It was an early start to the day.  We were up early packing and getting ready for a long drive after the round.  I was limping a bit as I had pulled a muscle in my left leg (not sure how that happened, however it had been bugging me for a few days), however it was feeling better by the time we had loaded the truck, had breakfast, checked out and were driving up to Farmstead.

Farmstead was another course in the Myrtle Beach area that I had never played and I was once again looking forward to playing it.  And I had the best round of the week with a solid 83 from the blue tees including a couple of doubles.  No birdies, however I made lots of pars.  Jeff, Mark and I were joined by Sherm today and we had a great round.  I have played with Sherm a few times in the past, and always enjoyed his company.  I managed to play with the same ball until the 18th where my third shot found the water as I pulled my shot and it ended up about twenty yards left of where I was aiming.  I still managed to bogie the hole after dropping.

The course was in excellent shape, even with the preparations for over seeding and the greens ran true.  The links style of Farmstead was in complete contrast with the tight, water-filled Arrowhead that we played the day before.  The fescue was nasty if you got into it and the bunkers were deep in places.  We played from the blues again and I hit the ball well making a lot of good drives and finding the fairway all day.  The only thing I found was that almost every second shot, par 3, etc seemed to be about 170 yards.  I got very good with that shot!

The only sad thing was finishing the round.  Sherm and Roger took off right away, and the Pittsburgh connection was heading to their cars to leave and said their goodbyes in passing.  We got into the clubhouse and only Brian and Moe were there chatting with Mac.  I talked with Brian for a few minutes and he was gone.  Jeff, Marc and I had lunch and talked a bit with Moe and then we were off.

The plan was to get between Philly and Scranton before we finished driving.  We figured that would be about 10 hours.  We had filled up with gas before we left for the course and we headed out.  Grabbing a bit to eat and filled up just North of Richmond, we hit some traffic around Fredericksberg, but that cleared up as we got into the Washington area.  It was still busy, but not stop and go.  I was surprised by the tolls on the 95 in Maryland and Delaware (they weren’t there when I was last down that “freeway” in 2003 or 2004), however we made great time and as we were driving the 476, we decided to keep going.  At about 2am, we pulled into Binghamton, NY and stopped for the night at a nice clean Marriott property (Fairfield Inn) and slept in until 8ish.  Free breakfast and we were on the road, only stopping in Odgensburg, NY to pick up my snow tires that I had ordered.  A quick stop at the border, and we were on the final leg.  By the time I dropped off Marc and Jeff, it was about 3pm.  The drive home was really hard on my leg, and I am limping around pretty good.  I have a massage scheduled for Thursday, so that should help immensely!

And so another MBGT Forum Outing ends.  It was a fantastic week of weather, with even Brian wearing shorts!  It was great meeting old friends and new.  My only thought on the way home was why there were so few people out this year in comparison to others.  We had just over 30 golfers on the busiest day where in the past we have had 40ish golfers out.  I was wondering if it was the timing of the outing, the course selection, or the economy, or is it a combination or something else completely different?  That’s something to be discussed in the forum itself, not here.

Lastly, I want to send out a thanks to all the people who worked so hard to make this thing happen, not only this year, but every year:

  • Brian – If it wasn’t for Brian this outing would never have happened and I would not have gotten the chance to meet so many wonderful people over the years
  • Yank and Mike – Thanks for organizing the outing year after year.  Trying to pick courses that will satisfy this group is a hard job.  It is almost impossible to satisfy everyone, keep the cost reasonable and make the dates work.
  • Moe – Thanks for all the work trying to figure out skins and blind draws with everyone talking to you and looking over your shoulder.  Again, another thankless job that needs to be done.
  • My playing partners for the week – Lefty, Sherm, Brian, Mike F, Mike G, Moe, Mike S, Roger and Bob.  Thanks for your laughs, your patience and your friendship.  You are the reason I love to come to the forum outings year after year.
  • Mark and Jeff – Thanks for making the trip down so much fun, and Mark, glad you enjoyed your first ever trip to Myrtle Beach.  I’m glad the weather request was granted.
  • Everyone else – Thanks for coming out and making the Forum Outing yours.  It was great to see so many smiling faces everyday and reading your posts in the forum will help me to remember them until the next time we meet.
  • And most of all the courses and management at the courses that all treated us so well, thank you so much for providing such a fantastic venue for us to partake in one of our passions.