On the eighth day golf was created. On the 18th swig, the number of holes was determined. On June 3, 1927, the first Ryder Cup began, and on Sept. 11 and 18, the second annual Ryder Cup Match took place between the MountainView/Preserve Women’s Golf Association (MPWGA) and the SaddleBrooke Ranch Women’s Golf Association (SBRWGA). The ground-breaking golf girls stepped out of the tee box and reinvented the Ryder Cup, putting their own twist on it.
Deviating from the traditional three-day biennial match played between two men’s teams of 12 from Europe and the U.S. with a set format, the competitive companions played their two-day friendly fray with no limit on the number of players, spiced things up by throwing some creative curves in the format, and with the home turfs being just a small spread of desert and a few tumbleweeds apart, played twice as often.
On Sept. 11 at the Preserve Golf Club, 18 fired-up, friendly golfers from each of the golf leagues showed up with 14 sanctioned and shined up swinging sticks, hoped for a stroke of luck, and planned their course of action for some fun and frolic in the fairway. Two-person teams from each league formed foursomes of similar handicap indexes for the match play games. At the end of the first day’s fun-fare, after nine holes of best net ball and nine holes of shamble, the MPWGA led the SBRWGA 89.5 to 72.5. A week later, on Sept. 18 at SaddleBrooke Ranch Golf Club, 18 still-friendly Ryder Cup rivals rustled up their golf grit to continue the match play wrangle with nine holes of best net ball and 9 holes of Chapman. One never knows what might happen on the wild, wild golf range at SaddleBrooke Ranch, and we experienced the good, the bad, and the coyote-ugly. On green number. 3, a coy, four-legged critter loped over and nabbed Jean Cheszek’s yellow ball sitting close to the hole, and after a taunting “dare you” stare-down, ran off into the desert. After fervent negotiations with the coyote, he eventually dropped it, and it was retrieved by Jean’s brave opponent, Ann Martin, barely within three minutes (United States Golf Association [USGA] rule 18.2a). Jean replaced her now slithery ball in its original spot—perhaps with a few chuckles—with no penalty (USGA rule 9.6), but after all the gallimaufry, missed the short putt. On the second day of play, MPWGA earned 86.5 points, and SBRWGA earned 75.5, but together, they earned a million laughs.
At high noon, the teams congregated for some lunch and libation, ordering from the tasty selections offered on the Ranch House Grill & Brewery menu. Mike Jahaske and Ken Steinke posted the match scores on a board big enough for all to see that MPWGA continued to reign for a second year. The final Ryder Cup scores were MPWGA: 176, SBRWGA: 148, and Naughty Coyote: 1. We know who had the most points, but with so much giggling and golf guffaw going on that even the faces on the club heads were smiling, it’s hard to say who had the most fun. Perhaps it was the coyotes, who have become quite brazen in ball-nabbing, even tossing them into the air before running off with them. In the still of the night, under the eerie moon at SaddleBrooke Ranch, they can be heard howling with laughter at the silly game those two-legged critters play, chasing something for hours they can’t even eat after they catch it.
We thank the team captains, Janey Clausen (MPWGA) and Jean Cheszek (SBRWGA) for their time in organizing the event, creating the formats, and getting this traveling show on the road. We look forward to the next round of Ryder rivalry with our northerly neighbors, and we challenge them to lasso in the win and take their turn at bragging rights. Happy trails to all, until we meet again next year.