U.P. Senior’s 18th pin irks three-time champ

ScuttleBu(r)t …

A wicked pin placement soured many golfers in this week’s U.P. Golf Association Senior Championships at Norway’s Oak Crest Golf Course.

Golfers closing Tuesday’s final round found the 18th hole pin located on the back of the green and on a slope. That spot frustrated and angered players.

Some ran up to mark the ball before it began rolling again. Some vowed never to return to Oak Crest, which by most accounts is in great condition and staged another first-class tourney, except for No. 18.

Even three-time champion Jim Wagner of Marinette, Wis., didn’t like the pin placement.

“You never knew what was going to happen there (on No. 18),” Wagner said. “It’s not fair when you putt it up the hole, stop and (the ball) comes back.

“We’re getting less and less people for these tournaments. That’s not going to make more people come back.

“If they shoot a good score and have fun, they stick around, have a couple drinks and want to come back. If they get discouraged, they won’t do that.”

Wagner shot par golf for both rounds to win the tournament by four shots. Our area had four golfers in championship flight – Paul Bujold, Pine Grove, 151; Mike Solda, Oak Crest, 152; Marc Mogan, Pine Grove, 153, and Jeff Jayne, Pine Grove, 157.

Golfers age 50 and up are eligible for the senior tournament, which will be held next year at Irish Oaks in Gladstone. Oldest golfer in the tourney was 85-year-old Stanley Servia, a Bessemer resident playing out of Gogebic Country Club. He once lived in Norway.

“I just come out here to enjoy myself,” said Stanley, who admits balls in sand traps give him trouble.

I didn’t get a chance to ask Stanley about the diabolical 18th hole. But I do hope those angry golfers have a change of heart and return to this beautiful course.

Oak Crest is the host for the U.P. Ladies Golf Association Senior Championships on Sunday, Aug. 7, and other tournaments this summer. I’ve been assured by one Oak Crest official that future tournaments will remain challenging but the pin placements will be nothing like No. 18 …