Christmas comes early for two Cape Region golfers

December 28, 2012
Tricia Dierenger, a member at The Peninsula Golf and Country Club near Millsboro, had a hole-in-one on Dec. 19. SOURCE SUBMITTED

Two avid Cape Region golfers were rewarded for their December dedication to the game, just in time for the holidays.

Tricia Dierenger, a member at The Peninsula Golf and Country Club near Millsboro, had a hole in one Dec. 19. As reported by Peninsula Associate Golf Pro Michael Nieder, she used a 7-wood on the par-3 fifth hole, set about 140 yards from her tee box. It is Dierenger’s very first hole in one.

Kevin McTigue of Angola By The Bay made his first hole in one Dec. 20 at Marsh Island Golf Club.

McTigue is a retired electrician who moved to the Cape Region from Queens, N.Y. He has only been golfing for five years. Accompanied by playing partner and witness George Rapposelli, McTigue used his 7-iron on the par-3 14th hole, with a wintertime tee box set at 140 yards out.

“I hit it over the pond toward the raised green, and the ball landed about five feet short of the hole. It took one bounce and went right in. It was just a wonderful feeling for me,” McTigue said. “It makes you want to go back out and play some more.”

Why, yes it does.

Congratulations to both.

Would you like your workout high or low?

One of my favorite golf cartoons shows two well-fed guys standing next to a cart, each one holding an adult beverage.

One of them says, “Golf is a sport. Therefore, we are athletes.”

There. That should be good enough to start a raging debate in Cape Region clubhouses.

You’re welcome.

It remains true, however, that as long as golfers skip drinking mass quantities of adult beverages and avoid using golf carts, there are real physical benefits to the game that should not be dismissed lightly.

Walking 18 holes at The Rookery North, for example, is a five-mile stroll. That number comes from frequent playing partner John Eustis, who regularly compares his pedometer readings to his pull cart’s Sky Caddie at the end of his rounds, and tells me the results as we leave the 18th hole.

After all, what are friends for?

There are far more strenuous ways to stay in shape, of course, such as biking. Based on a recently announced study, however, the relative benefits of either exercise option may be surprising.

BMJ, the former British Medical Journal, announced Dec. 13 the results of a long-range mortality study of thousands of Olympic athletes. According to researchers from Leiden University Medical Center, “Engaging in cycling and rowing (high cardiovascular intensity) had no added survival benefit compared with playing golf or cricket (low cardiovascular intensity).”

In fact, another part of the study suggests that the more challenging the workouts, the more likely that the participant will see fewer health benefits, not more.

One of the Leiden researchers explained the anomaly to Kevin Helliker in the Wall Street Journal: “During high intensive exercise the human body has to deal with all kinds of micro traumata. Over time, this will result in an accumulation of damage, which can be explained as a form of aging.”

These results dovetail with some advice I’ve been given about biking, something I enjoy doing regularly on the Expresso machines at the Sussex Family YMCA. For someone my age, a half-hour ride that keeps my heart rate up to 128 or so is fine. There’s no need to go crazy just to see if defibrillator machines really work.

Nonetheless, the study also reminds us that regular exercise routines provide many benefits to their participants, especially compared to the life experiences of those who lead far more sedentary lives.

So, even though golf may not seem like much of an athletic endeavor compared to other sports, a walk of 18 holes can still do you a lot of good.

Go on out there.

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