Going for a Carlson – Fort Bragg Advocate-News


Last Friday, Jan. 22, we golfers and non-golfers woke up to the pitter-patter sound of rain on the roof. I really wanted to play golf that day. I checked out the hour to hour weather report and the radar forecast and decided to drive to the course: it looked like golf may be a possibility.

Driving down Albion Ridge, it was coming down pretty hard, but as I drew closer to the ocean blue sky was breaking through and the rain was backing off. Usually on a Stableford day, there would be activity on the driving range and putters would be plying their trade on the practice green. That morning no one was on the driving range and the putting green was empty.

The only persons around the Pro Shop was the commander, David Jones and Scott Dietz. Scott saw me and said, “Do ya wanna play?” By the time Scott and I got organized, Larry England and Roland Johnson showed up — cart loaded and ready to roll.

But since four players are not enough to play the Stableford format, we decided to just play golf — except at the last minute, Scott challenged me to the “Honors” game.

A simple traditional golf game, whoever gets the best score on a hole wins the honor of teeing off first on the next hole. Scott also announced he would like to shoot in the eighties today as his last few rounds had been in the nineties and, he added, it would be nice to get a Carlson.

Scott played many rounds with recently deceased Jack Carlson and was part of the group originating the “Carlson” — which is to play 18 holes without a double bogey. Off we went.

Scott won the honors on every single hole except one. I certainly didn’t offer much competition. Scott also preserved his Carlson on the front nine, keeping it intact on the back up to the long par three 16th hole. Scott got on in three but missed his bogey putt, a long one, by inches. He let out a sigh looked up at the sky and said, “I tried Jack. I tried” Yes you did Scott. You certainly did and you did shoot your eighties; an eighty to be exact.

Scott reminisced about the Carlson days when Jack Carlson, Butch Carlstedt, John Johansen and Scott would each, every round played together, kick in a dollar towards the Carlson pot. The pot would accumulate if there were no winners and when someone did shoot a Carlson they won the pot.

“Until,” Scott recalled, “We went 50 rounds without anyone getting a Carlson and said, ‘OK, that’s enough.’” You’re gonna get that Carlson, Scott. It’s coming.

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