Welcome to The Dimpled Orb
Home of the Turtle
As our cadre continues to evolve, we see the return of a couple of old war horses from years past and four new players. Age and infirmity continue to shuffle the deck as well.
The senior dynamic duo of Dennis "Wilford Brimley" McClane and Mike "Hoppa" Penland return after a four-year hiatus. Evidently McClane's disdain for Mid Pines has waned in the twilight. Perhaps switching to Pine Needles on the final day has helped in that regard.
With the return of Hoppa, we welcome the fruit of his loins, Bryan "The Mannequin" Penland and his playing partner, Chuck "Diesel" Courmier. Both players appear to possess some measure of skill on the links, reporting initial quotas of 21 and 24 respectively. Courmier's marker puts him in the running for the coveted Templeton Cup, despite being a first-year player.
The Wood contingent continues its infusion of new blood with the addition of Hank "Coach" Fennell and Jordan "J" Wall. Wall comes in sporting a quota of 20, so he should be in the mix. Fennell's highest initial quota of 25 makes him the leader in the clubhouse for the Templeton Cup. This should be a dynamic pair.
Longtime tour regular Norm "The Total Package" Templeton is on injured reserve following bypass surgery in February. The prognosis is good for a full resumption of golf activities, but not in time for this year's Trip. Michael "The Hoser" Moser was slated to return following major back surgery in 2021. It is a no go this year, however, as recovery has moved at its own pace.
As a result, Greg "The Loguemeister" Logue and Dan "The Man" Moore have assembled a team for this year. Despite being among the longest tenured tour players, the two have never paired for this event. Perhaps the change of scenery will improve their play.
As we go to press, Richard "Purple Rain" Matlock and Mike "The Viceroy" King, are scheduled to appear and resume their usual pairing. That could change, however, as Matlock nurses a fractured metatarsal resulting from a February tumble into the Grand Canyon. Their presence hinges on the pronouncements of Matlock's podiatrist.
With all the comings a goings, three groups remain solid from last year. The team of Carlton "The Senator" Logue and Jonathan "Mayhem" Greer remain intact for another quest for the Turtle. The Senator is reportedly striking the ball with some authority. Mayhem is always exciting.
Jeff "Sir Title Lock" McCall returns in defense of his Turtle win a year ago. Despite the win, his points remain low. A defense of the title remains manageable. McCall will continue with his playing partner Joe "Baby" Huie, whose steady game will keep him in contention.
The final group of Michael "The Chairman" Wood and son Abe "The Ghost" Wood will continue apace. Abe's grip on the Templeton Cup was interrupted by Ken Parent last year. It appears Fennell and Courmier will be the main obstacles this year. The Chairman's game continues its meanderings. But with a starting quota of 14, The Chairman will be in the hunt.
Let's have another good one. Be careful out there.
--C. D.-- 4/10/2023
As we enter the next thirty years of the Golf Trip, we realize that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Players and pairings may come and go, but the traditions of the Golf Trip remain steadfast. There may come a day when Greg “The Loguemeister” Logue is not handing out the tee times and pairings for the first round at Pine Needles. But that day is not yet here and won’t be for the foreseeable future. As we tread the hallowed grounds of Mid Pines and Pine Needles, we become acutely aware of the traditions that surround us. And we soldier on, ever in pursuit of the inscrutable Turtle.
Our thirty-first Southern Pines Invitational begins on April 21, 2022. A couple of new faces will adorn the player page, and a couple new pairings will emerge. For reasons yet unknown, Richard “Purple Rain” Matlock and defending Turtle champion Mike “The Viceroy” King will share their talents with new partners. Matlock will team with The Loguemeister, forming a dynamic Mendoza-Line duo. That opening paves the way for the entrance of Garrett “Big Bird” Lischer, who will occupy Matlock’s former spot as King’s partner.
Ford “Floyd” Little has traded his partner from last year for a real golfer in the person of Ken “Co” Parent. Parent arrives sporting the highest quota on the board, so he will begin the week as the Templeton Cup favorite. We may get a real time test of how home track handicaps translate to Southern Pines courses.
The Wood contingent has also shuffled the deck. Nathan “George” Forman and Matt “Marv’ Thornbury couldn’t be enticed for a return trip. Michael “The Chairman” Wood and son Abe “The Ghost” Wood will reunite to man the ramparts together.
And, finally, returning after a year in absentia is Jonathan “Mayhem” Greer. He will reunite with Carlton “The Senator” Logue, who paired with his dad last year. Both are hoping the reshuffle leads to big things.
The balance of the field remains intact from a year ago; the updated player page can be viewed here.
Good luck to everyone. Take time to smell the azaleas while you’re here.
--C. D.-- 4/10/2022
Editor's Note: Due to Covid-19, the 2020 Golf Trip was rescheduled to April 22, 2021. A note regarding the postponement from the Tournament Director is available here.
It is fitting, I suppose, that we have a 21st Century website for our Thirtieth Annual Golf Trip.
Midway through the 2019 Southern Pines Invitational, the venerable old website finally breathed its last, refusing to allow the second round scores to be posted on the Real Time Leaderboard. Like a mosquito preserved in amber, the site persists in that state--viewable but not viable. And so it shall remain--a testament to technology that has outlived its usefulness, and an archive of our past endeavors. But out of the fulsomeness of that obsolescence, this new, and we hope improved, website has emerged. We have tried to adhere to the basic architecture of the old site, with some new and better features. For now, the old website is still available here for posterity and perhaps some historic perspective on our first thirty years.
For the Thirtieth Anniversary of our annual trek (delayed by a year), we will once again journey to the hallowed Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in historic Southern Pines, North Carolina. There we will celebrate our achievement in the Pine Needles Wine Cellar, in the midst of the finest golfing adventure a man can imagine. We will be joined by newcomers Ford “Floyd” Little, Jamey Harris, Joe Huie, and Nathan "George" Foreman, who will experience for first time the wonders of the Pine Needles and Mid Pines golf courses that have lured us back lo these many years.
Tour regulars Michael "The Hoser" Moser, Clark "Goober' Lindsey, Jonathan "Mayhem" Greer, and Adam "Tormund" Hatmaker were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts. And the siren song of Mid Pines was not enough to entice the return of Dennis “Wilford Brimley” McClane, and Mike “Hoppa” Penland, leaving us with a fourteen man field.
The rest of the players remain as they were in 2019, with the new and improved profiles available here.
As usual, other links of interest are available here: Initial Quotas Chart; Tee Times and Pairings; Tournament Invitation; Tournament Rules; and Room Assignments.
Here’s to remembering our next thirty years:
“For my next thirty years I'm gonna watch my weight.
Eat a few more salads and not stay up so late.
Drink a little lemonade and not so many beers.
Maybe I'll remember my next thirty years.” --Tim McGraw.
--C. D.-- 4/10/2021
The 32nd annual Golf Trip begins on a somber note as we pause to remember our good friend Toby Hyke. Toby passed away in February after battling illness for several years. From his first outing in 1995 until he could no longer attend, Toby was a mainstay, never missing a Trip. For many years he served as Michael Wood's bankman for the Calcutta. Everyone who knew Toby liked him. He always had a smile. Never had a bad word about anyone. We all miss him alot. A few memories of Toby can be found at this link: Remembering Toby.