Here is the sort of thing that keeps golfers coming back: On any given day, even a 10-time club champion can achieve something totally new and exciting.
That happened to Chris Van Tuyl of St. George's Golf & Country Club in Setauket two weekends ago. Playing alongside his 12-year-old son Palmer on May 16, Van Tuyl hit an 8-iron to a back pin position on the 147-yard ninth hole and made it on the fly.
That was an amazing, rewarding show for father and son. In fact, they were still pleased about it the next day when the two of them and Todd Kozlowsky -- Chris' former Stoddard Trophy teammate -- reached the same hole. This time, the pin was in front, so Van Tuyl used a 9-iron. Sure enough, the ball took one bounce and went right in the cup, completing a one-hole, two-day quinella.
Swan Lake praised
Richard Rocchio, executive director of the Long Island Golf Course Association, believes there is much to be said for the Long Island courses that don't get the same national attention as one or two famous ones do. And he makes it a point of saying it.
Every spring, Rocchio, a public relations consultant, chooses the Long Island Course of the Year. This year, it is Swan Lake in Manorville, which opened in 1979 and still is owned by the Jurgens family, which also owns Spring Lake in Middle Island.
"Swan Lake Golf Club epitomizes the quality of golf we look for: dedicated ownership and staff, a well-maintained golf course and clubhouse and playable challenges on the course," Rocchio said. "I also want to see a friendly atmosphere."
After months of work by the staff and a lot of patience on behalf of golfers, all of the greens on all five courses at Bethpage State Park are now open, head pro Joe Rehor said. All of the courses have been open (the Black got started in early May, later than the others) but there have been a few temporary greens because of winter damage. The facility is ready for the heart of the season . . . Rock Hill Country Club in Manorville is planning a 50th anniversary celebration for the fall . . . Jack Nicklaus stood alongside Donald Trump on Tuesday at the formal opening at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a public Nicklaus-designed course in the Bronx, at the base of the Whitestone Bridge. The links-flavored track has stunning views of the New York skyline. Trump has plans of hosting big professional tournaments there.
Annie Park of Levittown finished her amateur career last week as a second-team All-American and as the University of Southern California's all-time leader in tournament victories with six. Just as she left high school early to start college, she is leaving USC after three seasons. Park is scheduled to make her professional debut this week at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Michigan, a stop on the developmental Symetra Tour . . . Kelly Shon of Port Washington, a Symetra graduate who is on the LPGA Tour, is tied for third after two rounds of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, N.J. She is at 4-under 138, three shots behind Morgan Pressel.
John Rafferty offered background on the hole-in-one his brother Marty, of New Hyde Park, made recently in Maryland (reported here Thursday). Marty is one of seven brothers and one of the family's triplets. He is the fourth brother and second triplet to make an ace. John, another of the triplets, is still working on his first.