Wednesday, July 1, 2009

All You Ever Wanted To Know About
The Spinner Invitational

(but were just too smart to ask)

-or- "How Nineteen Guys Got Owned By One Girl"

The 22nd Annual Spinner Invitational, held each year at the Bay Valley Resort, was a rousing success again this year. The 2009 Golf Festival was held last Friday and, despite the fact that my Twitter posts were few, uninformative and generally without merit - the overall event went off without a hitch.

Invitees met at 9 AM for the Past Champions Brunch to bulk up for the grueling day ahead, find out the handicaps and groupings for the event, and hear some words of advice from the reiging champion.

Brunch was held (as it has been for many years) at the Exit Restaurant in Birch Run, MI. The 2009 group photo below was taken just outside that establishment. Please note 2008 Champion Ed Kirt in the left center of the front row. You can't miss him; he's the guy wearing the coveted Orange Jumpsuit, that is awarded (temporarily) to each year's champion.

In the same tradition as the fabled Green Jacket awarded each spring at the Masters in Augusta, Georgia, the Orange Jumpsuit must be proudly worn by the reigning champion at brunch each year. Well, it must be worn anyway - and any grumbling kept to a minimum.

Can you guess from this photo who is the new 2009 Champion? No peeking to the end of the post! [What do you mean "I already gave it away?"]

We traveled the remaining 25 miles to Bay City and got down to business - golfing.
[That's The Boy below - striking his first shot ever at the Spinner Invitational.]

As I indicated in my last post, golf is only a small part of the event. In addition to the Past Champions Brunch and an informal 19th Hole gathering at Bay Valley, the group heads south to Frankenmuth, MI (on the way home for most participants) for the Governor's Awards Banquet. For most of the Invitational's 22 years, the banquet has been held at Zehnder's - where most of the attendees opt for the delicious, all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinner.

As with any prestigious, long-standing event of this kind, there must be an organizing body to plan and execute all of the necessary activities - in this case, the Board of Governors (a group of men shrouded in mystery: beloved by many, feared by some; who wield their power Old Testament-style). Although I have come to know these men well during my years serving as the Director of Spinner Operations, it would be safer for me and you to avoid dwelling o'er-long on the Board.

Suffice it to say that: the Governor's Awards Banquet combines the storied tradition of Britain's Open Championship with the heady anticipation of the Academy Awards. The Invitational celebrates, not the fruits of golfing excellence, but rather the oftentimes rocky journey of the "hacker" whose limited opportunity to play does not reflect his/her love of the game. And the awards presented by the Board of Governors reflects this focus.

The winner of this year's "Cooke" award - for the most shots coming to rest in a sand trap:

The Duke of Inkster (with five)

The winner of this year's "Hannum" award - for the most shots striking trees:

Big Billy B. (with an astounding eleven)
[Bill is in the right of the photo, Chico is presenting the award at left.]

The winner of this year's "Morrison" award - for the most shots coming to rest in a body of water:

Larry* (with a respectable eight water balls)

The winner of this year's Capt. D.H. Wyatt Award - for the highest net score (the score adjusted by handicap):

Chico** (with a net 88)

And last - but not least - that golfer who persevered all of the hardships and self-doubt, whose very presence broke down barriers and brought hope to those who might not previously been bold enough to dream what seemed impossible;
the 2009 Winner of the W. T. Bigby Memorial Governor's Trophy:

Judy G. (with a net 65)

Check out this year's Champion with her posse:

I only wish you all could have been there. We had a great time.
And we'll do it again; same time, same place - next year.

Take care.

* A close friend, vacation buddy, member of the Music Night Federation and all-around cool guy; who with his wife, Leslie, is an originating member of the L2C2 Vacation Club.
** One of my closest friends, former boss, vacation buddy, Music Night co-founder and all-around cool guy; he and his wife, Chickadee, are also originating members of the C2L2 Vacation Club.


Middle Aged Woman said...

It took a chick to finally make that jumpsuit look cool. Go Judy!

bernthis said...

once again, I'm proud to be a woman! Yahoo!!!