It’s the IB Golf League — Sort Of!

The official name of our ever-changing players telling their most memorable golf stories. Have one yourself? E-mail it to for consideration. Our league is easy to join, and the laughter and lessons learned are both laughable and lumpable this week!

Mark Schmitz , President, ZD Studios Inc.

Eleven other gentlemen and I waited a lifetime to plan a golf odyssey to Ireland: ten courses in seven days, with little rain and fresh Guinness.

We were an eclectic group of Madisonians with one common equalizer…. The “golf experience” was in our blood. We had grown up together in Madison at different times but all linked to the Odana, Yahara, and Pleasant View shuffle. All of us were products of this great University of Wisconsin- bartenders, attorneys, real estate professionals, designers, writers and school teachers; all seeking to connect with the golf Gods of Galway and Tralee — one pub at a time.

It was night number four as I recall. You see the days and nights run together when all you eat is one pint at a time. Breakfast tastes like lunch and lunch tastes like dinner, everything is a 16 oz. “pork chop,” one “punt” at a time (this was before the euro showed up) . We had just tied the course record at Galway Country Club on the east coast of the Emerald Isle and were ready for supper.

We found ourselves amassed around the alter in one of the most famous pubs on the island (“The Quays” (pronounced The Keys).) As the golf stories and evening progressed, the Men’s Oxford Rugby team entered the room. Adorned in blue blazers with gold buttons and patches of honor, the lads, each averaging 6’4″, 240 lbs., had just spanked the Irish Galway team and were ready to celebrate.

We, of course, being the kings of celebration, chummed up with them in no time. They taught us their ancient rugby fight songs, and the souls from Europe began to congregate around us all. As the evening turned into early morning , we began to teach the entire Pub — now filled to the brim with over 100 brand new friends, our University of Wisconsin, time honored “Varsity.” The scene still makes me cry, 100 people from all over Europe — all with pint in hand quietly singing Varsity in unison as the 12 lads from Wisconsin waved our arms to the end. A golf memory for sure, but also so much more.

On Wisconsin!

Heather Longhenry , Chief Operations & Finance Officer, Settlers Bank

Last fall, I organized a Rotary golf outing. It was a social outing and semi-fund raiser. Since we wanted to get more people to participate, we decided to call it “Cheaters Golf” (or as I liked to refer to it “men’s rules”).

We sold gimme’s in the form of string, foot wedges and mulligans. The “cheaters tools” could be used anywhere on the course and you could use them any way you liked. When you used a tool, it didn’t count as a stroke.

My team ended up winning with an 18 under par. We had purchased some 3 feet of string to use on the greens to get our ball in the hole and over 20 mulligans and foot wedges. We came across one par five hole that we had a really good drive on. Our third shot was a chip shot to the green and we ended up just off the green. We used a foot wedge to kick it on to the green and when it didn’t go close enough to the hole we used a do-over of the footwedge. It got close enough to use up our final foot of string giving us a nice Eagle on the hole.

Hey it was “cheaters golf.”

Dave Grauwels, President, Mortgage Professionals

This story probably is funnier in person than it is in print, but I will do my best to tell the story.

I was playing golf in league out at the Oaks. The 5th hole is a par 3 that has an elevated green. I missed the green on my tee shot and needed to hit a sand wedge for my second shot. I didn’t hit it very well, so I tossed my club in the direction of the next tee box. Next thing, my golf partner came walking up from below the green holding his shoulder — asking why I hit him with a club!

I could not see below because of the elevation of the green and I assumed he was kidding, but he assured me that he was not. I was mortified thinking about how much worse that situation could have been. He was a real good sport about It, but still I felt bad.

Then, two weeks later at league, we were on the same hole with three other guys. Dave, the same guy that I hit two weeks prior, was hitting a shot out of the sand trap while I was bending over on the green to fix my ball mark. A friend of ours that was standing near me yelled “Grauwels!” But it was too late — Dave hit a line drive that hit me in the center of my head, made a hallow sound and rolled six feet from the cup!

The entire group hit the ground laughing, and I literally spent five minutes rolling around on the green gasping for air. He made the putt for one of the best pars that I have ever seen.

The retribution on the exact same hole was a story that we have all told many times.

I copied this story to Ryan Smith, who was with me that day — just in case he wanted to add to the story:

“Easily one of the funniest things I have seen. It should be noted that when Dave got hit in the head with the ball, the guy hitting was in a bunker over the hill and we could not see him because of the green being elevated,” says Ryan Smith.

Michael Gustafson, Principal, Suby Von Haden & Associates, S.C.

My dad was a near-scratch golfer and taught me to golf at a young age. We probably played 1,500 rounds of golf together. It was our bonding time.

One year we decided to play in the Wisconsin Father-Son tournament. It is an alternative shot format so he would hit one shot and I would hit the next and so on. The first hole, my scratch golfer dad grounds the ball off the tee 75 yards so I get to hit my first shot of the day from under some trees. Next hole, I roll my tee shot 50 yards onto a pile of branches that had fallen from a nearby tree. We played better as the day went on — but needless to say, it was our last attempt at the Father-Son tournament. We laughed about it the whole way home and not a year went by that one of us didn’t bring that day up while we were golfing, and we shared a good laugh.

My dad always told me that just when you think you have golf figured out it will humble you and that day drove his point home perfectly. Every now and then, when I am having a bad day on the course, I think of that day, have a little laugh to myself, and head to the next tee, humbled and smiling at the thought of my dad having to hit that shot off a pile of sticks.

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