May 29, 2020
If you ever needed reminding that you should take nothing for granted, this year’s pandemic should have done it for you.
The normal stuff of Cape Region spring golf, such as the Cape Henlopen High School golf team, charity outings, demo days, and chatting at the 19th hole all disappeared as part of the public health response to the coronavirus. More recently a sign of a return to something more typical appeared, with the limited restoration of golf carts usage.
American Classic Golf Club in Midway just gave the Cape Region a major boost for a welcome return to the ordinary, re-instituting league play at the challenging but fun short layout on May 19.
“We sent out a blast e-mail May 2 about the league starting and got a really strong reaction. Everyone was super excited to play,” said Austin Ebersole, the club’s director of golf.
With continued cart restrictions and other pandemic precautions, the league system is not quite back to routine. The 18 two-player teams start on the first tee in groups of four, with 10-minute intervals between starts, instead of the usual shotgun arrangement. “The day before league day I send out emails about the schedule so they can just show up on time, and reduce bunching,” Ebersole said.
Ebersole said they can accommodate those who need the carts, but the club continues to encourage walking. For most players the flat mile and a half layout is a comfortable stroll. “Without guys willing to walk this wouldn’t have happened,” Ebersole said. “You have to have committed walkers.”
The competition format for the Tuesday men’s league is better ball of partners, with 2 points for a win and a point each if the teams are tied after nine holes. Team scoring against the field is based on best scores overall, building toward an eventual championship.
Team names are required, and some rose to the challenge with great choices.
Kevin McTigue said when he asked Joe Kestler what to call their team, Kestler took “maybe two seconds” to come back with “Grassholes.”
Rick Sandelli and Brian Grawehr proudly call themselves the “Jersey Boys.” Grawehr, a manager of Revelation Brewing in Rehoboth, talks with just enough of an accent to match the name. Sandelli said the return to league play had him “looking forward to Tuesdays” once again.
Jim Wagamon and Larry Anderson are the “Wags,” which make sense given both Wagamon’s last name and Anderson’s chatty nature. For example, Anderson volunteered to me that the nearby Acme supermarket is “the best halfway house” of all the golf courses in the area.
Good to know.
More leagues are up and running or soon to start. The ACGC Women’s League began play May 22, using a scramble format. On June 4 the Camp Rehoboth Women’s League will start its season at American Classic, with 30 players signing up each week for the popular social event.
Ebersole and the American Classic staff are pleased they have been able to bring league play back to the Cape Region after this virus-forced suspension. Let’s hope other local clubs are soon in a position to do similar restorations at their courses.
Boys Scouts holding first-ever Virtual Golf Classic
The Del-Mar-Va Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced May 26 that its BSA Golf Classic fundraiser tournament will be a virtual event for the first time in its 38-year history.
The money raised supports over 10,000 scouts throughout the entire Delmarva Peninsula.
This year, participants began registering May 5, with playing in the four-player scramble format beginning June 1 through July 17. The award ceremony takes place July 20.
Players may play any course with a par of 70 or greater. Each foursome’s entry fee sponsors one Scout on Delmarva for an entire year ($150 per golfer, $600 per team).
Participants can enter their scores either online at the Scout website, www.dmvc.org/golf, or by sending an email to Chris Chapdelaine, the Council’s Development Director, at email@example.com. Contact Chapdelaine for more information.
More signs of progress
Governor Carney issued another revision to the coronavirus Order May 26, opening up short term rentals among other modifications to the strict conditions the State imposed for the last few months.
In the announcement he also said, “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point.”
For golfers, the changes restore two-person cart use if both golfers are from the same household. Scorecards and pencils will reappear for use and clubhouses and locker rooms may reopen. In addition, clubs may host gatherings of up to 250 people under health-conscious restrictions.
Delaware State Golf Association executive director Laura Heien said, “[It’s] definitely nice to see more normalcy coming on June 1 – pro shops can open, beverage carts can be out and about, locker rooms are open, and bag storage can resume.” However, she also noted that “single rider carts definitely still limit potential field sizes and revenue opportunities for our clubs.”
The continued restrictions show how far we still have to go, despite these welcome changes.