|It was Tuesday, March 19, 2002, when David Triick took what started as a conversation between golfers, and brought an exciting idea to life. The discussion took place at Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club between Triick, Keith Knight, Louis Sazbo, John Dooley, and Bob Freed. All of the players enjoyed their days of golfing, but the consensus was that they would enjoy a shorter playing time, and 9 holes seemed just right. 12 players showed up for the set tee time that first Tuesday, and soon enough, the numbers of players began to grow. Within a few years of the group being established, a second day was added to ensure there was enough space for the men who wanted to play. Now, during the year of the Men’s 9-Hole Group 20th anniversary, the group has 37 names on the roster and plays every Tuesday and Friday.
With the growth of the player count, came the need for more structure within the group. At that time it was decided to establish a Statement of Benefits for the players which included encouraging player improvement, learning current USGA rules and customs, player conduct, game structure, whereby all players would rotate foursome and have the opportunity to play all members (no fixed foursomes), and bogey structure, that would put all players on a level field and therefore equal opportunity to win each play day. Though they are given the opportunity to win a couple of dollars, there is an understanding across the group that the main goal, is to have fun.
To keep in line with that goal, two years into the Men’s 9-Hole Group forming, social activities were added to the growing list of group benefits. Triick hosted the first social event where all of the players and spouses gathered and from there, the social gatherings grew to 4 times a year during each of the seasons. Triick reflected on his time in the Men’s 9-Hole group and why, in addition to playing golf, the social gatherings were so important. “When I think about the last 20 years with Men’s 9-Hole, I think about the accomplishments that the group has had. Not only in golf but as a group of men who have evolved so much in the social aspect too,” Triick said. “Over time, we really got to know each other and our spouses. That time spent together helped us grow and mature as a group.”
Triick also spoke about the growth each individual player has seen throughout their time playing in the Men’s 9-Hole group. “Most of us have seen our games grow and improve. It has become more fulfilling and we have a better time overall while enjoying golf,” Triick said. Throughout the 20 years of growth and development as a group, the men also stepped up their game through a friendly competition that they call the “Shoot Out” which happens at the end of every year. It rounds out the year of golfing while establishing the “9-Hole Player of the Year.”
Members at the Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club will surely find the Men’s 9-Hole Group on the golf course but also off the course enjoying the “19th hole” where the men gather after playing the front nine to discuss their game, share stories, and unwind. The Men’s 9-Hole Group is proud to offer a welcoming environment to anyone interested in joining. For those interested, find a member of the current group to discuss joining, or contact David Triick at firstname.lastname@example.org.