Doors are opening for any promising high school golfer looking for a college, and vice versa.
On the latter score, LIU Post has established a women's golf team that will begin play in the fall. It has hired Tom Kane, one of the most successful high school coaches in Long Island golf history, to lead it.
"It's a different challenge for me, on a different level," said Kane, who coached Smithtown West's boys team for 29 years and the girls team for 18 years, winning six Suffolk championships and serving 23 years as a county chairman. He also has taught young children in Michael Hebron's golf school at Smithtown Landing.
Part of the new challenge is finding places for his new team to practice and play matches. So far, the Glen Cove Golf Club and Town of Oyster Bay course have offered to host. Kane's bigger job is to find golfers. He already has signed one, Hannah Pohalski of Our Lady of Mercy Academy, but has an otherwise open roster. He already has scheduled his first practice, Sept. 1.
On the other side, high school golfers will try to get themselves recruited during a day-long Dormie to Dorm Golf Showcase Monday at Brookville Country Club. Organized by some high school coaches, it is patterned after the combines that top football and basketball players attend. For a $200 fee, each participant will receive instruction from local pros, breakfast, lunch, five hours of play on the course, tips on the recruiting process and a chance to meet college coaches.
Tweet of the Week
"@JordanSpieth: Are you kidding me?! #Arnie flew his own plane tourney to tourney? How cool is this guy. Couldn't do what we love in golf without him!"
Fact of the week
The number of golf courses in the U.S. decreased by three percent from 2006 to 2013, according to the National Golf Foundation. But from 1985 through 2005, the supply of courses had increased by 40 percent. So the trend might be seen as a market correction.
Reaching out to women
Lawrence Golf and Yacht Club head pro Peter Procops is trying a new approach. He will give free lessons to four women and four middle-school girls who are not club members, or even golfers.
"We just want to be pro-active in our neighborhood and reach out to people who might not be privy to the game," he said. "We went to get them out here, show them what a great game this is and how much we have learned from it."
The young students will be chosen by the Lawrence Middle School. How the women will be picked hasn't been decided. What is certain, he said, is that given the state of golf participation, "There is a sense of urgency."
A sign on the clubhouse door at Nassau Country Club reminds golfers that a ball mark that is repaired right away will heal in 24 hours. It is especially important on that course, which has switched from poa annua to bent grass greens . . . In retrospect, it seems like karma: Two weeks ago, Bubba Watson showed up early at Augusta National to personally meet young people competing in the Drive, Chip and Putt Contest (including Sayville's Sean Haselton, who called it "awesome"). One week later, Watson stood in the same spot, accepting the green jacket.