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The Invitation

Just posting this here for our adoring fans. Remember to RSVP in writing (email/comments) by Valentine’s Day.  Still pulling together quotes before announcing the final cost, but should have that squared away any day now.

Also, this is the last call for bomb ass Criquet gear. Planning on putting the order around the end of the month.

124 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

114 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

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Grab Your Balls (Robinson Guest Post)

Every year around the holidays, tKO HQ is running in high gear.  The moratorium for discussions on the next year’s tKO tournament has passed and your faithful leaders are churning away at ideas for giveaways, games and much more.  This year is no different. The October 1st deadline for discussions about next year’s tournament was ignored as usual, so Brendan and I have been hard at work since May 21st.  

As already announced, expansion to 32 participants has given Brendan his usual expansion boner, one that will most certainly become flaccid once he realizes 32 is still just 50% of his March Madness style 64 person bracket.  And while May 2019 feels like a lifetime away, seeing random rounds pop up on fairwayfiles.com throughout the winter months gives me a sense of pride that all tKO’ers are continuously grinding away year round to make it to that next flight group.    

As the year comes to an end, I like to reflect on all the good that tKO has brought to my life.  One of the things about tKO that I’m most proud of as a co-founder has been our expansion into charitable givings these last few tournaments.  As a group of relatively well-off individuals, using our collective hyper-elite golfing skills to raise money for great causes is something we should all find gratifying.  

Our VP of Social Outreach Pete has identified many causes worthy of our collective dimes over the past few years, but for this year, I hope he doesn’t mind me making an executive decision on which charity to support…

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Which brings me to the reason I’m writing this post.  Five weeks ago, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer.  Through a myriad of scans, blood tests, doctor appointments and a surgery (Google orchiectomy if you’re interested), I’ve taken all the necessary steps so far to fight this disease.  Thankfully to this point, all results and signs are pointing to a favorable outcome but my future is still somewhat uncertain, as further treatment may require chemotherapy.

But if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I’m competitive as hell.  And just like my final hole birdie to win tKOVI (sorry, WJ), I’m going to fight this thing all the way to the final hole when I’m gonna drop a birdie on its ass and lift that trophy.

For those of you who already know this news, I truly appreciate the support you’ve shown to me so far (insert tear emoji).  For any of you who has gone through this fight with a parent or family member, I’d love to chat with you about your experience.  As much as we dick around and keep things fun and light, this hyper-elite community of men we’ve assembled is our band of brothers, and I’m eternally grateful for all of your friendships.     

So seriously guys, grab your balls, give em a check.  We’re all squarely in the prime demo for this cancer (except for old farts like Wally, Rich and Keith – lucky them!) and early detection is key.  You can find a lot of great info at the website below.

https://testicularcancer.org/

Now back to arguing with Brendan about another expansion….

151 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

141 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

One & Done

Hopefully you all enjoyed your Thanksgivings and picked up a golf cart cover and portable propane powered heater on Black Friday. And if not, there’s still plenty of time to put them on your wish list for Santa before the holidays. This is not a joke.

Speaking of holiday gifts, Santa’s Little Helper Pete is still hard at work finalizing the details on the custom polos, so we’re still accepting orders! As of publishing, here’s who is interested in looking sexy AF for the nine nine and two thousand: Trey, Lloyd, Pete, Andre, Ben, Lloyd, the Marks, Keith, and myself. Anyone else who wants to get on board, holler at your boy.

In other house cleaning news, I’m adding a page to the site dedicated to next year’s Ryder or Die Cup. The reaction to the initial post was overwhelming. While we’re still a long way off from figuring anything official out, your enthusiasm is encouraging. I’ll update the page as new details are made available, such as location and date, and, most importantly, with updated points rankings for automatic qualifiers. If you choose to change your homepage from TheKendallvilleOpen.com to TheKendallvilleOpen.com/the-ryde-or-die-cup/ , I won’t be offended.

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Lastly, with most of our football teams (real or otherwise) wrapping up their seasons soon, I’m gauging interest on a season long fantasy golf group. We did a test run using the PGA Tour’s Fantasy app and while it was a less than spectacular user experience,  it was the only free one I could find, so here we are. The season would start with the Sony Open in January and running through the Tour Championship in August. The basic gist is that you pick one guy each for each week’s tournament, and your “team” gets the FedEx points that your pick earned. The kicker is that each golfer can only be picked once during the entire season. Here are the official rules, if you care. And yes, Danny, I know that your boy runs a far more intricate one, but I’m not doing that shit by hand. We’re working with what I can find for free on the internet here. I wouldn’t be against throwing a couple bucks in the pot for the winner, if people were so inclined. And feel free to throw the invite out to your non-tKO friends (if you have any (I do not)), just make sure that everyone knows this is our first attempt at this, so things could be a little bumpy as we’re getting started.

165 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

155 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

MERCH! MERCH! MERCH!

While the expansion to 32 players for tKOXIII is a great step in the right direction, The Kendallville Open won’t reach the lofty goals I have set until our brand is global! I’m talking Big Baller Brand levels. I basically won’t be satisfied until I see some random dude walking through an airport terminal in some distant country rocking the tKO logo. So what am I getting at here? You guessed. MERCH.

I’m sure your KENDALLVILLE shirt from tKOIX is already in tatters from how much you wear it. And your Cobblestone and Glendarin Hills shirts can’t be far behind. So this is where tKOVIII Rookie of the Year and Vice President of Social Outreach and Sponsorship Pete steps in. Pete’s already deep in talks with the good folks at Criquet about a high end tKO logoed polo. If you aren’t familiar with Criquet, they’re deep in the cool kid golf circles, think LinkSoul and Travis Mathew, basically golf gear that you can wear out in public without looking like your dad. No offense Wally, who is definitely not reading this. The design isn’t final yet, but after hitting the runways of Milan for inspiration, we’re thinking a simple black slimmer fit polo with a subtle white tKO logo on the sleeve cuff, perfect to go directly from the boardroom to the first tee.

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Don’t you want to look like this sex machine?

This definitely will fall out of the price range that Mike and I set for the annual gift, but we want to make it available to anyone that is interested in looking like the hottest motherfucker on the block. Pricing will depend on how many we order, but we’re estimating somewhere in the $70 range, unless Pete can make some magic happen or there’s some ridiculous Black Friday deal.

Some direct quotes from Pete, as if you needed anymore enticement:

  • “above dior quality”
  • “a pocket to hold a magnum prophylactic to satisfy Kendall at the turn or our buddy at GDH to lure you in”
  • “cotton fibers softer than Paige Renee’s areolas”
  • “buttons affixed with threads of Tommy Fleetwoods hair vs traditional string”
  • “Come in both Former Keith and Current Keith fits”

The online store is still under construction at the moment, so you’ll just have to hit me up for now if you are interested. I don’t know, sounds the perfect holiday gift to me….

179 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

169 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

No. 32

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With the potentially changing immigration laws – especially the proposed wall around Indiana – we needed to make sure this Latvian Lover gets his birthright tKO passport stamped before they MIGA. He stands at a towering 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs in at a whopping…well somewhere between 210 and 285…depending on his meal plan and exercise routine for that month. He grew up in Kalamazoo Michigan and attended the prestigious Loy Norrix High School where he was an all-State Guard and Tackle for the Football Team. He would guard the water and try to tackle anyone who would take it for the bench area. He took his talents down the road to the not so Trump loving Kalamazoo College where he minored in blackjack, drinking and majored in trying to turn the small liberal arts into a Big Ten Party School. Through hard work and discipline, also 20/15 contact lenses to check his neighbors work – He graduated magna cum laude. Some of that last sentence may be fake news. He married his exact opposite – a beautiful, outgoing, hardworking, normal sized human – Kristina and they have two beautiful daughters. We should plan a tKO to be at his house when his daughters bring their first friend that is a boy over and this little boy sees the giant of a man Matiss is standing over him at all times and crushes his hand during the handshake like Andre the Giant holds beer cans.

He is an amazing golfer on all tracks that have 18 holes of extreme doglegs right. If his wedge game didn’t let him down(and chipping and putting) he would definitely break 94 every time. Watch out #8 at Noble Hawk – Now you have to worry about tee balls hitting your tiny sliver of a green from tee from not only Ian but also this new man beast. Along with long drives, he also specializes in crushing beers 14 at time so it will make him a dominating force on his scramble team. Also if a roaming pack of wolves or a snake in cooler attack the group – this is the man to hide behind.

We included a couple picture below to just show the mans size – he is only an inch or two shorter than a barn and he is twice as tall as the average man when he takes a knee…

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Please extend a warm TKO welcome, extend your hand for a bone crushing, make you feel like a tiny man handshake to our newest, but hugest member of the family.

 Nominated by Tall James, tKOXII Bixler Champ, Class of 2014

Chairman’s Note: Another goddamn giant. While the Aschman v. White James Applebee’s Mudslide fight never really got off the ground a few years ago, having another enormous person to try to goad into a fight is a dream come true. I’m willing to pull whatever string possible to get Danny and Matiss on the same team, so they can remake this picture

And with Matiss, the field is officially set for the Kendallville Open XIII. I’m beaming with pride right now, like how Wally looked at Tall James as he slipped on the Bixler Blazer last year.

193 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

183 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

No. 31

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Like all the sponsors I have been asked to write a few words about my nominee.  This year I am excited to introduce one of my oldest friends Kevin G. to the tKO community.

I think it’s safe to say that my previous additions to our exclusive event have been a hit on and off the course.  KG might not be competing for the RGDC like Dre and Tall James but he is a solid Recycling Bin player and I think he will be a perfect fit for our collection of personalities.

Kevin is a family man, who I think has some pent-up energy that can only truly be spent at a hyper elite competition such as our tKO.

But I think the best way to give you all an idea of who KG is, will be making a few predictions for KG’s first tKO.

Draft Night:

KG lives in Chicago and will be excited for the opportunity to be involved in his first official tKO function.  I predict he will be in attendance, drink plenty of beer, and bond with at least one veteran tKO member who he doesn’t know yet at the event.

Team Prep:

Whoever is lucky enough to be teamed up with Kevin won’t be disappointed.  Kevin will be all in on discussing team names, wardrobes, and team strategy.  Get ready for lots of WWE related suggestions and 90’s Hip-hop playlists!  On the course Kevin will keep in positive and will be as easy of a playing partner as you will find.

Thursday Night Champions Dinner:

KG will be late 100% guaranteed.  But once he arrives he will be eager to catch up I’ll be looking for him to go toe to toe with Aschman on mudslides drank over the course of the weekend.

Friday Golf:

I am not going to pretend to dissect how KG’s golf game will match up at Cobblestone but I will say ignorance is bliss.  I predict KG will be play with the confidence that only someone who doesn’t truly understand what’s at stake can pull off.  I expect he will play very well for his handicap Friday.

Friday Night:

I have 1 prediction for Friday Night and that is TACO BELL.  KG and Taco Bell are like car seats they go WAAAAAY BACK!  I’m sure he is already planning out his order as he reads this.  Then back to Apple’s to add to his Mudslide count.

Saturday Golf:

I think the stoic/hungover bus ride from Kendallville to Angola will really give KG time to grasp the weight of this competition, and nerves might come into play Saturday Morning.  But KG is a hyper elite competitor and he will settle down.  I’m looking for a flight win out of KG, I fully expect him to bring home some hardware at his first tKO!

Scramble:

See previous comment about 90’s Hip-Hop.  KG will be an effective recycling bin scramble player, he will be flying high from a successful first tKO performance, but not hindered by the over celebration of the Bixler winner.  KG might really shine out there Saturday afternoon.

Saturday Night:

??????? Probably something random like becoming best friends with Danny!

 Nominated by Kevin R., tKOXI Bixler Champ, Class of 2012

Chairman’s Note: I’m always excited when we add a second (or third) person with the same first name as someone else to the field. Don’t be surprised if the selection committee sets up a Kevin R. vs Kevin G. match up on Friday of tKOXIII with the naming rights on the line. I suppose we could go with Tall Kevin G., or TKG, but if we’re going to go with some type of physical characteristic, it has to be “Kevin with the fucked up ankle”. Wait until you guys get a look at this thing! IT’s GNARLY. Maybe after he becomes best friends with Danny, they can split a pair of knee length socks and be mirror images of Kerry Kittles. As I’m sure the Chicago boys can attest, TKG is long overdue for the Kendallville Open and will be a surefire fit.

P.S. – You guys, this is supposed to be a website dedicated to the Kendallville Open, not the fucking TheBump.com. However, big ups are in order for yet another expertly timed child birth. Join me in congratulating our reigning RDGC champ Andre on the birth of his second (third?) little Butt Monster! I haven’t heard a name yet, but that just means that neither Kendall or Rainelle have been eliminated yet. Congrats my dude!

200 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

190 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

No. 30

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I write this a day after Cole pretty much ruined my fantasy football season so I hope it’s not too hateful.  

  1. Thanks Pete for such a great bio.  Way to make the rest of us (me) look like third graders in terms of our writing abilities.  Your literary prowess is 2nd to none.  Look forward to this years’ proclamation as always.
  2. As your defending RDGC champion, I would like to welcome all rookies to such a storied tradition.  I hope you enjoy this as much as the rest of us.

Enter the latest Red Hawk to join the prestigious golf tournament that Kendallville residents have marked down on their calendars year in and out. Is Troy Athens the St. Thomas Aquinas of golf in terms of producing such raw talent?  It’s as if they just produce top notch golfers. He’s never played inside the ropes like this before but I’m confident that he has the right mindset to compete with the rest of the field for the Bixler.   Speaking of right mindset, he immediately steps in as John Pott’s top competition for shotgunning beers. (Chairman’s note: Austin has some words he’d like to share with you.)

Cole’s a LAX rat who is crispy with the rock and rips twine with nothing but premium Gouda.  LAX lingo here. Speaking of LAX, he’s fresh off of a brand new ACL.  Two tears in the same leg almost three years to the day have him thinking of what life is after LAX.  I think we have found the solution. He’s ensured me that he is taking his PT seriously so that he is ready May 16 – May 19, 2019.  

Cole’s my wife’s little brother who loves to compete so it was a great fit when I started coming around 14 years ago. Doesn’t matter if it’s darts, badminton or our late night 4 hour sessions of ping pong, there have been many arguments at who is better at what.  Top salesman six months in a row, need I say more! Cole received his invite because I didn’t take him to Sawgrass.  I told him I had something better in mind.  Play one round there or play for a lifetime in one of the greatest tournaments known to hyper-elite amateurs of the World (formerly the United States).  I think that was a fair trade IMO.

Cole is a hot pepper connoisseur that spends an Escalade’s payment on fast food monthly so it’s safe to say that he will fit right in with all of the fine dining options in Kendallville. 

I look forward to you taking Kendallville by storm in hopes one day that you get to don the Maroon Blazer. The family tree has a long list of champions so make us proud.  

Nominated by Andre, tKOXII RDGC Champ, Class of 2016

Chairman’s Note: Having never met Cole, I’m shocked at all the connections he already has to the Kendallville family. I believe he’s the 5th graduate (did Danny graduate?) of Athen’s Troy. He’ll be coming into tKOXIII fresh off a devastating injury, tearing his ACL foolishly participating in active sports, so he can bond with Shane on the pitfalls of pretending to be young. Cole is also the linking branch between the Robinson and Yoshimoto tKO Family Trees. The Yoshimoto tree is ripe with championship fruit, by the way. But perhaps the deepest thread between Cole and the Kendallville Open is the hot dog. Look at the role call of legends that have donned this illustrious garb! I could only be happier if there’s a picture of him out there on the internets in a Butt Monsters uniform or a dashiki.

P.S. – Big Ups to the Middle Eastern contingent of the Kendallville Open on the birth of his baby girl. Congrats, Danny, you lemac you! I’m guessing I wasn’t invited, but it sounds like your gender reveal party was BONKERS. (Shouts to Greg for staying on top of all Kendallville and Applebee’s related news.)

207 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

197 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

No. 29

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Much like in Kendallville, a hyper-elite sporting event was birthed a few years back in Olympia, Greece in 776 BC and participation was limited to native countrymen only.   As time passed and in order to preserve the integrity of the event and insure that the athletes truly were facing the world’s competition concessions were made invitations extended to include the finest athlete producing countries known to man.

In a nearly identical move and swapping out Zeus for Chairman Yoshimoto and replacing “finest athlete producing countries in the world” with “Bermuda”, for the first time the field will be global with the additional of Joel “J-Diz” W.  As a dual-citizen and while he will be honoring the flag of this proud island nation, Joel will be tKO’s second representative to hail from Springfield, Ohio.

Please know that in the 35 years I’ve known Joel I believe he’s been groomed for this day.  An accomplished golfer that will immediately challenge for a spot as a PGA/LPGA participant, his on-the-course abilities had absolutely no bearing in my decision process unless you include his ability to cut a morning fog delay with his smile or cause the most timid of beer-cart girls to melt into the pleather EZ Go seat.

His exploits and accomplishments read like the back of a Captain Morgan bottle and his thirst for vodka and soda is only rivaled by his desire to pour gasoline on and encourage my third-grade antics.

Recently married and expecting his first child this January, Joel’s wife Heather gladly accepted the gestation period by-laws by ensuring something as trivial as the birth of the heir to his legacy would not interfere with his commitment to join us for years to come.

Representing a country is no small feat and rest assured that I’m already working on sister-city status between Kendallville and Hamilton, Bermuda, that the proper colors will fly above our heads next to old glory and that Councilman Dasey will be presented with a host gift much like Pele handed over a treasured possession prior to the 1958 World Cup Final.  It will be requested that Joel dress in traditional Bermudian garb as well for the Champions dinner.

Nominated by Pete L., Class of 2014

Chairman’s Note: I believe a handful of you old school Chicago guys know Joel, but I had the pleasure of meeting him at Pete’s bachelor party a few months ago. And quite to the contrary of the picture above, Joel is not the rich asshole that he looks like here. An important detail that Pete left out of his introduction is the fact that we witnessed Joel boatrace current PGA Tour STAR Sungjae Im at Torrey Pines …. for like 5 holes …. and Im was playing from tees roughly 200 yards back on every hole. Whatever, mere semantics. 

tKO vs Puffers & Duffers…

The tKO braintrust has been known to come up with some pretty lofty aspirations in the past, ranging from easily achievable (i.e. my 64 man field with play-in games in Dayton) to a little more long range (i.e. the tKO themed golf resorts hatched during Fall Swing 1). But with our latest concoction, I believe we have something that we’ll be able to put into play right away.

tKO RYDER FUCKING CUP

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Enjoying the tension and passion of the Ryder Cup over in Paris? Well imagine all that, only with significantly worse golf! tKOXI Bixler Champ Sos has a friend that is apparently a part of his own Hyper Elite golf league out in Denver, CO, the Puffers & Duffers. While I’ve never seen footage of them playing golf, I have seen pictures of their jacket and trophy presentation, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. So a few months ago, the idea of a Ryder Cup inspired competition between the two outings started floating around. And when I didn’t scare them off after I sent their commissioner a 5,000 word email with just a few ideas, I knew this thing might have legs. Clearly nothing has actually been set up, but here’s what I was thinking:

  • Like the Ryder Cup, hold this event every other year, with alternating host cities, shooting for a Fall 2019 event in Denver. Then 2021 in Chicago, 2023 in Denver, etc… until we die and pass this event on to our children. Asking people to travel once every four years will probably be more appealing from a budgeting standpoint and a not-getting-divorced standpoint.
  • Eight men per team. The tKOXII Bixler Champ (Tall James) and tKOXIII (TBD – most likely me) will be the team co-captains. Each captain will get one captain’s pick. The remaining four spots will be awarded to the four players with the best average finish on the Bixler Leaderboard across tKOXII and tKOXIII.
  • Mimicking the Ryder Cup for format, with Saturday morning alternate shot, Saturday afternoon best ball, and Sunday singles. This would also keep the length of the time away from home relatively short, flying in on Friday night and out on Sunday.

The ball is just starting to get rolling, but I have to say the possibilities are limitless. Team house! Team Red Man Uniforms! Pre-Tournament party at the Palace of Versailles! Denver sightseeing! More Denver sightseeing!

230 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

220 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

Butt Monsters Forever.

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No big deal, but the Butt Monsters (more specifically me) are famous. We’ve been voted by Golf Digest as the “zaniest” golfers basically in history. Suck it. Maybe we didn’t win the tKO team title and we’ll likely have to break out next year, but we’ll live together forever on the internets.

Check out the Golf Digest VERIFIED Instagram account’s story. I think these things only last for 24 hours or something before they disappear.

https://www.instagram.com/golfdigest/?hl=en

I’ve already made arrangements to be buried in my Bad Birdies polo.

240 Days until The Kendallville Open XIII

230 Days until the 10 day forecast for tKOXIII

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