Published Date Written by Joe Soraghan
“There is no such thing as natural touch. Touch is something you create by hitting millions of golf balls.” — Pro golfer Lee Trevino
Lee Trevino once played a round of golf with a priest. When they reached the 18th hole and the priest had been playing great (he was 2 over going into the last hole), Trevino said to his playing companion, “Father, you haven’t been saving many souls lately.”
Trevino was implying that the good father had been spending a lot of time at the course rather than attending to business. Golfers know that it takes a lot of practice and hard work to improve there golf game and play at a high level. But, we all know that other things take precedence over golf: family, jobs, responsibilities associated with one’s life get in the way, as well they should. This applies to all of us who do not play golf for a living.
It is the rare individual among us who would not pay attention to individuals with the names of Obama, Boehner, Trump, Brady, and Gretzky. As golfers, we have a common interest with these folks who make the news in the world of sports, politics, finance, and entertainment. We enjoy watching them perform on a stage we are all familiar: the golf course. Yes, they do put their pants on one leg at a time and they hit quality golf shots as well as “clunkers.”
Bing Crosby brought celebrity golf into our homes with the Pro/Am at Pebble Beach. Then it was Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, Sammy Davis, Dean Martin, and Jackie Gleason who promoted themselves through golf despite being in the entertainment field. Bob Hope befriended our golfing presidents and brought them into our living rooms. His description of a shot hit by then President Gerald Ford brought a serious national issue to the vaudevillian stage. Hope said, “On the 18th tee, Ford put a ball through the clubhouse window. It wasn’t easy. It was behind him. That’s when I remembered that the Russians would say, if we were really serious about disarmament, we’d dismantle his golf clubs!”
President Ford, at his best, was a 14 handicap which he achieved after his time in the oval office. He worked at his game and spent hours taking lessons. Today’s celebrities have handicaps that many of us could only hope to achieve. The best of the bunch is Kenneth Gorelick (Kenny G-musician) who is a scratch player. Speaker of the House, John Boehner, plays to an 8. How much time is he spending on the links?
If NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady (6) and Tony Romo (2) were to play, the nod would go to Romo. He tried to qualify for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. Thankfully, we have Brady, who, in a head to head battle for Super Bowl championships, is 3 to 0 against Romo. Football coaches Nick Saban (10) of Alabama and Bob Stoops (5) Oklahoma both have their eyes on a National Championship, but find time to work on their golf games.
These are just of the few celebrities that play golf. When they are not involved with their “day jobs” they take the game of golf very seriously. Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason would “yuck it up” in front of the camera, but when playing privately they were serious golfers. Both got their handicaps to a low of 4. They played a money match in the mid 1960s at Inverrary CC in Florida. News of the two popular stars doing battle for a few quid got out. Approximately ten thousand people assembled to watch them. At the 18th hole Hope had Gleason by 1 stroke. Hope hit his second shot into a bunker. He hit his third, missed his putt, and made bogey. Meanwhile, Gleason hit his second shot onto the green and made his putt for birdie defeating Hope by 1. Ever the showman, Gleason made his customary exit off the green with his famous remark, “And away we go!” Celebrities’ are like the rest of us, they enjoy the game.
• Wentworth Golf Course (383-9641): The 2012 Sunlight Open was held this past weekend. This tournament benefits the Timmy Mulkern Scholarship Fund. Saturday’s individual honors went to BJ Hawkes who took first gross in the Men’s A Flight. Second gross went to Dave Lowry. First net gross was a tie between Mike Kenny and Bill Langone. Men’s B Flight saw Richard Rampersaud take first gross followed by John White. first net honors went to Vinny O’Connor. Second net was a tie between Bill “Squeaky” Leonard and Tom Manning. For the Ladies first gross went to Rita Descoteaux. second gross went to Cricket Catalucci. First net winner was Louanne Cellana and second net to Bobbie Walsh. Long drive winners were Willy Tracy and Sue Looney. Closest to the pin winners were Gary Williams and Rita Descoteaux. Sunday’s team event was won by the team of Bill Leonard, Greg Riggio, Buddy Clarke, and Magaly Larious. Long drive winners were Vinny O’Connor and Rita Descoteaux. Closet to the pin was won by Patrick Barrett and Louanne Cellana. Other happenings at the Jackson 18: two members shoot career rounds. Congratulations to Bill Catalucci and Kathy Gilligan!. And congratulations go out to Wentworth pro Kevin Walker who passed his Playing Ability Test at Tater Hill CC in Vermont.
• North Conway Country Club (356-9391): The 2012 Mixed Best Ball was held this past weekend. Some great scores were posted but emerging to take the top spot after a match of cards with two other teams was Doug Dugrenier and Fay Melendy. Second place went to Mike and Ann Rourke. Third place went to Ray and Tori Belding. All three teams shot a net 60. In an 18-hole playoff, Sue Hoople took the August Champ of the Month over Donna O’Connor.
• Indian Mound Golf Course (539-7733): The Saco Valley Gymnastics Golf Tournament was played at the Mound. First place went to the team of Ron Krieger, Jennifer Krieger, Jeff Kozlik, and Joe Kiddedale. Second place went to Doug Barron, Walter Berochers, Anthony Castaldo, and James Hurd. In Nine 'n Dine actions, first place went to the team of Dick Gingras, Liz Brown and Mike McWalter. Second place went to Roger Ames, Tom Foley, and Flo Temple.
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course (383-9111): The Eagle is participating in the Putting for Patriots program. Twenty-five golf facilities in New Hampshire are asking golfers who play between Aug.31 and Sept. 3 to donate a minimum of $1 which will benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation. This provides post secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of military servicemen and women killed or disabled in the line of duty. Bob McGraw, the Eagle PGA Pro, would like to offer his expertise to any player who stops by on the aforementioned dates to generate additional funds. He will answer questions regarding swing, equipment, etc. for a donation to this worthy cause. Congratulations to Gretchen Soraghan for her ace on the 7th hole. It has only been a couple of years since you imprinted a Titleist logo on your husband’s wrist!
• Hale’s Location Golf Course (356-2140): After some great competition, the 2012 Men’s League champion is Mike McMahon. The Ladies are still competing and this week it was a Skins Format. Those players getting skins are Sandy Wolner No. 2, Linda Rafferty No. 4, Mary Russell No. 6, and Denise Woodcock No.’s 7 and 8. The Hale’s Fall League will start on the week of Sept. 11. Golfers can play Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. You can play with your own group or make your own tee time. Call the pro shop for more details.
• Province Lake Golf Course (207-793-4040): Province Lake continues to spotlight a local non-profit organization and help them raise funds. $2 will be donated to the highlighted group from any 18 hole greens fee that is paid. This week’s spotlighted organization is the Province Lake Association. Visit the pro shop to buy raffle tickets, make a donation, or learn more about the Association. From now until the end of the year, a junior [16 or under] can play golf for free after 3 pm.
In 1932, Ross “Sandy” Somerville was the first Canadian to win the U.S.Amateur Golf tourney. Considered by the likes of Bobby Jones to be a “fine golfer and sportsman.” Somerville was a man of few words. He was known as “Silent Sandy.” While at a cocktail party, a woman said to someone standing close by that she could get Somerville to say more than three words. Overhearing her, he turned and said, “You lose.”