COLUMBIA - Susan Hogan stepped up to the first tee at the L.A. Nickel Golf Course on a cool summer night, and laid into a drive that didn’t go as planned.
It landed near trees, to the right of the fairway.
“Now that’s couples golf,” Damon Turley said. Hogan had hit the ball right by where her husband and playing partner Ron Hogan had hit his just minutes earlier.
The Hogans have been playing golf together for 15 years, and have been partners in the Whiff and Giggle Golf Tournament for the past four years.
“I get worse and worse every year,” Susan Hogan said, laughing. “My husband stays good though.”
Though the couples tournament is primarily for fun, it is a scramble tournament which means that each couple hits from the spot of its best ball from the previous shot. Due to that the scores are generally low, despite the low skill level of most golfers.
“It brings out a lot of golfers for an evening of golf in a relaxed atmosphere,” said course manager Dave Stone. “It’s a good way to recruit new golfers onto the scene in a non-competitive environment.”
The Hogans were joined in their round by Damon Turley and Char Cruchelow. Turley, 28, is a former golfer at Lincoln University in Jefferson City in his third year playing in the tournament. Turley needed a playing partner and contacted Cruchelow, 22, who he coached while he was an assistant coach at William and Woods University in Fulton.
“It’s just a lot of fun and no pressure,” Susan Hogan said. “The local courses do a great job in helping out and making sure the tournament is always fun.”
Her husband steps to the tee on the fourth hole and hits what sounds like a promising shot. His wife is chatting with Cruchelow and turns around to see the shot.
“Where’d you go,” Susan Hogan says.
“I’m in the trees again,” Ron Hogan said.
The couple shares a laugh and hops in the cart on down the fairway to search for the golf balls.
On the next hole, Susan Hogan steps up to her ball in the fairway and notices Turley and Cruchelow sitting 40 yards ahead of her in the fairway.
“Watch out, I’m dangerous,” she laughs.
The next Whiff and Giggle couples scramble is scheduled for 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, at Lake of the Woods golf course.