With the PGA Tour having this week formally announced the date for its tournament at Glen Oaks in Old Westbury next year, it is ready to unveil its new amenities and menus for the Barclays at Bethpage Black Aug. 25-28 this year.
“We learned a lot last time,” tournament director Peter Mele said, referring to the first time the Barclays was held at the Black in 2012. “We’ve got some nice upgrades for the fans, like a better bleacher setup on 18, similar to what they had for the Open in 2009.”
Since the last time the FedEx Cup playoff kickoff was on Long Island, the Tour has added touches that fans have come to expect at other sports venues. At the Black, that will mean two large portable bars with 42-inch plasma TVs, near the first and 14th holes, as well as eight food trucks whose vendors will include Empanada Man and Luke’s Lobster.
Mele said that a farm-to-table Taste of New York Food Court is planned. He added that there will be new grandstand seats, replacing the backless steel bleachers. “Better to sit in for hours,” he said. Portable lavatories will be replaced by rest room trailers.
This will be the last time the tournament (formerly the Westchester Classic) will be sponsored by Barclays. Northern Trust will take over when the event is held at Glen Oaks next Aug. 24-27. It will return to Bethpage in 2021 and 2027.
Brown stirs up his members
The Wednesday evening group at Tam O’Shanter Club in Brookville got a late start this past week. Instead of taking their normal tee times, the golfers were in the pro shop watching Golf Channel as the club’s head pro Mark Brown nearly won the national club pro championship.
“There were about 30 people in here. I heard it was chaos,” Brown said on the phone from the shop after he returned from the PGA Professionals Championship in Verona, N.Y. Who knows what the celebration would have been like if not for Rich Berberian’s 33-foot putt on the final hole, which edged Brown by a shot?
Still, Brown will get to play in the PGA Championship for a sixth time, the third in the past five years. It is a reward for finishing in the top 20 of the club pros’ event. “Everything I do all winter is to get ready for this,” he said, adding that he will try to visit Baltusrol Golf Club to prepare for the PGA to be held July 28-31.
LIer Poplarski continues his streak
U.S. Golf Association officials most likely left Oakmont with headaches after the rules controversy surrounding U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson, but their bones and joints were just fine. Many of them were treated by the wellness team that was headed for a 12th consecutive year by Amityville chiropractor Jeff Poplarski.
He recruits, interviews and coordinates 140 health care professionals to work with golfers, caddies and staffers. “The last day of the U.S. Open, we always get bombarded with workers who come in and say they were too busy to get to us all week,” he said.
Tonelli ponies up for firemen
John Tonelli’s knack for assisting did not stop when he made the pass that set up Bob Nystrom’s Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1980. That is the perspective of the Terryville Fire Department, which got much more than it hoped for when it invited the former Islander to its fundraising golf outing Monday at Port Jefferson Country Club.
The department wanted to create excitement for the outing, organizer Bill Theis said. As is their custom, the firefighters invited Tonelli to bring a foursome to play for free. “He gave the fire department a $1,500 check and said, ‘I don’t want anything in return. We’re all in this together,’” Theis said. “I was in shock. We wanted to compensate him and he compensated us.”
Father-son alternate roles
Cameron Young repeated as winner of the Ike Championship this week with his father, David, the head pro at Sleepy Hollow in Scarborough, N.Y., on the bag. A day later, the son caddied for his dad in a U.S. Senior Open sectional qualifier . . . Who says golf and nature are not a good twosome? The website fleetsandfuels.com reports that Tennessee state parks courses have replaced gas mowers and other equipment with electric models in part because the quieter machines are less disturbing to wildlife.