GOLF CHRONICLES
Amory Davis 
 
 
Locals watch at U.S. Amateur
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
By Joe Logan

In the locals watch of Philadelphia-area golfers in the U.S. Amateur,  after the first of two days of stroke-play qualifying, two players – Amory Davis from Chadds Ford and Brian Belden from Emmaus – are in good position to be among the low 64 who advance to match play.

 

Davis, a senior at the University of Virginia, is the low local, having shot 2-under 70 on The Home Course, tying him for 11th..  Today, he’ll play Chambers Bay, which will host the match play portion of the Amateur.

 

Belden, a senior at the University of Kentucky, is tied for 24th after shooting even par 72.  He also plays Chambers Bay today.

 

Michael Brown, 37, from Cheltenham, winner of the 2010 Philadelphia Open, shot 3-over 75 and his tied for 97th, along with Brandon Detweiler, from Akron, Pa., a senior at N.C. State, who was medalist at local qualifying for the Amateur.

 

Robert Savarese, from Lafayette Hill, shot 4-over 76 and is tied for 123rd.  Marc Mandel, from Conshohocken, shot 6-over 77 at Chambers Bay, leaving him tied for 164th.


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4th at Ballamor GC 
Golf ranks Ballamor No. 4 among N.J. publics
Friday, August 20, 2010
By Joe Logan

Ballamor GC in Egg Harbor Township is rightfully crowing that nine months after it went public, the course has been ranked 4th in New Jersey on Golf magazine’s latest list of Best Places You Can Play.

 

The Top 100 nationally and the state-by-state lists will be published in the September issue of the magazine; it’s already available on the sister website, Golf.com.

 

"This comes as a pleasant surprise," said Ballamor GM Mike Tucci.  "While we knew Ballamor was as good as or even better than some of the other NJ courses, we figured it might take some time for the word to get out."

 

Opened in 2001 as a private club, Ballamor filed for bankruptcy last fall and reopened Jan. 1 2010 as an upscale daily fee.

 

Debuting at No. 4 in New Jersey vaults Ballamor past several established, quality courses at the Shore, such as Shore Gate (7th), Twisted Dune (8th), Sea Oaks (9th), Seaview Bay Course (12th), Vineyard at Renault (15th) and Sand Barrens (16th).  Atlantic City CC ranks No. 1 on the New Jersey list.

 

Here is my review of Ballamor.


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10th at Pine Valley 
Crump Cup, Sept. 12th
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
By Joe Logan

For fans of Pine Valley Golf Club, circle Sunday, Sept. 12 on your calendar.  That’s the day of the finals of the 86th Crump Cup.

 

The George Arthur Crump Cup Memorial Tournament, named for the founder and main architect of the club, is a four-day competition among a field of top amateurs.  The day of the finals is the one day of the year that Pine Valley, near Clementon, N.J., the No. 1 ranked course in the country, throws open its doors to any and all comers.

 

Here is the pertinent information for this year’s Crump Cup.

 

-- Doors open at 1 p.m., Sept. 12.

 

-- Parking is at the Clementon Lake Amusement Park, 144 Berlin Road, Clementon.  Signs will be posted to direct you to the designated parking area.  (Police will not allow parking o East Atlantic Ave.)

 

-- Parking is $20 per car, which will include a shuttle bus ride to the course.

 

-- The Clementon Youth Athletic Association will set up a refreshment stand inside the front gate.

 

-- Video, photographs and cell phones are not permitted.  Do not bring cameras.

 

-- In case of inclement weather, call 856-783-3000, Option  4.

 

For your reading enjoyment, here’s a tour of the course from GolfClubAtlas.com.   Here’s a good magazine story on the Crump Cup.  Photos from last year’s Crump Cup are under Photos on the MyPhillyGolf Home page.


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Dustin Johnson 
What a stupid he is
Monday, August 16, 2010
By Joe Logan

I don’t know about you but in the span of about 15 minutes, I went from being totally outraged that Dustin Johnson was getting completely hosed at the PGA Championship to thinking, in the words of Roberto de Vincenzo, "What  a stupid he is."

 

How can you come to any other conclusion, once you’ve seen the CBS video of Johnson’s tee shot flight path into what is clearly a bunker?

 

That, and the fact that he readily admitted afterward that he hadn’t bothered to read the Local Rules sheet from the PGA pointing out that every single one of Whistling Strait’s 1,000 bunkers would be played as bunkers, not as waste areas, no matter how far off the beaten path they were.

 

What happened to Johnson must be tough for him to swallow but he’s got nobody to blame but himself.


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Joe Logan[8/17/2010 5:32:33 PM]
I agree with you up to a point. If the PGA of America was going to declare all of the 1,000-plus bunkers in play, as they did, then they should have kept fans from walking in them. Unfortunately, because of where Pete Dye put so many of the bunkers at Whistling Straits, thatís not practical if you want to have spectators attend the tournament. They have nowhere else to walk. However, what is inescapable is that the PGA gave a Local Rules sheet to every player declaring the bunkers in play. For competitors, reading that sheet, especially in a major, is Golf 101.
Wolfman Dan[8/17/2010 7:26:59 AM]
The patrons should not be allowed to stand in the bunkers of the golf course. If so, it should be a waste bunker, and grounding is OK. Try having a patron stand in the bunker at Augusta, and see what happens. Terrible, with terrible outcome. The PGA should be embarrassed.

Stu Ingraham 
Day One for locals in PGA
Friday, August 13, 2010
By Joe Logan

Day 1 did not go well for two of the locals at the PGA Championship.

 

Mark Sheftic, teaching pro at Merion GC, shot a 10-over 82 in the first round, leaving him tied for 155th, last in the field.  His card is here.

 

Rich Steinmetz, head pro at Spring Ford CC, shot 3-over 75, tied for 118th.  His card is here.

 

Stu Ingraham, teaching pro at M Golf Range, was 1-over par through eight holes when play was suspended for the day.  His card is here.


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Mark Sheftic 
Locals Steinmetz, Sheftic and Ingraham in PGA Championship
Thursday, August 12, 2010
By Joe Logan

Three of the top sticks from the ranks of the Philadelphia PGA Section are in the field of this week’s final major of the year, the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.

 

They are: Rich Steinmetz, 38, head from at Spring Ford CC in Gilbertsville; Mark Sheftic, 35, teaching pro at Merion GC in Ardmore; and Stu Ingraham, 50, teaching pro at M Golf Range & Learning Center in Harrisburg.

 

All three are good enough and sufficiently experienced that it’s not out of the question that any or all could survive the cut, even if the odds are against it.  Twenty club pros are in the field.

 

For Ingraham, a former PGA Tour player, this is his sixth trip to the PGA Championship; he made the cut in his last two appearances, in 1993 and 1996.  For Steinmetz and Sheftic, this is their second trip to the PGA.

 

Here’s a story on Steinmetz; here’s one on all three.


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Might as well be me 
Just call me Old Fart
Monday, August 9, 2010
By Joe Logan

I reached a watershed moment in my golfing career over the weekend.

 

No, I did not make a hole-in-one.  No, I did not win the club championship.  No, I did not break 70 or even 80.  I added a second hybrid to my bag.

 

I realize, of course, that officially makes me an Old Fart.

 

It’s one thing to carry a single hybrid; that’s not necessarily un-manly; but two hybrids is definitely Old Fart territory. 

 

When hybrids first appeared on the scene a few years ago, most better golfers eyed them with curiosity, ambivalence, suspicion, even scorn.  Over time, many golfers opened their minds and their wallets and eventually took the hybrid plunge.

 

This was back when even weekend hacks generally still carried 3-irons and even 2-irons.  (Years ago, for a brief time, I even carried a Ping Eye-2 1-iron; among golfers, nothing says badass like a 1-iron. It’s been so long ago I forget whether I wrapped that 1-iron around a tree or threw it in a lake.)

 

I finally bought my first hybrid three or four years ago, after plenty of golfers already swore by them and equipment companies were even coming out with entire sets of hybrid irons.  My first hybrid was 19-degrees, killing two birds, or clubs, with one stone.  I got rid of my 4-wood and my 3-iron.

 

Although I’ve tried a couple different brands of hybrids since then, I have continued to be a 19-degree man, allowing me to remain loyal to and confident in my 4-iron. 

 

At least until about a week or so ago, when I noticed that two or three 4-iron shots were as, well, not as crisp and solid as they might have been.  In point of fact, the ball flew off the club like a sickly pigeon.  Didn’t sound good, feel good or look good.   

 

I swallowed my pride and drove to my neighborhood big box golf chain store.  Soon enough, I was running my fingers across the smooth, metallic underbelly of a 21-degree hybrid.

 

"Can I help you?" asked a nosey clerk, who had clearly snuck up on me.

 

"No," I  said, dropping the hybrid like a 12-year-old caught looking at Playboy.

 

When the nosey clerk was gone, I fondled the 21-degree more.  Not only did it have more loft, the shaft was shorter.   I knew that meant more control.  I could no more walk out of that store without that 21-degree hybrid than an addict could walk away from the front door of a crack house.

 

I played my first couple of rounds with "21" over the weekend.  I love it.  I hit it like a 4-iron, then I choked it down an inch and hit it like a 5-iron and, I kid you not, choked it down even more and hit it like a 6-iron.

 

But that was too much, too far, too quick.  I refuse to be one of those stooped-over old geezer farts you see pulling a pull cart, dragging a bag with putter, SW, PW, 9, 8, 7 and nine variations of hybrids and woods.  I will not be that guy.

 

At least not for now, not until a 23-degree hybrid catches my eye.

 

 


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Jay W[8/11/2010 5:22:38 AM]
Over the last few years I have changed my set mix from a "standard" setup of driver, 3 & 5 wood, 3 - PW, GW & SW to driver, 4 wood (17 deg), hybrids (19 & 24 deg), 5 - PW (47 deg), GW (52 deg), SW (56 (deg) & LW (60 deg) and have brought more consistency to my scores (i.e. more in the lower 80ís and less often blowing up into the 90ís). So, I prefer to think of myself as getting wiser as I get older (early 50ís) and not as "getting more flatulent".
Jason W.[8/10/2010 7:22:56 PM]
Joe - Itís not how, itís how many. Donít count your hybrids, count your strokes.
The Muni Golfer[8/10/2010 9:52:43 AM]
Iíve had as many as 3 in the bag, but right now it is just 1. But, before the end of the golf, I think there will be at least 1 more to keep it company...
Steve[8/10/2010 5:23:12 AM]
Geez...I found an old Ping 9 Ti wood/metal in my garage recently and itís now in my bag. What does that make me?
Ed[8/9/2010 6:22:38 PM]
Iíd feel bad for you if I didnít have three hybrids.


 
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