In last month’s edition of Golf Plus, I asked for some stories on golf -or- golf related experiences of your
own to be sent in, in order to share with others from our area. I was able to narrow these contributions from
our readers down to a narrow few – but selecting only one became difficult. So, in the best fashion of the
great Post Tribune sports writer, John Mutka, I had to go with his “sporting blind draw” for help (*If you remember Mr. Mutka and you remember how he used to tell folks that was how he devised the bracketing for the old (and wonderful) Lake-Porter Junior Tournament, I know approximately how old you are!) – So…I picked among my favorites out of a hat! And, the story that follows was the winner – and a fun & wonderful story it is…
Quoting now from this contribution – “when my younger son (Tom) was about (2) years old, we attended our church carnival. They had some skill games for children. We walked over to a putting green game. Every child got (3) balls to hit into a cup. After observing other children, my son got in line to try. With a pacifier in his mouth, he hits all three balls into the cup. Everyone was pretty impressed, but I don’t remember what the prize was. Since then, he has gone through (2) junior golf sets & played golf for Lake Central H.S. I have only beaten him about three times since he was (12) yrs old.
*My notes: This story was sent in by Mr. Larry Sakowski, and now, I further understand that his fine – (now thirty something) – son is doing well and still enjoying the game of golf – and, (I) would like to add – I think we all know what that prize was that day…a life of father & son golf competition that continues to this day! Great story Larry – “Thanks for sharing” this with us.
“Around The World Tours in September”
Starting with the LPGA – which held only two events, but displayed to the world how great the competition among their players truly is. The 41st Portland Classic witnessed the emergence of (22) year old Hannah Green, who won her 2nd event of the year. But the true spectacle that caught the attention of golf fans worldwide was the 16th edition of the Solheim Cup – (a biennial team event played between (12) European women golfers and (12) women players from the U.S.) – exactly the same as the Ryder Cup matches played by the Euro & Men’s teams – (also every (2) years). So, who won? The world of women’s golf did! On paper, the European team won 14 ½ points to 13 ½ on a final deciding putt on the final hole of the (3) day event made by the great Norwegian veteran – (Suzann Petterson) – who at only (38) years old – immediately announced that she was retiring from professional golf! This event, which was held on European turf – in Perthshire, Scotland – was possibly the finest set of matches played in history – men’s or women’s! I hope you had a chance to watch – and we can only hope that the 2021 matches to be held in Toledo, Ohio at the beautiful Inverness Golf Club – will be close to this exciting, (but) with a U.S. victory this time of course!
The PGA Tour Champions held (3) events in September as they head towards the season ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship - *Their version of the U.S. Men’s PGA Tour’s Fed-Ex Cup. Starting in: Calgary, Alberta, Canada – where Wes Short Jr. grabbed his 2nd Champions Tour title at the Shaw Charity Classic; and at the Ally Challenge Tournament in Grand Blanc, Michigan, (52) year old Jerry Kelly let everybody on the senior circuit know that he was going to continue to grab his share of wins – winning his (5th) 50+ title; (and) the next week Rocco Mediate came from pretty far behind to win the Sanford International event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota – his 4th career Champions title – proving he’s still got a lot of fight left in him! Nice going Rocco!
Also, holding (3) events in September was the Men’s European Tour – the 1st weekend was in Crans-Montana, Switzerland where the 85th! European Masters was won by Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg in a five-man playoff for his 1st ever European Tour Championship title; next up, in Amsterdam was the 100th! KLM Open – (yes, the Euro Tour has been around a long time!) – where the volatile, but incredibly talented Sergio Garcia of Spain won his 16th Euro title; and the 65th BMW PGA Championship was won by (2016) Masters Champion Danny Willett on his native soil in Virginia Water, England.
The U.S. Men’s PGA Tour took a little time off after the season-ending Fed-Ex Cup finals – but got going again in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia – holding the “Military Tribute at the Greenbrier” Championship - *(The 1st of 49 events to be held on the 2019/2020 “wraparound” season of the PGA Tour) – where (20) year old rookie Joaquin Niemann of Chile showed he is ready for prime time (and) *(a side note) – where veteran Kevin Chappell shot the 10th ever (59) on tour, making (9) straight birdies to tie the tour record for consecutive birdies in a round (and) joining Mark Calcavecchia with that distinction; (and) the following week, another youngster from South America – (26) year old Sebastian Munoz of Columbia won for the 1st time at the 51st edition of the Sanderson Farms Championship, held in Jackson, Mississippi. *The World of Global Golf Talent is rearing its marvelous head! – I have quite a few other golf tour news events for the season – but I’ll hold off ‘til next month to add them in – excepting – two…Tiger had a 5th! surgery on his left knee, making it probable that when he captain’s this fall’s President’s Cup, he will not be a “playing captain” …(and) (79) year old Jack Nicklaus recently played at the Sycamore Hills Golf Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana and won with his partner in the legends division by sinking a putt from about (15 yards off the green on the last hole! Jack never has stopped giving it his all! – And winning never gets old!
Special thanks this month: And every month to Mike Modrzejewski for his fantastic help; to all those readers who sent in their memories/stories – I will hold on to them & maybe get a chance to publish them in the future; to J&M Golf for donating a beautiful golf package for this month’s contributor to our “great stories” contest, as well as, Wicker Park G.C. for giving our winner a couple of free rounds; and a sincere thank you to Bill Springer who passed away in August – a man who, right up until the end, was giving his all to help others of all ages enjoy our wonderful game – he will truly be missed.
(And) if you have a suggestion for a feature article you would like to see covered -or- if you just want to chime in – please contact me at our e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave me a voicemail at (219)617-3276, and to read past golf course reviews – or to just visit Golf Plus newspaper online – visit our website at golfplusonline.net.
A little personal note: Happy Birthday Mike Modrzejewski! And also my daughter Stacey! Love you both – Enjoy your October birthdays. (OK!) That just saved me two card purchases and stamps!
Lastly: I mentioned Jack Nicklaus is (79) - *He will be turning (80) in January – And, it reminds me that (2) great gentlemen of golf were separated in age by ten years – but competed as contemporaries for what seemed an eternity is my entire life; challenging each other like no two others in our game’s history…of course you know who I’m talking about – the great Arnold Palmer – who would have turned (90) last month. So, in his honor, I would like to leave you this month with a quote from Mr. Palmer in his book titled “My Game and Yours” – which I am sure you can still get somewhere if you do a little research; and which to my mind, may be the best book ever written about golf! And, even if there may be some disagreement on whether this is true or not – there should be no disagreement whatsoever that the following quote from the very first! paragraph of this book has never been (and never will) be topped by any writer in describing our game – so please enjoy and pass along to those you know the following words of Mr. Arnold Palmer…
Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated. A child can play it well and a grown man can never master it. Any single round of it is full of unexpected triumphs and perfect shots that end in disaster. It is almost a science, yet it is a puzzle without an answer. It is gratifying and tantalizing, precise and unpredictable; it requires complete concentration and total relaxation. It satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented. “Thanks for sharing” your thoughts, Mr. Palmer.
See you next month – Pete