Saturday was moving time at The Open, and so it was at the SWAG Tour 7 at Royce Brook GC. And just like at St Andrews, the weather cooperated at Hillsborough. The fairways and greens were very receptive and tournament ready. Although there was water in some bunkers, they were nothing compared to the aptly named bunkers at the Old Course. As Mon said, the best bunker play is the one you don’t have to do. Eight flights fought for position into the top 20 in order to qualify for Class A for the championship rounds.
There were two interesting storylines at our Tour 7. First was the color-blind foursome of Romy, Dante, Melvin and Noel, who inadvertently teed off the wrong tees in one of the holes. But being gentlemen golfers with unquestionable sportsmanship, they gracefully DQ’d themselves without any complaints. They are true Swaggers, indeed, and hats off to them. Romy could have won, but with good humor, he cheerfully opened the door to the eventual winner.
This segues to the second plot. While it’s mostly a battle of youth at The Open, it was a triumph of experience at our tour. After recently becoming an octogenarian, my cousin Lino Carin was declared the winner. During the interview, the Champ said, “There’s one thing I can say – I think my game is back!” Cheers to Daddy Lino for inspiring those among us who are advancing in mileage and enduring bodily aches and pains. As Jojo S said, the super seniors can still put it in the hole.
Ex Prez Lino E was runner-up after a tie breaker, solidifying his position at the top of the heap. The Ace was also the low gross winner. Oca B bombed the drive like Dustin with a swing that is almost the spitting image of Jordan’s. Jojo P, Lito D, Romy and Lino C made dart practice of the par 3s. Jueteng winners were: Front – Cary, Dr Dino, Lino E; Back – Gerry A, Lino C, Lito D; LG – Lino E (1st) and Oca B (2nd). Lowaist Gang were Dr Dino, Zenon, Roland, Dr Pete. Congrats to all the winners and thanks to the contributors and our hardworking Directors!
After the game, we celebrated with dinner at The Restaurant at Royce Brook, one of the best in NJ. The sumptuous steak was delicious as usual, kudos to Chef Mark. The lovely attendants were very engaging, humoring the harmless flirtations of the young once. All in all, it was another enjoyable and memorable Swag Tour filled with friendly competition and camaraderie.
The B2K Construction Tournament
Tour 3 – B2K Construction Tournament at Berkshire Valley GC
Ah, Berkshire Valley, the name conjures scenic rolling hills and picturesque plains framed by shady trees and tranquil lakes. But like the yin to the yang, it also instills apprehension to some weekend hackers when its bucolic image is juxtaposed by narrow fairways, undulating greens, lurking forests, steep cliffs and watery graves to many a golf balls. Whether you see the views as inspiring or fearsome, it was probably fitting that they were shrouded by fog and mist in the morning and overcast by clouds in the afternoon, with mild temperatures and calm winds—not bad for golf. However, the greens were aerated and sand-filled, denying us of true roll. The course’s schedule was as tight as the fairways; hence, the SWAG directors set special rules to maintain a reasonable pace of play, and all complied. Seven flights responded to the call to battle in SWAG Tour 3 – B2K Construction Tournament sponsored by Gerry Aguilera.
Contrasting conditions are inherent in life and golf. To wit, on one par 3 hole with forced carry over water, the senior tees were farther than the regular tees, to the chagrin of the seniors. While snickering behind, the slightly younger competitors could not hide their schadenfreude. Now imagine the joy of reaching the green in one glorious drive on the short par 4. And shortly thereafter feel the agony of squandering the rare eagle or easy birdie opportunity by taking four putts. It is a mortal sin in golf according to Leo. But we’re not really sinners, Zenon. The golf gods are just playing with us. Then there’s Ding Furyk. Fresh from winning Tour 2 and Colors, he followed up by playing the best front nine in Tour 3. Unfortunately, he had to discontinue due to painful back spasms. We wish you a speedy recovery, Champ.
Indeed, it was a trifecta of seniors winning the first three consecutive tours. This time Jojo P claimed victory in his cool, calm and collected ways. Francis D was runner-up after a tie breaker with Reggie M. In his first tour this season, Cary B2B shot lowest gross. The youthful Philip H rocketed the ball farthest. Closest to the pins belonged to Roland, Dr Max and Zenon. Jueteng winners were: Ding, Philip, Orly, Peter, Jojo P, Lino E, Cary, Beda, Vic and Dr Pete. Special mention goes to Dr Ipe who had two birdies from the regular tees. As brought up by Romy, kudos to our treasurer Orly for the transparency and trustworthy handling of SWAG funds over the years.
Gerry Aguilera of B2K Construction, the sponsor Tour 3, graciously hosted the after-game celebrations at his home in Secaucus. We feasted on delicious Latin flavors, home BBQs of tender lamb and the other prime meats, sweet desserts and the finest drinks. Many thanks to Gerry A and family! Bombastic SWAG birthday greetings as well to Gerry A, Oca, Ramon, Lino C—sorry if I missed other Swaggers–who were born in May, especially those reaching the big 5-0 and 8-0 milestones. Oh, in case you’re wondering, Jimmy doesn’t want to speak with Orly anymore.
Tour III: @ Berkshire Valley GC
Green Fee: $78.00 Time: 09:00
Range ball included
|Berkshire Valley GC Club|
|WHEN||Saturday May 09, 2015|
|VIEW WHO IS PLAYING|
It was a brisk early morning and beautiful sunny day. When else can you get a Saturday morning tee time, shotgun start with cart and lunch at Spook Rock for 64 bucks? The course played by a billionaire mayor and a famous NFL player was where SWAG held its 2nd Tour. Some Swaggers were a bit rusty as this was their first round of the season. Dr Pete asked me to write about his three double pars in the same round. Such sportsmanship was reminiscent of the great Billy Casper who proudly celebrated his 106 score–highest ever–in his last game at the Masters in 2005. Dr Pete was ready to give his share of low-waist gang, but alas four others played worse. The course condition was good, but some described the greens and pin placements as almost diabolical. You can be in on 2 and then in on 4 again on the same hole.
For the second consecutive time, the winner emerged from the seniors. It was Ding Roxas who methodically dissected the course with the precision swing of Jim Furyk. Although one of the longer hitters, Ding said he enjoyed playing from the senior tees. Runner-up was Gerry A after a tie breaker with Lino E, Philip H, and Ed A. Lino E won low gross, Oca drove the longest, and par 3 sharpshooters were Roland, Lino E, Philip and Oca. Jueteng winners were Raul, Roland, Philip, Lino E, Ding, Zenon, Oca, Dr Ipe, Jojo S and Dr Lito A. Congrats to the winners!
Show Your Colors Winners – The Engineers
Majority participated in the Show Your Colors contest. Originally planned to be an individual effort, the “athletes” gradually flocked to form teams like birds of the same colors. Representatives of similar type of colleges combined forces to challenge other teams with many members. UST had the most members. UE Warriors were very enthusiastic. The best of the best scores from each team won. Again, the winner was Ding Roxas who represented Mapua Institute of Tchnology, together with his team members Philip of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gerry A of Batangas State University, and Ed of Mapua. Go Engineers! Gerry D, also an engineer who represented University of the Philippines, photo bombed the winning team. He’s still giddy for avoiding the gang of four. Resembling a fiesta parade, the athletes strutted their colorful coats-of-arms. Winners of best attires were Peter of Ateneo de Manila and Francis of De La Salle. These traditional adversaries looked like BFFs in Oca’s photo collage in our website. Check it out and see snapshots of our celebration at Ed’s home after the game. Seeing how we enjoyed Wilma’s cooking, one can’t tell that we already had lunch at the course. We shared fine drinks brought by some members, accompanied by live performance of the second version of the Blue Eagles cheering song.
Let’s continue the fun and sign up for Tour 3 – The B2K Construction Tournament at Berkshire Valley GC on May 9, sponsored by Gerry Aguilera, owner of B2K. Gerry A will also host the after-game celebration. Low-waist gang will be in effect, as the main goal seems to be to avoid it. Will another senior be victorious for a trifecta? No pressure, Orly. We still don’t know what Jimmy would say.
At your service,
Tour II: @ Spook Rock GC
Green Fee: $64.00 Time: 08:00
|Spook Rock GC Club|
|WHEN||Saturday April 25, 2015|
|VIEW WHO IS PLAYING|
The 2015 SWAG season was off to a good start at The Architects, with beautiful weather, sunshine, moderate wind and reasonably good course conditions. To my knowledge, this is the first time that we’re using the senior tees. Vic decided to play the regular tees in order to get his money’s worth. Dr. Ipe will have to wait another year. Many thought that the winner will come from seniors with lower handicap and longer drives. Sure enough, the winner was Roland, in spite of limping and driving not quite like Duval Bogey. We wondered what Jimmy would say to Orly and Ding.
The runner-up was Peter, who days before predicted that he will repeat his best score when he texted us his past scorecard at the Architects.
Other winners were: Lino E and Peter tied for Lowest Gross; Alex for Longest Drive; Orly, Gerry D, Jojo P, Ramon and Alex for Closest to the Pin; Roland, Oca, Peter, Lino E, Alex, Max, Ipe and Gerry D were Jueteng winners. As a consolation for the rest of us, Ramon reminded that it’s really about having fun than winning. The low-waist gang was thankful that their contribution was waived, with some reluctance from our Treasurer.
The after-game celebration was held in a nice private room in the Architects Clubhouse basement, more due to a wedding reception upstairs, than us being special. We felt as if we were members of a premium club, with delicious food, good service, camaraderie, and a TV for ourselves to watch The Masters.
Yours truly representing EBA Engineering, the sponsor of the Tournament, handed our Treasurer Orly a $500 check for SWAG funds.
Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all for playing and supporting.
Tour I: The EBA Engineering Tournament
Green Fee: $75.00 Time: 10:30
Range Balls included
|The Architects GC Club|
|WHEN||Saturday April 11, 2015|
|CLICK HERE TO VIEW WHO’S PLAYING|
My dear friends,
Thank you all for the opportunity to be of service to you, our association and our passion of golf. Let us also thank our outgoing President Lino Emnas, his administration and all the volunteers and sponsors for a job well done. It was truly an enjoyable and memorable season, as were all the other seasons. With everybody’s help, we will carry on the good work of our previous administrations and continue to improve our association.
Another exciting season is upon us as we implement some notable changes that were agreed on in our membership meeting. As brought up by Melvin, we will give our senior members (65 and over) the option to use the senior tees. We hope that this will make our tours even more enjoyable for everyone.
Zenon proposed that we obtain sponsors for our tournaments to raise funds.
Four sponsors at $500 each have already signed up: Gerry Aguilera for “B2K Construction Tournament” on May 9;
Raul Encarnacion for “Players Tournament” on Championship Round 1;
Lito DeGuzman for “The Bamboo Grill & Latin Room Invitational”, date to be announced later;
and yours truly for “EBA Engineering Tournament” on Tour 1. If you wish to sponsor a tournament, please reserve soon because dates are first come first serve. I’ll change my date if someone else wants Tour 1.
We will organize our 2015-2016 administration and announce the new officers, board members and committee chairs within ten days of our meeting, as provided in the SWAG By-Laws.
There’s a saying that we cannot choose our family, but we can choose our friends.
We chose each other with whom to spend the precious little time that we have.
So let us make the most of it. Let’s enjoy every moment and cherish our friendship, even as we try to beat each other on the golf course.
At your service,