“Golf is said to be a humbling game, but it is surprising how many people are either not aware of their weaknesses, or else reckless of consequences.” — Bobby Jones, professional golfer.
Last Sunday evening, I was watching the Sox play the Yankees. All the while I was trying to come up with a topic for this week's column. I made a comment to my wife about the demeanor of pitcher John Lackey. His outing wasn't going as well as he would like and was showing a lot of external emotion. Now, I subscribe to the notion that was so well put by the great Babe Ruth, "It's tough to beat someone who never gives up."
So, when I complained aloud about Lackey's emotional outbursts, my wife's response was, "Speak for yourself, John." She told me she heard I had "lost my cool" on last Friday during the one-day member/guest at North Conway CC. One of my guests had "ratted" on me!
Each year, for this tournament, I have my brother Dennis, brother in-law Jim, and friend, Steve Bracci, as my guests. My brother's golf game is showing that retirement is agreeing with him. He was consistently hitting some great golf shots. My brother in-law, a very good golfer, accepts my yearly invite because if he doesn't I threaten to give his sister back. Steve is a solid player, one who says a prayer of thanks every day to the Scots for providing both golf and single malt.
On this day, I was the "weak link" in the foursome. I allowed my anger and frustration to boil over after a particularly poor effort on the 5th hole. The other three wasted little time in straightening me out in a fashion that can be done only by family and friends. They wanted me to calm down so that I could enjoy the golf and contribute to the team. Golf is a game that should be played competitively, but we, as recreational golfers, should not loose focus of the ultimate outcome of a round: enjoyment.
This leads me to ask the question, "If, given the choice of a round of golf, where you are hitting the ball better than ever, and you score well below your handicap, but the round is full of bad temper and little humor or a round where you shoot ten shots higher but is one that brings great enjoyment; which will you choose?"
When you allow your emotions to interfere with your round, by displaying anger, throwing things, slamming clubs, and swearing it's a sign that you are giving up. You can be competitive and still play for all the right reasons. Save yourself from being embarrassed by realizing the score is secondary to how you have conducted yourself on the course. You will be judged not on how you played but how your attitude on the golf course is perceived by others. Play to the best of your ability at all times, and hope you do not place yourself in a position where you need to apologize for your play and demeanor.
As for John Lackey, he's making more money than you are, so he can continue to yell, shout, and swear if it's helping him be competitive. But, he is no more competitive than the recreational golfer. Babe Ruth would approve of Lackey's competitive attitude, but not on the course!
• Indian Mound Golf Course (539-7733): The ladies continue to battle in League action. Taking the honors in their respective division were Dolly Conant A, Nancy Crowley B, Jean Lawton C, and Marian Grenese in the D division. The Ladies Invitational will be held on Sept. 24. The Junior Golf program will begin On July 9. This three week session costs $36 and will run from 9-10:30 a.m. Clinics for players of all abilities are held on Mondays from 3-4:15 p.m. The cost is $15 per player. The On-the-Links players were at the Waumbek last week. In the Pro Division, the Sht Birds took the top spot. For the Bogey division it was the Conway Slicers and the Sandbagger division had the Happy Hookers on top. The Rivers Edge quota group saw James Gallo win with a +8 and closest to the pin winners were Ken Gove and Mike Kelly. Fuzzy’s Ladder leader is George Filiau. Inter-Club matches begin on July 21 with the Mound hosting Bridgton, Kezar Lake, and Province Lake. Don’t forget Nine and Dine on Sundays. Sunday, Aug. 10, the Mound will host the fifth annual Putt for Pets Golf Day. This is a shotgun format that begins at noon with proceeds supporting the Conway Area Humane Society. For more information or sign up call or e-mail Tom Dean at (603) 356-3855 or tdean @conwayshelter.org.
• Wentworth Golf Course (383-9641): The Member/Guest will be held July 12. Sign up with the pro shop. The Rally for a Cure event is in the record books. In the men’s division it was Tony Simone taking first gross and Paul Palubniak taking top net. In the ladies 0-25 division, Ellie Thompson took first gross and Lynne Walker first net. The 26-32 division saw Lorna Kimball and MB Pimental take gross and net. The 33+ division had Jenny Simone and Sue Fuller taking gross and net. In the 9holers it was Pat Todd on top. Closest to the pin winners were Nancy Lundquist and Tony Simone. Long drive winners were Maryann Lowry, Lynne Anderson, and Paul Palubniak. The Friday Night Scramble had two teams tie for the top spot. Members of team 1 were Carm Martinese, Bill Fabrizio, Ann Frost, and Del Carrier. Team 2 members were Kathy Sweeney, Earl Hopkins, and Ed Kelly. Week 7 of Red Fox action saw the Swingtastics take the top honor. They were followed by Over Par and Ball Busters. Individual honors went to Josh Schoen and Amy Russo for long drives. Closest to the pin went to Jeff Butler and the Mulligans’ Sandi Poor.
• North Conway Country Club (356-9391): The Men’s One Day Member/ Guest is in the archives. Taking the top spot was the team of Doug Dugrenier, Glenn and Sandy Allan, and John Smith. The Two-Day Member/ Guest is scheduled for July 18 and 19. Sign up in the pro shop for this mid-summer event. This tournament is for both the Men and Women members. Champ of the Month will be held on the 11th, 12th, and 13th of July. Ladies, if you are looking to play competitive golf, sign up for the Ladies League on Thursdays. Tee times begin at 9:30 a.m. and if nine holes is your game, 12:30 p.m. This weekend, the club is hosting the Fourth of July, Flag Tournament.
• Eagle Mountain Golf Course (383-9090): A member scramble was held last weekend at the Jackson course. Taking first place was the team of Arthur Heigel, Ellen Eiermann, Roger Aubrey, and Joan Aubrey. Second place went to the team of Don Edgecomb, Jim Doig, Joan Doucette, Tina Nichole, and Ellie Veale. Don Hall won closest to the pin honors. With rain stopping some of the action in Don Ho, the Sherwin Williams team finds itself in first place at -44. The GB Carrier team, at -35 and the Divot Kings at -32 were unable to play their round due to the weather. Individually, Connor Todd and Cassie Gilmore were the long drive winners. Andy Inkell got closest to the pin honors. July is Family Golf Month at The Eagle. Reduced rates are being offered after 3 p.m. for adults playing with juniors. Greens fees are $15 for adults and $10 when families are playing together.
• Province Lake Golf Course (207-793-4040): A Family Golf Special is being offered by PLG. On Wednesday and Saturday, from 5 p.m. to closing, Two adults and two children (17 or under) can play for $25. Call the pro shop for more information. In Pau Hana action, with only one week remaining, teams Lofgren and Hayward are battling for the top spot. Both shot a nine hole team score of 28 while all the other teams posted under par scores. Closest to the pin and long drive was won by Don Hayward while Elaine Beck got long drive for the Ladies. Don’t look now, but sign up for the Fall Pau Hana league has begun.
If you ask most golfers what course would be on their “Bucket list” to play, most would have St. Andrews on their list? Known as the birthplace of golf and for its links style layout, St. Andrews would not be a landing place for all golfers. When Sam Snead arrived at the town of St. Andrews and looked over at the Old Course, his response was “Say that looks like an abandoned golf course. What did they call it?” Enjoy the Fourth of July weekend.