The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
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2014-01-16

Martinot conquers skins game

Charles Prokop

A round of golf can be a wonderful experience. Your swing feels effortless, the ball flies long and true, and you're in heaven. You stroke the ball with confidence, it drops into the center of the cup, and you're ecstatic. You walk off the 18th green and can't wait for the next round.
But a round of golf can also feel like a forced march through the jungle. There are days that your swing falls apart like Humpty Dumpty and can't be put together again. The ball feels like a rock and flies like a banana, curving into the nearest tree trunk. Putts roll twice too far or half far enough. If a putt is the right length, it's so far off line that you don't lose your turn. You can't wait to walk off the 18th green and never come back.
A string of bad holes can put a good total score out of reach, and it can be hard to enjoy a day of poor play. You need a fresh start in the middle of the round, a chance to make the day worthwhile. You need a skins game.
In skins, every hole is a new tournament. With 18 chances for victory it doesn't matter how poorly you played on the previous hole-you can win the next hole. Win a hole and you win a skin. And when you can use your handicap to shave strokes off the toughest holes, you have a chance to beat the best.
Cold weather kept the Good Old Boys off the course for the regular Monday tournament, but a group of them squeezed in a skins game on Friday. Players participated in a gross score competition, in a net score competition with handicaps, or in both.
Three players tied for the most skins in the net competition. Bandera's Ted Brown continued his winning ways from the last Good Old Boys tournament by taking home 2 skins. John Palmer, the long-hitting Banderan who owns Custom Glass and Mirror, earned 2 skins of his own. Bill Martinot, a winter Texan from Flin Flon, Manitoba, wondered what all the talk about cold weather was about as he collected his 2 skins. Ron Darby of Lubbock has played his winter golf in Bandera at the Flying L for years, and he used his familiarity with the course to earn one skin.
Bill Martinot walked away with the most skins of all the players, as he added one skin in the gross score game to his 2 net skins. Ron Darby was close behind, as he added a gross skin to his net skin. Boerne's Walter Stroman doesn't bother to enter the net game. He's such a good golfer that his low handicap gives him no advantage, so he concentrates his efforts in the gross score competition. Stroman's strategy and good play paid off, as he took home one skin in the gross game.