Published Date Written by Joe Soraghan“People think if they play better, they will enjoy the game more. In reality, if they enjoy it more, they will play better.”
— Joe Parent, golf psychologist
“No one could fail to be impressed by its difficulties, which sets a golfer just about as ruthless as an examination as any course of my acquaintance.”
These are the words of the esteemed golf writer, Bernard Darwin, after the 1926 Open Championship that was held at Royal Lytham, site of this year’s Open. That 1926 Open was won by Bobby Jones, the great American amateur. On the final round, Jones found himself in a sandy waste area, about 175 yards from the 17th hole with a blind shot at the green. He hit a mashie-iron(4 iron today) from this near impossible lie and made par. The difficulty of the shot and its outcome so unnerved his playing competitor, Al Watrous, then leading by a shot, that Watrous three-putted to fall one shot back. Jones went on to win the Open Championship. After the round, Jones presented his mashie to a member of Royal Lytham where it remains on display.
I enjoy watching the British Open because it demands creativity from the golfers when playing their shots. The “links style course” requires the player to hit their ball to the right locations and does not favoring the longer hitters. It rewards the well thought out shot and will punish the errant shot. The fickle personality of Mother Nature will play a large factor in determining the outcome of the tournament. Wind and rain go hand in hand with the Open. Watching the world’s best players perform in these conditions provides for great entertainment. The tournament at Royal Lytham will provides a ruthless test of the golfers’ skills. This will be the 12th Open to be held on this links style course located on the west coast of England. Lytham is not the longest of Open courses but it does have more than 200 bunkers strategically placed around the course. Many of these are the deep “pot” bunkers that are synonymous with the Open.
History will surely be in the making this weekend. The 2012 Open and its participants will join a long list of golfers and golfing accomplishments for which Royal Lytham is noted. One piece of Lytham history includes the celebration of the first Pro Days. As we know them, these days are held at the end of the golfing season to support the local professionals. Members donate an item purchased through the pro shop to help support the club professional. Royal Lytham held Pro Days on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). Since 1899, members would bring items to the club pro in support of his services. These items could include: a goose, a brace of pheasants, smoking pipes, boxes of cigars, a barrel of oysters, a turkey, and a barrel of spirit. I know that this year, as recognition of his service at NCCC, pro Larry Gallagher will be getting a pot of Maureen’s famous Turkey Soup.
This weekend the pros will be playing for millions of dollars, the Claret Jug, and the title of Open Champion. Professional golf has come a long way. The contest at Royal Lytham should produce golfing history, creative shots, and an Open championship that will leave many of us with a yearning to try our hand at a Links course where the game was introduced.
• Hale’s Location Golf Course (356-2140): In Men’s league action Dave Heffernan and Dick Check tied at +6. Closest to the pin went to Don Valliere on No. 3. Ladies league saw the team of Sandy Wolner and Kathy Duane take the top spot in a Ryder Cup format. Friday Fights had Brooke Pearson and Pam Lewis take top honors. Three skins were won by Brian Stovall on No. 3, Dave Pierce on No. 4, and Brooke Pearson on No. 6. Individual honors go out to Maureen Wilson for her birdie on 9, Bill Lloyd a career round, and Dick Check in men’s league at Owl’s Nest. Junior Golf is every Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. Weekly clinics and Playing lessons are available. Call the pro shop at 356-2140 for times and to register.
• Indian Mound Golf Course (539-7733): The member/guest is now history. For the men low gross went to the team of Fuzzy Martin, Lou Trotter, Jay Smith, and Scott Colburne. First net went to Mike Ulitz, Chuck Morrow, Dave Connor, and Ron Remick. For the ladies low net went to Judy Paquette, Pat Bracci, Cal Dow, and Dottie Heffernan. Shot of the day went to Scott McCarthy who had a hole in one on the 16th. On Sunday, the 15th, the Mound held their Nine and Dine. This week a scramble format had 2 teams tie for low gross the team of George Ackerman, Joanne Hadlock, and Pete Kalligan tied with Dick Prunier, Colleen Rafferty, Bob Bonazoli, and Jayne Britton. In the nine team men’s league Ken Peterson carded a hole in one on the 8th hole on his way to shooting a 37. Mike Benoit, his opponent, is still reeling from the fine round Ken posted.
• North Conway Country Club (356-9391): The July Champs of the Month have been anointed, for the men it was Doug Darrah and for the ladies it was Donna Wallace. The club championships are shaping up. The Ladies will tee it up July 28 and 29; the Men will play Aug. 4 and 5. Congratulations to Kathy Noonan for scoring a hole in one on the 13th hole last Thursday. It was also her birthday!
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course (383-9111): Take advantage of the Free lessons on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. — there is only one week left. These lessons are for junior golfers and their Parents/Grandparents. Family discounts continue through July and August for juniors playing with an adult. This is a daily special that begins after 3 p.m. Get Golf ready clinics will be offered daily for two more weeks. Congratulations to Adam Lanzilotti who made a 2 on the par 5, fifth hole.
• Wentworth Golf Course (383-9641): Save the date, Aug. 21, the Ladies League invites you to play in their annual theme tournament. This year it will be “Wild Things.” Wear or bring something wild. $50 per person includes greens fees, cart, coffee, pastry, and lunch. Deadline for entry is Aug. 14. The 2012 member/guest is in the record book. Taking the top spot for the men were Bob Hickey and Jim Bilotta; second place went to Greg Winslow and David Flynn. For the ladies it was Ellie Thompson and Sandi Poor in first place with Sally Fiore and Pat Heiges taking second. Week 7 in Red Fox League saw the Leprechaun’s take the top spot followed by Attitash. Overall, the Hale Mary’s remain in first place followed by Attitash and Tuckerman’s Tavern. The Lumpa Tournament was held last Sunday. first gross went to the team of Don Chase, Dan Parkhurst, Julie and Jonathan Rivers. First net went to Dick Delaney, Kevin MacDonald, Mike Simoni, and Ed O’Halloran. In the mixed division it was the team of Lisa Pelzel, Adam Robinson, Emily Tyler, and Gary Williams. Four was the number of career rounds posted recently at Wentworth. Congratulations go out to Ellie Thompson, Ellen Eiermann, Charlie Zaccaria, and Sue Fuller.
• Province Lake Golf Course ((207-793-4040): Check out the Family specials at PLG on Saturdays after 5 p.m. For $20 2 adults and 2 children can play until closing. Additional children are $5.The fifth annual “Four Club Match” will begin Monday, Aug. 6 at Bridgton Highlands. This event pits players from Province Lake, Bridgton, Indian Mound, and Lake Kezar. Check the web site to sign up.
On a sunny day in late June, Indian Mound member Jim Fitzpatrick, teed off at 5:30 am. It was Jim’s 75th birthday and Jim was giving himself a birthday gift. He played 75 holes of golf, walking the entire round.
He played each round from a different set of tees (red, white, and blue). The final round, he alternated from the three tees. It was estimated that Jim walked between 16 and 18 miles — an impressive accomplishment! In the process Jim raised over $1800 for the Ossipee Rotary Club and the National Organization for Rare Diseases, thanks to the generosity of over 50 sponsors. Congratulations and Happy Birthday Jim! A wonderful accomplishment for a very worthy cause!