December 30, 2005
This week’s edition marks the seventh full year for this column. It was also a busy twelve months for Cape Region golf.
January—Ty Mayers marks his tenth anniversary as the head golf professional at Kings Creek Country Club, over twenty years since a trespassing incident lead to his golfing career. A review of “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” leads to a rumination about the traits of the Cape Region’s best (and worst) putters.
February—Pete Oakley calls from Hawaii as he begins his first year on the PGA Champions Tour. We commit to covering Oakley’s golf adventure for the entire year. The Rookery’s Butch Holtzclaw discusses how Cape Region golfers can ready themselves for the upcoming season. Ruddo’s Golf opens softly, and automatically doubles the golf retail outlets in the Cape Region.
March—Claudio Smarelli begins his first year as the head golf coach for the Cape Henlopen High School Viking squad. Oakley reports on his first few tournaments on the Champions Tour, as well as the opening event for the European Senior Tour, in Barbados. The Cape golf team begins its season the same way it has for several years, with a close loss to Caesar Rodney on a windy, cold afternoon.
April—A starter at a Cape Region public course tells a story about the triumph of hope over reality, and a player’s unrealistic expectations. Cape beats Delmar in the second match of the season, and then defeats Dover, Indian River, Laurel, and Lake Forest, while rising to fifth place in the state rankings. The squad finishes their April schedule with victories over Smyrna, Seaford, and Milford. Oakley struggles on the Champions Tour, but earns $12,400 in one tournament, even after an 80.
May—The Cape golf team starts its run to the state tournament with a win over Sussex Central. Henlopen Conference tie-breaking rules then give Sussex Tech a win over Cape, the Viking’s second loss of the year. The squad bounces back with wins over Polytech and St. Thomas More to finish the regular season. I revisit some favorite places in the north end of Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand, and try a couple new courses. Oakley makes the Champions Tour’s first hole-in-one of the 2006 season. John Purple, Jr. wins his second Henlopen Conference title, but his fellow Vikings struggle in tough conditions.
June—Cape’s golf team stumbles in the State Championship, finishing in 8th place overall. Purple finishes first among the Vikings, in fourth place overall on a match of cards. Twelve-year-old Erica Pelligrini wins the girls’ division in the Rehoboth Beach Junior Open with a 76, beating local favorite Julia Robinson by three strokes. Former Cape standout Christina Wagamon helps her team at Catawba College win its first-ever conference championship.
July—Shawnee CC golf pro Devon Peterson takes me through the process of being fitted for a new driver. Local lawyer and raconteur Bill Schab hosts nearly three dozen players in his Hawaiian Open at Kings Creek, complete with “golf buddies” and other fun. The Q-Link golf pendant appears in the Cape Region, as does some beastly hot weather.
August—Pete Oakley completes a month of majors, including a memorable experience in the British Open at St. Andrews. A new local cable channel features the Cape golf outlets.
September—I prove that jumping across a creek is best done by the foolish. Cape Region golfers join in fundraising efforts for Hurricane Katrina victims. Pete Oakley discusses his experiences on the European Senior Tour and the Champions Tour. The fifth annual Rehoboth Beach Invitational, sponsored by George Washington University, comes off well at Kings Creek CC.
October—”The Greatest Game Ever Played” is a rare treat—a good golf movie. A major nor’easter whacks Cape Region golf courses.
November—Pete Oakley reviews his year of tour competition, and looks forward to the next season. A golf movie film festival lineup is suggested.
December—Cape Region superintendents discuss their winter plans. Santa is advised to avoid giving certain golf-related gifts.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.