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Hackfest 1988

Jeff Carter defended his title as Birdie King at the University of Minnesota - Les Bolstad course.


The U of M course was lucky to host the Hackfest two years in a row.


The rules used in the 1988 Hackfest are unknown, and will possibly never be discovered. Historians will undoubtedly devote lifetimes to finding these secrets.

Birdie King

Michael "Misha" Sauer


Memories From the 1988 Birdie King, Michael Sauer
Okay here goes: 1988 was the year I won my first of three 'Fests.

This was only the second year of the tourney and the format was still in its original format of eight golfers only (I believe the eight were Eric, John, Tim, Brett, Blake, Lyford, Carter, and myself). It was held at the site of the previous year's inaugural 'Fest: Les Bolstad University of Minnesota Golf Course.

I remember that Lyford had just graduated that summer and was looking for his first full-time pharmacist job and I was hanging around his apartment a lot that summer. The only reason that I mention this is because prior to heading out to the tournament, he, Steve Blake and I were at his place and we all got pretty stoned (actually I remember smoking as much as I could, but that the two Steves continued on smoking without me, so they were probably more baked than I was, but make no mistake: I was plenty high).

I remember the format was where we had been allotted pre-selected partners and we had to golf with each others clubs. We also golfed only eighteen holes back in those days. I had been selected to golf with Steve Lyford's clubs and he with mine.

Lyford had just bought new clubs that season, but in his fits of pique on the links, he had already broken his 8 iron and one of his long irons, I can't remember which one. So I was working a couple clubs short.

Plus, I'll never forget this, his putter had a slightly bent shaft (like his dick) that was bent between the handle and the putter-head, but the two were still lined up pretty close or as close to normal as if the shaft wasn't all mangled like his was. (Steve Blake claims that that putter was his all-time favorite putter that he's ever used golfing.)

So the front nine we were partnered up and it was such that the better one of us did, it was good for the both of us. The back nine it was every man for himself, kind of a dog-eat-dog thing as I recall. I don't remember the entire format.

I remember making a good sand pitch to save par on the second hole (a par three) that Lyford and I got really excited about since it was a tough shot. Even though it was early in the round, it was one of those shots that we fed off for the whole front nine.

I don't really remember much more about the actual on course competition (remember, I was pretty smoked up) except for that those first couple of years it really was kind of a competition. Nowadays the Hackfest has evolved into a get-together, haven't seen you in a year, reason to get together and the golf is kind of secondary, kind of on the back burner kind of thing and that's cool. You know what with our careers, you guys with families, mortgages, some guys living halfway across the good old USA (plus we're all older) it's only natural that it has turned out to be what it is today. And that's a good thing. It's good to hang with each other outside of the golf arena.

I guess that my previous comment on being older is irrelevant, but back then we all lived in town, we all saw each other pretty frequently so getting together for golf wasn't that hard to do and so the existing circumstances allowed us to be kind of competing against each other more since that was all that there was: winning the damn thing. Nothing where people hyperventilated about, mind you. Just a little more attention was paid to the actual golf and subsequent results back then.

Since it was no big, difficult deal to hang out with each other back then, there was more of an edge to the actual results and playing in it and making shots rather than hanging out after the Hackfest was over. As a matter of fact, I don't even remember all of us getting together after the tournament like we do nowadays. I mean after we tallied up the scores and declared a winner, that was it. We all went home.

Anyways, I'm rambling. I do remember that Lyford and I were tied for the lead after we added up the scores. It wasn't that I carried us to the lead all by myself. Back then Steve was a pretty decent golfer in his own right. So we went into a kind of antechamber that the clubhouse has and settled it like men: rock, paper, scissors style. I don't remember the sequence of r.,p.,s. (I do know that it did not have the same dramatic tone to it that your duel with John did in 2003), but I triumphed over Steve Lyford in the first of several ties at the end of regulation in the history of the Hackfest.

So there you are, Dude. Let me know if you need anymore info about 'Fest '88. I'll be writing separate e-mails for each year for me. I can't wait to see what kind of incarnation this turns into on the webpage.

Later, gator.