TERRE HAUTE — One of the nice things about golf is that it doesn’t take a judge to tell you your score, unlike gymnastics, diving or ice skating.
The scorecard has numbers on it, and as long as they are correct when you sign your card and turn it in, it doesn’t take a judge to tell you what place you came in. Have you ever had an “ugly par”? One where you mis-hit every shot except you ended up chipping in or making a long putt for par? If there had been a judge present, you would have had points deducted (or added, as the case may be). As it is, you can one-putt or three-putt and the scorecard just doesn’t care. All it knows is the number you wrote down.
In that vein, I’d like to write about some interesting things that have happened on the golf course. The first happened to Amy Ramer on July 15. Her husband Jeff had convinced her to play in an event with him at Geneva Hills and it was her first time to play golf. He wrote to mention the amazing feat she accomplished that day: She had an eagle on No. 13 when her 8-iron approach shot went in the hole! I don’t know if anyone keeps track of how many first-time players get an eagle, but there can’t be too many.
Sometimes a par can be just as phenomenal as a birdie, but makes a funnier story. During the Terre Haute Junior City tournament, I witnessed Clint Baldwin’s par on No. 16 at Rea Park and I told him I was going to have to write about it. No. 16 is a par-five, but not really all that long. You wouldn’t think it would take three 3-woods to reach the green, but that’s what Clint did. The first one off the tee was pulled hard to the left, hitting a tree solidly. He searched around for his ball and finally found it right in the middle of the fairway. He hadn’t made a lot of forward progress so he needed his 3-wood again. This time, he sliced it into a tree on the right side of the fairway, whacking it hard. But the ball landed back in the middle of the fairway. He took his 3-wood again, but this time hit it straight, right onto the green. He then two-putted for par. The scorecard didn’t care; it just missed out on the adventures. Clint preferred that I write about something good he had done, so I also have to mention that in the same tournament, he had a hole-in-one on No. 4 at Hulman Links, witnessed by Phillip Myers, Evan Miller and Arthur Foulkes. I wasn’t there to witness it, so when I did show up to watch, that was the first thing they told me about. Being a natural smart aleck, I had to ask, “Did you use a 3-wood?” No, it was a pitching wedge.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen what started out as bad shots turn out to be great ones, but one in particular was memorable. It wasn’t for a hole-in-one, but it was close. We were playing in a Mr. and Mrs. Tournament at the Country Club of Terre Haute with Mid and Don Rusk quite a few years ago and there was a closest-to-the-pin contest on No. 10. I don’t know what club he used, but Don, who is left-handed, pulled or hooked a terrible shot into the trees way right of the green. The ball rattled around in the limbs and branches for a while before finally bouncing out of the tree and landing on the green inches from the hole. I believe he won a nice watch for that shot.
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n Going for distance — In May, I wrote about some of the golf balls on the market, which inspired me to do a little testing of my own. Granted, it has not been a scientific study, but I have formed some opinions about balls that are supposed to benefit ladies and/or seniors, so I thought I’d share my findings with you. I have tried the Titleist DT-Solo, the Precept Lady SIII, the Precept Lady and the Callaway HX Pearl.
So far, my preference is either for the regular Precept Lady (vs. the SIII) and the Callaway HX Pearl. I did play one of my best rounds of the summer using the Precept Lady SIII, though. I think I got more distance with it, but I was using a blue ball, which was too close to the same shade as the grass, making it harder to see from a distance. I probably prefer the regular Lady Precept because it looks like a regular golf ball (it’s white and doesn’t shimmer), and I seem to hit it farther than I hit the DT Solo. I have played the Callaway HX Pearl quite a few times this summer and I think I get more distance with it, too. I also like the feel I get on or near the green. It has a cover that is white, with a cool “pearlescent” finish to it, but at least it’s not pink or blue. I played another one of my best rounds the other day using the HX Pearl, which adds to my favorable impression. The HX Pearl is a three-piece ball, which is unusual for a ball known for getting more distance, but gives it good feel on chip shots. I would think that women, and a lot of men, especially seniors, would benefit from using this ball.
n Missing the Women’s City Tournament — I’m very sorry that I am not able to play in the Women’s City Tournament again this year. Rea Park usually affords some exciting matches, so I hope everyone has a lot of fun. I will be in Michigan picking my son up from camp after playing a couple rounds of golf and spending some time at the beach, of course.
n Quote of the Day: “The good chip is like the good sandtrap shot. It’s your secret weapon. It allows you to whistle while you walk in the dark alleys of golf.” — Tommy Bolt.
Jennifer Myers can be reached by mail at the Tribune-Star, P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808.
Vigo County Leagues
Elks Ladies 9-hole League — Low gross: Rita Neal. Low putts: Ginny Shawler. Low net: Darby Gugliellmetti. Play of the day: Betty McKee, Shawler.
Paitson Roofing Eastside Ladies — Standings: Advance Chiropractic 548, Sandy’s Touch of Magic 519, Turner Coach 489, Mowbray Consulting 487, Page’s Market 468, Coaches Corner 465, Tabco 442, Baesler’s Market 442. Low gross: Mary Hoy and Betty Swanson 37. Low net: Donna Sumansky 26. Play of the day: Ann Thomas, Phyllis Pestoff, Swanson, Jean Sumansky and Hoy, Chip-ins: Ann Sanders (No. 5). Birdies: Swanson (No. 4), Daphne Newport (No. 8), and D.Sumansky (No. 8).
Rea Park First Financial Bank Ladies 9-hole — Standings: VFW No. 1 497, Elliott Jewelers 448, Shepard’s Gas 434, VFW No. 2 431, Bratt Animal Hospital 417, Baesler’s Market 413. Low gross: Handley 46, Low net: Handley 33. Birdies: Foster (No. 3), Newman (No. 3). Chip-insL Handley (No. 6), Latta (No. 6). Play of the day: Talkington.
Hulman Links Tuesday Night Men — Low gross: Chris Keen 37. Low net: Neil Burk 33. Standings: Fleschner Law Office 378, Charlie’s No. 2 373, Charlie’s No. 1 327, Tynan Equipment 310, Charlie’s No. 3 268.
Terre Haute Savings Bank Senior Men — National Division standings: SMC 186, McGuire Excavating 180, Bogey’s Family Fun Center 177, Bush Restaurant 172, T.H. Savings Bank 172, Lough Bros. 165, Pizza Hut 162, Paitson Bros. 152. Low gross: Charles Montgomery and Herschell Allen 40. Low net: Fred Hendricks 32. American Division standings: Poplar Flower Shop 209, Salt of the Earth 202, Callahan Funeral Home 185, Lee Appraisal Service 177, Spring Clean Car Wash 172, VFW No. 972 170, Gurman Container 169, Pabst Painting 156. Low gross: Jim Senfff and Joe Brown 38. Low net: Senff and Dale Whitlock 31.
Mark’s Par Three Senior Men — Low gross: Steve Lidster 36. Low net: Lloyd Boston 27. Longest putt: Don Sublett (No. 17), Eddie Daub (No. 13). Standings: Midwest Gas 200, Tabco 194, Fuson Cadillac 193, Dew Drop Inn 188, Old National Trust 167, Mattingly Collision 164, Vigo Bowl 158, Don Wills Cash Register 143.
Rea Park Tuesday Women — Low gross: Carolyn Hyde 85. Low net: Hyde 68. Birdies: Beth Lowe (No. 1 and 14), Linda Pair (No. 1), Myra Eble (No. 4). Chip-ins: Terry Mahalek (No. 8), Pat Wardell (No. 10), Beth Lowe (No. 14). Play of the day: Shawn Durand.
TERRE HAUTE — One of the nice things about golf is that it doesn’t take a judge to tell you your score, unlike gymnastics, diving or ice skating.
- On & Off the Course
Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013
• Gary R. Wright
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown
Donna Lynn Strahla Bown passed away early Friday morning, Jan. 25, 2013, with her children by her side.
‘The Match’ pitting amateurs vs. pros recalled 62 years later
Quote of the Day: “I play golf with friends sometimes, but there are never friendly games.” — Ben Hogan.
Bubba Watson has had a busy fall. Not only did he play all the way to the final round of the FedEx Championships, and in the Ryder Cup, he also played in an event commemorating a very famous match played at Cypress Point in 1956, pitting two of the greatest golf pros at the time against two of the best amateurs.
Come to think of it, all four were some of the best golfers of all time. This year’s event was celebrating The First Tee’s exceeding $100 million in pledges to reach 10 million new young people. It wasn’t televised and kept very quiet; only 225 people were in the gallery.
One of the people in the gallery was Mark Frost, the author of a book titled “The Match,” which is about that match played 62 years ago that was re-enacted in modern terms last week. The pros in 1956 were Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson and the amateurs were Ken Venturi and Harvie Ward. It was supposed to have been a private affair, built around a wager by two millionaires, George Coleman and Eddie Lowery.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf from the wrong side of the brain
Imagine this scenario: a woman, small in stature (possibly freckled), walks into a hospital emergency room and says, “I have an emergency, I need a doctor quickly!” The admitting nurse, ever trying to be helpful, asks what the emergency is.
Farmers looking at widely varying yields
Combines will roll through fields this weekend, bringing in the harvest from a summer with nearly no rain.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf debut in London would have been nice
As the Olympics get underway in London this weekend, I was thinking it’s too bad that the Olympic committee decided too late to add golf as one of the sports for this event; instead it will be added to the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Getting to Hoosier country’s best golfing venue part of the fun
If you are looking for Indiana’s premier golfing destination, then you should look no further than French Lick.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Indiana's Pete Dye courses worth the drive
You’ve probably heard of the Robert Trent Jones Golf trail throughout Alabama, but you might not be aware that Indiana has its own “Pete Dye Golf Trail” comprised of seven courses.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fathers typically a big influence on golfing sons
Some events fall naturally into place around holidays. The Fourth of July always falls somewhere during Wimbledon, giving all of the Yanks in attendance something to be boisterous about, to the chagrin of their hosts; The Masters often, but not always, ends on Easter Sunday, which is fitting since golfers find it such a reverent occasion.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Memorial just one of many visions of Jack Nicklaus
When Jack Nicklaus was a young man, the golfer he most admired was Bob Jones.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: With some tricky rules, golf is not a walk in the park
Golf is not a casual sport, even though it has a term called “casual water.”
On and off the course: Sycamores seeded sixth heading into MVC golf tourney
It wasn’t too long ago that Indiana State University didn’t even have a women’s golf team.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: A hard ticket to come by
This is the weekend of the Masters Tournament, the first of the four major tournaments.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Some things on golf course are worse than steep putts
It’s not often that anything gets more scary on a golf course than a steep downhill putt, but on some courses around the world, things a little more on the supernatural side might give you a bigger fright!
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The shot heard round the world
I don’t know if the Golf Channel will show a “Best Shots of 2011” highlight reel, much like ESPN does for baseball or football.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Red, White and Blue visits the Isle of Green
In 2006, the Ryder Cup was held in Ireland at The K Club in County Kildare.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Fall may be coming but golf season is far from over
Once the major tournaments are over with, what’s there to look forward to in the world of golf?
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Golf… simplified!
Golf is not a simple game. A golf course is made up of 18 holes, all different. There are par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; they all vary in length and elevation, and each has its own challenges. There can be water hazards, trees, sand bunkers, tall grass, hills, valleys — and then, if that’s not enough, there’s probably wind too.
On and Off the Course: Northern Ireland builds on golf history
Northern Ireland is only about 5,452 square miles in area and has a population about the same as West Virginia, which is about 1,880,344.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Women’s Open at the Broadmoor
This is the weekend of the U.S. Women’s Open, and this year it’s being played at The Broadmoor, East Course, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: The Fort Golf Course: A Walk in the Park…
Indiana has some pretty spectacular state parks, but one of them gives you the ability to “spoil a good walk” by chasing a little white ball.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Father’s Day is a good day for golfers
Most people consider the time around Christmas to be the gift-buying season.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Playing with lead a difficult task
As exciting as last week’s Masters was, with six players being tied for the lead at one point on Sunday, it was very difficult watching Rory McIlroy fall apart to shoot an 80.
ON AND OFF THE COURSE: Masters a rite of spring
This is Masters weekend, the grand kickoff to the golf season for a lot of golfers. Sure, there have been tournaments on TV, because the professionals have been playing in Hawaii, California, Texas, Dubai, and other areas not so affected by winter as we are here in the Midwest, but to me, watching The Masters is a rite of spring.
ON THE OFF THE COURSE: Some history on the Ryder Cup
I fell asleep in way too many history classes to ever qualify as a history buff. However, since I have grown up a bit (not much), I enjoy learning about all kinds of history. I often have questions about how something began, or how something came to be.
On and Off the Course: Purdue's Kampen Course a gem in Indiana's rough
About a month ago, Indiana was still heavily mired in heat and humidity, making outdoor activities such as golf less appealing than usual. At that time it felt like the repressive heat would never go away, it would never rain again, and all of the grass was just going to continue to wither and die. And the month prior to that we kept getting rained out of golf events!
On and Off the Course: Successful golfers know ... focus is the key
I have a good friend who coached his daughter’s basketball team for a number of years, and told me that his theme with the girls was always “focus”, until it was ingrained in their brains. Now when they play high school ball, if they hear “focus” yelled from the stands, they know the source.
On and Off the Course: Technology adds even more fun to the course
You’ve hit a drive into some brush in an area marked as a hazard, but you can’t find the ball to prove it is there. And no one actually witnessed it go in the hazard. You just think that’s where it probably is. What is the rule for this situation?
On and Off the Course: Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic a worthwhile charity event
On Monday, I worked as a volunteer for the Anthony Gonzalez First Tee Classic, Golf Tournament and Auction at Eagle Creek Golf Course in Indianapolis. It was an absolutely beautiful day, with clear blue skies, just a few wispy clouds here and there and a high temperature of about 76 degrees.
On and Off the Course: Trends show golf in decline
You don’t have to watch the news or read the paper to understand that America is struggling on the economic front. The evidence can be witnessed at the local golf course.
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- Death Notice: Feb. 7, 2013