Ted Bishop went out on a limb when, as president of the PGA of America, he decided to bring the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup to Bethpage Black after the U.S. Golf Association cut ties with the course because of two rain-soaked U.S. Opens. In that spirit, Bishop ventures out even further with his book, “Unfriended: The Power Brokers, Political Correctness and Hypocrisy in Golf,” which was released Friday.
Despite the title, it is not an angry rip job. It is mostly his side of a controversial story. It revolves around his detailed recounting of being impeached after his admitted mistake of calling Ian Poulter “Lil girl” in a social media blast. Bishop says he would have apologized immediately but was told by his own organization not to do so. “In the end, following their directions got me fired,” he writes, adding that he felt the PGA of America “had become a cloak-and-dagger society.”
All told, the book is an intricate behind-the-scenes look at big-time golf from a man who remains controversial not only for the Poulter comment but for having chosen Tom Watson as U.S. Ryder Cup captain. He has no apology for the latter, titling the Watson chapter, “A Brilliant Choice.” And Bishop still considers the connection with Bethpage one of the proudest accomplishments in his 23 months on the job.
Chasing an ace, then another
When Jeff Ward of Medford retired after more than three decades as a driver for Newsday, he had more time to pursue a goal he had been chasing for 42 years: Making a hole-in-one. Sure enough, not long ago, with a 4-iron, he aced the 153-yard first hole of Blue Ridge Golf Course in his housing development.
The next day, he hit the flagstick with another tee shot. “But it bounced four feet away and I three-putted,” he said. No problem. About a month later, playing the Hilltop course at The Villages in Florida, he made a 1 on the 147-yard third hole with a 6-iron.
WindWatch in Hauppauge and Harbor Links in Port Washington will be among the courses hosting the inaugural Women’s Golf Day on Tuesday. It is an international four-hour event (4-8 p.m. local time everywhere) offering women and girls opportunities to learn and play the game, then socialize. Visit womensgolfday.com . . . The former Woodcrest Country Club in Muttontown, refurbished and renamed Woodside Acres several years ago, has streamlined its name again. Now it is officially the Woodside Club. Head pro Paul Glut said new research indicated the estate’s original name was simply “Woodside” and that the club wanted to maintain that heritage . . . One Long Island private club received $8,836,000 in dues revenue last year. One spent $8,276,000 on payroll and related expenses. Those were among the nuggets in an annual report on 30 Long Island clubs — all unnamed — released last week by the accounting firm Condon, O’Meara, McGinty & Donnelly LLP. The report added that average dues this year are $10,357 — up 1.7 percent from last year. The average initiation fee is $55,435, which is down .8 percent from 2015.
Open sectional qualifying
PGA Tour player Marc Turnesa of Rockville Centre will compete on MonsY in the U.S. Open Sectional Qualifier in New Jersey, trying to get into the field next week at Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, where Turnesa’s great-uncle Willie won the 1938 U.S. Amateur. Other Long Islanders trying to qualify at Canoe Brook Country Club will be Kyle Brey, Rob Corcoran, Matt Dobyns, Jim Hazen, Matt Lowe, Josh Rackley, Bob Rittberger and Tim Rosenhouse. Also in the field are Met PGA Head Pro champion Steve Scott, who took Tiger Woods to 38 holes in the 1996 U.S. Amateur final, and Jesse Smith, whose great uncle Harold Smith was known as Jay Silverheels when he played Tonto in the Lone Ranger TV series.