It was foggy this past Monday morning when Chris Casa and his group teed off at the Stonebridge Country Club in Hauppauge, but by the time they got to the short par-4 sixth hole it had lifted enough to make out the green.
Playing with high school friends Adam Binder and Alex Nelson, who went to Smithtown East with Casa, and Frank Harte, who went to St. Anthony’s, Casa was feeling strong enough to take a shot at the green with his driver on the 271-yard hole.
“I know if I get ahold of it, I can reach the green on that hole,” Casa said. “I told my friends I’m going to hit pretty much straight with the power I normally would.”
And that’s just what he did. The ball flew true to its target, bounced in front of the green then rolled onto it.
“We watched it slowly keep rolling, keep rolling and all the sudden the ball disappeared,” Casa said. “We were like, 'Wait, is that in the hole, is that in the hole, is that in the hole?’ ”
It was, for an ace on a par 4, the second one reported to Newsday recently after Andrew Steidle knocked one in at the short par-4 16th at Rockville Links on May 27. Another double eagle, or in terms of the olde sod, an albatross. About a 6 million-to-1 shot, according to the website Double Eagle Club which keeps track of such feats.
“There was a landscaper doing the bunker about 30-plus feet from the green, he had been watching us because he didn’t want to get hit,” said the 28-year-old Casa of Saint James. “We yelled at him, 'Is that in the hole?' and he made a funny hand gesture. I said, that could be reality.”
And it was.
Walk-ups accepted at state parks
As of this week, the state park golf courses on Long Island are accepting walk-up tee times.
“We will still require all golfers present on grounds to purchase walk-up times, but we will require that ONLY ONE person enter the clubhouse to purchase the greens fee tickets for your group,” the state parks said in a release.
Those players who will be purchasing greens fees for a group must possess all the IDs to present to the cashier at the time of purchase. IDs also will be verified upon check-in at the tee.
Tee-time intervals at Sunken Meadow, Montauk Downs and on Bethpage Red, Green, Blue and Yellow will be nine minutes. Bethpage Black will have intervals of 10 minutes.
Golfers who need to cancel a reserved tee time now will need to do so at least six hours in advance of their scheduled time to avoid a cancellation and/or no-show fee.
Tee-time reservations at Bethpage should be somewhat easier to come by now that a third-party site that had been grabbing reservations and then reselling them has gone away after intervention by the state.
“We asked a third-party website that was making reservations and advertising them for resale to cease and desist,” said state parks spokesman Dan Keefe in an email to Newsday. “The site has since disappeared. All reservations made by the site have been canceled. Our reservation system vendor is reviewing its system to take steps to prevent any third parties from manipulating the system.”
Matt Allen, West Sayville No. 12, 170 yards, 6-iron
Anthony Ardito, Sandy Pond No. 7, 96 yards, 9-iron
Jorge Calvo, Muttontown Golf Club No. 16, 161 yards, 7-iron
Chris Casa, Stonebridge No. 6, 271 yards (par 4), driver
Ross Castaldo, Bergen Point No. 11, 172 yards, 5-wood
Bob Desmond, Woods at Cherry Creek No. 2, 178 yards, 4-hybrid
Sara Lutz, Sandy Pond No. 8, 140 yards, driver
Denise Martorana, Southhampton GC No. 7, 169 yards, 5-hybrid
Fred O’Meally, Southward Ho No. 4, 125 yards, 9-iron
Brian Smith, Muttontown Golf Club No. 16, 161 yards, 5-iron
Erick Stark, Willow Creek No. 14, 180 yards, 3-hybrid
Francis Stephen, Sandy Pond No. 4, 87 yards, wedge