Every Christmas, if our home course River Oaks is closed due to snow, we contest the Christmas Classic Golf Tournament. This tournament has been going for probably longer than a decade (I’ll have to look at the record books for the exact year). It’s a festive and fun event featuring good friends, the 12 balls of Christmas, snow shovels, and good spirits.
The format is simple. We pick a par-3 hole, or create one. Each golfer hits 12 balls. The golfers hit them in groups of 3. When all shots are complete, we go to the green and find the closest ball to the pin. The player who hit that closest ball is the champion golfer of the year and gets to keep the legendary (and missing) ugly green hat. I lost the damn hat. I think it’s in my basement somewhere.
Below is the video highlighting the 2015 event.
Over the years we’ve gotten very artistic at marking the 12 balls, so that when we venture to the green to find them they are easy to identify. Buddy Dan has taken the artwork to a whole new level. See his balls below, so to speak.
And I must post a picture of the first-time champion, Robert Lund. Robert is also the voice and music behind the Christmas Classic theme songs from last year and this year.
Congrats to Robert for joining one of the most exclusive groups of champions in the world.
Yesterday’s league nine was triumphant. I won TWO rabbits and a nice little pile of cash. That made me want to share the “Rabbit” game with you loyal HOG patrons. The rabbit game is quite fun. Here’s how it works.
The goal of the golf rabbit game is to “capture” the rabbit, and $2 from every player in the group participating in the game. Any number of players can compete, even players in multiple groups. A player can capture the rabbit in one of two ways, by either acquiring four rabbit legs in nine holes or being in possession of any legs at the end of nine. To capture a leg of the rabbit, a player must make a skin. Once the player has a leg, he keeps the leg unless a player gets a skin on a following hole. Then the rabbit leg is knocked loose. Let’s take a look at my two rabbits from yesterday and how they were won.
I made birdie on the 3rd hole, which was a skin and subsequently I captured a rabbit leg. I was the only person in my group to make par on the 4th hole. That par skin gave me a 2nd rabbit leg. On the 5th hole, I made birdie for my 3rd skin in a row. That earned me my 3rd rabbit leg. At that point I had three legs with four holes to go. I made par on the 6th hole and nobody made birdie so no legs were knocked loose from my three. Therefore on the 7th tee I was dormy, having three legs with three holes to go. I made par on the 7th hole and no birdies were made in my group on that hole. At that point I won a rabbit because I had three legs with two holes to go. I “closed out” the rabbit.
When the rabbit is closed out before the nine is complete, a new rabbit is started. I made a triple on the 8th hole and a few players made par. No birdies. So the 8th hole was tied with no skins. No rabbit legs awarded. On the 9th hole, a par-3, I hit one to about 12 feet. I made the birdie putt for a skin and yes, a rabbit leg. Since I had one leg at the conclusion of the 9th, I won yet another rabbit! Piles o’ cash!
That was the end of our rabbit game as the group was only playing nine holes.
If the group is playing 18 holes, a new rabbit is started on the 10th and the game proceeds as described above. If a player wins a rabbit on the front nine AND the back nine, a bonus is paid. In the case of our group, the rabbit bonus is $1.00 bringing the total for a player who wins the front and back rabbit to $5.00 from each player.
Imagine a group of 20 players competing in the rabbit game. A player who wins a rabbit on the front and back would win nearly $100 with the bonus.