December 29, 2023
December 31 marks the end of this column’s twenty-fifth year and a busy twelve months of Cape Region golf.
January – American Classic Golf Club’s artificial tee mats for off-season play help reduce maintenance costs and accommodate the increasing demand. A recent study shows Delaware golfers have the highest average handicaps in the nation. Brendan Steele and Matt Kuchar show how to take your medicine after bad shots at the 2022 BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club. The Rookery’s owners sell Rookery North, the former Shawnee CC. LPGA winner Meaghan Francella offers mature perspectives on professional golf.
February –I interview Ian Fraser and Matt Blois of Tour Experience Golf at the PGA Show about the fitting company’s ongoing success. Bridgestone Golf and Blue Tees staffers discuss their company’s new offerings. Cobra Golf stresses aerodynamics in its new clubs. Dustin Smale prepares to open The Foreland Club, the first 24/7 indoor golf simulator company, near Bear Trap Dunes in Ocean View.
March – Con.Struct enters the golf apparel market. Inno-F1 single-rider golf carts generate huge interest at the PGA Show. Thirty-five golfers try out for the Cape Henlopen High School golf team. Former Cape golf standout Matt Zehner qualifies for the 2023 PGA Professional Championship. The Vikings win their first match of the season against Smyrna High. U.S. Kids Golf brings its spring tournament action in the Cape Region.
April – The Cape golf team travels to Heritage Shores and defeats Sussex Tech. Zero Friction’s robot cart/bag is more loyal than your dog. The Vikings lose three matches against Caesar Rodney, Lake Forest, and Polytech, before bouncing back against Woodbridge. Maintenance staff at The Rookery do major tree and brush work to improve light and air conditions on the course. The Vikings return from spring break and take two from Milford and Delmar. EZ-GO golf carts expand their lithium-powered options.
May – The Vikings defeat Dover and Sussex Central and either lose to or tie Delmarva Christian depending on which conference rules apply. The Delaware State University women’s golf team takes second at the Northeast Conference championships. Cape wins its match against Indian River but loses to Sussex Academy, in both cases by a single stroke. Golf netting installation begins near The Rookery golf course. The Vikings finish the regular season 10-5 with a win against Padua and take third in the Henlopen Conference Championship. Head coach Robert Harrod wins coach of the year honors. League competition begins at Cape Region courses.
June – The Vikings finish ninth in the state championship, the first squad to make the cut for the finals in several years. Baywood Greens earns high marks for hosting the event. Geoff Shackleford earns plaudits for his accessible new book on golf architecture. Harrod wins DIAA co-coach of the year honors to go with his conference award. I check out the ongoing restoration work at Southern Delaware Golf Club, the former Rookery North/Shawnee CC.
July –Sawyer Brockstedt wins her second AJGA tournament, this time in Virginia. The SuperSpeed golf training system really works. American Classic installs a new golf simulator. Ralph Lauren’s fall lines offer appealingly muted color and pattern schemes. Twenty-eight of thirty-two rookies fill out the field at the 2023 ShopRite LPGA Classic, including a pleasant Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand. DSU women’s golf coach Rick McCall, Jr. discusses his 2023-2024 recruit class and the team’s plans for the upcoming season.
August – Sarah Lydic of Ocean View and Sawyer Brockstedt of Rehoboth Beach qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur in Los Angeles, CA. A Ping engineer explains how marginal gains add up in club design.
September – LPGA pre-round putting routines should be imitated. Aerification season is a necessary element of course maintenance. Ocean View’s Michael Chanaud wins the Delaware Open, with other Cape Region golfers also in the mix. Leslie Corydon’s ace at Rehoboth Beach CC takes place during the Delaware Junior Golf Scholarship fundraiser. With one exception, the 2023 Delaware Senior Women’s Amateur contestants are members of Kings Creek CC. Reconstruction continues at Southern Delaware GC. Delaware State hosts twelve other women’s golf teams at Kings Creek in its Hornet Classic at the Creek Invitational. State high school golf champion Avery McCrery shows off her clubs and her mischievous side at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
October – I join the Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies golf league at their season-closing event. The Kings Creek Country Club Ladies 18-Hole League’s invitational tournament is a huge success. The University of Delaware’s Lady Blue Hen Invitational at Rehoboth Beach CC brings 66 Division 1 golfers to the Cape Region. I test and enjoy the new Edison wedges.
November – Titleist returns to the PGA Show with a flourish. Austin Ebersole continues his winning ways on the WorldLeague Fling Golf Tour. The Cape Region’s golf fundraisers support a wide range of beneficiaries.
December – Sawyer Brockstedt commits to Notre Dame’s golf program for 2025. This year’s collection of what I don’t want for Christmas is once again stunning but not in a good way. On the other hand, local golf gift opportunities are even better than before.
Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.