Calendars tell us that the first weekend in September is Labor Day. Alpine Meadows knows only that the first weekend is “Rat Race” time.

Since the early ‘70s each year, except 2020s coronavirus, an average of over 40 couples have dedicated their holiday weekend to play golf at AMGC. This year is no different. The committee of Gary and Carol Marr/Terry and Cheri Lamb says, “46 couples have mailed in their entries.”

The annual tournament’s popularity has remained contagious since its beginning. Speaking to a longtime member, who wishes to remain anonymous, he/she says, “Back in the days when the rules were written in blood, you had to be married to play. Golfers were prepared to show their marriage license if needed.”

Another anonymous says, “My husband and I were heading to divorce court, but realized we wanted to play in the Rat Race instead.” And another old-timer joins in saying, “No kidding, for most married couples it was the best of fun times, but for some seriously, serious-minded couples who weren’t thinking divorce before the tournament, were definitely considering the big D after the tournament.”

The only rule changes made since the Rat Race came into existence is the marriage rule, and then only because it became difficult to find husband and wife teams to play, yet there were singles out there begging to join the fun competition.

Today, it’s still a couple’s tournament — guy and gal in a scramble format — three couples to a team with a champagne/shotgun start. There will always be missed putts, in-the-creek balls, jello shots and just pure unbelievable birdie shots. There will also always be laughter, and enjoyable moments with friends, no matter if you are a Cat in first flight (low handicap) or a Rat (medium handicap) or on the third-flight Cheese Team.

This year’s itinerary, as in the past, includes a mini 9-hole tournament on Friday (optional) or a practice round. Toward evening, a putting contest is scheduled at the clubhouse practice green. For $1 a 9-hole try, you can enter as many times as you like to get a lower score.

Saturday afternoon the Sole Survivor tournament takes place.

Saturday evening a catered dinner is offered. Planned to take place at the clubhouse upstairs, the venue has been changed to outdoors with mandated masks or social distancing.

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Rochelle Danielson of Enterprise loves the game of golf and has golfed for many years at Alpine Meadows.

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