Why Sergio Garcia’s 13 Made Me Miss Thornapple Creek Golf Course
If you play or follow golf, this weekend is one of the highlights of the golf year. The Masters. It just oozes history and it just "is" golf. But seeing Sergio Garcia take a 13 on Thursday really made me miss Thornapple Creek Golf Course in Kalamazoo.Thornapple Creek ended its run as a golf course this past November. While I haven't played all the courses in the area, it was always my favorite. Very pretty. Very challenging. And one really wonderful story that I love to tell.
So how does this tie into Sergio Garcia's 13 on Thursday? Well, the first thing you heard on SportsCenter and other sports media were references to the movie "Tin Cup". And it's really hard not to think of that, too.
But, while my mind goes to "Tin Cup", it wasn't me doing what Roy McAvoy (Kevin Costner) did in the movie.
If you remember a KFR personality in the late 1990's name Dr. Dave Michaels, that's who we're talking about here. There were three of us here, Rick, the Hall of Fame basketball coach, Dr. Dave, and me. Of the three of us, Rick is the best golfer, but none of us are all that good. We're out on a Monday night and we're on the Back Nine. And if you're familiar with Thornapple Creek, you know about Hole. No. 13.
Your scenic views are just beginning as you approach the back nine. Hole # 13; a long 593-yard, Par-5 "bender" wraps around the large Thornapple pond along the right of the fairway. Unless you've hit the drive of your life, you're probably looking at 3 shots to the green with your third shot going directly over the pond to an elevated green -- protected with a bunker on the left and trees to the right. - MichiganGolf.com's description
So there the three of us are, on our third shot. Rick and I choose to play it safe and play around the pond. So we're standing there waiting of Dave. Dave hits Ball #1. Plunk. Okay, can happen to anyone. Ball #2. Plunk. Bad luck. Ball #2. Plunk. Now, he's a on mission. "I'm going to make this. These two clown watching me are not going to have the satisfaction". Ball #4. Plunk. Bag to the bag. Ball #5. Plunk. Rick and I are standing together, and working as hard as we ever have to suppress laughter. Ball #6. Plunk. Suppression isn't working. Ball #7. Plunk. No. Come on, play around. Ball #8. It hits the edge of the elevated green. Yes. Yes, yes, yes.
Hard to put into words the look of smug satisfaction on Dr. Dave's face, after placing that golf ball on the green. The eighth golf ball.
I hope the owners of the property that was Thornapple Creek enjoy their land and use it to it's fullest. But never, will they ever have a moment like we had on it back in the day.