Way out west in the White Mountains of Arizona, near
Springerville, real and wannabe cowhands gather every year for a
nine-hole tournament that gives new meaning to the term country
club. The event is called Cowboy Up with Cowboy Golf, and it's
played in South Fork Canyon along the Little Colorado River, a
section of the 30,000-acre X Diamond Ranch. The tournament has
but two rules: Contestants (this year there were 64) are allowed
only three clubs, and everyone must ride--a horse. Golfers are
advised not to hit their drives fat on the 5th hole, because
that's where they're required to use a cow chip as a tee. "The
rule of the course," says Wink Crigler, X Diamond's owner and
tournament founder, "is to take a good grip on the clubs, a deep
seat in the saddle and a tight hold on the reins."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN Long shotNick Donoghue kicked up some dust and kicked in some money for one of the tournament's many charities, trying to earn his spurs in the closest-to-the pin contest staged on a special cliffside hole.
THREE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN Home on the rangeBosen sized up a "chip" shot on number 5, while Wendy Krueger took a mighty cut from the not-so-fairway before joining her foursome at the improvised 8th green.
THREE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN Big pie country Hitting off a double deck of doo turned out to be a tall order for Sterling Udall. Tom Lopez (left), like Leon King (below) and all the other contestants, was saddled with only three clubs.