Cape Region Golf Year in Review 2010
December 31, 2010
This week marks the end of this column’s twelfth year. Like those before it, 2010 was a busy and interesting year for Cape Region golf.
January—Tom Lewis, an avid Cape Region golfer and former newspaperman, is fondly remembered. Scott Allen, who brought collegiate golf tournaments to Kings Creek Country Club and Bear Trap Dunes, is inducted into the George Washington University Athletic Hall of Fame.
February—Cape Region golf superintendents Jim Prucnal (Kings Creek), Chris Adkins (Rookery), and Robert Crouse (Sussex Pines) discuss wintertime course improvement projects. Chipping and pitching troubles at the Pebble Beach tournament seem awfully familiar to us amateurs. We discuss preparing for the new season, with a new club or two or re-gripping those we’re keeping.
March—Physical conditioning is emphasized as the season approaches, with stretching and the occasional plank exercise. The Cape Henlopen High School golf team begins their pre-season in mild weather, a change from the norm. Rookery Director of Golf Pete Oakley shuttles across the planet for the European Senior Golf Tour. Cape Region country clubs offer new membership incentives.
April—Ruddo’s Golf moves north on Route One to a new retail location. The Cape golf team wins its first three matches, against Smyrna, Sussex Central, and Seaford. Our annual spring golf trip returns to Pinehurst, North Carolina. Duane Taylor makes his first hole-in-one at Marsh Island Golf Course. Cape’s golf team suffers its first losses of the season, against Sussex Tech and Milford, but beats Polytech, Lake Forest, Laurel, and Indian River. The Vikings then lose to Caesar Rodney at Wild Quail GC.
May—The Vikings return to the victory column, with wins over Delmar and St. Thomas More. The team then plays its best scoring round of the season, but it’s not enough to win against Dover. The Vikings last dual meet of the year falls victim to the rain, and the team takes seventh place in the Henlopen Conference Tournament.
June—The Cape golf team finishes twelfth in the state tournament. Coach Claudio Smarrelli resigns after several successful seasons. One hundred junior golfers play in this year’s Rehoboth Beach Junior Open, Shawnee CC golf pro Devon Peterson recounts a darkly funny hole-in-one story.
July--Kings Creek members and friends raise over $10,000 for golf scholarships. The summer heat wave provides an opportunity to discuss prevention and treatment for heat stroke and exhaustion. I begin a slow process of replacing a driver that goes too high and too left. Another Myrtle Beach golf course closes, and hardly anyone is upset.
August—A golf club stuck in a high tree branch shows how much some folks care about how they play. Shouting “Fox!” at just the wrong time did not help my playing partner’s putting. Junior golfer Brock Maloomian wins a US Kids tournament in Philadelphia, and other local golfers begin reporting in their club’s tournament results.
September—Cape Region golf courses participate in the Patriot Golf Day fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation. Our discussions of the USGA’s Rulings of the Day continue. Cape Region golfers Dave Mason and Don Sikes score aces at Old Landing and Shawnee, respectively.
October—Heavy rains convert Penn’s fall college tournament at Kings Creek CC into an 18-hole event. I talk about my improving golf game, which turns out to be the best way to put an end to it. Sarah Jane Beckwith of Sussex Pines wins two prestigious WPGA tournaments.
November—A proposed golf course land grab in Venezuela highlights one of the differences between that country’s current leadership and our own constitutional protections. A golfer’s options when a ball bounces on pavement become a new Ruling of the Day.
December—The Delaware State Golf Association’s Frozen Fridays tournaments include many Cape Region golf courses as the hosts. This year’s Christmas golf gifts to avoid include fake hair and camouflaged golf cart covers.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.
Christmas Carol Parodies
December 24, 2010
Best wishes for the holiday season to you and yours!
Here are some Christmas carol parodies for golfers. Versions of these fractured festival funfests have appeared in all of this column’s previous Christmas editions.
I remain a firm believer in holiday traditions.
Hope you enjoy them!
WE THE CLUBS OF TAYLORMADE ARE
(As sung to "We Three Kings of Orient Are")
We the clubs of Taylormade are,
You will hit our Drivers so far,
Many lofts for you to choose from,
Following "Golf Talk Live."
O, clubs of wonder, clubs of might,
Clubs with special features bright,
Selling hope for our next tee shot,
Guide us to the perfect drive.
AWAY IN A BUNKER
(As sung to "Away in a Manger")
Away in a bunker,
The little ball lay.
My tee shot went wide right,
Bad words did I say.
I looked at that golf ball
down where it did lay,
It looked like a fried egg.
A safe shot? "No way."
The caddie was laughing,
My partners just smiled.
They knew that my trap shots
Were weak or too wild.
I swung with my sand wedge
The sand it did fly
The ball popped up also,
And rolled by my side.
I need some real guidance,
I need some help quick.
I can’t play this shot, so
I’m writing St. Nick.
CLUB PROS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH
(As sung to "Angels we have heard on high")
Club pros we have heard on high,
Loudly shouting o’er the range
And their students in reply,
Harken to their anxious strains.
Keep yo-ur head down,
Yo-ur head down,
Yo-ur head down, I said.
I’ll watch the ball for you.
Keep yo-ur head down,
Yo-ur head down,
Yo-ur head down, I said.
I will watch the ball for you.
(As sung to "Silent Night")
All’s not calm, All’s not bright.
After three putts
I’m fit to be tied,
The first two went short and
The last one just wide.
Make this fourth putt, oh please, please
Ma-ke this fo-urth putt, please.
THE PRO SHOP
(As sung to "Silver Bells")
See the pro shop,
Busy golf shop,
Decked in holiday style
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas.
Buying clubs with a smile.
And at ev’ry sales counter you hear:
Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the pro shop.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Cash registers sing all day.
HERE WE GO A-GOLF-ING
(Sung to "Here we come a-caroling")
Here we go a-golf-ing
Among the fairways green;
Here we go a-wandering,
No bad shots to be seen:
Love and joy come to you,
And to you fun golfing too;
And God bless you and
Send you a happy New Year,
And God send you a happy New Year.
One week left for Christmas golf gifts
December 17, 2010
One of the nice things about living in the Cape Region is that Christmas shopping can be so easy, if you know where and especially when to go.
The folks at the Rehoboth Outlets and the big box retail stores around here are usually crowded with shopping tourists on the weekends, but the locals know that some of the best times to hunt for great Christmas gifts are during the week, when the stores are usually much quieter.
The shopping districts in Rehoboth, Lewes, and Milton also offer some great stuff that’s not always available elsewhere.
For those seeking golf-related gifts for their friends and family members, the trick to weekday shopping is to plan ahead a little bit, because some of these stores aren’t always open in the evening.
Nonetheless, the local golf shops will be happy to help, along with the pro shops at the Cape Region golf courses.
Pete McCaffrey of Ruddo’s Golf, on Route One in the Midway area, said his store’s hours of operation will continue to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but if business warrants it, that closing time might stretch a bit in this last week before Christmas.
“We have all kinds of stuff on sale,” he said. “We’re selling Titleist Pro VIs that usually run for $46 at only $39.99. We also have the Nike One Tour balls that we normally sell for $49, and they’re marked down to $29.99.”
The store has a lot to offer, especially for those seeking to show their collegiate or professional sports allegiances. For example, Ruddo’s has University of Delaware windshirts at 20% off, along with UD golf gift sets (towel, tees, and logo balls) that Blue Hen golfing alumni would surely appreciate.
The store also has a wide assortment of NFL and MLB logo merchandise, including Titleist and Taylormade hats. Ashworth and Nike brand apparel are also on half-price sale, in addition to other summer style clothes from the past season.
McCaffrey said, “We have plenty of driver models on sale, especially with some of the new lines coming in, such as the Nike square-headed driver at $149. There are also some iron sets that start at $399.”
For more information, call Ruddo’s at 302-227-1520.
Bruce Goldsborough of Tee II Green Golf, on Rehoboth Avenue Extended, said he’s going to keep his shop open until 8 p.m. beginning Dec. 17 through Wednesday, Dec. 22.
“We have 50% off sales going on our clothes and shoes,” he said. “Everything in the store is priced down for the Christmas sale.”
Goldsborough highlighted his golf starter sets for men and women, which include woods, irons, and a golf bag at very reasonable prices. The store also features argyle sweaters of the type seen at this year’s Ryder Cup tournament, and a wide variety of other golf wear, such as rain jackets and wind vests.
While at Tee II Green, you might also check out their new indoor golf league, scheduled to start on January 10. Two men’s leagues will run on either Mondays or Fridays, and a women’s league will be in action on Wednesdays, in all cases from 6 to 9 p.m. The cost is a reasonable $20 per person per night, and potential prizes are in the works. Each league night will accommodate three teams of four players.
For more information, call Tee II Green at 302-226-8333.
The Cape Region golf courses, such as The Rookery, Baywood Greens, and Old Landing, will also be happy to provide additional golf gift suggestions, such as gift certificates for tee times when the weather is better. All the local courses, both public and private, also do a nice bit of business selling logo items such as shirts and hats. Those items always make nice gifts for your local golfer.
Please don’t give me these golf gifts, Santa
December 11, 2010
The global economy has not been so hot this year, so I imagine that the Christmas gift lists you’ve been sent this year are a lot longer than usual.
In my case, however, I’m happy to make your job easier, by making sure you know which golf gifts you do not need to put under my tree.
You can put them under someone else’s tree, but please, not mine.
For example, I’m really not looking forward to receiving an officially licensed Yoda Star Wars Golf club cover. Available at 80stees.com for “only” $25, the advertising copy I’ve seen for this item says that it will “Bring the FORCE into your game….”
Anyone who has seen me swing would know that I put enough force into my swing as it is, so thanks but no thanks.
I’m also not too keen on the Flair Hair golf visor, on sale at many web outlets for $19.95.
I own a few golf visors, but the top of my head is no longer a candidate for direct sunlight, so I no longer use them. The Flair Hair visor takes care of that problem, by adding more hair to what’s already there, as it were.
Judging from the photograph, however, I don’t think anyone would possibly confuse what’s on top with what’s really going on below the visor.
Some other gift suggestions are frankly out of touch with today’s world. The sleeve cover for the 3-ball Bursting Golf Ball set says these balls will provide “instant laughter and hysterics on the course,” for only $9.95 (available at dwquailgolf.com).
On the other hand, the container also says “WARNING: DYNAMITE” in large letters. That kind of packaging display should make this gift a really interesting conversation item during your next inspection by a Transportation Security Administration staffer, at one of our nation’s busy airports.
I also have to wonder what the folks selling the Driveable Golf Cart Enclosures at dwquailgolf.com were thinking. At $112.95 apiece, the tan, black, and green fabric optional covers with their clear plastic windows are a nice way to keep warm during winter rounds. However, the camouflage cover version makes no sense, given our litigious society. Why wouldn’t you want to make sure other golfers saw you out on the course, instead of letting them watch their golf ball soar toward your camouflaged target?
Those of us with patriotic tendencies will also object to the American Flag Golf Towel, fetchingly priced at $14,99 at dwquailgolf.com. Exactly why would I want to wipe mud off a golf ball with an American flag? I would prefer not, thanks all the same.
In addition, I would really rather not be given my very own custom Bobblehead Golfer statue, courtesy of the folks at WhoopassEnterprises.com, for a base price of $105.
The ordering process calls for sending in head shot photographs of the front, back, and sides, and then filling in details such as hair and eye color, along with shirt, pants, and shoe colors. For extra cash, they will add a pair of glasses or a hat or tattoos, or all three, as well as a digital voice recorder.
I’m just not sure where this Bobblehead doll would fit in with my home office décor, you see.
Finally, Santa, I neither want nor need a combination cigar cutter/key caddie, shaped like a golf ball, offered at dwquailgolf.com for $7.95. The ad copy says owning this device will “eliminate searching for your cigar cutter on the course,” presumably because it “conveniently attaches to your golf bag.”
It’s still goofy looking to me, however, and I think I’ll just keep my miniature Swiss army knife handy for the occasional cigar.
Thanks again, Santa, for keeping this list in mind as you prepare for Christmas. Say hi to Mrs. Claus and the elves for me, too.
Your friend, Fritz
Frozen Opportunities in the Cape Region
December 3, 2010
Shawnee Country Club is playing sold-out host Dec. 3 to a bunch of golf addicts, and that’s a very good thing.
It’s the Milford golf club’s turn to host the newest segment of the Delaware State Golf Association’s increasingly popular Frozen Friday’s series.
Instituted a few years ago by the DSGA, this event gives golfers a chance to play a wide variety of Delaware golf courses, some of which might not otherwise be available to them. For the host clubs, the tournament is an opportunity to show their stuff to potential new members or repeat customers, in the relaxed atmosphere of wintertime golf.
The fee is a remarkably reasonable thirty dollars, entitling the golfers to an 18-hole round, with cart, playing in a specially scored tournament with a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
One of the best features of these Frozen Friday events is that they are open to any golfer, with or without an official USGA handicap. To determine the winners, the DSGA uses the Callaway scoring system. This format calls for subtracting a certain number of your worst holes’ scores from your total gross, using a pre-determined chart.
No scores can be worse than double par on any hole, to help keep things from becoming ridiculous. The winners earn gift certificates from the host course.
I played in one of these events at Bayside last February, on what was the coldest round of golf I’ve ever experienced, and somehow managed to win the tournament. Thanks in large part to posting 10s on two par five holes, I have a deep appreciation for the potential benefits of the Callaway system.
The DSGA officials post the tournament results at the golf association’s website, www.dsga.org.
Two Cape Region courses, The Peninsula and Baywood,Greens Golf Club, hosted Frozen Friday tournaments November 19. A few upstate courses take their turns after Shawnee CC, and the series returns to the Cape Region January 14, at Cripple Creek Country Club in Ocean View. Rehoboth Beach Country Club hosts the next tournament January 21.
Kings Creek Country Club is scheduled for its Frozen Friday on February 18, and golfers can return to Baywood Greens GC for the next tournament on February 25. Other tournament locations have yet to be announced for the remainder of the series thereafter, but chances are pretty good for another local contest before the tournaments conclude March 25.
Registration for each Frozen Friday tournament is open until the Wednesday before, but this year’s series is so popular that no one should assume they can wait until the last minute to sign up. To register, just contact the DSGA at 302-234-3365.
Oakley fails to make the cut
Pete Oakley’s several-year run as a fully exempt member of the European Senior Golf Tour has been officially interrupted.
The Rookery’s Director of Golf finished in 56th spot in the recent Senior Qualifying School Tournament, held last month in Portugal, with an eleven-over par finish after three rounds.
To qualify for fully exempt status for 2011, he needed to end up among the top sixteen players in the tournament.Oakley has had a fairly good run on the European Tour, highlighted of course by his 2004 major tournament victory at the British Senior Open.
At this point, he sits in 47th place in career earnings on the Tour, with a total of 525,804 Euros to his credit.
Be careful out there
The recent frosts that greeted Cape Region mornings this past week may cause a delay or two for golfers at local courses, as winter approaches. Waiting for the thaw is critical to maintaining the turf health, so please resist the temptation to step onto the frozen greens.