Hole By Hole
It's about golf.
Kings Creek CC location for this year's Hawaiian
July 15, 2005
The PGA Tour has held its popular Hawaiian Open golf tournament each winter for over thirty years.
Closer to home, Lewes resident Bill Schab has held his own special Hawaiian Open tournament at various Cape Region golf venues for over fifteen summers.
From the looks and sounds of things on Monday, July 11, the gang playing in Schab’s event looked like they were having a lot more fun than the PGA pros do each January.
Schab is an active real estate attorney and a natural-born host, especially when it combines marathon golf and a relaxed approach to, shall we say, friendly wagering.
The opening event pitted over thirty amateurs in an individual medal score championship, complete with a twisted handicapping method Schab calls Peoria.
Jim Fuqua, another busy real estate lawyer in the Cape Region, sipped from an ice-cold adult beverage as he explained the system.
"Everybody plays their own ball, and Schab takes the scorecards. He selects two par 3s, two par 4s, and two par 5s, and whatever they scored on those holes is taken off the top."
For the more erratic or less experienced players, this can be a real advantage.
For example, Rehoboth resident and Delaware Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves won the individual championship with a sparkling 55 net score for the par-71 layout. His six-hole discount added up to 69 strokes, a very nice cut from his 124 total.
"I only play golf once a year," the judge said. "And I only won by a single stroke!"
I suggested to the judge that perhaps he shouldn’t be too concerned about the margin of victory, under the circumstances. After he stopped laughing, he agreed.
To enhance the day’s competitions, Schab also established a "golf buddy" prize category, in which 25% of any winnings had to be shared with a "buddy." They didn’t really use the word "buddy," but this is a family-friendly column, after all.
Judge Grave’s buddy was Jimmy Fuqua, noted hammock salesman at the Loungin’ Lizzard on Rehoboth Avenue.
The second round of the day is a team scramble, with Schab making up the teams based on the morning’s first 18 holes. In the early evening when I caught up to him, J. B. Moore, whose family runs the beautiful Bellmoor resort in Rehoboth, walked up to a green with his putter in an open Hawaiian shirt and bare feet.
I asked him how long he’d been playing without shoes, and he said the last five holes. When I asked him if that was the point at which he’d given up all hope of his team winning the scramble, he just giggled and said "yup."
Schab family members come from all over for the tournament. Bill’s brother Ray lives in Kailuhi, Hawaii, for example. "We’ve been doing this for 15 years, and we haven’t got any better. We take each other’s money and lie and cheat for fun. It’s the one time we make sure we see each other."
Bill’s brother Jim also played, as did their 89-year-old father Hank, from Annapolis, Maryland. "I always play with Bill and my other sons," he smiled. Other family included Rick Stauffer, a brother-in-law, and his son Tim, a starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres, who came to play during the All-Star break.
The day’s last competition was a remarkable putting contest.
Imagine 30 or so golfers each trying to be the only one to sink a putt, while a piece or two of paper money is stretched across the hole. Imagine that process continuing from hole to hole until all of the paper proceeds are won.
No wonder the Kings Creek staff brought out special outdoor lamps next to the putting green. They needed them.
I saw a very tired Wayne Leathem the next day. The Lewes real estate agent said they finished at 10 p.m., roughly 14 hours after the opening tee shot of the first round.
He looked completely beat--but he was still smiling.
PETE OAKLEY’S EXCELLENT CHAMPIONS TOUR ADVENTURE
Pete Oakley easily made the cut at last week’s Ford Championship, one of the five majors on the Champions Tour. The weekend rounds were far less kind to the Rookery’s Director of Golf, who shot a pair of 76s on Saturday and Sunday. His $2,875 winnings brought his year-round total take in 16 events to $115,874. Oakley’s next event will be his defense of the British Seniors crown he surprised the golf world by winning last year.
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© Frederick Schranck 1998-2005