December 29, 2006
This week marks the end of the eighth full year for this column. It was a busy twelve months.
January—Devon Peterson recalls his start as a golf professional began with a question he thought was a joke. Twenty years later, he celebrates his fifth year as the golf pro at Shawnee Country Club. A blogger’s shot at golf and environmentalism is contrasted with several beneficial programs instituted by Cape Region golf courses. New USGA Decisions on unusual golf situations show that the guardians of golf are not without a sense of humor.
February—John Ruddo and Brett Marshall of Ruddo’s Golf and Ed Larkins of Clubhouse Golf go to the PGA Merchandise show. Fay Jacobs of Rehoboth Main Street and her buddies have a great time playing in a golf simulator league. The Rookery’s Pete Oakley talks about his plans for a season on the European Senior Tour with his brother David.
March—Playing Cape Region golf courses in late winter requires a relaxed attitude about scoring. A mid-winter trip to Tampa as the non-convention-attending spouse gives me a chance to play two courses used by the PGA Tours. The Cape Henlopen High School golf team starts its 2006 season much like the last several, losing to Caesar Rodney at Wild Quail. They bounce back with a win over St. Thomas More at Maple Dale.
April—Jack Vassalotti snags tickets to a practice round at the Masters. The Vikings travel to Shawnee Country Club and easily beat Lake Forest, and then go to Seaford Country Club to beat Laurel before spring break. I rejoin Kevin Conlon and Nick DelCampo for a spring golf trip to Pinehurst, North Carolina.
May—The Cape golf team returns from their break and beats Milford. They continue their winning streak with wins over Seaford, Smyrna, and Sussex Central. The victory string comes to a stunning and brutal end with three successive losses to Dover, Sussex Tech, and Indian River. The squad then surprises itself with its best team score of the year, a 161-216 win over Polytech at Kings Creek Country Club. They win again against Hodgson Vo-Tech, before being trounced by Salesianum. The squad takes fifth place in the Conference tournament.
June—The Cape golf team finishes in 15th place in the states, its worst finish in several years. Eric Onesi follows up his medallist finish at the state tournament with first-place honors in the 2006 Rehoboth Beach Junior Open at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Christina Wagamon returns to the Cape Region after four years on a golf scholarship at Catawba College, North Carolina. Cape Region golf superintendents explain how they handled the recent deluges.
July—Golf legend Jack Nicklaus comes to Delaware for the official opening of his golf course at The Peninsula. I play in the Schab family’s all-day Hawaiian Open at Kings Creek Country Club, and I’m still tired when I think about it. The June rains are replaced by blistering July heat, which are risky for Cape Region golfers unprepared for it.
August—Strong storms knock down trees on several Cape Region courses, as the hot summer weather exacts a toll on local layouts and their golfers. Old golf souvenirs found during a long-delayed garage cleaning stir up some fond memories.
September—Newly re-elected Henlopen Acres Commissioner Frank Abbott recalls a seven-decade love affair with golf. Hurricane Ernesto downgrades to tropical storm status before it hits the Cape Region, but from the damage it’s hard to tell. George Washington University wins its fall golf tournament at Kings Creek Country Club—again.
October—Fall golf brings out the sandbagger in some golfers. Cell phone etiquette on the golf course is subject to interpretation. Shamble is not just a way to describe my golf game.
November—Pete Oakley’s plans for the 2006 season went awry, with the untimely death of his brother David. Bob McCurry is remembered for his significant contributions to Cape Region junior golf.
December—Santa is begged not to bring certain golf gifts, while local golf outlets offer much-preferred items.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.