SUPER-DUPER YOOPER TROOPERS
by Bob Carter
|Eight GAM course raters from the Grand Rapids/Big Rapids area piled into a 12-passenger van and traveled to the U.P. to fill a course rating vacuum that exists above the bridge. Led by Captain Mark Bultema, the self-named “Yooper Troopers” left lower Michigan in the morning on July 20, 2014 and returned in the evening of July 26, 2014.
We rated the following six courses in six days: Irish Oaks GC, Gladstone; TimberStone GC, Iron Mountain; Lac Vieux Desert, Watersmeet; Portage Lake GC, Houghton; The Heritage Course, Marquette GC; and Greywalls Course, Marquette GC.
The “Yooper Troopers” consisted of the following veteran GAM course raters: Captain Mark Bultema,, Linda Miller, Dee Piccard, Bob TerMolen, Connie Brady, Mike Brady, Bob Carter, and Duke Morehouse.
Besides rating the six courses and playing four of them, the highlights of the trip included (in noparticular order):
Double rainbow on # 18 at Greywalls (photo by Mike Brady).
The most challenging aspect of the trip was loading and unloading the van each day given that the eight raters, their golf clubs and their luggage had to fit into a van designed to carry twelve small adults on a short day trip without luggage or clubs (imagine sardines). Every bit of floor space and seat space not occupied by a body was occupied by either luggage, snacks or golf bags. Room was tight to say the least. At every stop, luggage and one golf bag had to be moved to get everyone out of the van, and even then, Connie and Dee had to climb over the seat back in front of them to get out of the rear seat (can you say “agile?”).
The super-duper “Yooper Troopers” with all their luggage and golf clubs: Linda, Duke, Connie, Dee, Bob T., Captain Mark,
The success of the trip was due in large part to the organizational, leadership and guidance skills of Captain Mark Bultema. He worked extremely hard both before and during the entire week and made this trip a wonderful experience for all of us. The group traveled together in the van for a total of 1,170 miles with Mark and Duke sharing the driving responsibilities. We ate together, rated together, and played golf together for seven days without any significant angst or disagreements. I am speaking for all of the super-duper “Yooper Troopers” when I say that this was truly a fun-filled, enjoyable bonding experience and one that we will not soon forget.
I want to thank all my fellow “Yooper Troopers” for helping me with this article.
Crossing the Mackinac Bridge, July 20, 2014
Mark making a point with Connie and Duke on Portage Lake GC # 17.
?Kodak moment on Graywalls’ #5 green. (photo by Mark using Linda’s camera.)
Jilbert Dairy’s cow statue. Ice cream stops were a steady treat to break up the driving.
Mark picking his tee shot out of the hole on #8 at TimberStone GC. His favorite highlight?