The sight of 11-year-old Lucy Li bouncing onto the greens and casually sitting on fairways between shots at the U.S. Women's Open last week just might send a message. "At that age, you just want to have fun with golf," said Cristy Jurgens, head pro at Spring Lake in Middle Island, who hopes to spread that message with an official PGA-LPGA Girls Golf Day at her course July 17.
It will be open to girls between the ages of 7 and 16 and will involve instruction, lunch, indoor activities (such as making design imprints on golf balls) and a few holes on Spring Lake's Sandpiper nine. Jurgens, who took up golf at 7 years old, hopes the attention gained by Li and Open champion Michelle Wie will persuade girls to give the game a chance.
Wie was upbeat on LI
Wie's victory made her comments in a Newsday interview at Sebonack last May seem prescient. Her career seemed directionless a month before the 2013 Women's Open in Southampton (and she would miss the cut there, too). Still, after a private practice round out East, she was seeing only the upside: "When things go bad, you really have to think, 'How bad is my life, really?' I feel very lucky to be where I am right now."
Ace on return from surgery
Kevin McArdle of Yaphank was forced to take three weeks off from golf following cataract surgery recently. "I couldn't bend over, they didn't want me to put any stress on it," he said. Finally, he was cleared to return for the Masonic golf outing at Rock Hill in Manorville on Monday. His first hole in the shotgun format was No. 7, a 150-yard par 3. He used his 5-iron and, with his first swing after the operation, made a hole-in-one.
"The funny thing was, the guy who was watching the hole didn't know golf," McArdle said, noting that there was a contest for getting tee shots on the green, so an independent observer was assigned.
The man had given McArdle a simple thumbs-up to indicate he had made the green (which was hidden from view by a bunker). But when his group got up there, there was no sign of McArdle's shot. Someone asked the man, "Did you take the ball?" and he said, "No, it's in the hole."
He probably figured that's what you're supposed to do.
Women's Am looks for volunteers
The U.S. Women's Amateur, returning to Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove for the first time in 100 years Aug. 4-10, still is looking for volunteers. Organizers have established a separate category for youths, pointing out that students can submit their tournament work as community service hours required by schools. Jobs still open include marshals, walking scorers and standard bearers. Visit www.2014WomensAm.com.
LI pair off to Junior Am
Michael Frizalone of Farmingdale and Chris Yeom of New Hyde Park are headed to the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship in Woodlands, Texas, next month. Frizalone and Yeom shot 3-under-par 141 and par 144, respectively, in a 36-hole qualifier at Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, this week. Yeom sank a 28-foot birdie putt to win a playoff for the final spot.
Fact of the week
Although golf rounds are down nationally 24 percent from 2002, a report at the National Golf Foundation business symposium last month predicted that rounds will be up 2 percent through September because the weather is projected to be good.