Monday, July 29, 2013

11 Under and 5th Place but Great Day

By John Green
Williamsport, PA -  Last time, I told you about heading for the Annual Lycoming Football Golf Tournament. I learned that this was the 21st year for the event, awesome. I was teamed up in the scramble style tournament with the Czaps',  Mike and Jody Czap, parents of Lyoming's Senior kicker Zack Czap. Mike Czap (Sr.), Zack's grandfather was my cart partner.

We started out with birdies on the first four holes. Our chant was to birdie all 18 holes which quickly echoed into a dry spell for a while. We felt the karma of the golfing gods humbling us a bit and we came back to earth. Overall, we did well and won some prizes.

The real story for me is how well the Czaps' played golf and what nice people they are. You learn a lot in the small talk on the golf course and I found out in action and words that Mike, Mike and Jody love the game of golf and are very good at it. Between them, the have been the club champions at the Philipsburg Elks Lodge and Country Club for 30 some years combined. Their game at White Deer proved to me why they have have won so many championships. Their skills match their success and they have the love for the game.

Some shots still stick in my gray matter... The younger Mike who chipped in a 15 foot shot for a birdie in the middle of our round. Doesn't sound hard you say! Well this green has a bowl in the middle and the pin placement was on the closer edge of the bowl. Getting the chip to just barely fall over the edge meant a return putt of 8-10 feet back if you miss. Well, Mike, our last hope hit the perfect shot that caught the pin at a good pace and dropped into the cup. Another birdie for us, and some hi fives to celebrate.

Elder Mike, a fine gentleman in his own right,  was the steady eddy of the group. He just kept hitting straight drives from the yellow tees, throwing great iron shots onto the green and putting them in when we needed him. You could see in his game the weathering of years of golf. Like a fine wine or a valuable antique, the years weathering and use contribute into something beautiful. In Mike Sr., it was that perfect swing, that perfect pace and that perfect tempo.

Jody, who could hold her ground with anyone, was our go to driver, our go to putter.  All around I would say, our competitive driving force. I believe that if you play for a club championship, you must be a bit driven. She had energy, fight and charisma that kept us energized thought 18 holes. She filled in nicely when we failed to measure up to the challenge.

All the Czaps' had what I call the Lycoming Football Legacy.  It is the history of fight, family and friendship that was brought on by Frank Girardi back in 1972 and carried on by present head coach Mike Clark.  It is a history of you are here to win, so do you best each shot at a time. Play fair, (they mark 1" putts and then tap them in after everyone has putted just as the rules require) and on to the next whole, never giving in to the course.

Along with all of they, did I mention they are just great people. A pleasure to eat lunch with them, ride with them and converse with them. The day could not have been better for this old Warrior, and I hope it was just as good for them.