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SportsColumnistsMark Herrmann

North Shore CC celebrates golf heritage

Sean Donovan of Glen Cove, caddie at North

Sean Donovan of Glen Cove, caddie at North Shore Country Club in Glen Head, watches the flight of the ball while working at the Country Club on Wednesday, June 4, 2014. He is the second winner of the prestigious Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship. Photo Credit: Jack McCoy

Members at North Shore Country Club can handle a niblick, a mashie and a future. The club in Glen Head recently marked its 100th anniversary with a tournament in which the players all used vintage hickory shafted clubs.

It was a nine-hole scramble with one set of clubs per group. The clubs were rented from a company in Westchester. "We had an explanation sheet in each golf cart telling everyone what each club represented," North Shore club manager Ben Ghesquiere said, referring to the fact a niblick is roughly equivalent to a 9-iron, a mashie would be a 5-iron.

The golf was surprisingly good, he said, despite the fact that some of the teams included members' spouses who had not played golf before.

Earlier in the year, club owner Donald Zucker threw a gala dinner for the entire membership, and the annual season-long Harvest Cup competition was renamed the Centennial Harvest Cup. The champion, David Powers, received a framed centennial flag.

"It was a continuous celebration," Ghesquiere said.

Mostly, it was a toast to the health of a club that was almost shuttered by bankruptcy in 2009 before Zucker bought it, refurbished it (bringing in top-end architect Tom Doak) and attracted new members. Ghesquiere said emotions were stirred during a slide show depicting scenes from 1914 to the present. "It really brought together members who had been here for many years with ones who have been here a couple years," he said.

 

Bolling preps for senior tour

Charlie Bolling had an easy explanation for why he was the only golfer under par as he won the 36-hole Long Island Senior Open this week at the Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury: "I'm playing well and I love the course."

The 56-year-old from Glen Cove, former head pro at Fresh Meadow in Lake Success, shot 5 under, which was six strokes better than anyone else. His competitive edge was sharpened by playing the European Senior Tour two years ago. His game has improved with a schedule that consists of giving private lessons and playing in tournaments.

He will try for his Champions Tour card, beginning with the first stage of qualifying in Houston Nov. 4. "The timing could be just right," he said. "Even though I don't hit it as far as I'd like to, I know you never stop learning. That's the most attractive thing about this sport."

 

Last minute good fortune

Kenny Bakst and Jon Doppelt have known each other and squared off in amateur events for 30 years. So it seemed natural to Bakst, owner of Friar's Head in Riverhead, to invite Doppelt, a member at Fresh Meadow, to team up for the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Competition. The thing was, he asked at just about the last minute.

Doppelt believes they might have had only five minutes to spare before the registration deadline. Yet they won the local qualifier at Cherry Valley in Garden City Tuesday. So they qualified for the championship -- which replaced the Public Links on the U.S. Golf Association's schedule -- next May at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. James Mastiglio and Timothy Schmitt of Garden City also made it, as did Conor Casey of Madison, New Jersey and Griffin Kern of Manhattan.

 

Off-track pursuit

Rosa Blanca Jones will gladly juggle her schedule in the spring. The multi-sport athlete at the Stony Brook School qualified this week for the Suffolk high school boys county golf championship, which will be held in May, when she will be running track.

 

Fact of the week

Dom Debonis, 81, of Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, made three holes-in-one in three days during a golf trip with 11 buddies in Myrtle Beach. When he was asked by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette how the group celebrated, the 14 handicap said, "We went and bought a bunch of lottery tickets."

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