcome right down to the hot towel and chocolate chip cookie at the end of the day.
There were a total of 5 "skins" out after all scores were posted, three of them made with birdies and two of them with eagles.
The first eagle was recorded on the tricky dogleg-left 10th by Kelly Moser, one of four Titleist representatives in attendance (Kelly works at Scotty Cameron putters). The second was on the 568-yard 17th by Matt Christensen. I originally reported that Matt chipped in, but he corrected me later, and his was some eagle:
"I actually holed out a 7-iron from 160. I had to lay up because I hit my drive in the trees left."
Only the 18th hole, long known as one of the best finishing holes in California, went "un-birdied" - if that's a even a word. You get the idea. With a pond on the right and bunkers through the fairway off the tee, getting in position is a challenge on this 413-yard par four. Then comes the fun part. A mid iron shot, or more, to a green guarded by cascading rock waterfalls on the right and o.b. left. With the beautiful clubhouse in the background, any pain inflicted by this monster is short-lived, that's the fun part.
Below are the results of the skins, long drive, and closest to the pin competitions. We really appreciate the support of the day's major sponsors Titleist, SKLZ, Lamkin, True Temper Project-X, Amino Vital, The Crossings at Carlsbad, and PAHR.
SKINS ($172 each)
* Hole No. 2, 391 Yards - Birdie 3 - Bo Courtney
* Hole No. 6, 188 Yards - Birdie 2 - Gary Glaser
* Hole No. 10, 489 Yards - Eagle 3 - Kelly Moser
* Hole No. 11, 178 Yards - Birdie 2 - Steve Haasis
* Hole No. 17, 568 Yards - Eagle 3 - Matt Christensen
* Longest Drive, Hole No. 8 - Matt Christensen. Prize: SKLZ Vari-Break putting green.
* Longest Drive, Hole No. 17 - George Risberg. Prize: SKLZ Practice Pod Pro.
* Closest-to-Pin, Hole No. 3 - Art Law. Prize: SKLZ Practice Pod Pro.
* Closest-to-Pin, Hole No. 11 - Andre Fitzpatrick. Prize: The Crossings at Carlsbad Gift Certificate.
* Most Birdies - Dave Giese - 5 birdies, no skins! Prize: Project-X Driver Shaft, as used by the 2010 British Open Champ.
Stay tuned for information about more fun Southern California events, including skins games, the San Diego County Amateur, and The Two Man Links Championship at Bandon Dunes. We run 15 events in Northern California, including three in Monterey. Any of these are worth the trip. Visit www.amateurgolf.com/tour for more information.
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