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Hackfest 1989

Michael Sauer successfully defended his title as Birdie King at Chomonix.


Chomonix was lucky to host the Hackfest for the first of two years in a row.


The rules used in the 1989 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 1989 Birdie King, Michael Sauer
Okay, here goes memory #2:

This tourney in 1989 brought about some significant firsts to the ever-evolving, ever-growing entity that is the Hackfest.

This was the first 'Fest that we moved from the 'U' golf course. We played at Chomonix which was a course up in Lino Lakes. Jeff Carter was by now working at Pillsbury and (I'm sure) making some good wage and had just bought a town home up there. I don't know if he was the one who got the course lined up for us, but it makes sense that he did since he lived not even a mile from it.

This was the first 'Fest where we conjugated after the tournament as a group of festers. We all gathered at the aforementioned town home of Jeff's.

This was the first 'Fest where we had new players. I believe that you (Gary) were the first new guy and I think that you replaced Eric who couldn't make it that year. Otherwise the lineup was the same as the previous years.

This was the first 'Fest where we had the trophy. Brett (at least I think it was he) constructed the wooden center base-type thing and had it coated in slick, black paint. He also found the broken remains of a putter in a garbage can by the practice putting green that was located right next to the clubhouse.

This was also the first (and only!) 'Fest where we've had a repeat champion. I successfully defended my title from '88 although I'll be the first one to admit that I don't think that Brett handicapped the defending champ back then as severely as he does nowadays. You can check it out with him, I kind of can't remember. Plus, on the final nine holes the format was such that I didn't play every shot all by myself, as you'll read about later in this e-mail. But whatever, I'm still the only guy to have consecutive Hackfest championships (we didn't have the title 'Birdie King' back then).

I know that we still had only eight players then. However, I don't remember if this was the first 'Fest where we played 36 holes. I remember that the next year in '90 we did play 36. That I know for a fact. You were there in '89, do you remember how many holes we played?

The competitive aspect that I told you about in my first e-mail was still out there and Brett came up with new rules which only added to the intensity. Like I said earlier, I don't remember how many holes we played, but I do remember the final nine holes. There were no Chicago rules for the final nine that year like we now traditionally have in place in the contemporary state of the Hackfest.

I remember the game that Brett had in place for '89's final nine holes. He had set it up where out of our eight guys, two would be eliminated from the chance of winning the title by the time we all got to the final nine holes. The other six guys were still alive, however. What he did was have the two dudes who were eliminated in separate foursomes and they would be the 'designated drivers' for each remaining player for each remaining hole. They would hit all the tee shots, only, for the entire nine and the others would play out the remainder of the holes.

I remember that the two eliminated dudes were Brett and Steve Lyford. Steve was driving for the other group and Brett was driving for the group I was in. I remember that Tim was in my group but I can't remember who the fourth was. I remember that the standings were close between T and myself and someone else in the other group (probably Carter).

Anyways, the rule was that the designated driver would tee off for each of the other guys and we all had to play the ball wherever the designated driver hit it. Of course the person had to try and hit good drives each and every tee shot for each guy. I remember that every single tee shot that Brett hit for me was good, maybe not great or anything, but eminently playable at least, every one. Meanwhile, for the other two guys in our group (Tim included) he hit at least two and sometimes more pretty crappy, in hazard, out of bounds-type tee shots. It was actually a running gag throughout the entire nine that Brett was always hitting decent drives for me and everyone else had substandard ones for a majority of their holes.

I also remember (as I'm sure you do) that it started raining during the first hole of the back nine. This wasn't a light rain, it was coming down pretty hard. It wasn't a really warm rain, either. It was quite cool, indeed. So on the eleventh tee box I realized that we weren't going to go back to the clubhouse and wait it out and as a result we were all going to get drenched. I figured that since we're all going to be soaked, I might as well take my shirt off and have nothing inhibiting my swing. I mean, it was kinda cold and totally wet, but you guys with shirts on were just as wet as I was without a shirt and I was kind of a wild man back in those days. So I figured, what the hell? I golfed the remaining eight holes shirtless in the cold rain.

I don't remember much more else except that we went back to Carter's pad and we dried all our clothes in his dryer and he let us wear his duds waiting for ours to dry. We had our little ceremony since Brett now had some hardware to hand out and that's about it.

There's an interesting footnote to all this. I brought along my old camera that year and I have what is the earliest photographic evidence of Hackfest activity in the world. I'll get them transferred to digital media and zap them to you soon.

Later, gator.

Miguel del Poncho