Cape Region golf year in review

December 27, 2013

This column marks the end of its 15th year, as New Year’s Day approaches. The past year also featured some special golf highlights in the Cape Region.

January - Winter gales force Cape golfers indoors, where they learn about an upcoming fitness series aimed at now-idle duffers. A rare winter round at The Rookery generates a new version of the WTF acronym. Phil Mickelson’s beefing about the California tax code inspires an appreciation for how nice we have it here.

February - Cape Gazette reporter Nick Roth faces the old ball-on-ice-in-the-bunker problem. The Peninsula golf/real estate development has larger problems. The USGA announces a program to address the problem of slow play. Chris Adkins returns to Shawnee as the head guy for Rookery North, and addresses tree problems as his wintertime project.

March - The USGA and R&A announce a new initiative aimed at long putters, which does not please those who use them. Charity-based golf tournaments begin to fill spring calendars. The Cape High golf team begins spring practice. A snowstorm pushes the match off for two days from the scheduled March 25 opener, but the Vikings win against Smyrna. They also beat Sussex Central March 28.

April - The Vikings win their April 8 match against Milford, and keep their streak alive with an away win against Seaford. The team loses against Sussex Tech and Polytech, but bounces back against Lake Forest April 22. My father’s passing brings up a past column about playing with him and his friends.

May - Cape High’s golf team loses three in a row, against Caesar Rodney, Delmar, and Dover. The Vikings show their resiliency, however, beating Indian River and then Woodbridge in the final match of the year. The squad finishes fifth in the Conference Championship. Two Vikings qualify for the state tournament. Local club competitions are now well underway, with regular updates in this column.

June - An early season tropical storm forces changes for two big events on the same weekend at Kings Creek CC and Rehoboth Beach CC. The Rehoboth Beach Junior Open sets a new record for players in the long-running tournament. The Second Annual Rehoboth Cup Tournament, pitting teams from Rehoboth Beach CC against teams from Kings Creek CC, is a hit once more. I am granted press credentials for the U.S. Open at Merion, and proudly represent the Cape Gazette.

July - The U.S. Open merits a multipart series for this column, showing readers what it’s like to be there as a reporter and as a spectator. Watching the pros can be a great golf lesson, and an occasional reminder that the pros can sometimes look like us when playing. Being there also means you miss some of the action you could have seen on TV.

August - The ladies of Kings Creek CC and Rehoboth Beach CC continue their respective weekly competitions. Rich Collins, John Cullen, and Lisa Hutchins not only play together regularly at The Rookery - each also had holes in one during summer 2013. I discuss the Conlon gang’s spring rounds at five Myrtle Beach courses.

September - The Patriot Golf Day event raises funds through Labor Day weekend. Local country clubs hold their annual club championships. The First Tee of Delaware holds a Cape Region clinic Sept. 30 at Rehoboth Beach CC.

October - The USGA and PGA continue to push their Tee It Forward campaign to convince golfers to play from the shorter tees. The Jean & Joan Cancer Fund Tournament enjoys a large turnout. A nor’easter makes golf a windy challenge in its aftermath. The UD Women’s Golf Team hosts its first and highly successful Battle of the Beach college golf tournament at Rehoboth Beach CC.

November - Edwin Watts Golf Shops files for Chapter 11 protection. The president sets a new record for rounds he played in 2013. The DSGA Scholarship Fund and First Tee of Delaware remain good spots for your golf-related charitable contributions.

December - Each year adds to the list of golf stuff to avoid for Christmas. Nonetheless, local golf shopping opportunities improve one’s gifting prospects.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to another year of writing about Cape Region golf.