ARDMORE, Pa. - Mike Davis, the executive director of the U.S. Golf Association, has been the central figure in golf this week for having so vigorously defended century-old Merion Golf Club and set up the course so that it still is relevant for a modern U.S. Open. But he is not done yet.
And he is just as interested in new courses, particularly the one that will host the U.S. Women's U.S. Open in Southampton the week after next.
Davis is looking forward to being at Sebonack Golf Club (est. 2006) and seeing it begin its own championship history.
"First of all, when you get to the East End of Long Island, that in and of itself gets intriguing because you get sandy soils, you get winds. Here you have Sebonack, which is right beside Shinnecock, right beside National,'' he said, referring to Shinnecock Hills and the National Golf Links of America, from Merion's era. "Even though these courses are beside one another, they are completely different golf courses. So I think it's going to be so neat. We have never had the Women's Open on Long Island, which is hard to believe because of all the great golf courses.
"We're really excited about it. I think the players are intrigued by it. The club has just done a marvelous job hosting it so far and,'' Davis said, mentioning Sebonack's founder and owner, "Mike Pascucci has just been dynamic.''
Grand shot times 20
Let's face it. Who among us does not get at least a little nervous playing with a pro? Evidently not Jeff Falk, a member of Tam O'Shanter Club in Brookville, who was playing with Winged Foot pro Mike Gilmore in a pro-member-guest tournament. Falk swung his 7-iron from 174 yards on the seventh hole and made an ace. That wasn't the least of it. The tournament had an affiliation with the National Hole-in-One Association and Falk won $20,000.
McDaid wins Met PGA
Becky McDaid, the assistant pro at Friar's Head in Riverhead, the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur champion, a former LPGA Tour player and mother of a 2-year-old, scored a six-stroke win in the Met PGA Women's Stroke Play Championship, presented by Michael Hebron, this week at Bedford Golf and Tennis Club.
Lots of respect
Strong support came from Long Island in the few days since the USGA announced a nationwide initiative to speed up play, using the Rodney Dangerfield ''Caddyshack" exhortation, "While we're young.''
Management at the newly reopened South Bay Country Club (formerly Middle Bay in Oceanside) announced that they will make clear to golfers a pace of play policy, to enhance the experience for everybody. Public course golfers like the fact that course owners and operators will have to take much of the responsibility. One reader, a senior who plays a popular municipal course three times a week, suggested that courses should be encouraged to make room for the Tee It Forward campaign and should install 150- and 100-yard markers on fairways and color coordinate flags to show whether the hole is in the front, back or middle to help expedite decision making.
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