Marty Weber Outlasts the Field (and Daylight)—Capturing the 2021 Ed White Shoot-Out

Contestants in the 2021 Ed White Shoot-Out

Continuing a 15-year tradition, the BMC’s annual 2021 Ed White Shoot-Out was held on Sunday, September 26.  As always, this event featured our most active members, based on the number of Ed White points they accumulated over the course of the season.  Points are awarded for participation in BMC leagues and events and various volunteer activities.

This year’s Shoot-Out was coordinated by Steve Tanner, with Mark Schmidt serving as event marshal.  The ten qualifying players consisted of Tim Smith, Dick Helde, Marty Weber, Vince Bradford, Steve Tanner, Greg Baron, Bob Malby, Scott Nelson, Rick Windham and Denny Russell.  Greg Wright and Tim Nord had both qualified, but Greg had to withdraw because of injury and Tim was out of town.

This competition features a unique format: all ten players start out together on the first hole, and, based on net scores, one player is eliminated on each hole until only two players are left to play the ninth.  On any hole, if there is a tie for high net score, an immediate play-off is held among the affected golfers.  The marshal identifies a common starting point and then officiates a putting or chipping competition, with the player finishing farthest from the hole bowing out.

Weather for the event was ideal, especially for late September.  Under sunny skies, the temperature hovered around 80 degrees at the start, drifting lower as the evening progressed.  A light breeze wafted over the links from the southwest.

As always in this event, the first tee offers a rare sight, featuring the spectacle of a ten-some—and leaving golfers approaching the ninth green understandably scratching their heads.  This year, Mark Schmidt, as event marshal, got things off to a great start with his enthusiasm and respect for this popular BMC tradition.  Before each player’s opening tee shot, Mark delivered a spirited introduction for that golfer, detailing his contributions to the Club over the past year as well as years gone by.

You don’t often see ten players marching (or riding) down the first fairway. And this year, as play proceeded in methodical (but by no means breakneck!) fashion, it surprised no one that pace of play would prove a challenge– notwithstanding prodding from the marshal.  With a 4:00 tee time and a 7:06 sunset, could nine holes be completed before dark?

Marty Weber: Champion, 2021 Ed White Shoot-out
Marty Weber: Champion, 2021 Ed White Shoot-out

To add to that challenge, seven of the competitors finished the first hole with net bogeys and proceeded to compete in the most populated play-off in shoot-out memory.  By the time play on the first hole was completed, some of our faster players could probably have finished the front nine.

Play plodded on as the sun continued its inexorable descent.  The players hit some impressive shots and, in some cases, managed some Houdini-like escapes.  If you get a chance, ask our eventual winner how he survived the fourth hole!  But throughout, with unbridled energy, Mark continued to heard the stray cats, continually announcing the order of play, offering non-stop encouragement, helping look for lost balls, keeping score and officiating rules disputes.  Unsurprisingly, but, to the undisguised disappointment of some, balls were in fact required to be played from where they lay (even from bad lies).

Special thanks go out to Steve Tanner as event coordinator and to volunteers Bob and Joanne Teese and Judy Tanner, who served as forecaddies and gallery– but most especially to Mark Schmidt, without whose ebullience and attention to detail the event would just not have been the same.

BMC Members: Start planning ahead to garner those Ed White points in 2022– and you too could be part of this fun tradition!