‘L A Open’ marks 18 years and going strong!

By PAT BROWN,

W ow is the best word to explain the fun and golf that was had on this past week’s golf excursion.

  L A Open, because it sounds impressive, was held this past week.  This was the largest group ever to participate.  L A is short for Lower Alabama and this year’s group had 20 of us with Simpson County ties. 

  It kind of served a dual purpose this year, not only for golf but also as an excuse for a bachelor’s party for our soon to be son-in-law, Brooks Baldwin.  His younger buddies razed him a bit about his father-in-law, but he had a fun time like the rest of us.   

  The group was Pete and Wade May, Marc Brand, Mark Ellington, me, Gary Williams, Zach, Brooks and Charles Baldwin, Dillon Coulson, Wayne Hilton, tournament chairman, Allen Welch, Les Dickerson, Charlie Hudson, Kent McCown, Rudy Runnels, Chris Dunn, Chris Craft, Tommy Lee and Stephen Yelverton. 

  We  left early on Wednesday morning headed for Gulf Shores.   Our ultimate destination was Craft Farms, and we stay at Foremost Property located on the grounds.  We had a 1 p.m. tee time at Rock Creek located just out of Fairhope. 

  Different from home, on this trip every stroke is played down and every stroke was counted.  Kind of like the way golf is supposed to be played.  A lot of time folks will not take over a double bogey.  This was not the case on this round.  It really impacts the final score.  Those folks a lot of people consider to be pretty good golfers end up taking some pretty high scores. 

    The second day when we played I was one of the pickers. I missed the cutoff by one stroke, which was probably to my advantage.  I must be pretty good at picking because our team scored the best when we played at Peninsula.  As it turned out this was my best round, and I improved 14 strokes from the day before.  Dr. Rudy clipped me the day before at Cotton Creek,  but I was able to turn the tables on him after this round. 

    It was early afternoon so we decide to stop by Lulu’s Restaurant on the intercostal.  We had a great meal and all enjoyed good fellowship as we laughed and joked about the day of golf. 

    Saturday morning rolled around and we had to pack up and head out for our final round of golf.  This round was back at Rock Creek, which was a 30 to 45 minute drive.  There must have been a bug in the air because some folks were moving a bit slowly. 

  The big winners for the event were Allen Welch for best overall score and Mark Ellington for most improved round.  Allen Welch won a white Deloran, sponsored by Magee Rentals, and Ellington won the coveted “Da Man” Trophy, sponsored by Magee Courier, both of which were left at the condo.      

  This  trip is one  that is really a chance to visit with people you may not have a chance to hang with a lot but you get to have a great time with.