January 4, 2013
This past week marked the end of this column’s fourteenth year.
The Cape Region experienced featured some significant events in local golf in 2012.
January—Immediately after the holidays, a Maryland food and weight loss coach announces a four-part program on “Weight Loss for Golfers.” The stockholders of Shawnee Country Club vote overwhelmingly to seek a lease of their troubled property, in lieu of closing it or selling at a severely depressed price.
February—Wintertime golf conditions encourage a relaxed approach to the rules of golf Local courses with Bermuda turf grass are also in their relaxed, brown stage. The USGA offers a Rules seminar in Chartwell, MD, close enough for Cape Region golfers with a penchant for detail.
March—Shawnee CC leases its property to the folks who run The Rookery, with an option to buy after the first four years. The private club will operate as a public course, in tandem with The Rookery’s Milton layout. Ruddo’s Golf opens their third retail outlet in Fenwick Island, joining the others in West Ocean City and Rehoboth Beach. The Cape Henlopen High School golf team, led by returning coach Claudio Smarrelli, defeats Woodbridge to win its first match of the new season.
April—The Vikings win their second match against Sussex Central, but lose their third to Milford. The spring charity golf calendar begins to fill up. The Kings Creek Country Club lady golfers begin their busy competition schedule. The Vikings are whacked by Sussex Tech, and also lose players with academic troubles.
May—The Cape golf team recovers with a win over Lake Forest. I participate in the Golf Writers Association tournament in Pinehurst. Cape finishes its season with an 8-6 record, but fails to qualify in the team portion of the state high school championship for the first time in the school’s history. The Vikings finish fourth in the conference tournament, lead by Elsa Toletti, a French exchange student who played well for Cape all year.
June—Toletti and freshman Mike DiStasio qualify for the individual section of the state high school championship, but miss the cut. Toletti is named all-Conference. Kings Creek CC teaching pro Chris Krueger qualifies for the PGA Pro National Championship. Over 100 junior golfers play the annual Rehoboth Beach Junior Open, at Rehoboth Beach CC. I report on the annual golf trip with the guys, this year a return to some fine Outer Banks courses.
July—Cape Region golfer Charlie Gouert makes a hole in one during a golf league round at Shawnee (now Rookery North). Soaring summer temps over 100 degrees provides another opportunity to discuss prevention and treatment for heat stroke and exhaustion. Several Cape Region golfers, including pros and accomplished amateurs such as Chase Brockstedt, distinguish themselves in the Delaware Open and other big events.
August—President Obama’s 104th round of golf during his presidency causes a discussion about who is really an “avid” golfer. Brockstedt wins his seventh club championship at Kings Creek. The Cape Region does well in a Golf Digest review of the best golf clubs in Delmarva.
September—Cape Region golf courses participate in the Patriot Golf Day fundraiser. The USGA mourns the passing of Stanley Zontek, the Greens Section guru who personally assisted Shawnee CC and other courses with their turf challenges. The first annual Rookery Club championship is a success, with rounds at the South and North courses.
October—The competition season for Cape Region clubs begins to wind down. The First Tee Program announces an upcoming Pro-Am tournament, with sponsorship opportunities.
November—Hurricane Sandy presents a clean-up challenge for Cape Region golf superintendents. Local golfer Patrick Normyle celebrates a hole in one during his Myrtle Beach vacation. The First Tee Pro-Am tournament at Rookery South raises some nice cash for the cause.
December—This year’s dubious Christmas golf gifts include a farting putting machine and a giggling golf ball. Fortunately, local golf outlets provide some better alternatives.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.