Last week Des Moines started out on the right foot for me, because I was able to putt for about three hours and chip around the practice green for another forty minutes or so. Coming from Denver with the very windy conditions and fast greens, I was able to get ahead of the curve in getting my speed down for the week. Of all the skills needed to perform well, a player has to have very good speed on the greens, along with knowing the firmness of the bounce off your chip shots. Also, early practice is the key to having to a well balanced pro-am schedule without feeling like you need extra practice during the rounds as well as afterwards. I can just relax and enjoy my pro-am group.
Around eight O Clock after the practice, I was looking for a place to eat that was good and quick. Bobby Clampett must have had the same idea, because he asked me to join him at Monterey’s Mexican Restaurant that was a stones throw from our hotel. Our meal was outstanding. Bobby was impressive eating three entrée’s with all the trimmings. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen someone eat that much and be so skinny to boot. I had a great time catching up with a friend that I’ve known since college, especially learning that he is as happy as can be really made me happy. Bobby is very intelligent, witty, and just plain good company.
Fortunately, this week I was able to play in three pro-ams with some very interesting people. I always enjoy this part of my week, because I learn a lot about life. What’s going on in the local community, how many children and family a person has, what their special interests are, and what’s going on in their business life. People are so wonderful around golf. With the relaxing atmosphere at the golf course, I can just about ask any question of a person and be rest assured that I’m going to get a heartfelt answer. I ask a lot of questions, and Pro-ams are sometimes the highlight of my week. This week I had a father that I played with introduce me to his daughter, which was very nice for me encouraging her to keep her golf up. Also, one of our days was with a local media company that is one of the largest in the Mid West. Meredith Corporation has twelve television stations, along with Better Homes And Gardens magazine which has headquarters in New York as well. My caddie Chris Frame and I were invited to dinner at Flemmings, which is probably the best steak in town. That’s saying a lot being in the cattle country of the mid west, where steak is king. Doug Lowe, Scott Rundall, Art Slusark, Mike Riggs treated us to a bone in filet, wonderful vegetables, and outstanding wine. We thought we had died and gone to heaven eating under the stars, getting the special treatment due to Scott Rundalls close relationship with the staff especially the wine steward. We hated to see the day end around eleven O Clock. I thought they would have to bring a rescue squad to get us out of there we had eaten so much and were having so much fun together. This was truly a great day for Chris and I because it set the tone for a great week on the golf course, where I had my highest finish in about two years-finishing tied for fifth.
Glen Oaks Country Club is a Tom Fazio design from his early days, which is one of his best of all time. I enjoy the challenge off the tee along with very undulated greens. I know Tom is very proud of this Champion’s Tour course withstanding the test of time, along with being many tour players favorite course. Therefore, if you are ever close bye I’m sure the club would love to show you around. With their Mid Western hospitality at the forefront of everything the club touches, its sure to be time well spent and most enjoyable. So until next time, have a great week improving your game. Sincerely, Chip Beck