Monday, December 11, 2006

9 More Basket Are In (or TM is the Man)

The day started late the night before. After working late at the dog factory, I came home and loaded my truck with as much material as I could fit: 10 disassembled Chainstar baskets, the 4 assembled Borderland baskets, tools, and 400 lbs of cement (5 80-lb bags).

Sunday I was up and out of the house by 7:15. Since my outside hose had frozen overnight, I headed over to one of sponsors, Dunkin' Donuts, to fill up some jugs with water. I thought we'd need it for the cement but it turns out we didn't. Dave met me at the course and we drove in to Hole 5 and started digging. TM called from the parking lot a few minutes later, so we met him and decided to install hole 13 first. While Dave and I unloaded the stuff and tried to decide the best way to do things, TM started digging and before we knew it, was done with our first 3-ft deep hole in what seemed like 10 seconds. It was a sign of things to come. The guy is a machine!

We decided to install a new Chainstar first, so TM showed us how the sleeve, collar, lock, and basket went together and showed us the right way to do things. While Dave and I stood there watching him fly through the installation, TM joked, "I've done this a few times." After about 20 minutes or so, we had our first basket in the ground. "Damn," I thought. "That was easy." I didn't want to jinx us, so I kept my mouth shut.

With our first basket in the ground, we moved down the road to Hole 12 and decided to put a Borderland basket there. This one was pretty easy too. Next, we went up the hill to Hole 11 where we put another Borderland basket. We ran into our first substantial rocks on this one, but nothing too major. We had a good system going now and for most of the day, Dave and TM did the digging and basket-building while I got everything else ready and acted as the go-for slash supervisor.

Next up was Hole 10 and since it's off the road a bit we had to lug everything over there. Not too bad, but we ran into a few more rocks. We put a Chainstar here. We walked back down the hill to the trucks and drove out to the parking lot where we moved all the tools and sleeves from TM's truck into mine. We headed out to the front 9 and as we were working on putting a Borderland basket on Hole 6, Matt Stroika showed up to help.

Hole 5 gave us some trouble with a huge rock about 2 1/2 ft down. While TM and Dave continued to bash the snot out of the rock, Matt and I moved on to Hole 15. We lucked out and didn't come across any big rocks.

At about 12:30, Brian brought us lunch (some manly meat-covered pizza), and after a short break TM and Dave installed a Chainstar on Hole 5 and Matt and I started on Hole 9 (another Chainstar). Before long, we had them both done and were ready to play a round. Unfortunately Dave and Matt had to take off, so Brian, TM, and I hit the links (but not before TM cut down that pine tree at the top of Hole 12).

There was still about 20 minutes of sunlight left after our round, so we decided to put in one last basket, a Chainstar on Hole 1. We carried our tools and supplies through the woods and up the hill. Major props go to Brian for getting that 80-lb bag of cement up there! Thankfully Andrew and I had already dug the hole Saturday morning, so we saved a few precious minutes and ended up finishing in the dark using my tiny keychain flashlight. Phew, we were done.

What a day. Nine baskets in about 6 hours with only 4 guys. Impressive. Thanks again to TM Dyer for custom-building our sleeves and collars and for showing us what the heck to do. Dave and I could have done it without you, but we'd still be on Hole 12 scratching our heads! :-)
Here's an exciting video for you:

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