December 28, 2001
This week marks the end of the third full year of this golf column. Cape Region golf went through a wide-ranging mix of changes and accomplishments.
January: Pete Oakley recounts the competitive performances that led to his designation as the 2000 Philadelphia PGA Section Player of the Year. Kings Creek Country Club member Ron Schenk applies his tips for success in business and life to golf in his new guidebook, “The Eighteen Holes of Success.”
February: Golfing couch potatoes learn an exercise routine to use while watching the Pebble Beach tournament. Sussex County Council requires Best Management Practices for golf course maintenance and non-tidal wetlands as it rezones a major new project. Ed Larkins prepares to open Clubhouse Golf at the Rehoboth location of the recently bankrupt Golf Day shop.
March: I issue a guide to some of the better golf web sites on the Internet, despite my competitive instincts. Cape Region hotels begin offering golf packages for lessons and/or rounds at local courses. Cape Henlopen High School’s Viking golf team starts its 2001 season with a win over surprising Delmar.
April: After beating Delmar, the Vikings win their next six matches, including a record-setting low score in their victory over Milford. I issue a travel advisory about selecting hotels along I-95–if the lobby uses bulletproof glass, try the next place.
May: The Vikings lose a tight match to archrival Dover. They recover and win several more matches, including the rematch with the Senators. The team then wins the Henlopen Conference tournament, with Mark Johnson and Tyler Witman as co-medalists. Christian Donovan and J.J. Oakley helped the team to its three-stroke victory margin.
June: Tyler Witman wins the State high school golf championship at DuPont Country Club with a birdie on the fourth playoff hole. Oakley’s 75 on the second day helps the team achieve fifth-place overall. Coach Jerry Dorneman says this is one of the best season’s he’s ever had. Jason Ritthaler learns a painful lesson as a victim of gamesmanship. Over 80 juniors play in the Rehoboth Beach Junior Open. The non-golfer in the family makes a legitimate point about the 18-hole playoff rule for the U.S. Open.
July: The United States Golf Association announces rules changes that will benefit very good golfers. I am personally unaffected. I take advantage of my position to describe my first hole-in-one during the spring Myrtle Beach trip. Vandals strike at local courses, and I wonder how they sleep at night. Christina Wagamon wins the state’s Independent Agent Junior Classic, earning her a trip to Michigan for the finals.
August: A profile of Shell We Golf highlights miniature golf, the most popular way to play the sport during Cape Region summers. The PGA Championship brings up a common dilemma—lay up or go for it? The Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association permits girls to use the red tees, good news for three players on Cape Henlopen’s 2002 golf team.
September: The World Trade Center terrorist attacks put some of my professional colleagues in mortal danger, and call to mind a July conference at the WTC where we spent the lunch hour gabbing about golf. I hope I have another chance to talk with them again, about golf or anything else. Fortunately, I do.
October: While hanging around at Clubhouse Golf, I watch how Phil Voshell replaces the grips on my clubs. The USGA’s new tournament rules don’t affect playoffs, but should speed up the U.S. Open’s first two rounds, and also recognize the improving competitiveness of women’s golf.
November: My father and his buddies show how to really enjoy golf. Cape Region golf superintendents discuss their winter projects. Cape Region pro shops and golf stores prepare for Christmas.
December: I write Santa Claus to keep from receiving some special golf-related items. The annual golf book gift guide highlights golf courses and their architects.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.