By Joe Soraghan
"... The only difference between realizing a dream and losing oneself in fantasy, is backbreaking work." — Mark Frost, author of "The Greatest Game Ever Played"
Last weekend was great for golf. The weather was perfect, courses everywhere are in fantastic shape, and golf games are rounding into top form. At North Conway Country Club, where I regularly play, we held our one-day Member/Guest Tournament. Golfers from all over New England went away with glowing praise for the course, and the event in general.
We did have one player who complained about the greens, but he would probably look at the Mona Lisa and find fault. Several of our guests stayed through the weekend and were included in what has been dubbed "The Swindlers." This is a regular weekend get-together where 16 to 24 golfers tee it up and play a quota game. Foursomes are put together by a blind draw, tee times posted, and players have a match in every group. Each player kicks in a small amount of money and when the golf is finished they report to the 19th hole to report a "minus" or "plus" in the quota. All "plus" points get paid. It's a nice way to spend time on the course.
Last weekend, we had 28 players, all of whom have played the game of golf for many, many, years. You would think there would be a consensus about a couple of different scenarios which came about last weekend. Think again!
"I'll bet you $10 you're wrong!"
This was the response from a golfer who had been listening to a group of us discussing a situation where a ball was lying between two out-of-bounds stakes. The argument began when the question was asked, "Is a ball in or out if any part of the ball is touching a line or deemed to be between two white stakes?" The guy who joined the conversation thought that a ball on the line is deemed out of bounds. We were promoting the thought that any part of the ball that was in bounds is playable. Shame on us, as we didn't go to the rule book nor did we take the bet.
Well, 45 minutes later, we were on the third hole, faced with the situation we were just discussing. The ball was lying between two white stakes, not completely out of bounds. For us, it was the "perfect storm" because we were unsure if the ball was in or out. It was decided at this point to call the pro shop. After some good-natured banter to outline the situation, it was determined the ball was in bounds. The affected player had two reactions. One was relief, being able to play his original shot and the other was feigned anger that he did not take the bet. Ultimately, we should have known the rule.
Out of bounds is determined by a white stake, white line, or local rule (i.e. A fence, road, hedge, etc.). If a stake is the determining landmark, then the ball needs to be completely beyond the stake to be considered out. If a white line has marked the out of bounds, then a ball that completely rests on the line is determined to be out. If any part of the ball is in bounds then the ball is in. A good way to remember this is if any part of your ball is touching the green, then the ball is "on the green." Look for white stakes and white lines as the determining factors, and agree with your playing companions as to whether you are in or out.
After our round, the situation was replayed over and over in the 19th hole. The discussion created right and wrong decisions. Most of the guys jumped in, but you could see others looking on, unsure of what was the right or wrong call. From this, other situations were brought up, and these were situations that cropped up that day. The ball is lying in the center of a cart path. Do you take your relief to the left or right of the path if a drop leaves you the same distance from where the ball landed? If a ball is lost in a hazard and the closest point of relief puts you behind a tree or in a water hazard, do you have another option? If the ball lands in a gnarly, rocky area that should be deemed ground under repair or abnormal ground condition, do you get relief? This is supposed to be a game where players are having fun, but you still need to know the rules and play by those rules. You also may be able to take an extra ten bucks from someone who doesn't.
• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: The 2016 Men's and Ladies' One-Day Member/Guest is in the archives. On the men's side, first gross, went to the team of Peter Hill, Newell Hill, Bob Koch and Kevin McDonald. First net was won by Bob McElhinney, John Devaney, Mark and Paul Dwyer. Skins were won by Sandy Allan, Peter Hill and Joe Soraghan. For the ladies, it was Martha Jamieson, Marcy Gage, Kathleen Thompson and Ann Bourque taking first gross. First net went to Nancy Stewart, Pat Upham, Cynthia Ross and Nancy Calder. Summer hours are now in place for the pro shop. They will be open from 6 a.m. To 6 p.m. There is an Early Bird special for golfers. Tuesday through Thursday, from 6:30 to 7:57 a.m.; you can tee it up for $40 with a cart. The annual Fourth of July Flag Tournament will take place this weekend. Asst. Pro Kevin Walker, will conduct a clinic many of us can use. He will show players how to extricate themselves from places we really don't want to be. He calls it a "Special Shot" Clinic; I call it "Golf 911".
• Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The Jackson 18 held their Spring Four-Ball last weekend. For the ladies, it was Crickett Catalucci and Maryann Lowry taking the top spot. Second place went to Christine Rowe and Ellen Eierman. For the men, it was Joe Webb and Clancy Asselin leading the way. Second place went to Ron Pomerleau and Gerry Ellis. Long-putt winners were Patty Keane and George Lemieux. Week Five of Red Fox saw the Dukes of Hazzards take the top spot. Second place went to the Leprechauns. Long-drive winners were Jon Rivers and Moira McCarthy. Closest to the pin saw Don Newton and Mary Murphy take the honor. Week Six was a best-ball format. The Dukes of Hazzards continued their winning ways and were followed by Shanks-A-Lot and the Hale Merry's. Long-drive winners were Ray Gilmore Sr. and Moira McCarthy. Closest to the pin went to Connor Todd and Kim Merrill.
• Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: The men's and ladies' leagues at Hale's are posting some great scores and are raving about the great course conditions. For the men, in this week's quota, five players posted + 6: Joe Gammon, Jerry Henry, Dan Lucchetti, Mike McMahon, and Don Valliere. For the Women, Denise Woodcock posted a + 8. Closest to the pin went to Dottie Heffernan. Hale's is offering a twilight greens fee after 3 p.m. You can play for $20. This does not include a cart. Nine, Wine, and Dine is held every Sunday. For $55 you get nine holes of golf, a cart, salad, wine, an entree, and dessert. Reservations need to be made with the restaurant (356-7100) and the pro shop (356-2140).
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: With one week left in the Spring Don Ho, there is a tie for first between the Beaver Pelts and GB Carrier at -42. Trailing in second and third are the Jackson 6 (-38) and the Golfaholics (-36). John Sutton claimed closest-to-the-pin honors, while long drive went to Lauren Hawkins, Carey Ann Lufkin, Matty Burkett and Adam Lanzillotti. In the Thursday Eagle League, the team of Phil Davies, Mike Peloquin, Rita Stoessel and Haig Zeytoonian took first. Second place went to Ellie Veal, Janice Andrews, Bobby Marquis and Bob Ference. Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Jim Doig. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will be offering a short game clinic on Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon. The basic fundamentals will be covered and the fee is $20. The month of July is Family Golf Month at the Eagle. Every day after 2 p.m. there will be discounted rates for adults playing with juniors. When playing together, the cost is $15 for the adult and $10 for the junior.
• Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: The Tuesday Men's Social League saw the team of Corey Douglas, Barry Hadlock and Curtis Lansing take the top spot. Second place went to Art Duggan, Bill Bisset, Bill Wapenski, and Bill Morella. Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Jan Maczuba, on No. 5, and Mike Tarantino, on No. 16. Wednesday is Scotch doubles action at the Lovell 18. Bill Wapenski and Cyndy Adams took first while Bill and Christine Bisset took second. Bill Bisset also claimed closest-to-the-pin honors. The Thursday Ladies League had a scramble format. The winning team members were Dot Noble, Sandy Estes, Cyndy Adams and Claire Flynn. Second place team members were Sheila Melia, Ann Nelson, Carol Hastings and Lorraine Harden. First round of the Men's President Cup saw both matches decided on the 18th hole. John Bartlett defeated Marc Webster and Tim Chandler bested Lewis Bartlett.
With optimum conditions, there have been some outstanding individual golfing accomplishments in recent days. Fuzzy Martin and Sylvio LaPlante, from Indian Mound, played in a member/guest at Ridgewood. Fuzzy, a fine player, posted a score of 62. Eagle Mountain Pro Bob McGraw was playing at NCCC last Wednesday with three of his cronies. He put on a clinic for his playing companions by hitting every green on the back in regulation. He went on to birdie Nos. 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. I hope he collected the $20 from each member in the group for the "clinic" he put on! Bruce Sanderson was playing with the aforementioned "Swindlers" and posted a plus 16 in the quota ( a new record for that illustrious group). Finally, Jerry Chase, one of the better chippers and putters, shot a 75 to shoot his age last week, which is a very impressive and difficult task.
Congratulations to all! A Happy and Safe Fourth of July to everyone!
- Category: Sports Columns