4:12 PM, Thursday, August 5th, 2013:
Yes, it is THREE days later. That's how long it has taken to put this video together. I haven't edited a story this complicated since The Journey Documentary. It was an incredible day followed by an even more incredible finals and I'm thrilled to finally share it. So as to not ruin anything, puh-leeeeeze watch the video first.
What a year, what an idea and what an exciting future for this tiny course. It no longer needs imagination to see what it can be. That video, coupled with a future internet article on a big site coming up (more on that soon), will give GolfKon the credibility it needs to allow a number of businesses in town to throw a few bucks at a hole for charity events. Now, onto the day that was...
...hot. I mean, REALLY hot. Like 99 degrees, 85 at NIGHT hot. Guess what I almost rescheduled. Who the hell wants to come to the VALLEY with that kind of heat to spend all day outside playing minigolf? The noon event went to 2pm then to 4pm... but nothing mattered because it never really cooled down. But amazingly? People showed up. Brought friends. We ended up having the most rounds played in a tournament at 70.
And about that cut... whaaaaaaat? If the course record in a YEAR of playing is (-7), it boggles the mind that the top for qualifying scores would be (-7) (-6) (-6) & (-5). That has to be a fluke. I mean absolutely no offense to David...
...but that shit ain't happenin' again. He did 4 strokes better than his all-time best game. (-7)?!?!? I've never even shot a (-7) in qualifying (granted it was in the finals, but still-lol). What a great card. Although Fred has the line of the day. Because what David did? That had been done before. This? This just hurts to even post:
I've walked up to the 8th with a (-7) under once and got a 5 leaving me with the same (-5) he got... but to stand there with 6 birdies and an EAGLE? With only needing two PARS for the record? And a very makeable birdie on 8 for a (-9)!?!?! I just cannot imagine. Thankfully his (-5) held up and he played in his first finals - and even that was in doubt as Steven had 3 (yes threeeeeeee) separate hole 9 shots at a (-5) and missed all of them. A pretty heartbreaking day for a couple peeps but it sure made qualifying exciting. And then it was onto the finals and my what a close match it was...
As if the ball resting an inch away from the cup isn't close enough... look at those scores. LOL. David would eventually make too many mistakes and fall too far behind as it became a three-way race at the top... and then the Plinko eagle. (sigh)
If you think they pyramid eagle is rare? The Plinko eagle happens 1/3 of the 1.911% of the time the Pyramid does. Here's the breakdown of eagles in the first three majors:
Hole 3 Eagle: 0 out of 157 - 0.000%
Hole 5 Eagle: 1 out of 157 - 0.637%
Hole 6 Eagle: 3 out of 157 - 1.911%
Hole 7 Eagle: 4 out of 157 - 2.548%
Hole 8 Eagle: 0 out of 162 - 0.000%
And although it isn't a Par 3, it's easily the most difficult Par 2 birdie...
Hole 9 Birdie: 8 out of 168 - 4.762%
So yeah, the fact that I hit that Plinko Eagle with a 0.637% chance? Made me scream at the top of my lungs just minutes after I told the guys to keep it down around this part of the course because the kid was sleeping. I was STUNNNNNNNNNNED. I did it once with Jimmy back in January and never again. The problem is, it is indeed random. In 3 tries you should be able to "skill" a birdie... but an eagle has to come back in and fall at an angle from the 2nd peg because of the screw and wooden board I stuffed in there. It's just a lucky break that, well, not that I think of it? Is actually like the pyramid in that you get it by having the skill to get a birdie. Once you have that skill down? You have a better chance at the eagle, but it still requires luck past the initial skill of birdie positioning. In time I bet both of those holes even out in terms of probabilities. Hole 7 is the easiest by far (easiest being 2.5%) and 3 & 8 are just too risky to go for. They've been done... but man, you risk an off-course for sure because the holes are 36 feet away from the tee with a rounded bank in between. Not worth the risk at all.
But of course none of it mattered in the tournament when Matt eagled 7. LOL. What a crazy stretch.
Scores that close over that many holes is just so hard on this course. When every hole has a legitimate 3-4 stroke swing probability? To be with in 2 after a combined 78 holes is specatcular. Of course after this Matt bogeys a gimme and then a couple holes later another, infamous, tap.
It's mental and physical fatigue and I hate the rule. I also know that lighting played a part and that's on ME. Thankfully it didn't cost the tournament for him but it was still an extremely pivotal moment for morale and afterwards I did a ton of research on the rule. And indeed, in golf if the ball doesn't move (or is replaced after moving) it isn't counted. However it has more to do with the fact that people are going through BUSHES and TREES and shit to get to their ball and may tap it. That doesn't come into play in mini-golf. But at this point?  I'm looking for any reason to remove the rule and find a way to officiate any variance. Meaning, you can officiate a tap, but how do you officiate if it went back into the exact same place?!?! That's rather vague. Did some more digging and found an exhaustive minigolf rulebook and it used two terms that I think will solve this: backswing and golf motion. Basically, nothing counts unless it's a set golf motion. Walking up to a ball and tapping it isn't a penalty even if you move it... unless you don't put it back where it was before you take your stroke. The problem with this of course is I always picture the uber prick pretending to tap his ball walking up to it and then purposely putting it back in a slightly better position because no one was watching the initial lie. That's why the "any tap is a stroke" rule was implemented. We can see or hear that. But, then again, when you hit the ball off-course at GolfKon you have to put it back where you hit it from and that's certainly a "guesstimate" and the rationale there is that a couple inches here or there isn't going to make a difference. I mean, if you hit it off-course you're already hurting. Often people re-hit it with the same results. But man, I just don't care - I'm more than pissed that in 2 tournaments this year someone tapped the ball and had to be given a stroke when in reality? It made zero difference to their shot. The spirit of the game is more important to me than the letter of the game when it comes to that. I want to avoid cheating not penalize fatigue when the result didn't help them at all. So I'm fairly certain that starting in 2014 that rule will be rewritten. Most likely allowing taps (even if it moves the ball) as long as you weren't in a golfswing (either backswing or forward swing). I'm sure someone may be able to fake a fall and then try and place it in a "better" position, but I'm willing to take the risk of that asshole appearing... rather than destroy the heart of a tournament because one guy feels wronged. All the momentum was just drained. Granted, it was that last "Hole 7" double-bogey that did him in, but the energy just drained from him after that and the 30 holes leading up to it were world-class.
But he played it out (if you consider the charade on the 2nd to last hole "playing") and at least he didn't walk off. Still leaves a stain on the day though. We talked the next day and although he was really upset he had nothing but nice things to say about the course and was running ideas on how to do other events. I think he's a legitimate "every event" guy and he's determined to get more peeps. Unfortunately he's a big football guy and the thought of not being somewhere to bet on the Superbowl makes his skin crawl, but he's considering missing it to be at that major in February. And I still want to have events that aren't majors (halloween golfing anyone?!?!).
And as I assumed would happen before the event - my ability to play under pressure, in the heat and at night kinda made a 4 round event mine to lose. For a little bit Steven and I (he kept score) looked at each other as if to say:  "this is the tournament it's gonna happen" ... but 36 holes is like a marathon and I have that "gene". Whereas everyone else got progressively worse each round? I stayed steady and actually improved:
No 5s or 6s and only twice in 36 holes did I even make a bogey...
I'm beatable in 9 holes any day of the week. I would've lost if this was 18... but 36? I just feel like the longer it goes, the harder it will be to beat me. It's the thing that made me work consecutive 18 hour days to build GolfKon. I have really good focus and heat doesn't bother me. So with the heat wave, this tournament was really the perfect storm for me. I was tired, I was hot, my vision was actually a little blurry and I was SHAKY... but I always lined up, took my time, and hit good shots.
All this means is that when I do eventually lose? That person is gonna feel like they won something. It will honestly be my proudest day on the course.
Alright! That's it! The GolfKon Major Season is over. See you in 2014.