GBO Stories



"If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball."     --Jack Lemon












A Father-Son Mulligan

(Article written in the Wall Street Journal by Don Snyder and why some of us play golf!) 


How a stormy round at Carnoustie renewed a family's bond


Carnoustie, Scotland


WE WENT straight from the airport in Edinburgh to Carnoustie, where the weather

was so awful that we had the course to ourselves. The wind and freezing rain were

blowing sideways off the black North Sea, left to right at 40 knots as we stood

on the first tee. My son Jack's drive was swept 50 yards off the fairway before

it landed. To avoid a slice, I snap-hooked my drive way out over the burn into

the sea.


Last winter Jack turned 18, but I kept seeing him when he was 5 years old on the

driveway skating rink I'd made. We would stage marvelous bench-clearing brawls

at night before his bedtime, wrestling each other to the ice beneath a sky swept

with stars. After ice hockey, there was golf. By the time Jack was 17, he and I

had walked from our home in Maine to Washington, D.C., and back on fairways,

always dreaming that he would one day earn 'the chance to play Division I college

golf. When no colleges were interested in him by his senior year, he began drifting

away from me. He had stopped believing in himself, and I wondered then if fatherhood

was just a long run of fixing things. First its things like bikes and skateboards.

Then it's the stuff inside them, stuff you can't fix.


In my fitful sleep one night I dreamed that Jack and I had finally made it to

Scotland. We were playing the Championship Course at Carnoustie in the dead of

winter, the toughest challenge in all of golf, so that whenever Jack came to see

me from wherever he would venture in the world as I turned into an old man, I

would ask him as he stepped through the door, "Well, have you met anyone yet

who played the Championship Course at Carnoustie in the dead of winter?" And he

would always say, "Nobody but us, Daddy."


A few days later I stopped him on the way to his room. "Do me a favor, Jack, will you?"

"What?" he asked.

"I want to play golf with you in Scotland," I said.

"All right," he said.


WE CALLED IT hysterical golf-house-of-horrors golf. The wind howling in our ears and

blowing us back half a step for every step forward. Hands blue. Feet numb. Scorecard

blown away into the sea and with it, the only map we had of the course, so we were

blind on almost every shot. The metal pins were bent so low that their flags swept

the greens. Driver cover blown away into the thistle. Balls blown off the tees.

I loved every minute of it.


When we reached the tee for the third hole-a 337-yard par four-all the wind off

the sea was suddenly behind us. I watched Jack take his stance. Then he stepped

away and repositioned himself with the ball closer to his back foot. Just before

he swung, he raised his eyes slowly, and glared down the fairway as if everything

that he had ever feared was out ahead of him. I heard that marvelous cracking sound

and then watched his ball ride low through the wind. He played his wedge the same

way, with a low, three-quarter punch shot off his back foot and made birdie.  I had

lost three balls and was 10 strokes over par by the time we reached the sixth tee. 

Ahead of us lay the famous hole named “Hogan’s Alley.”  The legendary Ben Hogan had

heard so much about how difficult Carnoustie was that he arrived two weeks early for

the 1953 British Open and practiced every day. I was reading the description of the

hole to Jack when the little brochure blew away, too. "Out of bounds all the way

down the left side!" I yelled to him. "Bunkers in the middle and rough on the right!"

"How far are those bunkers?" he yelled back as he walked up to his ball and glanced

down the narrow fairway one last time. "Maybe 300 yards!" "I'm going over them!"

His drive carried the bunkers and landed safely.


All day I watched Jack returning to himself. Some men take their children to

church hoping to point the way for them through the darkness of the world. I

had brought my son here for the same reason.  On the tee box at the 18th,

that ruinous finishing hole, Jack surveyed the Barry Burn winding across the

fairway just under 300 yards from the championship tees, then hit his drive over

it, into perfect position. From there he danced a wedge close enough to make

another birdie, and to post a 73.


"Sergio was 30 over par after two days in the 1999 British Open here," he said

as we shook hands.


Jack left home two days after his high-school graduation to work at the fabled

Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, where Jack Nicklaus played his first U.S. Open

when he was 17. All summer my son worked hard at his game and competed in the

Collegiate Series.  After one particularly tough tournament, he called me and

sounded like he might give up.


The next week; I started wearing his old golf shoes to work for good luck even

though they were four sizes too big. He turned things around in his next tournament

and called me as he was driving back to Toledo. "If I hadn't putted like an idiot

I could have won," he said. I heard the confidence in his voice. Ten minutes after

we said goodbye, he called again.  The coach at the University of Toledo had just

called him. “What size shirt do you wear, Jack?” he’d asked. “I want you on my team.”


Before we hung up I remembered to ask jack if he’d met anyone out in Ohio who had

played the Championship course at Carnoustie in the dead of winter.

“Nobody but us, Daddy,” he said.




Great inspirational video, even if you're not a golfer!

(click on Link)






Golden Beaver Open Qualifying School

(click on Link)


Golf 101



The Dam


This  is about par for some of  our elected/appointed  officials 

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property.
It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania .
This guy's response is hilarious, but read State's letter before you get to the response letter.
Read and enjoy.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County   

Dear Mr. DeVries: 

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent

unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property.  You have been certified as the legal

 landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:    

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.
A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity A review of the Department's files

shows that no permits have been issued.  


Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes

and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts

of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated. 

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent

rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.  We find that dams of this nature

are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease

and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing

all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel.  All restoration work shall be completed 

no later than January 31, 2009.

David L. Price 
District Representative and Water Management Division. 

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries


Dear Mr. Price:

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N, R10W, Sec 20; Montcalm County

Your certified letter dated 12/17/97 has been handed to me to respond to. You sent out a great deal of

carbon copies to a lot of people, but you neglected to include their addresses. You will, therefore,

have to send them a copy of my response.

First of all, Mr. Ryan DeVries is not the legal landowner and/or contractor at 2088 Dagget, Pierson, Michigan —

I am the legal owner and a couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and

maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay

for, nor authorize, their dam project, I think they would be highly offended you call their skillful use of

natural building materials "debris." I would like to challenge you to attempt to emulate their dam project a

ny dam time and/or any dam place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no dam way you could

ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam

determination and/or their dam work ethic.

As to your dam request the beavers first must fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam

activity, my first dam question to you is: are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers or

do you require all dam beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request? If you are not

discriminating against these particular beavers, please send me completed copies of all those other applicable

beaver dam permits. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams,

of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections

324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Michigan Compiled Laws annotated.

My first concern is — aren't the dam beavers entitled to dam legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers

are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said dam representation — so the State will have to provide

them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a

recent rain event causing dam flooding is proof we should leave the dam Spring Pond Beavers alone rather

than harassing them and calling them dam names. If you want the dam stream "restored" to a dam free-flow c

ondition — contact the dam beavers — but if you are going to arrest them (they obviously did not pay any

dam attention to your dam letter-being unable to read English) — be sure you read them their dam Miranda

rights first.

As for me, I am not going to cause more dam flooding or dam debris jams by interfering with these dam builders.

If you want to hurt these dam beavers — be aware I am sending a copy of your dam letter and this response to

PETA. If your dam Department seriously finds all dams of this nature inherently hazardous and truly will not permit

their existence in this dam State — I seriously hope you are not selectively enforcing this dam policy, or once again

both I and the Spring Pond Beavers will scream prejudice!

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their dam unauthorized dams as long as the

sky is blue, the grass is green, and water flows downstream. They have more dam right than I to live and enjoy

Spring Pond. So, as far as I and the beavers are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more dam elevated

enforcement action now. Why wait until 1/31/98? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then, and

there will be no dam way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then. In conclusion, I would like to bring

to your attention a real environmental quality (health) problem: bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely

 believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the dam beavers alone. If you are going to investigate

the beaver dam, watch your step! (The bears are not careful where they dump!) Being unable to comply with your dam

request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.

Stephen L. Tvedten



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