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Join “The River Ringers” on Saturday, August 20th, 8:30am at Rock Harbor Golf Club in Winchester for the 3rd annual “Fore The Kitties” Golf Tournament. The event benefits Dakota’s Dream, a small non-profit animal shelter in Winchester. Teams and sponsors are still needed, so be a part of what should be a fun day! Deadline is August 1st, so don’t wait! Registration and Sponsor forms are attached (see below)
Greetings from The Booth!
A golf buddy said after our usual weekend round that this was a “nothing” time in the sports world, and there probably is some truth to that. Did anyone really care about the USFL after the first few games? Sure, Wimbledon is happening, and the Tour de France is certainly an acquired taste (although I like the event and will watch). NFL training camps are still a few weeks from opening. And then there are your Washington Nationals, who are on pace for a 100-loss season. How many of you would have thought that possible after their World Series title in 2019?
If you’re a golf fan, the sport’s final major, The 150th Open Championship, a.k.a. The British Open, happens next week at the Old Course at St. Andrews. St. Andrews is hallowed ground in the golf world, and I love the British Open, because it’s golf the way it was meant to be played: low to the ground, in the elements. When I think of The Open Championship, I think of cold, wind, and rain. I also think of 59 year-old Tom Watson almost winning the Claret Jug in 2009, as a bunch of us geezers were gathered around the TV at Rock Harbor cheering him on. Moments like that can only happen at the Open.
Speaking of golf, this time of year takes me back to what might have been the greatest golf prank ever played. It happened during a beach trip to Nags Head with a group of friends around 1987. It was a great week of beachin’, night life, and a round of golf during which the aforementioned prank took place. The group included longtime friend Kevin Funkhouser, who would be my best man 4 years later when I tied the knot. The foil of the prank was Todd Lyons, another member of our Martinsburg circle of friends and participant in the annual “Turkey Bowl” Thanksgiving football game at Rosemont School, among other things.
The round of golf started, as you might expect, with drink flowing freely, and somewhere on the front 9, Funkhouser was victim of the old “exploding golf ball” prank. If you’re unfamiliar, these are joke golf balls that explode on impact, and are good for a laugh. As we moved on to the back 9, no other gags were played as the laughs and libation continued. Late in the round, Lyons hit a beautiful approach shot within 3 feet of the pin. As we drove to the green, Funkhouser got out of the cart, walked onto the green to survey Lyons’ shot and said, “Hey Todd, is this your ball…great shot!” He then …well, let’s just say, proceeded to water Lyons’ golf ball, if you get my drift. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed that hard on a golf course.
They say revenge is a meal best served cold. In this case…best served wet.
I look forward to being back in the Booth the week of the 18th! FORE!
The Golf season is underway, and in this edition of the SDPC, we chat with Louis Nicholls of the Front Royal Golf Club, who updates you on the condition of the course, as well as other recreational activities are available to the general public. Grab your clubs, and play a few rounds this year at Front Royal Golf Club!!!
Greetings from The Booth!
As of this writing, Shenandoah University Baseball is 2 wins away from an automatic NCAA D-3 Tournament berth, as they enter the Championship series of the ODAC Tournament. The Hornets, at 30-9, have cracked the 30-win plateau for the fifth consecutive full season. Good Luck to Kevin Anderson’s squad as they take on Lynchburg this Friday!
OK, with the PGA Tournament set for Kiawah Island this weekend, I wanted to write about a golf pet peeve of mine, knowing full well that I’m going to come across as the old curmudgeon shaking his fist at the sky. Nothing gets my dander up (see, I’m already talking like an old curmudgeon) like slow play on the golf course.
I respectfully blame Tiger Woods for slow play. Tiger brought thousands, probably millions of new players to the game, and with all those newcomers came crowded golf courses and golfers who simply don’t know the etiquette of the game. Those two things lead to slow play, and 4-hour rounds that become 5-hour rounds and longer.
A few weeks ago, I was playing with a friend at a local track, which was hosting a tournament on one of it’s 18-hole courses. Thus, anyone who made a tee time that day was placed on their other 18-hole course. For whatever reason, there were 4 groups waiting on every tee box. After 7 holes, we raised the white flag and retreated to the clubhouse for a sandwich and a beverage. I love my golf partners, but not for 6 hours.
Then, a few days ago my foursome was in a local charity tournament, which is actually a fun, well-run affair. These “captains choice” tournaments traditionally take longer to play than your garden variety weekday round of golf. These are fundraisers more than golf tournaments, and you know that going in.
But my team got behind a foursome that, on every shot, threw grass up into the air (to seemingly gauge wind direction, but probably just to look like the pros), pulled out GPS gadgets, slide rules, protractors, and Jenny Craig calorie conversion charts to figure the exact distance to the hole, then proceeded to slice the ball into the woods. They weren’t just on the clock, they were on the calendar.
A golfer of any ability can do his or her part to combat slow play by being “golf ready.” Think about the next shot as you’re driving to the ball. Have an idea about what club you’re going to use and the conditions before you get out of the cart. Don’t rely so much on the gadgets. GPS is nice, but most of us can’t dial up a 153-yard shot on-demand. If we could, we’d be collecting paychecks on Sundays. That $2 Nassau might seem like the US Open, but it’s not.
It’s also incumbent upon local golf courses to do all they can to insure that everyone is playing at a steady pace. I know it’s a busine$$, but space groups out so that each tee box doesn’t look like the lineup at the Daytona 500. And make sure course marshals are hurrying slow players along in a gentle way.
Or, we could just take a page out of Rodney Dangerfield’s character in “Caddyshack,” Al Czervik. When you see a player dilly-dallying ahead of you, just yell, “Let’s go, while we’re young!”
Hit ’em long and straight, and until the next visit from The Booth, GO HORNETS!