L. A. Open-20 years later it is still a lot of fun!

By PAT BROWN,

It is hard to imagine it has been 20 years since we started the L. A. Open (Lower Alabama).  For those of you who are not in the know, it is a group of guys who get together and do a traveling golf outing every year. This marks the 29th year since it started.

  The year was 1997 and the guys at Trustmark, Pax Mogenson and Charles Russell, put together the first outing.  There were 12 folks from the Magee and Mendenhall area.

  The original group consisted of Pat Brown, Charles Russell, Pax Mogenson, Gerald Regal, Dale Yelverton, Don Barr, Joe Lee, Gene Crosby, Alfred Pace, Charles Baldwin, Bo Morgan and Kent McCown.

  As the years passed the names changed and folks like Wayne Hilton, Johnnie May and Marc Brand were added.

  Eventually it got to be popular and the size increased to 20.  Chris Caughman, Andy  Broadhead, Dale Berry and Gary Williams came on the circuit. 

  Each year it became a little more fun.  Golf went from three days to the current four.  However, some in the senior group like myself have suggested it goes back to three.

  We all used to stay in two condos; now it is five or six.  That is fine as far as I am concerned.  There has always been a party room and for many years I got to stay there.  Not the case now. I am part of the elder statesmen, for what that is worth. 

  So this marked the 20th year and what fun it was.  We played both courses in Mobile on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail,  The Falls and The Crossing.  They are beautiful but not for the faint of heart. 

  We played one day at Craft Farms, which is where we stayed.  We played Cotton Creek.

   Day two had us playing the Country Club in Gulf Shores.  There is a squirrel on their logo.  I had no reason to question that image, that is, until a real squirrel accosted me. 

  Apparently you are not supposed to go near  them without taking a treat.  No one told me.  Well, when I am trying to hit the ball he spit in my eye.  Not sure if you have ever had a squirrel spit in your eye, but it is almost blinding. 

  This was worse than the one at the First SelfRighteous Church in the sleepy little town of Pascagoula.  Needless to say, I was worried about squirrels the rest of the time, but it sure was a lot of fun. 

The winners for this year were Stephen Yelverton-A New Car -

Pete May- Da Man!

  Til next year keep ‘em in the short grass.