McMahon Family Outing brings Isles together

Former Islander Bob Nystrom watches his shot during Former Islander Bob Nystrom watches his shot during a fundraiser in memory of the late son of former Islanders equipment manager Joey McMahon. (June 19, 2010) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

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Mark Herrmann Newsday columnist Mark Herrmann

Herrmann has covered the Mets and Yankees since 1988, and has been Newsday’s national golf writer since ...

Technically, it is the McMahon Family Golf Outing. In reality, it is an Islanders family gathering. The annual event, which will be held Saturday at Middle Island Country Club, is the one thread that ties generations of Islanders alumni. It is the closest thing the former players have to the Yankees' Old-Timers Day.

In a tribute to the way golf can lift people up and bring them together, the one-day tournament raises funds for various causes. It began in 1999 as a tribute to the late Lee McMahon, mother of Joe, who was the Islanders equipment manager for 19 seasons. The outing took on a whole different aspect in 2002, when Joe's 1-year-old son Aidan died of liver disease.

McMahon said he expects 20 former players to attend, arriving from various pages of Islanders history: Clark Gillies, Bob Nystrom, Patrick Flatley, Mick Vukota, Dean Chynoweth, Claude Lapointe, Steve Webb, Bryan McCabe and Doug Weight. McMahon said that Bill Torrey, who still is involved in hockey and will be away on business, called to thank him for keeping his former players connected with each other. Information about the charity is available at www.lam-foundation.com.

Foursome makes 7 on par 3

Regulars at Bergen Point Golf Course in West Babylon know how difficult the par-3 6th hole is. It is uphill, usually against the wind and the tee shot has to go over water and a bunker. All of which made the recent achievement of Pete Meyer and the rest of his foursome remarkable.

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Meyer scored a hole-in-one with a 5-iron from 171 yards. His playing partners, Leo Wolcott, Vince Hoffman and Rob Miser, weren't distracted. Each also hit it on the green, and made birdie (one of the putts was from 60 feet), for a total score of 7 by the group.

Chip shots

After his wrenching bogey on No. 18 at Canoe Brook Monday, which knocked him out of a playoff for a spot in the U.S. Open, Joe Horowitz of Long Beach walked past the crowd. On the spur of the moment, Horowitz reached in his pocket and handed a shiny golf ball to a young boy. Neither the boy nor his father knew that Horowitz had just endured one of the worst moments of his career. The dad said, "What a great guy!" Horowitz said later that by the time he got home, he had 54 texts from people who had heard about how he had missed by a shot. "All positive," he said . . . Sean Farren, head pro at The Creek, who qualified for the 2009 Open, was back at the sectional this year--as a caddie. He looped for Piping Rock pro Sean Quinlivan. The two were paired the following day in the Long Island Open . . . Future Stanford teammates Cameron Wilson and Smithtown's Jim Liu were paired at the Open sectional (Wilson qualified, and will play with Casey Martin Tuesday). They will play together again in the first round of the Ike later this month.

Hank Haney, during his clinic at Golfsmith in Lake Grove Wednesday, said the average amateur's swing speed is 85 miles per hour, way short of Bubba Watson's 135. When Haney hears a weekend golfer say "I swung too fast," the teacher replies, "Why, did you hit it too far?" He encourages amateurs to swing faster, which doesn't mean swing harder. Tiger Woods' former coach added that swinging faster actually results from being more relaxed.

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