Season Opener 8th-16th March 2013

As Steinar's game soared to meteoric levels another cosmic stone, the size of a city block, shot 600,000 miles above earth, a bit higher than the Delta plane smoothly transporting our Chairman across the Atlantic, oblivious to the commotion in the skies.
Five-for-three was also unaware of the implications as he prepared for the matches ahead. The meteor finally touched down somewhere in Russia, causing little damage…. at least that's what they reported.
The earlybirds from Namdal and New Jersey got the 2013 season off to a roaring start on the Vineyards South course on the 8th of March. Harald making his intentions to retain the Golfer of the Year Award with a resounding 36 points against Steinar's 29.
They were both present to welcome George to the 'Sunshine State' and the terrible trio were off to Fiddlesticks GC, courtesy of ex ExxonMobil and Rasgas Chartering Director, Bob Curt, the following day. Bob, with two birdies and a 29 handicap, had no difficulty amassing 40 points, leaving George (35), Steinar (28), and Harald (24) trailing.
Meantime, Bjorn was having an adventure at Newark airport, delaying his arrival at the tournament Headquarters. In the relaxed ambiance of the exclusive Naples area, La Playa, another of Harald's Clubs, hosted the next warm-up round. This also enabled Harald and George to contest their first round matchplay tie. At the same time, defending Champion, John McGraner, began his preparations by sending 3 balls into the lake at the first hole. With his 15th club, the recently re-gripped ball retreiver, he was able to fish out 6 other balls.
Harald and George decided to leave Bjorn, Steinar and John to recover more balls and concentrate on their match. The Risor lad built up a 2-hole lead at the turn and a ding-dong battle commenced on the back nine. George was never able to get the upper hand and with holes running out as fast as his balls, Lindstoel put the final nails in the Celtic coffin at the 16th. Scores for the day saw John recover with 31, Bjorn 29, Harald 28, Steinar 26 and the jet-lagged George, 20.
A relaxing afternoon at the pool, now protected by a 3 metre barbed wire electrofied fence, to fend off uninvited intruders, rounded off a lovely day,while Soren and Jan-Randulf were battling their way through US immigration and the first of many bloody Mary's. In the meantime, local chauffeur, Camillo, was preparing the red-carpet, although unknown to him, his lucrative Beacon Hill contract was about to end as Mimi's home cooking proved a real success.
Day 3 was opened with a rain warning as we broke fast at John's Diner with a wonderful selection of eggs, bacon and sausage served on muffins. At the Vineyard North Course three matchplay ties were settled while George played with himself (again). McGraner found Jan-Randulf more difficult than expected during the opening holes and struggled to get in front. However, a good run over 4 holes took him, eventually, to a comfortable 5 and 4 victory.
The Risor/Namdal battle saw the former turn 4 up before Steinar fought back. However, Harald's lead was sufficient to close the match at the 15th for a 5 and 3 over 5 for 3.
In the early exchanges between the two ex NGC executives, Soren was rampant with his shining new clubs and it looked like Bjorn was suffering more from jet-lag than his new titanium hip joint. He was able to steady the ship to win 5 and 3. This round wrapped up the preparations for the main event as follows:
John 38, Harald and George 36, Steinar 29, Bjorn and Soren 28 and Jan-Randulf, 23.
Large steaks filled the empty bellies at Fuzzy Zoeller's hangout and the local Asian community were on hand to oil the procedings……
The sun rose on day 4, joined by a slight breeze as we made our way to La Playa. Ola and Chris, in the meantime had both arrived and commenced their matchplay battle which raged on till a decisive putt fell for Chris at the 18th. To complete the matchplay story, the first semi-final was played at Twin Eagles, 14th March, where Harald scraped through 2 and 1 against Chris. The previous day, the ex New York Stock Exchange Broker, John, was in rampant form to defeat Bjorn 7 and 5.
The final was contested between the two Beacon Hill stalwarts, Harald and John, at the challenging Flamingo Course at Lely. This course was well worthy of our presence presenting the best greens of the week which were to be reached via a series of very interesting and challenging fairways. The holder, John, cemented his strong intentions with an opening par and was 3-up before Harald chipped in at the 4th to claw one back. McGraner reached the turn 2-up but Harald didn't give up easily and held on before conceding defeat at the 15th, five and three. This only strengthened John's resolve to repeat his double victory of 2012.
And so back to the main event (day 4) round 1 at La Playa. John quietly built-up a sizeable lead in the Season Opener with 21 points on the front 9. He relaxed a bit, but still scored 39 points to finish round 1 with a 7-stroke cushion over the chasing pack, led by Harald and George.
While approaching the 15th we were advised that white smoke was emerging from the Vatican flare-stack in Rome. Local Apaches wrongly interpreted it and were seen running for cover. It was announced that an Argentinian Cardinal had pipped Harald's drinking buddy from New York Cardinal Dolan (Tim to his friends) in the final "rigged" vote.
Round 2 took us to Twin Eagles where John's lead was slightly extended, although he himself had, by his standards, a bad day. Jan-Randulf and Steinar shared the honours with 28 points as Harald and George fell further behind.
As was the case every evening, a fine fare of food was provided, washed down by ample supplies of wines and the pack was further well-watered at the oasis' of John and Harald's hospitality.
AED (Automatic External Defillibator…… in other words: a port-a-loo) was a new expression for our vocabulary. They were situated at strategic points around Treviso Bay. Everyone was nervous about this course being included, especially those who hadn't experienced it last year. On a wonderful clear, warm, breezy Florida day, the assembled troops took their spot on a more favourable front tee. The course was in magnificent condition with greens that accepted approach shots and putted truly.
Saturday is moving day and John certainly did that with 40 points, followed by George (33) and Steinar (31). This set-up a final day at Lely, however John's 15 shot margin meant that he could almost consider playing 9 holes and still be looking good. This very attractive complex in the Naples area, produced its share of surprises. George's 35 against John's 31 cut the margin of victory slightly and gave our Chairman the Silver Medal with Harald further behind in the Bronze spot. Steinar, who had been challenging for the 3rd place, fell away with his worst round of the trip……
…………. and so the crowds dispersed and the DOGGS Season Opener was brought to an end.
However, not before the members witnessed a spectacular sunset from the veranda of the La Playa Beach Club and a wonderful dinner brought down the curtain on the first event of the season. Many thanks are due to Harald and John for their excellent hospitality and perfect organisation!
It only left Arthur Andersen to finalize the accounts and the fat lady to sing.