Golf: The tee is home

By Joe Soraghan

"Forget the last shot. It takes so long to accept that you can't always replicate your swing. The only thing you can control is your attitude toward the next shot." — Mark McCumber, pro golfer

The word tee is derived from the Gaelic word, tigh, which means "house." Quite possibly the use of the word came from the sport of curling, where the "tee" is the line through the center of the targets. This area is referred to as the "house." A house or home is typically where you find your comfort zone. Home should have a calming effect on a person. So, why is it when a golfer arrives to the first tee, he or she shows nerves that interfere with the golf swing? The results are "topped" shots, balls that find the out-of-bounds, or find geographic areas that have yet to be charted. The majority of golfers go to the first tee with some nervousness, and that includes some of the top professionals in the game.
Annika Sorenstam was, arguably, one of the best golfers on the LPGA tour. She won 88 events. Her game was so good she was given an exemption to play in a PGA event, the Colonial, against the men. After hitting her drive on the first tee, which she laced down the middle of the fairway, she feigned wobbly legs and breathed an exaggerated sigh of relief. When the round was over she was asked about her actions. She admitted it was one of the most nervous points in her professional career.
Andrew "Beef" Johnson, a current tour player, was interviewed after his first round in this year's PGA Championship. Johnson stated that he gets nervous on the first tee of every tournament. But unlike the weekend amateur, Johnson said, "I use that nervousness to my advantage and look forward to playing in competitive events."

Most of us play the majority of our rounds on the same course. How many times have you, or a member of your group, who has just hit a shot that the most adventurous "ball hawker" will have difficulty finding, turn and say, "I was hitting them great on the range"? Until the moment of impact, you had all the confidence in the world. But, with maybe two feet left on your downward stroke, you forgot how to hit a golf ball. This is not how you want to start your day of golf. Of course, your buddies are sympathetic to your plight. Comments such as "Do you want a breakfast ball?", "Are you really going to search for that one?", "I'll find that next spring when I'm walking the course!", or "That's my partner!" are heard all around. You are playing your course. You know where to hit the ball. You know the areas that should be avoided. Why did this shot appear on a course with which you are most comfortable? You probably were not prepared for the first tee, or you attempted to hit a shot you were not capable of doing.
It's a beautiful day for golf. You are playing with a group of guys who you know well. Having fun is the reason for this outing. But, it's a competitive group and you're in the first foursome. You are up, with 16 other players watching. Missing are Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo to announce each player and the outcome of the first shot of the day. But wait, your friends will chime in with heckling, false compliments, and commentary that Nantz and Faldo cannot use on televised golf events. How are you going to handle the added pressure of "first tee jitters?" You are going to get yourself settled, breathe easy, select a target and hit the ball down the middle of the fairway. You don't want to overswing and try to kill the ball. Doing that will get your "mini-gallery" all fired up and your day will start poorly. Relax, the tee is home. It's the start of a great day and should be embraced. Don't overthink this. Golf is fun. Putting undo pressure on yourself can only lead to some bad golf. Take your practice range swing, a smart positive attitude and a calm demeanor to the tee. You're home!
Club notes:
• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391:
The annual visit of two golfing groups will occur this weekend. The world famous Garibaldi Club will grace the NCCC 18 for three days, and the Marcoux Golfers will be there for two. These guys play some great golf and enjoy the golfing venue. Members will take to the course on Sunday to play the Men's and Ladies' Fall4/Ball Tournament. Next Sunday the Mixed Scotch is scheduled. Sign up with the pro shop or check the bulletin board next to the locker rooms. The best news of the week was off the course. Roy Burns, who has worked at the club for a number of years, most recently as a ranger, is back home recovering. We all wish him well. Roy and I often talk about how to make golfers aware of their slow play. "Roy, this time it will be alright to take your time and work on getting yourself healthy!"
• Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641:
The Wentworth Ladies' League held a scramble event last week. First place went to the team of Rena Pomerleau, Maryann Lowry, Nancy Pittenger and Barbara Theriault. Two teams tied for second. The team of Ellen Daly, Daryl Mazzaglia and Helen Toohey tied with Maureen Fitzgerald, Nancy Lundquist, Mary Ellen Gallo and Lynne Walker. This week the Ladies' League played an individual net game. Taking first place was Debbie Chase, second went to Beth Ellis, and third to Susan Dugdale. There were three "chip-ins": to Sheila Hastings, Deb Bryant, and Maryann Lowry. The Fall 4/Ball is scheduled for Oct. 2. You have until the 25th of this month to sign up. Congratulations to Dan Willig who posted his fourth career hole-in-one last Friday. Dan "aced"the 147 yard, 5th hole, with Roy Polmquist, Dave Gorke and Don Mason witnessing the shot
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090:
After two weeks of Fall Don Ho action, the New Team is in first place at -15. Two teams, the Six Styxxx and GB Carrier, are in second at -12, with the Divot Kings one stroke back at -11. Chris Bates got closest-to-the-pin honors, while Becky Armstrong, Mary Hansel, Bobby Labbe and Steve Puzas claimed long drive honors. The Phil Kelly Food Pantry Scramble saw two teams tie for first place. The team of Rick Pillion, Dave Fall, Eric Pendleton, Pat Markey, Mark Lyons, Lucien Morin and Curtis Milton tied with Bal Nash, Luvon Nash, Rick Kardell, Viggo Kardellll, Hidalgo Kardell and Bob McGraw. Brian Smith saw his golf lessons pay off, as he secured closest-to-the-pin honors. The Thursday Eagle League saw the team of John Chanley, Jeanne Chanley, Dennis Soraghan, and Russ Veale take top honors. Russ Veale also got closest-to-the-pin. In the Mixed Tuesday action, it was the team of Mary Waldron, Terry Fitzgerald and Jeanne Pierce taking first place. Closest-to-the pin went to Sally Treadwell.

19th Hole:
Eamonn Darcy is a professional golfer from County Wicklow, Ireland. He was the winner of 15 European events and a member of the 1987 Ryder Cup team. He was also a contemporary of Nick Faldo and Seve Ballasteros. But Darcy might be best known for a one-liner he delivered to his new caddy, Frank McBride. "Listen mate," said Darcy, "I want you to know that I have a horse at home that is better bred and has more brains than you. If you remember that, we will get along just fine." I can only hope Darcy was a good tipper. Have a great weekend of golf.


Opening Pandora's Box


"Golfers should not fail to realize that it is a game of great traditions, of high ideals, of sportsmanship, one in which a strict adherence to the rules is essential." — Francis Ouimet, 1913 US Open Champion.

Arnold Palmer was playing in a tournament at Pebble Beach. When he got to the par 3, 17th hole, his drive went long of the green and he had an impossible lie. His playing partner  Jimmy Demaret watched as Palmer tried to decide what options were available.

Demaret turned to the members of the group and said, "If he takes the option of dropping behind the point where the ball rests, keeping the pin in line with his shot, his nearest drop will be Honolulu."

You can be sure Palmer took the proper drop and continued with his round. But, if this had been a match between amateurs or friends out playing for a few dollars, how would the drop be determined? How often have you or your playing partners said, "Just move it over there." When there is an agreement between playing partners to "waive the rules" of golf (Rule 1-3), players face the possibility of being disqualified. I'll guarantee we have all been guilty of not playing by the Rules.

Two scenarios rose up the past couple of weeks amongst my playing companions. In one case, the situation should be looked at by the "rules gurus" because it just doesn't help the game of golf. The second one could result in tarring and feathering the two culprits.
The first situation saw a player having to hit his second shot over water to an elevated green. He hit a low liner into the high weeds on the opposite side of the water and was not sure if the ball had made it out of the hazard. By the rules of golf, he should have gone around to the other side and see if his ball could be found and was playable. He opted to hit a provisional ball and then went to the other side to find his original ball. His rationale for hitting the provisional ball was to keep the pace of play going rather than spend the allotted 5 minutes searching for what he thought was a lost ball. I have got to tell you I was in agreement with him.

Should this have resulted in both of us being disqualified? One member of our group questioned the decision. He was correct by the rules of golf but this is a rule that should be looked at if "pace of play" is one of the reasons that golf is declining in popularity. When he searched for his original ball, he found it outside of the hazard, he abandoned the provisional and continued with his play. Two of us agreed that this was the sensible play and no penalty or disqualification should occur. In hindsight, if there were a violation of the Rules and two players agreed to ignore the Rules, we should have been disqualified.

The second incident happened at a course which lies within a small fishing village north of Boston. The participants play here in the Mount Washington Valley and are familiar with the Rules of Golf. Four guys are out playing a match where a few dollars and bragging rights are the day's trophy. On one hole, two of the players, not partners, hit their balls into a bunker. Both played their shots. One hit his ball onto the putting surface, about 30 feet from the pin. The other hit his to within 6 feet. When they got to the green and proceeded to mark their balls, they realized they each had hit the other's ball. The guy who hit first and was 30 feet from the pin said, "Listen, you hit a nice shot, why don't we just play the ball we hit?" His opponent looked a bit perplexed, but agreed. As fate would have it, the guy who was 30 feet away missed his putt and the guy at 6 feet, drained his. The match was won on this putt by agreeing to waive the Rules. The partner of the losing player was incredulous, not only at the loss, but on the agreement to waive the Rule. Instead of a loss of hole (match play), the entire match, and all the money and bragging rights disappeared.

Rule 1-3, states "Players must not agree to exclude the operation of a rule or to waive any penalty incurred." We play the game of golf by rules that have been around for a long time, and there are times we bypass these rules for the good of our match or to expedite a game. But, there are inherent situations that require the player to play by those rules for good and bad. Now, if we can only get players to stop giving putts that range from 6 inches to 2 feet. When giving the putt, aren't you agreeing to "waive the Rules of Golf?" Putt them out, you're playing by the Rules and protecting the field. When you don't play by the Rules you are leaving yourself and your game open to criticism.

Club Notes:
• North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway (603) 356-9391: The August Champ of the Month was completed last weekend. Congratulations go out to Dan Kelleher and Jackie Gaudes. Also last weekend, the Senior Club Championship was held. For the ladies, it was Martha Jamieson taking first gross in the A Division and Anne Rourke first net. In the B Division Donna Wallace got first gross and Lydia Lansing first net. For the men, in the A Flight it was Scott Terry grabbing first gross and Rob Brewster, first net. The B Flight saw Bruce Sanderson take first gross and John Smallcomb first net. The C Division had Peter Fresco take first gross and Andy Kennedy, first net. This Labor Day weekend, Pro Days will take place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

• Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539-7733: In Nine and Dine action, 30 players competed. The winning team, at -1, was comprised of Jim Fitzpatrick, Joan Loonan, Carol Kramer and Dave Remick. Fuzzy Martin posted a-8 in Rivers Edge Quota game. Closest to the pin honors went to Ed Bailey and Dan Ratliff. Skins were won by Rickie Tibbetts, Ryan Gile, Ken Sullivan, and Dan Ratliff. Winners of The Greater Ossipee Chamber of Commerce Tournament were Sarah Anderson, Mike LaClaire, Josh Rivers and Gillett West. Indian Mound hosted the second annual Jody Buzzell Challenge Memorial Tournament for Starting Point Aug. 31. The Bubba League, a two-person team quota, will begin on Sept. 7. The Celebrate Life Cancer Survivor Network (CLCSN) Golf Tournament will be held on Sept. 25 at the Mound. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m and the golf will begin at 8:30 a.m. The cost is $80 per player and this will include 18 holes, cart and lunch. This is a Bramble format and there will be a shotgun start. Registration forms are available at or there is a sign-up sheet on the bulletin board at Indian Mound.

Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The 2016 Club Championship was played last weekend. In the Ladies Championship Flight, Maryann Lowry took first place. Ellie Thompson was second and Lou Anne Cellana finished third. In the Ladies Red Flight, Sheila Hastings took first net. She was followed by Kathy Gilligan in second and Mary Murphy was third. On the men's side, in the Championship Flight, Steve Puzas took top honors. He was followed by Pete Thompson, second and Charlie Russo, third. The Men's White Flight saw Dave Hanlon grab the top spot, with Dave Lowry and Mike Goulart finishing second and third. The Gold Flight had Chili Celana taking top honors. He was followed by George Lemieux and Roy Lundquist. The Ladies' League held an Odd Holes event last week. Taking first was Lynne Walker. There was a three-way tie for second between Jeanne Mason, Beth Ellis and Diane McDonald. Two "Chip Ins" were posted by Ellen Daly and Maryann Fitzgerald. The final week of Red Fox was a "skins" event. Only one skin was won, and it went to the Shanks-A-Lot team of Dave Phaneuf, Charlie Hanlon, Scott Cote, Jeff Butler and Mike Murphy.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson (603) 383-9090: A full swing clinic will be held on Saturday, Sept. 3. PGA Pro Bob McGraw will work on hitting the driver and fairway woods. The class begins at 11 a.m. and is limited to six students. Call the pro shop for more information. The Thursday Eagle League saw the team of Joan Aubrey, Steve and Foster Piotrow defeat the team of Gretchen Soraghan, Russ Veale, Brian Murphy and Jim Doig in a match of cards. Closest to the pin was Ibby Cooper. The Mixed Eagle League saw the team of Annie Nelson, Sandra Taylor, Russ Veale and Don Hall take top honors. Closest to the pin was Terry Fitzgerald. There are still open spots in the Fall Don Ho League. This is a five-week league that plays Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.

Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: At Hale's, "There's always time for nine" continues. Nine, Dine, and Wine is still being offered on Sundays for only $55 per person. During the week there is a twilight rate after 3 p.m where a player pays $20 when walking. The Women's League completed their season this past week. June Lundin posted a +4 in the weekly quota and Sandy Wolner got closest- to-the-pin honors. On the men's side, Joe Gammon at +5 won the weekly quota, and George Bailey got closest to the pin. The men have one final tournament which will be played on Tuesday the 6th.

19th Hole:
Watching a shot on a par 3, which is guarded by bunkers, our foursome followed one player's ball as it hit just below the "lip"of the bunker, and the ball appeared to plug. With the usual sympathetic comments directed towards the unfortunate player, we moved towards the green, while the one player moved into the bunker. As he approached his ball, which was in an uphill position, the ball rolled down into the bunker giving him a better lie, or so he thought. Rule 18 dictates if a player causes a ball to move, it must be replaced to its original position, with a one-stroke penalty. Tough game.


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9-9 Golf: Weekend reflections


Golfers are shown at Indian Mound Golf Course Aug. 31 for the second annual Jody Buzzell Challenge/Mountain Meisters Summer Get-together Golf Fundraiser, held as a benefit for Starting Point Services for Victims of Domestic & Sexual Violence. (COURTESY PHOTO)

"On the golf course, a man may be the dogged victim of inexorable fate, be struck down by an appalling stroke of tragedy, become the hero of unbelievable melodrama, or the clown in a side-splitting comedy!" — Bobby Jones

At this point in the season, I am always searching for material for this column. The majors have been played, the Fed Ex playoffs are competing with baseball and football, and we are approaching the home stretch. However, my subject for this week was right in front of me the entire time.

I play on weekends with a group of guys affectionately referred to as the "Swindlers." We play a weekly quota game, where a player must make a number of points reflective of his playing ability. The teams are put together through a "blind draw," and a player's "points" are adjusted after each round. We have anywhere from 16 to 24 players and, as you can imagine, many types of players as well as different personalities.

When I was first approached to write this column, I asked, with some trepidation, "What do I write about each and every week?" Tom Eastman said, "Write about what you feel and see, and you won't have a problem." A big thank you to the "Swindlers." You give me plenty to write about.

The pro approached one of our players while he was on the putting green and presented him with a ball. It had his name written about six times, in multiple colors. This was so he would not hit the wrong ball for the third time in as many days. As I rode with him on Monday, we were searching for his shot on a hole when we came upon a Callaway, his brand. When we looked closely, and it was difficult in the rough to identify the ball — he barely made out the number 3, and he was playing a 1. We all know what type of ball we are playing, but not as many recall the number. This guy did, and avoided further embarrassment as well as loss of the hole by playing the correct ball.

We had a local businessman in our group who couldn't get his cart started after hitting his drive on the first tee. When he complained and displayed frustration, his playing companions told him if he put the key in the ignition, he would have better luck with his cart. You see, he was holding the key in his hand while he tried to get the cart in motion.

In the swindle game, all players who are "plus" in exceeding their quota number get paid. The amount is determined by the number of "plus" points that were attained that day by the playing field. One of our guys had an exceptional round and posted a "plus 9." He was very pleased with the way he had played and knew, or thought he might qualify for a nice pay day. His exuberance was so great that he decided to buy a round of drinks, and then another. When all the points had been tallied for the day, and there had been some fine rounds, the points didn't pay out as much as he originally thought. His bar tab was twice the amount he made.

This past Labor Day weekend, one of our group wanted to "spice up" the weekend play. He suggested that if you were going to play on both Sunday and Monday, we have a separate pot for a two-day quota and we would pay three places. On Sunday, one of the Swindlers had a career round. He posted a score of 70 and made 42 points in the quota. This was a great round of golf. He had exceeded his number, which was 30, by 12. This meant the following day he would need 34 points to make his quota. As the golfing gods would have it, neither the player who posted the +12 or the player with the + 9 won the separate pot. The guy who had the +12 finished even and the +9 finished at +6, only good enough for second place.

Golf is a tough game, but a great one. When you are playing with tough competitors and even better people, it makes the game that much more enjoyable.

Club Notes:
North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: Pro Days were on the golfing menu this past weekend and the conditions allowed some fine golf to be played. The next scheduled events are the Fall 4-Ball on September 18th and the Mixed Scotch on Sept. 25. This is a busy weekend for NCCC as the Mud Bowl is played next to the course. Many folks who come up for this annual event add a round of golf with Mud Bowl.

Indian Mound Golf Course, Center Ossipee, (603) 539- 7733: The Rivers Edge Quota game saw Mark Gibbons post a +9 to take the top spot. Closest to the pin honors went to Rickie Tibbetts and Fuzzy Martin. Nine and Dine saw the team of Wayne Grenier, Charlie Hadlock and Eric Cray shoot 5 under to take first place. Celebrate Life Cancer Network will hold their tournament on Sunday, Sept. 25. This is an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. Contact the pro shop for more information or go to their website The Ladies' Travel League will tee it up at the Mound on Sept. 21. This is a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Julie Rivers, from Indian Mound, has the Kennett Golf team off to a 2 and 3 start. Josh Rivers is playing out of the number 1 spot with three freshman, Riley Fletcher, Miles Woodbury, and Connor Tofflemayer playing 2,3, and 4.

Wentworth Golf Club, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383-9641: The Red Fox League has concluded its 2016 season. With 16 teams playing throughout the season, it continues to be a very popular way to spend a Monday evening. Leading the way this year were the Dukes of Hazzards, who took home the first place trophy. Second place went to the Shanks-A-Lot and third to the Hale Merrys. Congratulations to all the players for making this a fun event. Pro Days was a 4 day event. The men's gross winners were Bill Catalucci, Charlie Russo, Dave Lowry and Clark Mitchell. For the ladies, in the Gross Fight, it was Cricket Catalucci, Maryann Lowry (twice) and Kathy Gilligan. In the Net Division, it was Mike Murphy, Mike Goulart, Jack Sutton and Bill Volk. The Ladies' Net saw Kathy Gilligan, Rita Descoteaux, Lynn Walker and Karen Lyons cash a ticket. Sunday, Oct. 2, the Jackson 18 will be hosting the Fall 4-Ball.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: The Fall Don Ho League is off and running. After the first week, the New Team and Six Styxxx are in first place at -7. The Divot Kings, Golfaholics, Jocular Jewelers and GB Carrier are tied at -5. Individual honors go to Scott Perkins for closest to the pin and Ann Bennett, Amy Kennedy, Keith Deluca and Mitchell Harmon as long drive winners. The Thursday Eagle League saw the team of Joan Aubrey, Russ Veale Gretchen and Dennis Sorahan take top honors. Second place went to Rita Stoessel, Haig Zeytoonian, Janice and Dan Andrews. Closest to the pin was Dennis Soraghan. The Mixed League saw Russ Veale, Anne Nelson, Jeanne Pierce and Joan Doucet take first. Closest to the pin went to Tina Nicchole.

Congratulations to Jesse Robinson, who had a hole-in-one on the 160-yard, 7th hole. Jesse hit a 9 iron and the shot was witnessed by Alex Normandin, Andrew Johnson, Luke Limmer, Sam Howe and Chris Deangelis. On Sunday, Sept. 11, the third annual Phil Kelly Scramble is scheduled to be played at 4 p.m. The nine-hole scramble costs $20 with half of the proceeds going to the local food pantry in Phil's name. If you are interested in playing, call the pro shop.

Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: The Men's and Ladies' Leagues have completed their season. The men held a season-ending tournament Tuesday. Dave Pierce won the fun event with the most points earned, and Butch Bouchard had the most points over his quota. Finishing with plus points over their quota were Frank Filosa, Bill Earle, Don Valliere and Pete Grady. Closest-to-the-pin winners were Dick Hickey and Steve Wilson. Although the ladies have completed their season, it didn't stop Joanne Archambault and Dottie Heffernan from competing. Both played in the NHWGA, Stephanie Thomas Memorial Cup Tournament. With 27 foursomes, Joanne's team finished second and Dottie's finished seventh. A Fall Co-ed and a Women's Traveling League will start next week. If interested in joining, call the pro shop. Nine, Wine, and Dine continues through Columbus Day.

Lake Kezar Golf Course, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-1002: The annual Member/Guest is in the archives. In the two-man, best-ball format, it was Phil Drew and Jim Machowski taking first gross. Second went to Jim Bilotta and Bob Hickey with a tie-breaker over Wayne Kennerson and Terry Holden. In the net competition, it was Marc Webster and Todd Cunningham taking first net. Second net went to Joe Fitzpatrick and Josh Burkett in a tie-breaker over Nick Sebo and Jim Hadlock. In the ladies' event it was Ellen Mueller and Molly Sebo taking top spot over Jamie Toohey and Hope Smith. The Men's Social League saw Dick Trapani, Pat Johnston, Dana Morrill and Phil O'Hanley post a 94 to top the field. Second place went to Bob Spanglo, Ron Ela, Corey Douglas and John Laramee with a 105. Congratulations to John Emery of Andover, Maine. John had a hole-in-one on the 135-yard fifth hole!

19th Hole:
Many of us learned about the game of golf by serving as caddies. Today, you can often recognize a player whose game, mannerisms and responses were picked up as a caddy. While searching for a lost ball, one player in our group asked, "What type of ball are you using?" Another player, who had to have come from the caddy ranks, spoke out, "It was a new one — he hasn't hit the ball correctly yet!" You need to be thick-skinned to play this game

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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.