MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marine Aircraft Group 12 hosted an 18-hole golf scramble tournament at the Torii Pines Golf Course here to promote unit cohesion between its squadrons May 20.
The overall winner of the tournament was the group comprised of Rodney M. Buentello, Jamie L. Mohn, Wylie L. Rakestraw and Dustin Thompson. Mohn was also awarded first place in position closest to the pin. Andrew P. Reed was the longest drive winner.
“It’s always great when we win,” said Buentello. “When we come
out and play as a team, it’s great.”
The team’s secret to success was simple.
“Our short game was what helped us win,” said Mohn. “When it came to getting closest to the pin, it was just luck.“
The golf tournament was also a send-off of sorts for Col. Stephen G. Nitzschke, who is scheduled to be succeeded by Col. Christopher J. Mahoney as the commanding officer of MAG-12 during a change-of-command ceremony today.
Nitzschke offered his appreciation to all the participants for coming out and supporting MAG-12 that day.
More than 40 Marines and sailors from Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron and MAG-12 Headquarters participated in the event.
The golfers were divided into four-man teams. During the tournament, each player in the team teed off on each hole.
The team then decided which teammate had the best shot. From there, the players attempted to make their shot from within club length of where the best shot had landed. They repeated this until they had finished the hole.
Marines laughed and joked as they made their way from hole to hole. Many had never even played golf before the tournament and were out here simply for the camaraderie.
“I think it would be great for unit morale if we could do something like this once a month,” said Joshua R. Whitfield, a golfer in the tournament. “Even the Marines who are always busy are out here enjoying the day and taking in a few swings.”
The players were also treated to food and drinks throughout the tournament. Anyone who was at the tournament was invited to eat as well.
“At the end of the day, we’re all family,” said Mohn. “It doesn’t matter who really won or not. It was just about coming out here and having fun.”
Whitfield said Nitzschke would be missed and he appreciated him bringing the Marines together one last time before Nitzchke left.