October 12, 2007
Mike Connor, the assistant professional at The Rookery Golf Course near Milton, added to his long list of golfing accomplishments recently, with a hole-in-one.
According to Pete McCaffrey, the PGA pro who works at Ruddo’s Golf on Route One, Connor was part of a contingent of eight Cape Region golfers who recently trekked to the wilds of Pinehurst, North Carolina for a Ryder Cup-like competition.
McCaffrey said he and his friends were tremendously proud of Connor’s feat, considering the unusual conditions under which he made the ace.
“Mike really caught all of it,” he said. “It was at Legacy Golf, and there was about a 30 mile-per-hour tail wind.”
“The hole was set up about 120 yards out, and Mike used his 5-wood,” McCaffrey said. “All the guys on the South Team send him their congratulations.”
And then McCaffrey laughed.
Connor actually did make a hole-in-one. However, he used an 8-iron, and the hole was 145 yards from the tee.
This makes a lot more sense, considering that inch-for-inch and pound-for-pound, Connor has to be among the Cape Region’s true long-ball hitters.
McCaffrey’s way of congratulating Connor did remind me of another story involving a golf pro and a hole-in-one.
During a club’s golf tournament, the head professional remained stationed at a short par 3. For those making the required charitable contribution, he would take a swing at the hole using the members’ equipment. The tournament players could then use either his results or theirs toward their score.
A little old lady donated her cash and then used her three-wood on the hole, only about 115 yards away. She bunted her golf ball onto the green.
The pro, faced with reaching a very short hole with a very long club, opened his stance wide left, and turned the clubface fully open toward the right. His swing followed his stance, and the ball shot up into the air. It flew on a ridiculously wide slice from left to right, bounced onto the green, and popped into the hole.
The next day’s newpaper ran the story as a straight sports news item: “John Jones, head pro, Blankety Blank Country Club, hole-in-one, 115 yards, three-wood.”
He had some kind of explaining to do for his friends and followers after that.
Two more chances for Oakley on European Senior Tour
Speaking of The Rookery, Pete Oakley, its Director of Golf, is continuing his effort to make it into the top 30 on the European Senior Tour, with only two events left on the schedule before the qualifying tournament rounds begin in Spain in November.
At this point, Oakley sits in 36th place, about eleven thousand Euros out of 30th place, which would secure his full-time playing privileges on that tour for 2008.
Fortunately, the purses at these two tournaments are a bit larger than usual, so Oakley still has a good chance if he can play solid golf for each day’s round. The next event is at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, in Castellón, Spain, from October 19-21. The final tournament is the Senior Tour Championship, held at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club in Denham, England, from November 8-10.
Remember the Leaf Rule
If the Cape Region ever actually sees summer end, the leaves will turn their beautiful fall colors and then fall to the ground.
The playing hazard this produces at area golf courses will soon remind golfers of the Leaf Rule, one of my personal favorites.
The Leaf Rule is simplicity itself, though not actually legitimate. Under the Strict Rules of Golf, if a player can’t find his ball among the leaves, the ball is supposed to be declared officially lost. The player must then return to the original spot and try again, with a penalty stroke added for misery’s sake.
Under the Leaf Rule, however, if you can’t find your golf ball under the leaves, you tell your playing partners you are invoking the Rule, drop a new ball where you think the old one disappeared, and play on.
Much more civilized, it seems to me.