October 14, 2011
Mark Coty is the general manager of Baywood Greens, the “exclusively public” golf course near Millsboro. He’s also a friend of Iron Mike Destasio of Lewes, a longtime avid golfer, sports coach, and Cape Henlopen High School sports fan.
Destasio, 50, is having a bit of a tough time of it right now, as he continues to fight the debilitating effects of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a disease of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord controlling voluntary muscle movement. While those with the disease typically remain sharp as a tack, mentally speaking, their bodies nonetheless slowly give out.
Coty recently sent me a note about Baywood’s upcoming Iron Mike Destasio Hope Golf Classic, to be held Friday, October 28. Coty wanted to make sure Cape Region golfers knew not only about the tournament, but also a bit more about Destasio.
Destasio moved to the Cape area about nine years ago, with his wife Wendy and their two children, Allison and Mikey. He coached Little League as well as YMCA basketball, and was an active sportsman himself. In addition to golf, Destasio bowled and played both handball and racquetball.
In early 2008, after having some trouble with his legs, Destasio saw neurologist Larry Kemp of Lewes, and eventually went through a battery of tests. Destasio then made a series of additional visits with the MDA/ALS Center of Hope in Philadelphia, where the ALS diagnosis was confirmed.
This fall will mark Destasio’s third year since his diagnosis. Despite the bad news, Coty says Destasio does not ask “why me,” only “why this”.
Destasio continues to remain as physically active as he can be, recently earning an A Division championship in the American Wheelchair Bowling Association national tournament in Massachusetts.
Coty noted that Destasio first began playing golf when in his 20s, with his father. He also loved golfing with his son, Mikey, continuing a family tradition.
The tournament begins at Baywood with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. The cost is $100 per player, or $400 per foursome. After golf, the fun continues with a dinner, prizes, and a silent auction.
Sponsorship opportunities remain available.
A portion of the proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Destasio family and the MDA/ALS Hope Foundation. For registration and other tournament information, visit baywoodgreens.com or call the Baywood golf shop at 302-947-9800.
For more information about ALS and the MDA/ALS Hope Foundation at Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, go to the organization’s website at alshopefoundation.org/the-center-of-hope.
Altering course strategy for the wilder among us
The woods that run down the left side of the par-5 second hole at Shawnee Country Club sometimes have a magnetic attraction for my tee shots.
When I’m being especially careful, however, my ball acts like there’s a force field in the fairway blocking its intended path. That’s when it sails over the trees on the right side, landing in the middle of the third hole’s fairway.
As it turns out, that’s not a bad playing strategy for the second hole, depending on how far down the third fairway you can reach with your drive.
You sometimes see this strategy in operation on the professional Tour. For golfers with the occasional flameout drive, such as Tiger Woods, being able to play from the other hole can seem like an added advantage.
On the other hand, a tee shot coming from the opposite direction from what’s expected can present a dangerous hazard to others.
I’m sure that’s why the Rules of Golf permit competition committees to make a local rule under Rule 33-2a that declares part of an adjoining hole to be out of bounds when playing another hole.
That discretion has its limits, however. This rule cannot be restricted to tee shot strokes only. With the chance of a squirrelly second or third shot going OB, therefore, committees should be careful about putting this local rule into place.