It’s the IB Golf League — Sort Of!

Our ever-changing group of players retell their most memorable golf stories. Have one yourself? E-mail it to golf@ibmadison.com for consideration. Our league is easy to join, share in the laughter and lessons learned this week! 

Dave Kinnaird

Commercial Truck Manager, Thorstad Chevrolet

Several years ago, my Sunday morning foursome and I were at Foxboro in Oregon, Wis. We had an early tee time at 6:48 a.m.

We were on the first tee, a par 4, slight dogleg right and an elevated tee box. My tee shot landed near center fairway which left me a good view for an approach shot to the green. I am not a long ball hitter, so I decided to try a 3 wood, thinking I might reach the green and set up for a good putt and maybe a "birdie."

As I was coming forward with my swing I could hear the chirping of the birds.

As you may have guessed, I hit a starling in mid flight!

The ball went about 80 yards and missed the green. I chipped on to the green and finished the hole with a bogie.

We all had a good laugh for awhile, but then thought about that poor bird. He didn’t make it. However, in his honor my group decided to give me a "birdie" on that hole.

Just another great day of golf with my dear friends, thanks guys.

Mike Slavney

Principal, Vandewalle & Associates

I grew up in Midvale Heights near Odana Golf Course. During the summers between terms at Odana Elementary School, my best friend and I would hide in the woods behind the 4th (now the 13th) hole — keeping careful track of the locations of balls hit into the pond and "creek."

We would return after dark and skinny dip to recover those balls!

Then we would be back into the woods the next morning to sell the "slightly used" balls to players traveling the short, but hidden, path to the fifth tee.

One night we were chased by our archenemy, "The Greenee," all the way home, up Hilltop Drive, buck naked!

He must have been laughing so hard, he had trouble keeping the Jeep straight.

As I recall, my parents didn’t buy my on-the-spot explanation ("I’ve been night-crawler hunting."). That experience was formative in both developing my golf skills for shots over water, and in securing employment with enough remuneration to afford my annual City Golf Pass through a conventional salary.

Kris Tazelaar

President, Do Marketing Group, LLC

Growing up golf had never really been on my radar screen. Counting the number of times I’d gone to the driving range or tried to hit a ball into the clown’s mouth, you would still have a few fingers left unused on your hands.

Fast forward to my five-year class reunion, some of the guys decided to play nine-holes at a little course in Beaver Dam. I hadn’t seen them in a while so I decided to join them (mostly for the cocktails and laughs). With rented clubs, used balls and had no clue as I headed to the first tee.

The organizer had been playing golf for a while and he knew this was my first time on a course, so he gave me a pass on my first attempt at a tee shot that ended with a whiff, some laughs and the ball still on the tee. But from then on, he said, every shot counted. As the day went on I found it a little easier to hit the ball than that first shot. And I’m sure my buddies were sick of me asking which club I should use.

When the ball hit the bottom of the cup on #9 I was ready to hit the bar! After the first refreshment had been consumed, the organizer had asked me if this really was my first time playing golf. "Yes," I said.

"Do you know what you scored?"

"No."

"A 50!"

"Is that good?" I asked.

While shooting a 50 my first time out isn’t exactly winning the Masters, the look on my buddy’s face was priceless. Over the years I’d like to say that first round was a sign of some late blooming golf phenom destined to take over the golfing world. Yeah, not so much!

Rob Wartella

General Manager, Country Inn & Suites- Madison West

Each year in the fall, a group of us who graduated from UW-Stout, head to Menomonie for a "guys" weekend, it started out as six of us — but has grown to 16 as of this past year and I am sure it will keep growing year after year….

We golf on Saturday — and this past year was one to remember. We play best ball and mix it up after six holes so everyone can mingle and talk smart.

It was hole three at Chippewa Valley in Menomonie and I was paired with a buddy that I’ve actually know for years. It’s a par 3 — not sure of distance — but he gets up, hits the ball and one drop, plop in the HOLE!

First hole-in-one I’ve ever seen. We preceded to dance on the tee box — screaming and hollering — and tackling the guy who just hit it … hilarious!

Something to look forward to for years to come — and stories you’ll cherish forever

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