Thursday, January 4, 2007

What's in a name?

OK - this should provide some insight to the "clever" name.

Several years ago when I first started playing on-line (Ultimate Bet), I had to come up with a player name. As much as I love golf and as much as the ultimate golf achievement is the hole in one (ask any golfer, no matter how long they have been playing - they will be able to tell you about their ace in graphic detail; if they don't have one, they can at least tell you how many they have seen).

I had got mine way back on July 6 1990 at Lacoma on the 9th hole. It was not the prettiest shot I ever hit, but I got mine and that put me in the club. My dad was a witness and my brother was in the group ahead of us, which made it all the sweeter. Earlier in the round I was stupid enough to screw up my knee by smashing a boulder with my foot that was hanging out of the cart (because that's how I roll...). I went on to shoot a 78 and only took 5 or 6 years for my knee to feel "right" again.

So I thought the player name "o-hole-ne" (continued when I signed up on PokerStars @ 3 years ago) was not only pithy, but also descriptive. Still amazed at some of the comments it has generated, but that's another story.

Flash forward to September 11, 2004... playing in the "Duke Out". This is an outing with about 40 guys organized by my cousins where we play on a Saturday morning at some "muni" course that changes each year. After the round we head to a local park to grill brats and drink beer and hand out the "prizes"... four-man teams, using the low score of the group for each hole... the highest score on the winning team wins the Duke award and has to wear this really cheesy sport coat (that has some very odd stains) and this goofy gold plastic helmut and a year-long reign.

In 2004 we were playing at Woodbine Bend and my group included my dad (2 aces at that time, one more since), my brother (2 career aces) and my uncle (50 years of golf and 0 aces - and yes, it's killing him). We were all playing poorly when we got to the 15th hole; a tough 185 yarder with an elevated green. The pin was tucked in the back left of the kidney-shaped green, protected by a bunker which prevented seeing the hole. I hit a beautiful 5 iron into the wind with a slight draw and we all held our breath because it was tracking exactly where it needed to go. Now we can only see the flag and the top half of the stick, but we all know it was a really good shot - even one of the other groups on an adjacent hole asked if it when in... my brother is in the cart ahead of us and before I get up to the green he'd tossed a ball from his pocket to the fringe behind the pin and, of course, that's where I thought I ended up. After I get out of the cart and say "oh well", he can't hold it together and admits his evil-ness. Quick check of the cup and "yea baby!"

20 years of "Duke Outs" - first ace ever. Bar tab - huge. Respect and admiration from that many friends and family - awesome. Further tilt put on my uncle - priceless.

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