Nine times the fun equals wacky memories

Let's talk wacky golf stuff: unusual experiences that happen on the golf course, memories that will last a long time, stories you'll tell for years and years or stories you'll bury forever.

Remember the "ready golf" phase? Play quickly, keep up the pace, and finish a round of golf in less than an hour and a half. Yeah, that was fun. Or the "Hit the Hundred" challenge? Play 100 holes of golf and enjoy every stroke of it. That was even more fun.

Then there are those weird golf tournaments, too. Recall the GOBO ones. The "Golf our Brains Out" tournaments sure did significantly improve the integrity of the game. Tee off sitting on a toilet. Play one hole reverse-handed. Tee off using a driver that has a flexible shaft. Best of all, down a shooter of an adult beverage on each hole before teeing off. I don't remember that one all too well. Go figure. Did come away with a different perspective of the game, though.

Phil Weidinger, owner of Weidinger Public Relations, has had his share of these offbeat ideas. Phil has his business in the Carson Valley and works closely with the Carson City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Authority.

His love of golf keyed his imagination many years ago: How best to present the nine golf courses of Carson Valley to the world.

Enter the Divine Nine. The concept behind the Divine Nine event is to demonstrate the quality and variety of golf that the area's nine courses offer visitors and locals by enjoying all the courses in one day. When pressed, Phil agrees that copious amounts of Jack Daniel's influenced his final result.

To actuate the idea, Phil has been inviting the golf media from Nevada and neighboring states to experience the Divine Nine.

Here's what happens: First, a top- notch welcome reception at the Carson Valley Inn in Minden. The CVI is a lodge-like relaxing hotel. Get the itinerary for the next day, ask questions, down hors d'ouevres and cocktails, talk story and over-talk our golf games. The plan: Play nine courses, two signature holes at each, in one day, with food and several hydration stations strategically placed at each course. Wacky? A little bit.

We boarded the bus at 6:45 a.m., clubs in tow. We stopped and played all nine courses, hydrated ourselves many times, laughed, joked, played great golf, played miserable golf, sampled cocktails on the links and wound up with a great dinner at JT Basque restaurant in Gardnerville.

The golf was pretty nice. At all nine courses at the seven facilities we visited, we were faced with challenging golf, tough shots and rewarding results. And you won't meet any finer golf professionals than at these courses. The scene of the crimes: Genoa Lakes Resort, Genoa Lakes, Sunridge, Empire Ranch, Dayton Valley, Eagle Valley East, Eagle Valley West, Silver Oaks and Carson Valley.

Twenty golfers, nine courses, two holes, nine times. Tensomes on the tee. Golf balls everywhere. Couldn't have asked for a better time.

The stats? Here we go. The "course" we played was a par-76, 6,956 yards, a course rating of 76 and a slope of 136 (the average slope is 117). Our group lost 97 balls, had 53 pars, 94 bogeys and 104 doubles and reached 33 snowmen and higher during the day.

The high level of play resulted in three birds. On average, each golfer shot 29 over par, scores going up as the day progressed.

Our efforts resulted in more than 1,400 photos and recorded colorful language bites reached near infinity. More important, 106 bottles of beer, eight bottles of wine, 111 drinks at the reception, 33 cocktails at the courses, 74 bottles of water, 23 sports drinks and five Red Bulls were consumed as we carefully critiqued all the courses.

Full and satisfied, we headed back to the CVI at 9:15 p.m., 14 hours and 30 minutes later.

Would I golf the Divine Nine media outing again? Darn right. Everybody has to do something wacky at times. The Carson Valley and its course are only 411 miles from Las Vegas. Close enough to enjoy golf at its best - try it out.

John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer. Contact him at