“What’s the Course Record?”
It’s a common question at the golf course. The common wise cracking response from the golf professional is “High or Low?” But the true answers for both courses involve interesting numbers and stories.
On the Championship Course, the record is a 10 under par 61 by Kyle Perry. On June 11th 2010, the Indiana Public Links Championship began at StonyCreek. The two day, 36 hole tournament is for Amateurs not affiliated with a Private Club. In other words, it’s designed to determine the best public course player. In 2010, Kyle was just 20 years old but an accomplished amateur player. He started the round by birdieing 9 of the first 11 holes, an incredible feat on its own. Surprising to those at StonyCreek was that it was holes 4 and 5 that he did not birdie, the 2 shortest par 4’s on the front side. He would cool off just a bit and make just one more birdie, but no bogeys. In all, it was 10 birdies and 8 pars, and a round that would be impressive on any day on any course. Long time StonyCreek player Paul Bates was paired with Kyle that day and remarked that he just seemed to make every putt all day long. At day’s end, Kyle had a 6 shot lead and the new course record (the previous known record was by former tour player Jeff Leonard with a 62). He would eventually make a bogey by the 14 hole on day two of the tournament but still shoot 69 and win the Championship by 3 shots. A Trophy and a record in the same weekend, that’s not too bad, especially for a young man of just 20. However, the other course record is held by player who was even younger.
Opening in 2002, the Par 3 Course at StonyCreek is 12 years younger than the Championship Course. 12, that’s the age Josh Keating was when he shot the lowest round recorded on the Par 3, a 6 under par 21. That summer, Josh and his father were frequent visitors on the 9 hole course. Josh was a rapidly improving young player, and his scores on the Par 3 were improving each time. When his Dad came in one day and said his son had fired a 21, my first reaction was skepticism. That seemed nearly impossible for anyone, not mention a kid, but it was true. Many golfers tend to think that a Par 3 Course is inherently easy, but that is not the case. For example, the golf professionals at StonyCreek have thrice played 100 hole charity marathons on the course. That’s a total of 44 rounds, and the best either has mustered is 25 and we’re grown men who do this for a living. Josh is now member of IPFW Golf Team and still a very fine player.
Kyle and Josh’s scores and stories are inspiring not just because they are records or because of their young age. They represent why all of us play this game. Whether it’s a tournament or just and summer afternoon with family and friends, we all have visions of a record when we put the tee in the ground on the first hole. For most of us it’s not a course record, but personal one. Every round could be the one where it all comes together and we have the best game of our life. It doesn’t matter if that means a under par or under 100. The promise of that achievement drives us to the course day after day, and is a phenomenon unique to golf. It’s game that can’t be won, only played, and once in a while it’s played at a record level.