Golf: Dealing with snakes and other distractions

"The number of shots taken by an opponent who is out of sight, is equal to the square root of the sum of the number of curses heard, plus the number of swishes." Michael Green, author of "The Art of Coarse Golf," 1975.

Golf returned to the Olympics, and some great golf was showcased. There were many doubters who felt that golf did not belong in the Games, and that there would not be much change from the weekly professional game we view each week. I think the folks who put golf back in the Games got it right. The venue was nice, too. I have got to applaud the golfers, as they performed at a high level, on a course that was carved out of swamp and jungle. The skill level of the Olympians did not waver. That's what separates the competitors from the average golfer. However, if you gave me an opportunity to play the Olympic course in Rio, I would decline. Along with the players, Olympic representatives and fans out on the course, there were groups of people whose jobs were to prevent snakes from interfering with the play. If you need snake handlers out on the course while play is in progress, I'm out! I would have one eye on the ball, and the other would be searching for the reptiles. This would be a major distraction.
We face distractions every time we tee up the ball. The distractions can be the pace of play on the course. It can be playing partners who talk while you are trying to hit. Or, it could be a member of another group who decides the golf cart might be better suited for the NASCAR track and slams on the brakes. It can be the voice of a player that seems to penetrate the golfing environment, or the closing of the door at the porta-potty. A good question is, "What distractions do you allow to interfere with your game?"
If you have just hit a really nice shot, while a player talked loudly behind you, and the outside interference never came into play to affect the outcome, it was probably the fact that you were concentrating on your shot. On the other side, how many times have you allowed an outside interference to affect your shot and you backed away? After hitting the shot, without a favorable outcome, you might blame an outside distraction for your poor shot. We are amateur golfers whose primary goal is to go out on the course, play to the best of our ability, enjoy the company we are with, and, hopefully, improve in our personal game. This doesn't imply we don't want to compete and win. In a club match, a $5 Nassau or a trophy event, we want to play our best and emerge victorious. Get tougher mentally by concentrating and developing a greater awareness of your own game.

The next time a player is standing within your sight-line while you are ready to putt, back off and ask the offender to move. When your playing partners decide to have a conversation while you are going to hit, back off and wait for them to finish or send them a glance that indicates your displeasure. If a playing competitor is a "pocket jangler," wait until they are not interfering with your concentration. But you are not going to stop the shrill voice that pierces the air and interferes with everyone's game. The pace of play does not improve, don't allow this to impact your game. There are outside distractions that you as a player do not have any control over. We need to learn how to deal with them and improve our on course concentration. The game of golf is a mental challenge as well as physical. Don't let the outside distractions impact your golfing outcome. What we deal with on the course is certainly minor compared with the challenge of snakes in the rough.
Club Notes:
North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391:
The Mixed Best Ball was held last weekend. Taking first was the team of Paul Harlow and Pat Henry. Second place was decided by a match of cards between the teams of Randy Broekel and Jackie Gaudes and Ray and Tori Belding, with Broekel and Gaudes grabbing second. The August Champ of the Month will continue through this Saturday. The men's and women's senior championship will be played this weekend. Operation Hat Trick was the focus last Friday. With 128 players taking to the course for a two-person scramble, the field played for a great cause in a well organized event. All of those who played and volunteered walked away feeling as if they had won the tournament. NCCC has scheduled aeration for the greens this Monday and Tuesday.
Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733:
Nine, Wine and Dine saw the team of Tom Loonan, Liz Brown, Don Pepin and Lee Remick take the top honors. Second place was Ken Jones, Joan Loonan and Sue Cayer. In the Rivers Edge Quota, Tom Rogers, Joe St. Lawrence and John Winslow were the winners. Closest to the pin champs were Rob Bodnar and Jim Pearson. The Ladies' League will celebrate their season with a banquet on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The Jody Buzzell Challenge will take place on Aug. 31. This is a nine-hole event to benefit Starting Point. The two-person Bubba League will begin on Sept. 7. This is a six-week league. Call the pro shop to sign up. The Indian Mound Special Olympians brought home gold, silver and bronze in last week's event.
Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641:
The Jackson 18 will be holding their Club Championship this weekend. The Ladies' League played a "Fours" event last week. Deb Bryant took the top spot. Second place was shared between Fran Baker, Lynne Walker and Kathy Dunne. Week 11 of Red Fox was a Team Quota event. Taking the top spot were the Flyers in 7. Second place was a tie between Murphy's Law, Shanks-A-Lot and the Dukes of Hazards. Individually, long drives went to Moira McCarthy and Tom McDonough. Closest to the pin honors went to Ellie Thompson and Wally Pimental.
Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090:
The Eagle continues to offer discounted rates every day after 2 p.m when adults play with juniors. The cost is $15 for the adult and $10 for the junior when they play together. A member scramble was held last weekend. The winning team members were Denis Lavoie, Bruce Conley, Nickki D, Joan Doucette and Tina Nicholie. Second place went to Russ Veale, Rich Kardell, and Jeanne Pierce. Pierce also claimed closest to the pin honors. The Tuesday Mixed League saw the team of Russ Veale, Anne Nelson and Nancy Morrison take first. Jeanne Pierce is becoming quite the pin-seeker as she took closest to the pin. In the Thursday Eagle League, it was the team of John and Jeannie Chanley and Jane and Buzz Query taking first with a match of cards. Second place went to Terry Fitzgerald, Rita Stoessel and Haig Zeytoonian. Closest to the pin went to Bruce Libby. The Fall Don Ho will start next Tuesday and Wednesday. Tee time begins at 5 p.m., and the league runs for five weeks. The cost is $65 per player, and teams consist of six players. Call the pro shop to sign up. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will be offering a clinic this Saturday at 11. The focus will be hitting bunker shots, and the class is limited to six students.
19th Hole:
If you think that headphones or earplugs might be the solution to warding off distractions on the course, think again! The Rules of Golf (Rule 14-3) prevents players from using "artificial devices" during a round. Included amongst these devices are anything that tunes out noise or distractions under penalty of disqualification. I wonder, if a player has a hearing aid and he turns it off or fails to wear it during a match, would this qualify as not playing by the rules? Just a thought. Have a great weekend.

 

We've lost a sports hero

We lost a local sports hero in Evan's Notch on Saturday with the passing of Jim Soroka.

Jim embodied everything great in sports and life, and he amazingly intertwined both into his world. When you spent a minute with Jim it was a quality minute. Jim, who I simply called "Iron Man" because of his incredible ironman triathlon accomplishments, was quite simply a great guy — humble, always upbeat and loved life. He loved his fellow competitors as much as he loved to compete.

Whenever you caught up with Jim, smiles and laughter were always a part of the recipe. He had a great laugh. He also knew the importance of family and worshiped Margie, his wife, and their two children, David and Jess. You always knew what the Soroka kids were up to and Jim beamed with pride as he spoke of them.

Friend Paul Kirsch shared his thoughts about Jim on Sunday.

"As I have gotten older, I have come to accept the passing of life — my own parents dying as well as close friends. But every once in a while someone you care a lot about dies and it so completely punches you in the gut, and it's hard to comprehend. (Saturday), James Soroka, local triathlon legend and inspiration to so many of us, died in a cycling accident, doing something he so totally loved.

"Jim was that guy who you kind of figured would live forever. He seemed to be getting stronger with age, his muscles bigger, his drive a little stronger. He competed in the Ironman in Hawaii in his 60s and I always kind of pictured him eating rocks for breakfast as he was just so darn strong. Jim was also that bright light that we all look for in people — he could make you laugh and would always have an encouraging word for everyone — whether you were a runner, a swimmer or cyclist. I enjoyed many a trail run with Jim and I used to joke about him being a gearhead with his heart monitor and watch — ironic that now in the last month I am addicted to Strava. He's laughing about that now.

"I got to know Jim best as someone who hosted elite runners for the Mount Washington Road Race. He opened his house so generously — elite runners from around the country and world knew of the famed Soroka hospitality from Jim and his wife Margie. I often wondered if so many runners from Italy came for the actual race or whether it was more just for the amazing experience of being treated like royalty by Jim and Margie. There was an irony in this as Jim 'hated' running hills. He thought mountain runners were crazy — this coming from a man who did Ironman level triathlons in his 60s that made the rest of us think he was crazy. Jim used to schedule his triathlon races around Mt. Washington to make sure he was in town.

"I spent the morning in some tearful conversations with out of town runners sharing the sad news of Jim. Still hard to comprehend the valley has lost such an amazing bright light. Jim, you made the world a better place. We were all lucky to know you and heartfelt prayers and good thoughts for your family. If you knew Jim, go run, bike or swim a mile for him this week in his honor. We could all learn from his amazing positivity and drive."

Well said, Paul!

There's nothing quite like challenging your body physically, putting it to a test occasionally — that's what Jim did the summer of 2008, and he loved every minute of it. He developed a passion for triathlons and competed in eight over a three month stretch that year..

"I kind of got started three years ago," Soroka said in 2008 during a visit to the Sun. "I was motivated to see what I could do and it's been kind of a progression from there. Someone goaded me into trying it and I loved it. It's such a great environment to be around fellow competitors. These people are so healthy and fit, it's infectious. You get a chance to talk with people about how to eat better, training techniques and how to be more healthy overall."

It was in 2008 that Jim set a goal to one day compete in the world's greatest endurance race — the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii — and Jim saw that dream become a reality in September of 2012.

The race is a 2.4-mile roughwater swim, 112 miles of the around-O'ahu Bike Race and the 26.2-mile Honolulu Marathon all rolled into one event.

Jim smiled when he put the Hawaiian Ironman into perspective.

"I tell people that race would be like starting at Birch Hill (on West Side Road in North Conway) and swimming to Weston's Farm Stand," he said. "Next you jump on your bike and ride to Hampton Beach then you put on your sneakers and run a quarter of the way back. I think it puts it all into a new perspective. Oh, it's also close to 100 degrees with high humidity when you do it, too. If I do (the Ironman), I only need to do it once."

It is worth noting that over the course of a full year of training for Hawaii, Jim covered 239.25 miles of swimming, 4,267 miles of cycling, 756.75 miles of running, and 64 visits to the weight room.

"This was truly a journey, a most wonderful and rewarding journey," Jim said of the Hawaiian race, which was all the more special because Jess and David were there to see him finish third in his age group.

"And also a big thanks to my wife for putting up with this for an entire year," Jim said with his great smile and laugh. "Look for me to be on the 'Honey Do list' ASAP."

Jim competed in races all over the country to draw attention and raise funds for the White Mountain Aquatic Foundation, which hopes to build an indoor swimming facility in the Mount Washington Valley.

Jim came by the paper in March to share conceptual plans for the White Mountain Aquatic and Fitness Complex to be located next to Kennett High School on Eagles Way. It looks like it will offer something for everyone.

Planned are two swimming pools — one for water aerobics and physical therapy and a six-lane, 25-yard lap pool — a weight room, child-care room, fireplace and lounge and basketball court — and that's all just on first floor. On the second floor are rooms for yoga, exercises and Pilates, a spinning room and an 8-foot-wide, eighth-of-a-mile walking track.

"This really is a community project," Jim said at the time. "It's all about community health and wellness, it's not just a swimming pool. We will have something here for those haven't yet been born to the most mature senior citizen. We're here for people from 1 to 101 and older."

Jim said the project will cost roughly $11 million. The hope is to open in the fall of 2019. I'd love to see it named after Jim.

Jim had a vision for a community pool for more than a decade. In 2004, while driving to Laconia with three other local swimmers — Maury McKinney, Steve Johnson and Bob Maag — for early morning laps, the dream was born.

"It was four guys in a car talking about a dream, and look how far we've come," Jim said.

That was Jim, always upbeat.

Jim "Iron Man" Soroka will definitely be missed, but never forgotten.

 

8-12: Golf: Look at where golf is thriving

By Joe Soraghan

"I dreamed one night I had 17 holes-in-one and one "two." When I woke up I was damned mad about that two." — Ben Hogan, pro golfer

Last week, the golf industry seemed to take more hits than the Trump campaign. Stories were breaking all week regarding Nike giving up on the golf equipment business. Chili Cellana sent me a story from the New York Post outlining the future of golf giant: Taylor Made, Golfsmith and Adidas, all available for purchase.

The number of golf courses being built is not equivalent to the number closing. Fewer rounds are being played, and the number of players joining country clubs is down. The future of golf is being reported as bleak.

I think the companies reporting this dismal future for a great sport need to look to where golf is thriving and think about the players that continue to support the game.

Two weeks ago, I played a round with my three brothers. It was a great day, with some good golf, but even nicer was just the four of us out on a beautiful day. Brian, the youngest, drove up from Litchfield. When he got to the parking lot and grabbed his clubs, I noticed nothing had changed in his bag. Brian has been playing with a Haig Ultra wooden 4-wood (circa 1975) for as long as I can remember. His other clubs might be 10 years older. You can be sure when the brothers saw his weapons, they were not gentle.

Brian continues to defy golf industry logic. He hits the 4-wood about 200-plus yards. His "hand-me-down" clubs launch the ball farther than their previous owner, your writer, ever hit them. Brian doesn't belong to any club. He will take his game to where it is affordable and where his buddies will play. Brian is not a golf "snob." I think his approach to the game are more the norm.

I am not an economist. When I hear Nike is giving up on the golf equipment business because it went from earning $760 million to $708 million, I have a hard time wrapping my head around those type of numbers. I ask, "When is enough, enough?" A more compelling question the equipment companies need to ask is, "Who is playing golf and how do we attract them to our product?"

I believe that during the past two decades, when golf saw unprecedented growth, the companies developed an elitist attitude toward the blue-collar player. If you were not playing with the latest and greatest equipment, your game supposedly would not keep up with your competition. The golf business was thriving. The focus was on that part of the population who were spending money and playing the higher-end courses.

Other sports are no different: Baseball has been reporting declining attendance for the past 20 years. Basketball teams play to half-full arenas. Even football is defending the game due to the increase in injuries and concerns of the players about their futures. What has remained a constant is the money fans are required to pay to attend sporting events.

In golf, equipment has become expensive. If you want to pay $6,000-$10,000 a year to belong to a private club, then golf changes from a game to a way of life. But most golfers don't continually replace their equipment, nor do they belong to private golf country clubs. The golfing industry focused on the "well-heeled" base and seemed to shun the players that are the backbone of the game.

Golf needs to look at the men, women and juniors who are playing at public courses throughout the country. They might be playing once or twice a week, and only playing nine holes, but the enthusiasm, dedication and enjoyment they receive and give for golf cannot be valued enough. Golf is not dying, it's just changing. With this change, the game will become stronger and thrive. To my brothers Dennis, Kevin and Brian, I enjoyed the lunch and drinks you so graciously provided.

Club notes:

North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: On Monday and Tuesday, the N.H. Professional Golf Association played their annual championship at the NCCC 18 to honor and recognize PGA Pro Larry Gallagher and his wife, Kathy. Larry will be retiring at the conclusion of this golf season. Everyone wishes the two of them the best. Larry continues to play some great golf. On Sunday, in the Pro/Member, he posted a 72 from the back tees. In the Pro/Member, it was the team of Bill Ela, Fred Sarro and Lydia Lansing taking the top spot. Second place went to Doug Dugrenier, Scott Merrill and Neal Chase. Congratulations to Rich Berberian of Windham CC for successfully defending his championship at the NCCC.Berberian posted a two-day score of 14-under par, 128 to blow away his competition by 11 strokes. He shot a final round score of 9-under par 62. Also, congratulations to Don Brigham of Golf Club of NE for capturing the Senior Championship in his first chapter event. Don posted a two-day score of 2-under par 140. Fifty golf professionals participated in the event. This Saturday and Sunday, the Men's and Ladies' Club Championship will be held. On Sunday, Aug. 21, it will be the Mixed Championship. In the Pro Shootout, Bill Andrews from Portsmouth CC won over Geoff Williams, from Campbell Scottish Highlands. The overall winner of the Pro Tournament was Rich Berberian, who shot a final round of 62, one off the course record.

• Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: Forty players hit the links in "Nine and Dine" last Sunday. The winning team members were Wayne Grenier, Josh Rivers and Dee Remick. The Member/Member is scheduled for Aug. 27. In Junior Inter-League, it was Kingswood taking the top spot. Ben Dougherty and Josh Rivers posted the low scores for the Mound. In Rivers Edge Quota action, Dick Prunier posted a +5. Closest to the pin went to Ken Sullivan and Larry Ewing. Coach Julie Rivers has the Kennett golf team starting on Aug. 17. Call her for information. The Ossipee Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament will be held on Friday, Aug. 26.

Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: Wentworth hosted the Ladies Invitational last week. Taking first place was the team of Lorna Kimball, Geri Levesque, Barbara DeNapoli and Lynn Anderson. Second place went to Mary Collins, Kathy Scanlon, Ellen Eiermann and Deb Gagne. Closest-to-the-pin winner was Sandy Glynn. Irene Pelchat got closest to the line. Long drive winners were Paula Ainsworth and Kate Lowe. The putting contest was won by Mary Ann Lowry and Ellen Daly. This weekend the Club Championship will be held.

Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: Hale's hosted the 23rd annual Kiwanis Golf Tournament last Friday to a sellout field. After a match of cards between three teams, first place went to Dick Goss, Tim George, Dick Plusch and Gay Folland. Second place went to Tom Chalmers, Roy Lundquist, Virgil Webb and Gerry Carrier. The team of Bob Bechtold, Al Capone, John Sullivan and Jim Frenette took third. Virgil Webb won the two closest-to-the-pin contests on number 3 and 6. Long drive winners were Janice Andrews and Vince Osgood, while Dan McDonald was the putting contest winner. The tournament raised almost $14,000 for Kiwanis children's programs and charities.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: In the Thursday Eagle League, the team of Phil Davies, Anne Lee Doig and Dan and Janice Andrews took first. Second place went to Peggy Davis, Russ Veale, Joan and Roger Aubrey. Closest-to-the-pin winner was Jim Doig. Congratulations to Anne Lee Doig for her "eagle" on number 1. Discounted rates are being offered at the Eagle every day after 2 p.m. The cost is $15 for the adult and $10 for the junior when they play together. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will offer a short swing clinic which will cover chipping and pitching. The fee is $20 and is limited to six students. The clinic will be held on Saturday, Aug. 13, and will begin at 11 a.m.

Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: The Tuesday Men's Social League saw the team of Gene Leblanc, Bill Wapenski and Jerry Guyot take the top spot. Second place went to Tyler Sears, Pat Johnston, Mike Tarantino and Harry Roberts. In Scotch Doubles action on Wednesday, it took three tie-breaking holes for the team of Bill Wapenski and Cindy Adams to emerge victorious. They defeated the team of Bill and Christine Bisset who took second place, and Rob and Ellen Mueller who finished third. The Member/Member Tournament was held on Sunday. Taking first gross was the team of Jim Bilotta and Eric Green. Second gross went to Jim Hadlock and Mike Woodside. First net went to David Mullholland and Patrick Dunfey. Second net went to Nat Mason and Tim Chandler. On the women's side, it was Kim Rovzar and Kaylin Delaney taking first gross. Second gross went to Maddy Leblanc and Ellen Neson. First net was won by Karen Spanglo and Christine Green, while Gerri Foulds and Mary Sales took second net.

19th Hole

Golf has returned to the Olympics after a 112-year hiatus. In 1904, the Games were held in St. Louis. There were 74 golfers, from only two countries, who participated. There were 71 from the United States and three from Canada. "Match play" was the format to determine the medal winners. In the final event, George Lyon of Canada received the gold, while American Chandler Egan took the silver. Playing in a driving rainstorm, the long-hitting Lyon continually put himself in a better position than Egan. After the medal awards, Egan was clearly disappointed with the outcome, while Lyon walked across the hall where the awards were distributed on his hands. Asked about his victory, he replied, "I may not be the best golfer in the world, but I'm not the worst!" Enjoy the weekend, and "Go USA!!!"

Golf news may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

8-19-16 Golf: Bogeys, holes-in-one and other news

By Joe Soraghan

"I'm not much for sitting around and thinking about the past or talking about the past. What does that accomplish? If I can give young people something to think about, like the future, that's a better use of my time." — Arnold Palmer, pro golfer

I had a high school classmate who was a very good golfer who became the consummate golf hustler.

This guy had a professional-quality short game, but the "hustle" or gambling became his true quest. He once bet some members of a private club that he could go out and "bogey" every hole on their course. Making a bogey on every hole is not what most players set for a goal or outcome for their golf round. Beyond that, to predict what you are going to shoot is a very difficult challenge to accomplish. As for the challenge my classmate made to his "pigeons," he made a bogey on every hole. I'm assuming he also made himself some money.

I was in Saratoga last week, and the hustler's name came up. Unfortunately, it was his passing and not the ability he possessed on the golf course that generated the conversation. I recalled seeing a plaque at the club where he had his bogey round. The members thought it was significant enough to recognize the round in the 19th hole.

At the turn of the 20th century, golf clubs would hold competitions where golfers did not play against each other. Rather, they would have an assigned score for each hole. The winner of this format would be the player who won the most holes against the predetermined score. In 1890, at Great Yarmouth Golf Club in England, an event of this nature was held. One player referred to this standard of golf as a "Boogeyman golf" using a term for a demon or ghost.

The player who is thought to have come up with this was a Maj. Charles Wellman. He got the term from a popular song with the lyrics, "I'm the boogeyman man, catch me if you can." Golfers at Yarmouth, who would play in events where there was an assigned score, began to say they were playing against Mr. Boogeyman. This was shortened to "Mr. Bogey," and the term "bogey" became a part of golf where the player is one over par. Club secretaries, which would be the golf committees of today, would set a standard for each hole. The standard became par, while one-over became bogey.

When my classmate made his challenge to the club members, I wonder if he knew about this game of setting a score prior to the round. It seems to be a very difficult format for players. Knowing his skills and the favorable odds, my classmate was confident he could make a buck on it.

Club Notes:

North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: The 2016 Club Championship is in the archives. In the Men's Championship Flight, Kurt Grahber took the top spot, while JP Hickey finished second. In the A Flight, Dave Watson took the top honor, while Scott Merrill finished second in a five-way playoff. B Flight saw Tom Dean outlast Dan Kelleher. C flight had Al Goyette take first gross and Brett Russell got first net. In the Women's Flight, Donna Wallace took first gross and Gay Folland took second. First net went to Mary Deveau, while Liz Dilando took second. Congratulations to all! This Sunday, the Mixed Scotch will be held. Saturday, Aug. 27, the Men's and Ladies Seniors will take to the links for their competition.


Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The Club Cup tournament wrapped up last week. For the men, Bill Fabrizio won first place and Bill Fitzgerald placed second. On the ladies' side, Sandi Poor was the winner and Sally Holmes got second. Week 10 of Red Fox action saw the Ball Busters grab the top spot. They were followed by Flyers in 7 and the Hale Merry's. Long drive winner was Tom McDonough. Closest to the pin was Lisa Baughn for the ladies and Dick Mattei for the men.

This weekend, the Jackson 18 will hold their Club Championship. Last week's Ladies' League held a T's and F's event. Taking first place was Ellen Eiermann. Second place went to Sandi Poor. Third place saw a tie between Barbara Theriault and Kathy Gilligan. Chip-ins went to Barbra Theriault and Daryl Mazzaglia.


Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: Hard to believe, but there are only two weeks remaining for the men's and ladies' Leagues. This week, three men posted a +4 in the weekly quota; George Bailey, Mike Castonguay and Dave Pierce. Dan Luchetti grabbed closest to the pin honors. On the ladies' side it was Jill Luchetti who posted an impressive +10 in the quota. Joanne Archambault got closest to the pin.

Hale's is offering a twilight rate after 3 p.m. When the cost to walk is only $20. Nine, Wine and Dine is still going strong. On Sunday afternoon, for $55, you can play 9 holes with a cart and then have dinner. Call the pro shop for tee times and more information.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: One of the nicer stories of the 2016 golf season comes from the Eagle. Seven-year old Jordan Loftus posted a hole-in-one on the 7th hole Aug. 8. Jordan was playing from the forward tees and using a driver and saw her shot disappear into the hole. Witnessing this shot was her proud grandmother, Maryann Lowry and Jane Goulart. Congratulations, Jordan! The Fall Don Ho is scheduled to begin On Tuesday, Aug. 30, and Wednesday, Aug. 31. This is a five-week league that tees off at 5 p.m. The cost is $65 per player and teams usually have 6 players. Contact the pro shop if you want to sign up. PGA Pro Bob McGraw, will hold a clinic this Saturday at 11. This will be a full swing clinic where the focus will be on hitting irons and hybrids. The fee is $20 and the class is limited to 6 players. Discounted rates are being offered after 2 p.m., when an adult plays with a junior. Adults pay $15 while the juniors pay $10. A record was set in Thursday Eagle League action. The team of Jack Lee, Janice Andrews, Jack Young and Jim Doig posted a score of 6-under for nine holes. Second place went to Dave Powell, Joan Aubrey, Phil Davies and Bob Ference. Closest-to-the-pin winner was Jim Doig. In Tuesday Mixed League action, the team of Diane O'Neil, Dave Matsesky and Judy Regan took the top spot. Closest to the pin went to Terry Fitzgerald.

Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: Lake Kezar CC successfully defended its title in the four-club round robin competition. The final standings were LKCC 2,293 points, Province Lake 2,248.5, Ridgewood 2,099.5, and Indian Mound 2,011.5. The Scotch Doubles Classic was held on Wednesday. The winning team of Dick Trapani and Marnie Morgan won by a quarter of a point over John Laramee and Maddy Leblanc. Bob Gallagher and Terry Landers finished third. In Tuesday's Men's Social League, the team of Bill Bisset, Dick Day, Barry Hadlock and Hal Taylor took first place. Second place went to Jan Maczuba, Jim Stone and Paul Means. Congratulations to Gloria Kushel for her hole-in-one on No.12 last Saturday. Hitting a seven iron, her ace was witnessed by her husband and sons Eric and Richard.

19th Hole:

Pro golfer Jim Furyk set a new standard for scoring in a pro tournament when he posted a 58 at the Travelers in Cromwell, Conn. Already part of the exclusive 59 club with six other players, Furyk played an almost flawless round of golf. Shooting a 27 on the front nine (the record for nine is 26 by Cory Pavin), he shot 31 on the back but was almost disqualified at the end of this memorable round. His playing partner, Miguel Angel Carballo, had marked him for a birdie on the par 4, 14th hole. Furyk had made par. They realized the mistake when they went over the scorecard at the end of the round. If Furyk had signed the incorrect card, his 58 would have gone by the wayside. He would have been disqualified.

This is a good lesson for all of us when we are playing our matches. Check the scores and keep more than one card for your group. Don't rely on your playing partners to get it right. It's your responsibility.

Golf news may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

golf 8-5-16: 100th anniversary of the PGA

By Joe Soraghan

"Every golfer can expect to have four bad shots in a round, and when you do, just put them out of your mind. This, of course, is hard to do when you've had them and you're not even off the first tee." — Walter Hagen, pro golfer

The year was 1916. Department store owner Rodman Wanamaker brought a number of golf professionals together.

Included among this group was Walter Hagen, who is considered one of the founders of the Professional Golfers of America. Wanamaker had an idea that, with the help of some fine players, he could create an organization that would promote the sport of golf. The bottom line for Wanamaker was the growth of golf would enhance the sale of golf equipment at his stores. Whatever the reason for establishing a professional golf association, the game of golf would grow with the men and women who proudly wore the PGA logo as the face of the game.

The PGA I refer to is that of the club professional. This is the face that greets you when you walk into the pro shop of private, semi-private and municipal courses. I will also tell you when you walk into the pro shop, don't take that PGA logo for granted. There was a great deal of hard work that went into obtaining the title of a PGA pro.

On Aug. 8, members of the New Hampshire Chapter will gather at the North Conway Country Club to compete in their 36-hole championship. On Monday evening, they will recognize North Conway Pro Larry Gallagher, who will retire at the end of this golf season. Larry has been a member of the PGA for more than 28 years. But NCCC members can rest easy, as Assistant Pro Kevin Walker, who will assume the head pro position, was officially notified that he is now also PGA member.

Mount Washington Valley courses have five golf professionals who can claim membership in the PGA. The dean of professionals is John McDonald (50-plus years) who spent much of his career at NCCC and is retired. The others are Larry Gallagher, NCCC; Bob McGraw (25 years on Sept. 1), Eagle Mountain; Jay Pollini (17 years), Wentworth; and now Kevin Walker at NCCC.

Talking with Larry and Kevin, I found the road to achieving PGA status takes commitment, hours of course work, time away from home and family and a love of the game of golf. With a 28-year gap between the two men, the course of study was surprisingly very similar. First, they had to demonstrate their ability on the golf course with the Playability Test. Then they moved on to their course work.

Gallagher attended PGA business schools in Pennsylvania, Florida and Tennessee. Walker went to the PGA Center in Florida, where he had to pass three levels of apprenticeship and pass five written exams at each level. Both had course work in merchandising, accounting, agronomy, rules, and, of course, teaching.

Gallagher started his journey in 1976. His stops were at Androscoggin Golf Club, Wentworth-By-the-Sea, Wentworth Golf Club in Jackson, and Plantation Bay in Florida. Walker arrived at NCCC via Wentworth GC and started his work to get PGA status just 3 1/2 years ago. When you speak to these two, one common thread is obvious: They love the game of golf and are committed to their chosen profession.

Once a club pro achieves a PGA card, the work doesn't end. They need to take courses, demonstrate knowledge through presentations and work to stay connected to the game of golf. The process is the equivalent of obtaining a degree from a college or university. The men and women who are members of the PGA are ambassadors of the game of golf. Do not take your pro for granted. A lot of time, effort, skill and passion have gone into that chosen profession. The next time you walk through your pro shop, remember there is someone who can trace his professional roots back to the founders of the PGA. Best of luck to all the pros this week, and thanks for helping make the game we love a great experience.

Club Notes:

• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: This weekend the Pro/Member will be held Sunday, then the pros will take to the links for the New Hampshire Pro Championship. A nice way to spend a summer afternoon will be watching the "shootout" on Monday at 4 p.m. This is when 10 pros take to the course, with one being eliminated on each hole, leaving one winner. Next weekend, the Men's and Ladies' club championship will be held. This is a two-day event. Operation Hat Trick is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 18. On Sunday, Aug. 28, NCCC will host the annual Putt for Pets Golf Day. This will begin at 11 a.m with registration and players teeing off at noon. To register or for more information contact Christy Mackie at (603) 447-5605 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: The Mound will be hosting a tournament for Starting Point to help eliminate domestic violence. The tournament is "The Jody Buzzell Challenge." The date is Aug. 31, and there will be two nine-hole, simultaneous tournaments. There will be a hole-in-one contest sponsored by Profile Motors. Lynn Mills of Edward Jones is sponsoring appetizers. A dinner, live music and prizes will be provided after the tournament.

In Rivers Edge quota action, it was Dan Ratliff, wko posted a +7, taking first place. Skins were won by Ratliff and Mark Bernard. Nine and Dine had a String Tournament on Sunday. First place went to the team of Wayne Grenier, Josh Rivers and Dee Remick. Taking second were Fred and Milly Pereira, Scott Hughes and Ann Ring. Indian Mound Junior Inter-Club was played at the Mound. Ben Dougherty and Josh Rivers led the Mound over Kingswood and Bald Peak. Inter-Club will resume play next week at Bald Peak. This Monday, Aug. 8, the Madison Scholarship Tournament will be played. This is a 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The Mixed Team Championship was held last weekend. Taking first place was the team of Gerry and Beth Ellis. Second went to George Lemieux and Ellen Eiermann. Dave and Maryann Lowry took third. Week 9 of Red Fox League saw the Ball Busters take first place. Second place saw a tie between the Dukes of Hazzards and Shanks-A-lot. Long drive champs were Moira McCarthy and Kevin Lebel. Closest-to-the-pin winners were Kathy Sweeney and Chris Bates. Ram Harvey filled me in on his grandson, Jackson resident, Ben Doughery. Ben, who is11 years old, advanced to the Drive, Chip and Putt event. Ben will take his talent to The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., on Sept. 25. The winner in each group will advance to Augusta CC next April. Congratulations and best of luck, Ben!

Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: Along with other courses in the valley, Hale's is experiencing tremendous conditions. It is in great shape. The Sunday night Nine, Wine, and Dine continues to a popular event. Play nine holes with a cart and have dinner afterwards for $55 per person. Every afternoon, after 3 p.m., you can play for $20, in the twilight "walking" special. In the weekly Men's Quota League, Ray Luchetti posted a +6 while Jon Rafferty got closest to the pin. On the Women's side, it was Anne Lee Doig at +6 and Jill Luchetti got closest to the pin.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: In the Tuesday Mixed League, the team of Russ Veale, Jeanne Pierce and Ruth Kump took first place and Anne Lee Doig got closest to the pin. The Thursday Eagle League, saw Joan Doucet, Tina Nickole and Steve Piotrow take the top spot. Second place went to Peggy Davis, Terry Fitzgerald and Jack Young. Steve Piotrow also got closest to the pin. The Eagle continues to offer discounted rates. Every day, after 2 p.m., when adults play with a junior, they pay only $15 and the junior pays $10. On Saturday, Aug. 6, PGA Pro, Bob McGraw will be offering a clinic at 11 a.m. This will be a full swing lesson with the focus on hitting the driver and fairway woods. The cost is $20 and is limited to 6 students.

Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: After the third round of the Four Club Round Robin, Province Lake maintains its lead over Lake Kezar. Indian Mound is in third and Ridgewood in fourth. The Men's Club Championship was held last Sunday. In the A Flight it was Eric Green defeating Mike Woodside in a sudden-death playoff. In B Flight action, it was Marc Webster taking the top spot with Nat Mason in second. C Flight saw Bill Bisset take the honors with Charles Genest in second. The Tuesday Men's Social League saw the team of Gene Leblanc, Jim Stanford, Dick Day and Bert Kendal finish first. Second place went to Wayne Farrington, Dave Mills, Bob Fitzsimmons and Ron Ela.

19th Hole
The group of golfers with whom I play tee it up early in the morning when ground conditions are often damp and wet. When we arrived at the second green a few weeks ago, one of our group marked his ball and tapped it so it would not interfere with the line of another player. Unbeknownst to any of us, the marker, after the tap, stuck to the bottom of his putter. When this guy went to replace his ball, he couldn't find his mark. All of us searched and soon realized that it was stuck to the bottom of his putter. He looked at us sheepishly, kind of asking, "What do I do, now?" After some laughter we asked him, "Where do you think you marked your ball? Replace it where you think it should lie." We didn't penalize him, but none of us knew what the rule was. It is: You are not penalized for a lost marker, and you replace the ball no closer to the hole. I think we got it right.

Golf news may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..