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."
Nick 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.
Home on the range
Bosen 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.
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.