Monthly Archives: July 2011

Gold Mountain trivia

Visitors (or even locals) might be interested to know that the course got its name after one of the two mountains that sits northwest of the course. Green Mountain sits the closest to the golf course. Gold Mountain is the highest point in Kitsap County at 1,767 feet, and when visible, you can see the radio towers on it.
The Bremerton water shed is located at Gold Mountain, which was named after gold mining that occurred at the mountain in the late 1800s. A gold mine operated on the mountain slopes in the 1890s, but was abandoned when everybody headed north for the Alaska Gold Rush.
Gold Mountain’s Olympic Course, designed by John Harbottle III,  opened in 1996. The original Cascade Course was designed by Jack Reimer and opened in 1971.

Hole-in-One that became a birdie goes viral

The when is a hole-in-one a hole-in-one story was getting a lot of mileage on online. It was one of the top trending news stories on Yahoo.com for a while and several media outlets have picked up on it since we reported it following Monday’s first round.

Connor Klein from Lone Tree, Colo., was penalized a stroke for slow play and it penalty just happened to come after he got the hole-in-one on the par-3, 5th hole at the Olympic Course.

The other two players in his group were not penalized. Asked about it the next day, Klein said he was the one responsible for slow play.

Ryan Lavner of golfweek.com does a nice of job of follow-up reporting on the story, talking to USGA officials and to Klein’s caddy.

In an email to Golfweek, Klein wrote: “I’d like to reserve any comments about my hole-in-one until the tournament is completed on Saturday. The focus should be placed on the players who are still competing and their accomplishments. I’m in communication with the tournament director now to get clarity around receiving credit for the hole-in-one, becoming only the 12th player in history with an ace.”

Here’s a report from nbc.sports on the ace that became a birdie.

Here’s another reaction to the story.

Hossler talks about first-round win

Medalist Beau Hossler lost his first four holes against Miller Capps of Denver, N.C., but recovered and eventually won 3 and 2 during his first-round U.S. Amateur championship match on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain Golf Club.

Here’s some of what Hossler, a 16 year-old from Mission Viejo, Calif., had to say after the match:

“Hit a good shot on 1, he (Capps) made a 20 footer for birdie.
“No. 2, I hit it 20 yards out of play left, which takes talent. My provisional went another 15 yards left, hit the cart path and stayed in bounds.
“Three, left side of fairway; 220 coming in; hit it about 40 yards left of the green coming in. made double.
“Four, I hit into fairway but my ball was in a divot; hit a good shot in there and I flubbed my chip and made bogey.”
“I was actually swinging the club well but my shots were atrocious,” he said.

Q: How scary was it after hitting it well on the range?
A: Very. When that ball went left on three I was not in a good mental state. I was angry. When you hit one that feels good and it goes 50 yards left, what are you supposed to do about it? I figured it out a little bit. I started hitting it really well on five. (he said he hit a 3-wood from 270 yards on to the green on No. 6).

His thoughts after going down four holes:

“Once I was 4 down I wasn’t afraid of like losing more  holes. I knew I was going to make birdies because I’ve been making  birdies all week. I was just waiting for it. I felt it kind of click a little bit on that par 3 tee shot on 5. Just kind of a little swing thought. I always have a little bit of a swing thought when I’m out there. It helped out. Didn’t have any more of those left shots the rest of the round. Just keeping the ball in the fairway and hit a lot of greens so that’s always good out here. Most importantly you’ve got to keep the ball below the hole. It kind of wears your opponent out when you’re hitting fairways and greens. You’re not going to make a lot of bogeys. I think I probably made five birdies from there on in after hole four. It was a solid round, just s a really, really bad start. It happens. I feel like my game’s in a really solid position and I feel like I’m hitting a lot better now than yesterday. My score probably doesn’t show it, but I feel like I can go out there and compete with anybody out there as long as I’m making putts which I’ve been doing this whole week.”

Q: What swing thought did you have?

A: Just letting the club fall a little bit underneath. I was a little late off of the top. tried to keep the club more outside on the downswing.

Q: What were you thinking after four holes?

A: I was like are you kidding me? This is a joke. It’s be something if he birdied every hole but I was just handing him holes by hitting it out of play on a wide open golf course. You can’t do that.”

Q: What about the wedge shot from the sidehill rough from below the hole on No. 14 (he was 1 up at the time and seemed in danger of losing the hole after his second shot drifted right)?

A: I thought I made that. That would have been crazy. I drew a pretty good (lie). It was sitting up in the middle of it. I could have fluffed under it. I overed under it, hit a good shot and ended it perfectly. It rolled down within a couple feet (and he made birdie).”

Q: How about the birdie putt on No. 15 (Hossler actually brought it up; nobody asked him about it)?

A: I ade like a 25-footer and that was big. When you’re 2 up and there’s 3 to play the odds are you’re not going to lose the match. You might go to extra holes if you struggle coming in. I knew if I could go out there and hit the green (on 16), which is a very difficult hole, I’d be OK.”

Q: Do you like being the guy everyone’s going after?
A: It doesn’t matter; I’m just playing golf. It doesn’t matter who I’m playing against. Obviously I’d rather play some guys than others guy.I’m just going out to make birdies, especially in match play you’ve got to make as many birdies as you can or you’re not going to win holes.

Junior Am links

Here’s a look a the USGA.com story on the Players Dinner, which might have been the coolest event I’ve been to in all my years in B-town. Even a little rain couldn’t put a damper on the night.

Here’s my column.

Storylines from the USGA.com. You’ll find out some interesting tidbits of info on a lot of the players. Eric Bae of Cary, N.C., is the youngest player in the field at 13. Brandon Barrows of Lake Orion, Mich., is the only other 13 year old and he turns 14 on July 23.

College coaches invade Gold Mountain

Thanks to Jeff Graham, here’s a list of the colleges who have registered at the coaches tent, normally the home of the golf pros who teach at Gold Mountain:

Washington, Wake Forest, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Purdue, Virginia Tech, Mississippi, Auburn, Akron, Oklahoma, Georgia, Central Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Stanford, Utah, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Duke, Texas A&M, Virginia, Air Force, Rice, Oregon, Texas-San Antonio, North Carolina State, Northwestern, Coastal Carolina, Florida, Texas, Maryland, Louisiana State, Kennesaw State, Clemson, Marquette, New Mexico, Alabama, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Rice, Saint Mary’s, Loyala Marymount, South Florida, Houston.

Several of the colleges are represented by a head coach and assistant. They’ll be out watching, but they can’t talk to any players until their senior year in high school, which is most of the field.

Early leaders: Taylor Moore (Edmond, Okla.), Yi Kekun Chang (Walnut, Caif.) and Anthony Becchiarelli (Agawam, Mass) are 2 under. They started on No. 1 and have five or six holes left on the back side.

Weather: Sunny until a few minutes ago when some clouds rolled in. Supposed to be OK today, Tuesday and Wednesday. Rain in the forecast for Thursday. I guess there was lightning out here Saturday and they had to bring the players who were getting a practice round in off the course. If you come out here, you’ll see a couple of yellow school buses parked in the woods. They are emergency vehicles in case of severe weather.

Junior Amateur: Kikkor(ing) around at Gold Mountain

Took a quick trip out to Gold Mountain today to see what was going — and there’s a lot going on as players were registering, playing ping pong, picking up their tee prizes — a pair of Kikkor Golf shoes and a cool framed photo of the USS John C. Stennis with their name and U.S. Junior Amateur logo on it.
Canadian James Lepp, the former NCAA champion from the University of Washington and founder of Kikkor Golf, was manning the desk and fitting players with his shoes — more of a hip, comfortable look than the golf shoes of yesteryear.
“There was never a cool shoe option,” said Lepp, who noted that other companies are also recognizing that fact.
“They realize the young guys are the future of the game,” he said. “They’re not the same breed as the older players.”
He’s hopeful that you’ll see a PGA Tour pro wearing Kikkor some day.
HIs most popular golf shoes — The Tenny — sells for $109.
Gold Mountain’s among the state retailers who carry his shoe.
Lepp, 27, graduated from the UW in 2006 and played some on the Canadian Tour, said he plays once a week now. He played in one Canadian Tour event this year.
He doesn’t rule out a comeback.
“Being here, seeing these young guys kind of fires me up,” he said. “It brings back some of those aspirations. I need to build up that passion again.”
Lepp’s a deep thinker and always seemed to be into something, besides golf, during his two years at Washington.
Scott Alexander, the director of golf at Gold Mountain and a volunteer coach at Washington, said, “James is such a smart guy. He’s one of the most talented guys I’ve ever seen but he just got bored with golf.”
“When I was a junior and early in my college career, it was everything,” he said of golf.
Lepp said he lost his drive when he stopped improving.
“It took the zeal away,” he said. “That’s what I got my mojo from. That’ s what I got my kicks from.”
Chip Shots
TINDALL SIGHTING: Bill Tindall, the respected Seattle golfer who won the 1960 Junior Am, was the starter on No. 1 as most of the golfers that have arrived were getting in a practice round.

HOSSLER WINS: U.S. Open qualifier Beau Hossler of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., who placed sixth at the Sahalee Players Championship, will be coming into the Junior Am on a high after winning the Callaway Junior World Golf Championships on Friday at Torrey Pines South in San Diego. Hossler, 16, shot 70-72-69-74 for a 3-under 285. Nicholas Echavarria of Colombia, who is also competing in the Junior Am, tied for third at even-par 288.
FLAGS: There’s countries represented in the week-long tournament, and the flags are flying at the driving range and scoreboard.
GRANDSTANDS: A covered VIP grandstand has an unobstructed view holes No. 15 and 16 and you can also watch the players hit their tee shots on No. 17. There’s also grandstands at the No. 1 tee, behind No. 15 and on the hill between the No. 15 fairway and No. 16 green.
CASCADE IS OPEN: The Olympic Course closed to the public for play at 9 a.m.. on Friday. The Cascade Course remains open to the public and golfers can park at the main facility. All spectators must ride the shuttle from the Square Dance Center on Old Belfair Highway.
TV: The Golf Channel will broadcast highlights from the tournament, starting on Thursday.
COLLEGE COACHES: Over 40 college coaches had already registered. They’ll be holding their annual meetings in town on Monday night. They will have their own hospitality tent at the course.

PLAYERS’ DINNER: It’s Sunday, 6 p.m., on the USS John Stennis. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve lived in Bremerton since 1966 and have never been on an aircraft carrier.

What’s Shelton motorsports complex mean to Bremerton Motorsports Park?

Dirt’s been turned and work is well under way on The Ridge Motorsports complex in Shelton. Staff writer Rachel Pritchett’s visited the site with photographer Larry Steagall earlier this week. You can read the story and view the photos on Sunday.

It’ll have a drag strip, road course, all of the amenities and sounds like it has a lot of money behind it.

What’s this facility mean for the facility that Bremerton Motorsports Park is planning to build near the airport?

Can two similar tracks 45 miles apart exist?

I’m shooting from the hip here, but it seems to me that The Ridge could end the dreams of those locally who are yearning for a first-class facility of their own.

Aaron Capps, the current BMP president, took the ball and ran with it, but he might have been given the ball too late. The folks who controlled the BMP before were tasked with raising money to build a new complex because they knew the existing track (on the inactive runway behind the airport) would eventually go away. They might have waited too long.

Shelton’s in the driver’s seat. They had a vision, the money and didn’t have to deal with a government entity. Sure, they had to go through the permitting process, and they did it.

I can see the Handler’s Racing Club moving its operation to the Mason County track. It would make sense. A few more miles for a racers to travel isn’t that big of a deal. They’ll drive across states to go racing — 45 miles is nothing.

What will become of the $10 million plan to bring a motorsports complex to Kitsap County? Just asking.

While on the subject of motorsports facilities, how many of you knew that Port Angeles Speedway is now longer operating?