“Every great player has learned the two C's: how to concentrate and how to maintain composure.” — Byron Nelson, pro golfer

Bonding with friends allows you to enjoy experiences and activities that unite people. When golf is added into the equation, the results can provide a litany of memories, both good and bad.

Golf is the common denominator. You play the game, finish the round, have a couple of drinks, talk golf and embellish a few stories. Later that night, you might get together for dinner and plan tomorrow’s matches. But for a successful outing, you need the right mix of people. A mix of liberal-minded individuals might not “bond” well with their conservative brethren. One group might prefer sushi, while the other is looking for a steak.

A successful outing was had with a group of local golfers who brought their game to Portugal. These players were invited to play a Ryder Cup format, and, by all reports, a great time was had by all.

NCCC member Jose Jesus, a native of Lisbon, invited some members to his home country. The home team came away with a three-point victory, but everyone also came away with a memorable experience. Along with the golf, the hosts bent over backward to make sure their guests had a good time.

This September, the local group will be hosting their new friends from Portugal for a golfing experience here in the Mount Washington Valley.

When you sign up for a golf trip, you are hoping that everything is golf, golf, golf. You play at courses that are different from the type you play at home. You play with different partners in different formats. At the conclusion of each round, the conversation is golf, albeit with a few “white lies” for emphasis.

Sometimes you might have a player or two who “go off the reservation.” A course in Massachusetts set up a Ryder Cup event in Ballybunion, Ireland. A great time was had at the famed Irish links course, but a couple of the players decided to join the Ballybunion caddies for a few pints that evening. At the end of the get-together, one of the guys decided to find a taxi to take him to his hotel. This was a very admirable idea, considering the length of time spent with his new friends. Walking out of the pub he spotted a car he thought was a taxi and proceeded to get in the back seat. Much to his surprise the taxi turned out to have a blue light on its roof. Fortunately, the Garda was in good humor and found him a ride.

It's not an easy chore organizing golf for a large group. The logistics involved are numerous. You may have a player or two drop out. Travel, particularly by plane, can be a nightmare. Weather can be a factor. Any number of situations can disrupt the most well-planned trip.

Kudos to those that made the trip to Portugal so enjoyable and successful. When someone takes the initiative to put together a trip of this magnitude or any golf outing, remember to thank them for their efforts. Those efforts become your great memories.

CLUB NOTES

North Conway Country Club, 50 Norcross Circle, North Conway, (603) 356-9391: The Men's and Ladies’ One Day Member/Guest events were last weekend. For the men it was the team of Scott Hale, Adam Harnish and Mike and Ken Murphy taking first gross. First net went to Dick Goss, Jeff Weeks, Scott Waugh and Colin McGee. On the ladies' side it Gise Weimer, Erin Weimer, Angie Chute and Julie Rivers taking first gross. First net went to Anne Rourke, Theresa Durkin, Alice McElhinney and Kay Cassidy.

During the event, Angie Chute made a hole-in-one on No. 15. Congratulations! In Week 6 of Monday Ledgeview League, players had a 3-Net Best-Ball event. Taking first gross was the Golfaholics team. First net went to Shanks and Greens. Closest to the pin were Mark Memoli and Evie Butler. The NCCC Junior Program will begin July 2 and run for two weeks. This is a fun instructional program for kids age 6-16. Call the pro shop for more information.

Wentworth Golf Course, Route 16, Jackson, (603) 383- 9641: In Red Fox League, it was the Stan & Dan's team taking the top spot. They were followed by the Hale Merry's and Ladies First. Charlie Hanlon and Jody Sullivan got closest to the pin. Sandy Wolner and Dan Lewis won the long putt. The MWV Ski Tournament saw more than a hundred players take to the links. For the men, it was Wally Campbell, Mike Luciano, Larry Gallagher and Eric Russo taking first. For the women, it was Ellen Eiermann, Deborah Gagne, Robin Garside and Nancy Pittenger. Mixed team winners were Homer Holmes, Jim Progin, Jack and Joanne Sutton. The junior division champs were Connor Glavin, Camden Musial, Julia Waal and Dylan West. Paul Carrigan and Gail Paine got closest to the pin. Long-drive winners were Homer Holmes and Julia Waal.

Kennett students who want to play golf this summer will get discounted green fees. Show your Kennett ID Monday-Thursday after 1 p.m., and you can play for $10. Parents also can play for the same fee. For those seeking a little more competition, PGA Pro Bob McGraw will be giving a free 15-minute clinic at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. After the clinic, groups will be organized to go out and play nine holes by themselves. The Stableford scoring system (similar to a quota game, currently used in high school competition) will be used. The fee for the competition is $10.

Hale's Location Golf Course, West Side Road, North Conway, (603) 356-2140: Hale's pro shop hours are 7 a.m.- 6 p.m. Tee times can be made by calling or go online at haleslocationgolf.com and click Book a Tee Time. The third week of Ladies’ League saw Mary Gilpatrick post a +7 in the weekly quota game. Kathy Smallcomb got closest to the pin. The Men's League was postponed due to rain. Rates for mid-week (Monday-Thursday) are $45 for nine holes and $72 for 18. Weekends (Friday-Sunday) $55 for nine holes and $79 for 18. Nine, Wine, and Dine has begun on Sunday afternoon. Call the hotel at (603) 356-7100 to make a reservation.

Eagle Mountain Golf Course, Carter Notch Road, Jackson, (603) 383-9090: Congratulations to Terry Fitzgerald for his hole-in-one on Wednesday morning. Terry's “ace” came on the 160-yard sixth hole. Nicki Lynn was playing with Terry and witnessed the shot.

Lake Kezar Country Club, Route 5, Lovell, Maine, (207) 925-2462: There is still time to get involved with the Thursday Morning Ladies’ League. There is no weekly commitment necessary. If you are interested, there is a sign-up sheet in the clubhouse or for more information contact Betty Quigley. The President Cup matches have begun in both the Men's and Ladies’ division. The number of players have increased and many are new to this format. The Member/Guest is scheduled for July14. The dinner will be catered by 302 West. Call the clubhouse to sign up.

Linderhof Country Club, Clubhouse Road, Bartlett, (603) 387-7737: The Bartlett Historical Society Golf Tournament was held at the par-3 course. The general consensus was the course is in great shape. LCC continues to offer pre-season rates for public play. Sunday-Friday pay $25 per day and no tee time required. A “Mid-Week Family Pool & Golf Membership” is available for $450. This is a great way to introduce kids to golf. The clubhouse is booking functions. Contact Jono at linderhofClubHouse@gmail.com.

19TH HOLE

In 1946, the U.S. Open was won by Golf Hall of Famer Lloyd Mangrum. Mangrum won in a playoff over Byron Nelson and Vic Ghezzi. This was the first Open tournament held since the start of World War II. What made it special is the fact that Mangrum was at the D-Day invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. He received two Purple Hearts for his service. Mangrum carried a torn dollar bill with him until the day he died. Onboard a landing craft going into Normandy, he and his best friend tore the bill in half and vowed to meet up after the action. Unfortunately, the owner of the other half of the bill never made it back.

Joe Soraghan may be reached at joesoraghan@yahoo.com.

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