Journal Entry #37
August 2-8, 2004

Tournament List & List Your Tournament
Colorado Springs Golf Course Information
Monday, August 2, 2004

9:00 AM our Marshall team met at the food court next to hole number eleven at Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Pines, Colorado. Muffins, juice, and coffee awaited our team. Tomorrow breakfast burritos will be the on the menu, yum! Today was a tune up training day for us newbees; i.e., Bill Souba and myself. We met our hole captains, Anita Mason and Sam Parker, both seasoned marshals and marshal hole captains.



The first thing we did, after breakfast, was walk the twelfth hole from tee to green with Anita explaining our specific duties as related to this specific hole. Along the way we heard several stories about some of the players and were even cautioned that when Greg Norman passed through there might be some problems keeping the crowds in line. You see, as it goes, he has a non-love affair with galleries here in Colorado. My guess is that his game might improve if his conduct with the crowd would. As you may know, Greg has not won big in awhile.

After we finished our training tune up the first pro-am got under way. This is what I like to refer to as the poor-man's pro-am. You see, these guys pay only $1,500 to play with a pro, none of which I had ever heard of. The big name pro-am with celebrities kicks off Wednesday with 7:00am and 1:30am shotgun starts. To play in these events you have to cough up $3,500, and you may not even get to play with the Big Easy. Now I know where at least $1,000,000 in prize money comes from. A thunderstorm and lightening suspended play three holes short of finishing. A blessing for some of those $1,500 armatures.

Tomorrow will be a more fun day. It's the day the pros play their practice rounds. I'll update this journal entry when I get home.

By the way, hole number 12 is the "signature" hole at Castle pines. Take a look:



Tuesday, August 3, 2004

I expected today to be a very interesting one because it was the day the pros played practice rounds. Some did play, but I'll bet less than half of the field bothered to come out. This was too bad for the patrons who paid $20 to watch.

The pros that did play provided a clinic with various shots because in many cases they hit more than one ball for each shot including bunkers and putting. When they got on the green it reminded me of a bunch of ants scurrying around. What I mean is when a foursome was on the green each player commenced putting two or three balls from various positions on the green without any concern about others doing the same and at the same time some were hitting out of the green side bunkers and caddies and coaches were throwing balls back to them to hit again.

We did get a glimpse of "the Shark." My hole captain, Sam Parker, told me that Greg always hits into the right bunker on hole #12. When he hit his approach today it was dead on with about a 10-foot put left. After he practiced his putting, along with the other ants, he confirmed Sam's remarks. He went into the right bunker and had his caddy throw him about six or eight balls. The man is destined to get in that trap once the tournament begins.


To follow are some more photos of number 12. The first is what the pro sees when he steps up to the tee box. The second is a shot of the gully over which they must hit. It takes a carry of about 175 yards to clear the path on the other side. All the pros were hitting long irons and fairway woods to keep from going beyond the plateau, which is about 150 yards from the green. The next picture is of what the pro sees from the plateau. Finally, the gully is full of colorful wild flowers. I know we were watching pros today because not one that I observed went into the rough or out of bounds today.



Today a number of new marshals joined our team and even more will join us as we go into the four-day "money" portion of THE INTERNATIONAL. Our group has a bunch of fine people and we all work well together. The word is our team is the best on the course…of course!




Wednesday, August 4, 2004


Since I volunteered for all eight days at THE INTERNATIONAL, I took this day off. I wanted to take my wife, Marilynn, out to see the pro-am. Unfortunately there were no celebrities, but the quality of the amateurs paying $3,500 to play with a pro were much better than those at the $1,500 day one pro-am.

Our plan was to start at the clubhouse and walk back through the remainder of the 18 holes. We just about made it, but had to stop five holes short because of a safety call by tournament officials. There appeared to be a rain cloud on the way, so everyone had to scurry to appropriate shelters. We waited about thirty minutes in the shelter, no rain but lots of thunder and lightening in the distance. We finally decided to risk being struck and walked up to the nearest shuttle stop. No bus, so we started walking. Just as the rain began we came upon a handicapped transport bus and the driver let us climb aboard. By the time we reached the parking lot pea size hail and strong rain greeted us just as we disembarked into a small shelter. We shared the shelter with about a dozen people and we all watched as the pea size hail turned into marble size. Within a few minutes we were greeted with a flood of ice-cold water and Marilynn and I were wearing shorts and Teva sandals. She could not take the punishment any longer, so with a trash bag incasing her we made a break for our car. We jumped into it and fogged up the windshield. Not what you might think nor I to hope for. Our body heat was high from the dash to the car and the freezing sleet and rain caused the fog. We could hardly wait to get home and take a hot shower. I did not know how cold I was until I turned on the water. GRREEATT!!!

So enjoy the photos to follow. There will be only a few to follow, since no cameras are allowed once the tournament starts tomorrow morning at 7:00am. I have to get up at 4:45pm to get to Castle Pines in time to man my post on the 12th at 6:30am.







Thursday, August 5, 2004

If you watched the first day of the official INTERNATIONAL tournament today you probably know that 1˝ inches of rain and hail pounded Castle Pines yesterday. When I arrived to continue my work as a marshal on signature hole number 12 this morning, I found out some other interesting information about the down pour. Yesterday we were parked in the red flag parking lot and made our escape just in time. After we left there was a flash flood of the area with water rising up to vehicle running boards (I know, cars don't have running boards any more, but you know what I mean).

I also found out that marshals and patrons at the twelfth green had a harrowing experience. The recommended storm shelter is a cross-under tunnel over to hole thirteen. Problem was that the rain was so hard that the tunnel became a "water" tunnel as the drain at the end of it would not hold all the water draining down to it from both sides. They survived, though they were no doubt really cold and wet.

If you will go back to day one you will see how lovely and colorful the flowerbeds were at holes 11 and 12. With marble size hail, the colorful flowers are no more. They were shredded. Unfortunately I could not take any photos of the damage today because all cameras and cell phones are not allowed at the golf course once competition starts. I hope you enjoy some of the before photos today.

One reason the flower beds are usually so beautiful is because of the dedicated work of the ground crews.

One last thing about the rain. It happened again today. This time there was no hail but plenty of rain. Fortunately Sam took us to the porch of a multimillion-dollar home adjacent to number 12 tee. Yes, we had permission from the owner. As I understand, it is owned by a retired pilot who was once the employee of a Saudi sheik. The sheik just gave it to him in appreciation for his services. No wonder gas prices are so high.

See you tomorrow…..John K. Darling

Friday, August 6, 2004

Tonight's update will be short and to the point. We had two rain delays and play was continued to dark. Tomorrow it's up at 4:45am to drive back up to Castle Rock for early tee times rather than having an hour or so to recuperate.

Yesterday Australia's Rod Pampling led the field with +15 points using the modified Stabelford scoring format for The International. However, the new hero for the day is Chris DiMarco, who started the day with six points and ended with 32. I was marchaling on #12 green when his second shot on this four par landed about three feet long in the short grass. He pulled out his three wood and calmly put the ball in the cup, which brought his score up to 26 from 24. Points are as follows in the Stabelford scoring system: par = 0 points, birdie = 2 points, eagle = 5 points, double eagle = 8 points, bogie = -1 point, double bogie or worse = -3 points.

I did manage to sneak my camera in and took an early morning photo of the flower bed at number 12. See below.



Saturday, August 7, 2004

Day six for THE INTERNATIONAL AND day three for competition. As mentioned above Chris DiMarco took off from the field with Rod Pampling close behind. After two rain stoppages the day was called with darkness. Today, Saturday, 7:00am the field completed it's final round for qualification and the real party commenced at 11:00am with groups teeing off from tee one and ten. By the end of the day DiMarco had stumbled, Pampling held his own and surged further toward the championship. Many other contestants surged into the mid to high twenty scores, so tomorrow will be a great finale as probably six or so pros will be seeking the crown and the $900,000 first prize. Best of all today there were no rain delays.

To follow is a photo taken yesterday of many of our marshal team members. These are all great folks who are volunteering their time and talents as well as furnishing their own uniforms. Even though the uniforms were expensive, we were all given a significant and sizable discount. I am sure we will enjoy them for a long time to come.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

Day seven was the last day of THE INTERNATIONAL at Castle Pines, Colorado. Rod Pampling of Australia regained the lead today and out paced the field to take the $900,000 first prize with 31 points. Second place was Alex Cejka ($540,000) 29 points, then as follows Tom Pernice, Jr. ($340,000) 27 points, Duffy Waldorf ($240,000) 26 points, Jay Hass ($200,000) 25 points, Chris DiMarco faded to a tie for sixth place and took home only $167,500 with 24 points along with Tim Petrovic ($167,500) and Stewart Cink ($167,500)

My best golf memories include when Todd Hamilton, 2004 British Open Champion, sank a 15-foot putt off the green with his three wood. Also, John Cook's holing out from a greenside bunker and finally Justin Leonard's holeing out from about 75 yards after a poor approach shot.

My most harrowing memory is my busman's holiday when I took my wife, Marilynn, out to see the pro-am day and we got caught and pummeled by heavy rain, hail and flooding in the parking lot.

Lastly, my fondest memory is of the marshaling team I was on. We had a wonderful team of very compatible people. In fact, as a group we will probably work together at the 2005 LPGA Open to be held at the Cherry Creek Country Club next year as well as at the Omni John Elway charity tournament coming up soon. There are openings for more marshals on our team, so if any of you readers here in Colorado would like to volunteer, give me a call at 719-520-5991 or email and I'll get you in touch with our team captains.

I took many photos the first three days. No unauthorized cameras were allowed on the course during the four-day competitive play. To follow is my favorite photo. It's not a golf photo, but a beautiful view between eleven green and the 12th tee box. If anyone would like a copy just email me at and I'll send it to you as an attachment.