Happy Trail to Surprise brings green pastures

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 9:17 AM

This reporter took advantage of some down time and ventured south to Surprise, Arizona, last week. The last time I made a trip into the valley of the sun was nearly 28 years ago.

My tattered Rand McNally did not have Surprise on it, so I picked up a new edition. Much to my Surprise, pun intended, I found Surprise and also a green flag stuck close by this bold-faced name on the map. My destination had bigger print than Sun City West. One of my goals was to join my brother-in-law for a game of golf at a course formerly owned by the legendary singer/actor Roy Rogers. When we geared up and set out for this course, I knew we were on the right path when I saw a road named Happy Trails. Yep, we found the watering hole at the oasis.

Finding Great Eagle Golf Club is easy when your trusty guide had gone ahead and scouted out the trail many times before. The course was on the verge of reseeding for the winter, so we caught it when the fairway grass was mowed down like my hairdo. The course has some great dog legs and plenty of rolling dunes to trap your ball where many golf balls have gone before. The greens are pretty true if your guide checks his GPS course tracker for distance.

To finish this saga, I intend to return in the spring to shag a few baseballs and get another crack at this course. By the way, I only lost one ball, which I assume rolled under a Teddy Bear cactus.

Hillcrest Golf ClubGetting back to altitude, the Dave Peterson Memorial Tournament/3 Clubs and a Putter, will be played Sept. 24 at Hillcrest. The entry fee is $40 per person, and there is $500 in added prize purse. You can pick your own foursome, individual play-net only using 100 percent handicaps. A donation of $5 will be made from every entry fee to the Durango Cancer Center. Check with the pro shop to see if there is still room to enter.

Just around the bend is the final scheduled tournament of the season at Hillcrest, as the Todd Sieger Shootout-Coldwell Banker Heritage House Realtors event brings together the top-10 season money winners among the Hillcrest Golf Club members from the designated events on the 2016 calendar. This is a nine-Hole Shootout starting at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 1.

I always enjoy a great accomplishment, and in my folder at Hillcrest was a small sticky note letting me know Dave “The Glue” Broman shot a score of 77 recently which, by the way, was two strokes better than his age! Way to go Dave.

Dudley Engle Tournament

Closest to the Pin, Hillcrest

Mr. Gomez, Hole 15Joe Esquibel, Dudley’s Tree Hole 10Roger Anderson, Hole 12Ray Torres, Holes 5, 9Ladies Day Event

Sept. 13, Hillcrest

Medal-Play, Net-Only

First Flight

1. Mary Kay Aigner, 63.Second Flight

1. Sue Pierce, 61.Third Flight

1. Mariyln Fiala, 69.9-Hole

1. Donell Deane, 32.Ladies Day Event

Sept. 14, Dalton Ranch

Dalton Cup

Divot Divas (Amy Brunvand, Cathy Gaskell, Marlene Gebhardt, Charlene Hammond, Patti Lane, Claudia Patterson, Nannine Reynolds, Fran Ruskdef and Dolly Turner. Smoakin’ Hotties 46½ to 43½.See you next week as I wrap up the 2016 edition of the Clubhouse Porch.

Dave Bray has covered the local golf scene for 35 years. He can be reached at