By Joe Soraghan
"I've heard that putting is 50 percent technique and 50 percent mental. I believe it is 50 percent technique and 90 percent positive thinking, but that adds up to 140 percent, which is why nobody is 100 percent sure how to putt." — Pro golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez
Golf was on display last weekend at the British Open, when the best players in the world teed up at Royal Troon.
Playing under the best conditions the Scottish summer could provide, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson played some of the finest golf we could ever witness.
When the dust had settled, it was Stenson taking the home the Claret Jug. It was a match that will probably go down as one of the epic duels in golfing history.
We won't be kept waiting long to see more action, as the PGA Tournament will take place next week, July 25-31, at Baltusrol Country Club in Springfield, N.J.
With golf an Olympic event this year, the schedule had to be adjusted to accommodate the August games. Thus, the PGA will be played two weeks after the Open.
The New Jersey course will be a great test for the professionals. Baltusrol has hosted a U.S. Open eight times and is one of the finest courses in this country. Legendary golf architect A.W. Tillinghast redesigned the course in 1920, but the course itself was built in 1890.
An interesting side note is how the course got its name.
Louis Keller was a wealthy New York publisher of what was known as the Social Register. In 1890, he decided to build a golf course. Seeking land that would bring his dream to reality, he came upon a farm that had once been owned by a gentleman named Baltus Roll. Farmer Roll had come to an unfortunate end when he was found murdered near his home in 1831. The case became somewhat of a local legend. Two men were suspected of the heinous crime. One was acquitted, the other took his own life. Keller used the combination form of the farmer's name for his course.
A bit more intriguing than a course named Rolling Ridge or Bushwood, isn't it?
Golf is said to be struggling to garner interest since Tiger Woods has not been part of the professional scene. He gets a lot of credit, deservedly so, for building the game during the past 20 years. But golf has been around for a long time and has moved from a recreational pastime to an international event. Golfers today continually raise the bar of playing ability, as we saw last week. Even the casual golf enthusiast has a thirst for more.
Next week, we can quench that thirst as the fourth and last major will be held. Don't be disappointed that the big seasonal events are getting close to the end. After the PGA, we get the Olympics, then the Fed Ex Cup and finally the Ryder Cup. Let's hope the players can maintain the high level of play we have witnessed of late.
• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: The July Champ of the Month was played last weekend. For the men, Peter Hill got the coveted parking spot for the month. On the women's side, Toni Belding and Martha Jamieson tied and will have a playoff. The annual Pro/Member will be played Aug. 7. On Aug. 8 and 9, the NHPGA will have its Pro Championship. With some great golf showcased by these accomplished players, two individuals will draw special interest. Rich Berberian, assistant pro from Windham GC, will make his way to the NCCC tournament after having competed at Baltustrol the previous week. The other player to watch will be home pro Larry Gallagher, who will be hosting this event for the last time as he prepares to retire at the conclusion of the golfing season.
• Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: The Rivers Edge quota game continues to see some great golf. This week, it was Steve Brown taking first with a +5. Closest to the pin went to Bob Cyr and Dan Ratliff. In Nine and Dine action, it was Jim Cayer, Diane Robinson, Paul Voccia and Ann Ring taking the top spot. Second place went to Flo Temple, Peggie Bonazoli, Tom Loonan and Bruce Robinson. The Member/Guest will be held Aug. 5. This will be a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. Junior Golf, interleague play, begins on Monday at 2:30 p.m. Indian Mound will be competing against Kingswood and Bald Peak. Interclub played their second round this week at the Mound. Lake Kezar took first place. They were followed by Province Lake, Indian Mound and Ridgewood.
• Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The 2016 Member/Guest is in the archives. On the men's side it was Roger Leblanc and Bob Arsenault taking first gross. First net went to Bill Catalucci and Joe Cranwell. With a match of cards, it was the team of Bill Leonard and BJ Hawkes taking second net. For the ladies, it was Jane Goulart and Carol Scott taking first gross. First-place net went to Cricket Catalucci and Pat Tondreau. Second net went to Mary Murphy and Kathy Sweeney. The Ladies League played a "Mutt and Jeff" on Tuesday. This is a format where scores are tallied on the par 3's and par 5's. Louanne Cellana found this to her liking, as she took first place. Second place saw a tie between Daryl Mazzaglia and Kathy McIntosh. Virginia Foles had the only chip-in of the day. Upcoming events at the Jackson 18 have the Wedeln Ski Club playing their tournament on July 25. Aug. 15-16 is Club Championship weekend. On Aug. 22, it will be the Mixed Team Championship.
• Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: The men and ladies at Hale's continue to compete in their weekly rounds. On the men's side, it was Dave Pierce, who posted a +6 in the weekly quota to take the top spot. Wendall Lincoln got closest to the pin. For the ladies, Denise Woodcock was +7 and Joan Dalton got closest-to-the-pin honors. Nine, Wine and Dine continues to be a popular attraction. For $55 you get nine holes of golf, with a cart, dinner, dessert and a glass of wine. Call the pro shop or hotel (603) 356-7100 for reservations.
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: July is "Family Golf" at the Eagle. Discounted rates are offered every day after 2 p.m. when adults play with junior golfers. The cost is $15 for the adults and $10 for the juniors when they play together. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will be offering a free clinic this Sunday at 1 p.m. Clubs will be provided for those who need them. A member scramble was held this past weekend. Posting a score of four under, to take first, was the team of Joe Pakaluk, Normand Giroux and Kathy Murphy. Second place went to Russ Veale, Ethan Badillo, Dolores Lavoie and Susan Joyce, who claimed closest-to-the-pin honors. One of the great reports from this tournament is that seven juniors participated, and all conducted themselves as gentlemen.
In Thursday Eagle League action, the team of John Chanley, Joan Doucet, Terry Fitzgerald and Tim Avery took first place. Second place went to Joan and Roger Aubrey, and Janice and Dan Andrews. Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Tina Niccoli. If your chipping and pitching needs some work, Bob will be offering a clinic on Saturday, July 23. The cost is $20, and the class is limited to six students.
• Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: The men's President Cup action continues at the Lovell 18. Mike Woodside and Larry Sanborn advanced to the semi-finals and will face each other this week. Woodside defeated John Bartlett, and Sanborn defeated Tim Chandler. In the other bracket, Eric Green defeated Joe Fitzpatrick and will play the winner of the Jose Azel and Phil Drew match. In ladies' President Cup action, Lisa Warren advanced to the finals when Peg Bjork had to withdraw due to illness. Lisa will face Kim Rovzar, who defeated Maddy Leblanc. First round of interclub action saw Province Lake take first place. They were followed by Lake Kezar, Indian Mound and Ridgewood.
- Category: Sports Columns