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Snow Golf

DARIN OLDE, Sierra Sun

For the fourth year in a row Rich Coblenz finished with the best score in Alpine Meadows’ 14th annual snow golf tournament last Saturday. Al Gulietti, Petter Leonard, and Rich Van Fossen tied for second with a score of 28.

The nine-hole snow golf course began at the top of Summit Six chair. From there, competitors swung away, using tennis balls and clubs provided by Tahoe City Golf Course. The holes were comprised of double pole ski gates. Predetermined tee-boxes and “greens” were marked to help competitors steer somewhat clear of the populace and true to the course.

The only rule for the tournament was that competitors must wear a snowboard or skis to navigate from hole to hole.

Now in its fourteenth year, the ski golf tournament is Alpine Meadows’ way of saying goodbye to winter and hello to summer.

And last Saturday was warm, too.

Hazards this year included cliffs, dry spots, manzanita bush, and rocks. In previous years cooler temperatures, a deeper base, and better coverage allowed for less accuracy, less bushwhacking, and longer drives.

Strategies varied, but five-year veteran Dave Baker, along with his sister Jennifer, roommate, and girlfriend all conspired to sweep the cool-headed Coblenz by swinging before warmer temperatures softened the course.

“The key is to get out early. When the course gets slushy the tennis balls won’t roll as well,” said Baker in a phone interview.

The most difficult hazards, however, may have been the other skiers and snowboarders. Despite 41 competitors swinging away and a flurry of tennis balls no one was heart, no balls were stolen, and no altercations occurred.

“This is a pretty mellow event,” said Rachel Woods, Marketing ______________ for Alpine Meadows. “Basically, it’s a Caddyshack-type event.”

With smiles and Hawaiian shirts abound, prizes were awarded for the top finishers and booty up for grabs in the raffle.

“My sister skis a handful of times per year and this is one of the events she doesn’t like to miss,” admitted Baker. “This year she walked away with a nice jacket and a half hour golf lesson.” Snowboards, skis, and golf certificates were only a few of the items given away in the raffle.

For more information about Alpine Meadows or the ski golf tournament call 583-4232 or visit their web site at http://www.alpinemeadows.com.


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