July 16, 2004
Dr. Jim Beebe, the popular long-time Lewes physician, was 81 years old when he aced the 13th hole at his home course at Rehoboth Beach Country Club four years ago.
Imagine his surprise when the 85-year-old golfer pulled off the same stunt on July 6, at the very same hole.
“I knew I’d hit a very good shot, but I couldn’t see what happened when it landed. When my playing partners told me that it went in, I thought they were kidding. It really is a thrill,” the doctor said recently. He used a 7-wood for the 132 yard shot.
Many Rehoboth CC members participate in a Hole-in-One club, to help offset the cost of the drinks that the golfer who makes the ace is expected to provide for his friends and fellow members. Dr. Beebe said, “Oh, yes. I had the insurance. And it was a good thing, too.”
Dr. Beebe also mentioned that he regularly plays with a group of buddies at Rehoboth CC. They refer to themselves as “The Peckerheads”.
Personally, I choose to believe that this name has something to do with all the chickens that are raised here in Sussex County.
Whatever the real story behind the group’s title, it’s obvious that Dr. Beebe and his friends have the right attitude.
Many Cape Region golfers keep to a regular weekly schedule of rounds with their friends, and many of these contests include a friendly wager or two.
Sometimes the betting can be complex, with special rules the group adopted a long time ago.
I recently joined a group of six Cape Region golfers as they prepared to play in two threesomes at Shawnee. John Miller handled the ball toss that put George Barber and Rich Collins on his team for the day. Pete Nehrbas, Jim Carpenter, and Jay McManus made up the other threesome, and they graciously agreed to let me play along with them.
The group used one of their standard formats, a variation on Nassau. The two best net balls for each threesome were matched against the other team on a hole-by-hole basis, for three sets of scores—the front nine, the back nine, and the total for all 18.
They also played skins for each hole, but any par made out of a sand trap shot (a sandy) also counted as a skin. I joined in that action, and managed somehow to win three skins, two of them sandies.
I hope they let me play with them again.
Bill Schab is a member at Kings Creek and Sussex Pines, and is also well-known locally for his work for the golf tournament each spring benefiting the Sussex Family YMCA. What’s not so well-known is that Schab enjoys playing Peoria with a large group of golfers.
In Peoria, Schab randomly selects a par 3, par 4, and par 5 from the front and back nine. The players then take their total score over par on those three holes, multiply that number by 6, and the result becomes their handicap for the round. Schab said in one contest with 28 players, his 80 became a net 77, while another golfer’s 144 dropped to a winning 54. “It’s totally dependent on the luck of the draw, and it’s a lot of fun,” Schab said.
Rob Witsil, a fellow member at Sussex Pines, also recommended another Schab twist, called the Aloha Press. “If you’re in a match and you’re down on the last hole, you call out ‘Aloha’ and play for double or nothing. I did it to Schab last Sunday playing at Kings Creek, because I was down seven holes. I won the hole and broke even,” Witsil laughed.
Schab said simply, “It’s a deadly weapon, in part because you can’t refuse it. Of course, if you play enough rounds with the same friends, these bets even out over time.”
And for many golfers, that’s the essence of a friendly wager.