Read this week’s newsletter - featuring this weeks news and all our club updates.
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GUEST Columnist - Jim Patterson qualified last week for The U.S. Senior Open Championship in Omaha, Nebraska, in the CHAMPIONS TOUR, alongside Jim Furyk, Bernhard Langer, Fred Couples, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh, Tom Lehman, Colin Montgomerie, Mike Weir and 145 other competitors. Read about his thoughts.
From the Champions Tour by amateur player Jim Patterson -
Erik, Thanks for the opportunity to share this amazing week. Now that the pain of Friday's round is a bit forgotten (sort of) - reflecting on what transpired last week is a bit easier.
First of all, the USGA does an amazing job of setting up this event and helping the players. My driver head broke during my 2nd practice round and the player assistance staff jumped through hoops to line up a new one (I should have asked for a weed wacker instead). Even as an amateur at this event, they made me feel like a pro and the real pros were just awesome to interact with. I was getting ready for round one on Thursday morning and hitting a few putts on the green before heading to the first tee. I was putting toward a tee I stuck into the green and Fred Funk walked up and commented that it's easier putting at a hole, slapped me on the shoulder and walked away laughing. One of my best memories of the tourney!
I think the most fun was the practice range. I was set up next to Vijay and soaked up the opportunity to see how these guys were preparing (tons of balls that always seem to have the same trajectory and flight). It's amazing to see just how straight they hit it, even on the course, they hit driver at every opportunity and rarely miss the fairway. The short game area was something I should have paid more attention to. Guys were testing wedge grinds and shots that would work better in the open conditions. Bunkers were so firm and the lies around the greens so tight that only a butter knife could slide under the ball ( I learned that quickly in my first bunker) . Nothing but perfect contact was rewarded and what could be gotten away with under normal conditions sadly rejected.
The US Open rough is no joke! The key to survival more than ever is fairways and greens. I did a pretty good job of that Thursday but the hooks I developed on day two didn't fare so well. There is zero room for error on these setups. The rough is around 5 inches deep, thick, swirly and evil- I whiffed two on the left side of 15, couldn't even see the ball as it had nestled to the bottom of that nightmare. I watched a pro drop three balls in the primary behind hole 4 during the practice round and he whiffed the first two and hit the third a couple of feet. All you can hope to do if you miss a fairway is advance the ball- it grabs your club and sends the ball further left ( into the same disaster) if you are overly aggressive and try to pull off more. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy- the three keys to survival!
Greens- firm and fast and don't be above the hole! They said the greens were running around a 12 but downhill had to be 14 or so. Key was location , not just greens in regulation. If you did not approach the hole from the correct direction, you had zero chance of two putting. It seemed like your ball was on a string and someone was pulling it away from the hole, it just never stopped rolling. If your irons were off, it was going to be a long day!
I can't say enough about what a surreal experience this was. Living this dream for a week was one of the most amazing opportunities golf has presented to me. I learned so much about how this game is really played and what the pros do to prepare for such a challenge. US Open conditions really expose your game's weaknesses and have me refocused on refining my game so I can get back to this stage with more experience ( less nerves), more confidence and a swing that will stand up to the test!
Orchard Valley Heating and Cooling Have you seen our VIRUS KILLING FILTERS?
FROM THE GM - Vicki Richardello
Our beloved long time member, Pat Mancuso, passed away peacefully last Monday morning. PattiCakes was short on stature, but big on personality. She took charge of our Women’s Golf League and made it a hit. Pat, you always sent hugz and today, we send you one to heaven. Play golf, sing and dance with the angels and please, send down to us your enthusiasm and love. We will miss you…..
Golfweek’s Northeast Junior Championship sponsored by Cobra has entries available. Register here.
Do you know why U.S. Open Champion Jon Rahm has such a short backswing? He was born with a club foot on his right leg, underwent many surgeries and is still not stable with a fully loaded right side!
The word sandwich has taken on a whole new meaning for golfers today.
Junior golfer Tomas Gomez wanted to make "one last shot" before he had to leave a Topgolf facility in San Antonio, TX. Watch here as lightning strikes his golf ball.
Former Steeplecat Gordon Graceffo was picked by the St. Louis Cardinals in Monday’s MLB Draft. YES! Two players were named to this Sunday’s All Star game, first baseman John Marti from UAlbany and catcher Jeremy Lea from UPacific. Home game tonight at 6:30.
It’s Thursday, July 15, the 196th day of the year. Sunrise in Williamstown was at 5:28 AM and sunset will be at 8:28 PM for 15 hours of sunlight. The waxing cresent moon is 39 percent full. The Old Farmer's Almanac says a thing done at a wrong time should be regarded as not done. What's it like outside? 83 degrees for a high today, 2 percent chance of RAIN in the 3rd wettest July ever, and we’re only half way through! Cloudy, and some areas of New England could see light rain tomorrow. A bit warmer than yesterday, mid-70s. About the same Friday. It's the best time of the year to play golf if it isn’t raining!
Inquire about the Waubeeka Farmhouse and our Stay‘n Play Packages.
Remember basketball phenom Vinny Del Negro who now lives in Boston? Dick Syriac tells a great story about him and his parents below. Sunday he won the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in a sudden-death playoff over former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smolz. Del Negro dedicated the win to his 85 year old dad who passed on Wednesday, and credited his dad with making him ‘the person I am.’
FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT - Brian Bartlett
15.7 inches of rain on a golf course with too big a clay base and a damn pond that doesn’t want to be a pond, 200 acres of soggy grass and a caring crew on a mission! A special thank you to my assistant, Keenan Pallos and each of our team members; they took every drop of rain and turned it to sunshine, took every broken tree branch and put it into our mulch pile, groomed every sand trap possible, cleared branches from every culvert and made the golf course playable for one of our biggest tournaments of the year! Top priority now is cart paths on Holes 2, 3 and 4 and drainage on Hole #9. We’ve gone too long not addressing this problem; these rains have prioritized our needs. Thank you for your understanding and your patience, as well as your support! Green #9 will be closed for drainage work effective Oct 18 for the rest of the season!
FROM THE KITCHEN: TAVERN ON 7 -
Plenty of great food is available as the crowds we expected stayed away due to the tremendous amount of rain we’ve had! It is hard to believe the ripple effect that weather has on our business! Come inside, it’s always dry!! Specials this week include fresh broiled cod topped with Ritz crackers, and fresh fried fish and chips!
Today, come over for a ham and cheese sandwich. Not to be confused with Sandwich, England. May as well order a drink and watch the Open while you're there!
FROM THE PRO - Erik Tiele
Thank you Jim Patterson, for writing about your trip last week to play in the US Senior Open on the Champions Tour. Great column above!
Signups have begun online for the Allied gross and net divisions to be played August 8 both here and at Wahconah CC. To enter, click here.
The Glow Ball Tournament is tomorrow night with a 8 PM shotgun start.
The Ladies’ Member Guest will be held this Saturday with a 12:30 modified shotgun start. The theme this year, Monopoly Golf, should be lots of fun!
All parents and juniors: please remember that we offer a Free Golf Clinic every Sunday, 1 - 2 PM for juniors ages 6-13.
Ladies Chip & Sip was postponed this past Monday due to the weather and this upcoming Monday we have the YMCA Tournament here which is scheduled for a shotgun start. That being said, we will officially begin the Chip and Sip on Monday, July 26th! Sorry for the inconvenience!
I want to give a special thank you to all the members and guests who played in our Two Day One Day Member Guest. Although we had to shorten it to a one day event, everyone was so understanding and considerate of the changes and adjustments we had to make and so respectful of the golf course; you made this event very special. Thank you all so very much. Tip of the hat to Champions Geoff Tatro and Steve Rocchio, who shot a remarkable 4 under par round on a course that begged for sunshine! Results are as follows:
1st - 67 Geoff Tatro - Steve Rocchio
2nd - 69 Todd Shafer - Jamie Zdon
3rd - 71 Chris Bourdon - Pete Baran
4th - 71 Toby Foehl - Paul Roeder
5th - 72 Ron Goss - Don Dagnoli
6th - 74 Nick Petropulos - Owen Petropulos
1st - 62 Jerry Bush - Chris Baran
2nd - 62 Tom Degray - John Barrett III
3rd - 62 Ken Hodgdon - Steve Brown
4th - 63 Chris Ware - Tom Leveque
5th - 64 Ed Noel - Jack Noel
6th - 64 Jim Corkins - Brian Gravel
Trade-Ins - Let me take a look at your clubs and give you a trade-in price toward a new set. Quick turnaround time on Cobra clubs. Other manufacturers are getting better. Try any of our demo clubs before you purchase. We carry all major brands. See Square Deal Tiele and let’s talk!
Dick Syriac (laryoflenox) writes:
I received an email from Mr. Deep on Monday. He inquired: "Did you play hoop with Vinny Del Negro at Cathedral?"
Where do I begin? Vinny was born in 1966.
At that time I was a classmate of Mike at NASC. (Didn't they teach math at St. Joe?)
Vinny didn't elect to remain at CHS and matriculated to Suffield Academy. I caught one of his games at Suffield and there was not a parking spot in the entire town, and the gym was filled with college scouts. Then off to North Carolina State and Jim Valvano and then the NBA where he enjoyed a great playing and coaching career.
Vinny , a 2 handicap, recently hit the newswires (are there still newswires?) for winning the American Century Golf Championship beating John Smoltz in a sudden death playoff which was televised.
I recall when NC STATE played in Springfield; Vinny brought the entire squad to his house where his Mom prepared an Italian feast for them; Valvano was in his glory.
Now something about Vinny's dad Vin Sr who passed away last week at 85.
I grew up reading the sports section of the Springfield Union - News and noticing the box scores of the "Nut League" an amateur hoop league played at the YMCA.
The name Del Negro was always the top scorer in the league. Vin was the best player around. He would score 20-25 points per game more than anyone else in the league.
Was he that good? Yes he was even better.
After his high school career at Springfield Trade he went into the military where he played both basketball and baseball, did some soldiering, and then accepted a full ride to Northeast Mississippi JUCO. In his second year he led the nation in scoring with 33.4 ppg.
The University of Kentucky and Adolph Rupp took notice and Vin was offered a full scholarship. He accepted and headed for BlueGrass country.
After a while Vin was back in Springfield. The story around town was that Mr. Del Negro was leading a fast break in practice and made a perfect Cousy like behind the back pass to a teammate for a score. The whistle blew and Rupp told him “We don't play that kind of basketball down here boy.”
Rupp's loss was Springfield's gain, soon it was off to the Nut League and to raise a family.
I knew Vin, but most people knew of him, a local legend. In Springfield sports circles, he was Nick Buoniconti before Nick Buoniconti excelling at any sport that he played. He was a great guy and a great family man. He ran a couple of bars in the city and owned a package store as well. His pub, Vin's Gym, was the campus hangout for Springfield College students of his era.
If you attended AIC back then it was The Charm Cafe on State Street ( No Harm at The Charm); if at Springfield College it was Vin's Gym. With all due respect to Vinny DelNegro and his accomplishments in college and the NBA, his dad , if born a decade or two later , would have had a great NBA career.
My condolences to his family.
In the "It was bound to happen" department... it happened!
For years the outfield at the home run derby was staffed by youngsters who appeared to wear a baseball glove for the first time. These folks should have been instructed to wait for those line drives to stop rolling and then pick them up.
During the Monday night Derby the camera showed one of these youngsters being taken off the field, not "under their own power.”
The kid must have misread the exit velo or launch angle.
How about they put some local high school or college players out there?
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred acts like he is striving to promote the game to youngsters. " It is all about the kids.” Maybe he could start by playing more day games and stop selling out to networks for prime time dollars. With him, it is all about the money.
Is it time to panic for the Team USA basketball team before the games begin in Japan ?
Two warm up games; two losses in their pre-Olympic action.
These NBA all stars have dropped their first two games to Nigeria and Australia.
They were 16 point favorites vs Australia.
A Slice of Art - A perspective of art from the point of view of golf
Jeremy Perry puts the finishing touches on La Travotina by Arline Peartree. The renowned artist is a native of Sand Lake, NY and now makes her home in FL!
PGA Tour -
Former US Open champion Lucas Glover, 41, shot a finishing round 64 to win the 50th John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run. Glover played in the same rainy weather that the Waubeeka members and guests played in this past week! Kudos to both ground crews!
The British Open, excuse me, the Open, already started at 3 AM at Royal St. George in Sandwich, England, a true links course with wild mounding and crazy bounces, for the 15th time since 1860. Lucas Glover, Bubba, Matsuyama and others are refusing to cross the pond because of COVID protocols and strict rules about autographs and practice! They will not be allowed to go to restaurants, bars or grocery stores! Shane Lowry, the last person to drink from the Claret Jug, supports the protocols in exchange for the large crowds (estimated at 30,000/day) being able to attend! American Brian Harmon is 4 under through 14 holes!
The Barbasol Championship is at Nicholasville, KY starts today.
LPGA Tour - 22 year old Nasa Hataoka dominated at the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows GC in Sylvania, OH by six (6) shots! She used a 32 inch Bettinardi Studio Stock 3 with a 2.5 degree loft, for the first time ever. Amazing what a new look putter does every once in a while! The tourney was reduced to 54 holes as rain made the course unplayable at times.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at Midland CC, Michigan. There is a two way tie for first place in this four-ball (best ball) between partners Nelly and Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lydia Ko.
CHAMPION’S TOUR - Jim Furyk won the U.S. Senior Open in Nebraska. Our friend Jim Patterson competed in that same tournament last week. Read his thoughts above about playing on the big stage!
DEEP Thoughts -
You don’t know what you’ve got till it's gone! In the past 8 years, we’ve booked tee times, planned outings, weddings, concerts, etc. Seldom a problem with the scheduling; the weather always cooperated or we found a way to make it work. This has been a challenging 10 days for us; never before have we encountered weather like this in prime time, in a short season to begin with! But, we now realize how lucky we have been in the past and we will look at these recent 10 days as an opportunity that will make golfers understand that they should book their tee times often, frequent our tavern and support our events. Like we said; it’s a short season, take advantage of every day you get the opportunity to play golf! One member said it best, ‘this place is keeping me alive!’
We sure hope that’s plural!!!
Waubeeka Golf Links
137 NEW ASHFORD ROAD ROUTE 7, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA 01267