January 1, 2016
This week marks the end of this column’s seventeenth year. 2015 was a busy and eventful twelve months in Cape Region golf.
January—John Ray seeks to expand golf course offerings on the Delaware Golf Trail, with proceeds from Trail cards supporting the First Tee of Delaware Program. A New York Times puff piece about President Obama’s golf addiction does not cause my shocked face to appear. “The Legend of Joe Golfer” is a well-meaning effort at self-publishing. A trip to the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, FL introduces me to GAME GOLF swing analysis.
February—The PGA Merchandise Show holds a special session on women and golf, highlighting the upcoming KPMG’s Women’s PGA Championship this summer. The Show also holds targeted media events, such as a presentation from Imperial Headgear about a special fabric for golf hats. A reception puts media folks together with golf resort operators, whose experiences mirror the Cape Region tourism economy. The folks at MyJoys proudly describe their special order shoe options.
March—A driver fitting at the Cobra Golf station during the PGA Merchandise Show teaches more than expected. The Cape Henlopen High School Golf team begins practice for the spring season, delayed a bit by snowstorms. The Children’s Beach House is first out of the blocks announcing their May 21 fundraiser tournament. I have some bleeping experience with other golfers’ rangefinders. The Vikings win their first match of the year March 26 against Polytech.
April—I make a road trip to Pinehurst, NC for the Golf Writers Association of America’s annual tournament. Cape’s golf team wins April 1 against Laurel, but returns from spring break to lose April 13 against Caesar Rodney. The Vikings bounce back and win April 16 against Delmar at Green Hill near Salisbury, MD, along with an April 23 win against Indian River, an April 24 team-scoring-best victory over Milford, and an April 27 win against Lake Forest. I experience Top Golf in Alpharetta, GA, and a very hilly Bridge Mill golf course in Canton, GA. The annual Conlon Brothers trip returns to the Outer Banks and five familiar courses.
May—The Vikings pick up two forfeit victories against Delmarva Christian and Seaford. Cape then wins the May 4 match against Smyrna. Local clubs begin to hold their weekly competitions, and the Delaware State Golf Association’s Spring Classic Tournament takes over Rehoboth Beach CC and Kings Creek April 30 and May 1. The Vikings win a match May 7 over Sussex Central, but lose to Sussex Tech May 14. Cape’s winning match against Woodbridge brings the season record to 12-2. The second annual Rookery Cup tournament is another success.
June—The Vikings finish in seventh place in the State Championship Tournament at Wilmington CC, the only Sussex County team to finish the event. Watching Julieta Granada at the Shoprite LPGA Classic is a great golf lesson. Nick “Two Shoes” DelCampo makes his second hole in one while wearing two different golf shoes. Making the cut at the Shoprite LPGA Classic is pressure-packed for Jaye Marie Green, Mika Miyazato, and Demi Runas. LPGA veteran Laura Diaz and youngster Brooke Henderson draw a crowd as they perform their dewsweeper roles in the final round of the Classic.
July—Cape Region golfers perform well in the Delaware Amateur. Maddie Baptiste and Rachel Hagan are local winners of the 2015 DSGA college scholarship awards. Rehoboth Beach CC begins an affiliation with the Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship program. I take advantage of an opportunity and cover the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster CC in Pennsylvania. Jaye Marie Green takes advantage of her late admission from alternate status and plays well. Hall of Famer Laura Davies puts her talent and temper on display in the second round.
August—LPGA golfer Kim Kaufman and Symetra Tour rookie Liz Nagel play together in the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open, with very different results. I enjoy a media day event at Hidden Creek, site of this year’s U.S. Men’s Senior Amateur. Cape Region golfers participate in the DSGA Senior Championship. Zac Oakley follows up his 2015 Delaware Open win at Rehoboth Beach CC with an individual and team victory in the 2015 Peninsula Pro-Am. I report on a season-long test of the new Imperial Headwear golf hat.
September—Patriot Golf Day fundraisers take place Labor Day weekend at many Cape Region golf clubs. Local clubs hold their majors, such as the Rehoboth Beach CC and Kings Creek club championships. Heritage Shores Club in Bridgeville switches its nines and makes other changes to improve its appeal to golfers.
October—“The Ten Commandments of Golf Etiquette” is a nice little refresher course on important elements of the game. The opening round for the U.S. Senior Amateur puts some very good golf on display on a very challenging layout. Buddy Marucci shows flashes of brilliance in the second round of the Senior Amateur. Residents and golfers at The Peninsula step up big time for the second annual Clothing Our Kids tournament. I am fitted for a new driver, using the launch monitor process offered by The Rookery.
November—Raymond Thompson proves that a great bogey can keep you in the game, during the second round of the U.S. Senior Amateur. European Solheim Cup and U.S. Women’s Open winner Alison Nicholas writes a good “as told to” autobiography. The Rookery Pro-Am raises several thousand dollars for the First Tee of Delaware program. New changes to the Rules of Golf ease some burdens and potentially create others.
December—The competitive relationship of Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus is the focus of “The Secret of Golf”. I provide another handy guide of golf gifts to avoid giving. Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.