The 2016 Family Scramble/Practice round was played on Thursday, August 18th at Rebel Creek in Petersberg, Ontario. After an intensely hot and dry summer, Mother Nature gave the course close to a month’s worth of rain on a single day – Wednesday. The course, although in beautiful condition, was unable to soak up the water fast enough, meaning Thursday’s round was played cart-path-only.
81st Annual Golf Classic
The 81st Annual Father and Three Sons Golf Classic was held on Friday, August 19th at Rebel Creek in Petersberg, Ontario – just outside Waterloo. It was hosted by the Geof Lauer Family.
The Lauers, a long-standing family and multi-generational participants, have provided advice and guidance to many previous Hosts on how best to honour the traditions of the tournament. This year, they practiced what they preach and ran an event that was a success by every measure.
2016 Scramble Recap
It was a scorching hot day, but the drenching meant the greens were receptive, although many were still quite fast. Pin placements were reasonable, allowing several teams to go low. In the end, 20 families entered the friendly competition, and the Hendersons and Lucianis thought they would be splitting the winnings with a tie at -13. It was the Condotta family, though, who posted the Scramble winning score of -14.
An evening reception was hosted at the nearby Holiday Inn Waterloo Convention Centre, which featured light snacks and several screens showing the Olympics coverage. The highlight was gathering at 9:30pm to witness Usain Bolt win yet another Gold medal in the 200M.
2016 Tournament Recap
Friday, August 19th saw golfers arriving to the 81st Annual Father and Three Sons tournament under clear and sunny skies, conditions which were constant from start to finish. The Lauer family greeted the arrivals as they made their way to the fabulous Rebel Creek clubhouse for breakfast, followed by visiting on the putting greens and driving range.
Once again, it was Sam Hisey (oldest) and Jaden Condotta (youngest) who stepped up to the tee to belt out the ceremonial tee-shot. As always, and to no-one’s surprise, both sent their ball clear down the middle, bone straight and long.
Following the Father’s Meeting, everyone gathered on the hill beside the first tee to listen to some brief announcements from the host family. Geof Lauer reminded those assembled that “it’s not about golf, it’s about family!”, and confessed confusion over son Paul’s request that any pictures taken throughout the day be posted to social media under #FATS2016.
After some cajoling by the photographers, the group was rearranged to pose for the traditional group shot. It would have gone smoother, to be sure, if it hadn’t been for the “gentleman in the hat” who just couldn’t seem to get into the right position.
Like the day before, it was scorching hot by the 11:30am shotgun start and the forgiving and wide open course allowed few natural shade opportunities. Nonetheless, it played beautifully and the slightly reduced field of 27 families meant very few backups and a relatively quick round, with the latest group back in the parking lot well before 5pm.
2016 Banquet Recap
The clubhouse bar served as a rallying point, where families compared scores, introduced cart-mates, and paid bets (and tabs) from the course. Shortly before 6pm, families were called into the main banquet area to claim seats and hear some opening comments from the hospitality director or Rebel Creek. Bruce Waite led the group in a grace, reminding everyone of our many blessings and opportunities to be of service to others.
Geof Lauer emceed the evening and announced the various awards and trophy presentations throughout the meal service, which featured a spectacular buffet of salads, veggies, prime rib and lasagna. The Oldest Sons were asked to introduce their family members this year, providing a few notable moments. Steven Hisey congratulated his dad, Sam, on shooting his age during the round (86!), and Michael Luciani regaled the crowd with such loud storytelling that the microphone shorted out, prompting a “mic drop” from Evan Lauer. A replacement mic was soon produced, meaning the introductions could continue to eventually include this year’s sole “New Family”: the Vickers.
After the standard over-the-top welcome, Kyle Vickers introduced his family and instantly gained favour (and a place in FATS lore) when he shared that the tournament conflicted with his wedding Anniversary but he’d chosen to play in his inaugural FATS despite. To great cheers, he claimed to have had so much fun that his wife would have to get used to it anytime a similar conflict arises.
The long list of donations meant that many giveways were available beyond the traiditional prize winners. One of those was a T-Fal pot set awarded to the Vickers, and Kyle quickly saw a way to placate his wife, holding the pots aloft and shouting “Happy Anniversary, Baby!!!”
As with every other aspect of the day, the supper ran exactly on time and shortly before 8pm the Lauers concluded the 81st annual tournament by annoucing the Gary Isaacs and Richard Nishikawa families as the Hosts of the 2017 event at Whirlpool Golf Course in Niagara Falls, Ontario.