They figured out the new name and are taking it from there

March 23, 2012

The folks at The Rookery Golf Course near Milton have been spending a lot of time at their new place, and it shows.

They recently settled on the new name for the Milford property they are leasing from Shawnee Country Club. It will now be called The Rookery North at Shawnee.

For the geographically challenged, that means that their original property at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 16, 12 miles away, will now be known as Rookery South.

When I stopped by the Milford site recently, Rookery owner and course superintendent Chris Adkins was mired in a long telephone conversation with an internet service provider while hunched over his computer.

John Wallett, who joined The Rookery’s staff after a long spell at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, is taking over the golf professional duties at Rookery North. Steve Farrell, a former golf pro at Sussex Pines, will be giving lessons and helping out at Rookery South.

While Adkins typed in commands to his balky computer, Wallett was on the phone with head golf pro Butch Holtzclaw. The two golf pros discussed some of the other management wrinkles remaining to be smoothed out as they plan for the 2012 golf season.

Other preparations are further along. In mid-March, the maintenance crew aerated the greens, something Shawnee CC was unable to do last year due to its financial struggles. They have also aerated the tee boxes and other areas needing attention. In addition, Adkins has added to the current fleet of golf carts at Rookery North, obtaining several from an Eastern Shore golf club.

Other work is under way in the clubhouse, as they wait for the upcoming transfers of the liquor license and other necessary reopening elements.

Dozens of former Shawnee members have already joined the Rookery for their playing privileges at both locations, along with the Rookery’s gang of regulars.

Several of those folks have already made the short trip north to check out their new playing grounds. I’m told that on March 16, the Rookery’s semiofficial Dumbass Gang played their regular Friday morning round at Rookery North.

I hope they enjoyed it.

Adkins looked a bit tired, but his excitement at the prospect of running a 36-hole public golf operation was also evident. He expects to finish up most of the transitional work in the next few weeks. That includes making the changes at the Rookery’s website to permit tee time reservations at both locations, and reopening the restaurant at Rookery North. To reach the pro shop at Rookery North, call 302-422-7010. To reach the pro shop at Rookery South, call 302-684-3000.

The website for both locations remains

Doubly wrong for a double penalty
Some of the situations discussed in the United States Golf Association’s Rulings of the Day require the willing suspension of disbelief. A few of these cases can also make one wonder at the level of basic intelligence on display.

A golfer hits an approach shot up to the putting green. As he marks and lifts the ball to prepare to putt, he discovers that he hit the wrong ball. He then returns to where he hit that approach shot, and hits another ball he finds there back toward the green.

Despite his immediate past experience, however, he didn’t check to make sure that this second ball was his - and it wasn’t.

According to the USGA, the golfer is to be penalized four strokes, two each for the two separate instances of hitting the wrong ball.

His playing partners might also have a new nickname for him - something along the lines of Homer Simpson.