There hasn’t been an avid golfer who didn’t dream of having his own golf course on his property, or at least a couple of holes where he could while away the hours practicing chipping and putting to his heart's content. For many of those same golf fanatics, usually their significant others played a key role in putting the kibosh on that notion.

The majority of these same hackers just don’t have the room or inclination to lay out a nine-hole course on their land without endangering the neighbors. A number of members of the Lincoln Senior Men's Golf League were just lucky then that one of their own took what seemed like a crazy idea and turned it into reality.

Steve Cherep lives south of town close to Saltillo Road and has just enough room in his back acreage to lay out nine holes of chipping heaven. The idea bloomed after some discussion with fellow senior member Dean Bergman and culminated in staking out nine holes of varying length from 30 to 84 yards, winding through his fruit trees, garden, and across his small pond.

Aug. 28 marked the second "Cherpy Invitational"; the initial event had been held in early summer, but more time was spent in preparing the holes and refining the layout. There are no greens, but each hole is marked with yellow and red circles around the flag with the red about six feet in diameter and the yellow 12 feet.

The object is simple; tee off and attempt to land your ball inside the yellow circle. Success means a one on the scorecard; if you miss, you must proceed to chip the ball into the red circle for the corresponding score with the highest being a five. Par is 18 strokes for nine holes. The winner of this event (Craig Madsen) shot a scintillating 36 for 18 holes.

Water hazard

The two holes over the pond provided an opportunity to be immortalized if your tee shot was closest to the pin inside the circle. While there was some dispute about Craig Beach’s stake on the closest title, it was eventually determined that Dean Bergman won the coveted hermetically sealed ball. As the previous spring scoring champion, Craig Beach found it difficult to give up the traveling (and signed!) champion’s hat to Craig Madsen, but after some liquid encouragement he relented!

Hopefully, the purists out there won’t be offended too much that we bend the rules, but isn’t this supposed to be a fun game? Maybe if more golfers took it a little less seriously more average folks would get involved and increase the interest in the game. Fun was had by all, a few beers were consumed, some great pizza and wings devoured, and a lot of laughs shared at each other's expense.

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