Due to Kevin being an attention whore and stealing the spotlight during the tKOXII invitation with his baby reveal, you might have missed the massive news that Noble Hawk is being retired from the Kendallville Open rota. I just wanted to provide a little insight behind that decision and give everyone the space to mourn this loss appropriately.
The decision to drop Noble Hawk from the rotation was based purely on logistics. As we waited out the storms at Glendarin Hills during lunch last year, it became clear that basically taking over a course for the entire day gives us the best chance to take shelter if we run into inclement weather again or just to relax between rounds. Not only does Cobblestone’s banquet hall allow for us to spread out more, but the proximity of the putting green and driving range to the clubhouse makes herding you cats a little easier. And not that the good folks at Noble Hawk haven’t been hospitable, but no one rolls out the red carpet for us quite like Allan and Kathy do over at Cobblestone. In fact, Kathy seemed disappointed in our alcohol consumption last year, something I’m sure we will remedy this May. All I need to do is confirm that Councilman Dasey will join us this year at Cobblestone, as he is a diehard Noble Hawk fan, but I have faith that Pete will be able to convince him.
Losing Noble Hawk also means losing what I consider the finest stretch of closing holes in all of golf. Not just hyper-elite northeast Indiana golf, but all of golf, period, full stop. Some of the Kendallville Open’s most cherished memories took place on the second nine at Noble Hawk, specifically starting on the par 5 #13. Traditionally the hardest hole of the entire weekend, #13 separates the contenders from the pretenders. Followed up by a short but deceptively tough par 4 (like Danny), before you get Kendallville’s Blue Monster, the par 3 #15. I shit you not, I actually witnessed Keith par this last year (NET ZERO!), in what had to be the most impressive hole every played at any Kendallville Open. The Par 5 16th hole is where Austin first showed that he had the killer instinct that would one day lead to a championship. He did so by decapitating a mole in the fairway bunker. And while #17 is relatively straight forward, it also allows for competitors to go pin seeking, from both the 17th and the 2nd tee, as Pete proved possible.
All of this sets the table the legendary 18th hole at Noble Hawk, or as I like to call it Robinson’s Playground. Five of 6 RDGC Championships came down to this hole. At tKOII, the first year we played Noble Hawk, Robinson out battled* yours truly on the final hole to win his first championship (skip to 11:30). Perhaps the only time in tKO history the entire field was a united front, at tKOIII we rooted on Robinson as he dropped an absolute hydrogen bomb of a putt on Brett to win. White James has a bit of a checkered past with Noble Hawk, having boat raced the field there in tKOV and setting the tKO course record in route to another title last year, but he’s also had his fair share of heartbreak. tKOIV would be the first case, as he had a front seat (after collapsing on the second nine) to the epic showdown between defending champion Robinson and fan favorite Rich. With nuts the size of inflatable whales, the boys made back to back nailbiters to force a playoff that Robinson would eventually when on #1 (skip to 8:30). After having his revenge at tKOV, White James’ nerves would strike again at tKOVI as he missed a shorty for par (skip to 4:10), handing the RDGC over to Robinson, who made birdie on 18. Robinson won his last RDGC championship at tKOVII after fighting off a valiant charge from then rookie Nate. If anyone is sad to see Noble Hawk go, it’s Robinson.
But as much as all these memories contribute to the legacy of Noble Hawk, there is one moment that outshines all the rest.
We saw flashes of his brilliance with that final round 78 at tKOVII, but by the end of tKOVIII a true star was born.
Keith, I except you to play Amazing Grace at this year’s championship dinner in honor of our lost loved one.
Please join me in memorializing Noble Hawk with your best memories in the comments.
RIP In Peace, Noble Hawk. You will truly be missed.
- If you were ever a Tall Boy or tore your Achilles playing co-ed rec volleyball, then DFL-ed, and then choked away a Bixler Blazer, could you please kindly let me know your shirt size? I hoping to wrap up the quotes and get you guys a price for this year’s tournament ASAP.
- Last thing, I’m leaning towards reserving some space at Parlor on Division for the draft on Friday, March 16th. You are not going to want to miss this. Did the roster of special guests just expand? I don’t know, maybe?
* Robinson 100% threw my ball in a yard and I was forced to take a drop, thereby ending any chance I had to win an RDGC. He denies that this, but it’s true.