A Cape Region winter golf clinic, and for a good cause, too

January 17, 2014

A team of six PGA professionals will lend their services for a Winter Golf Clinic benefiting Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Saturday, Feb. 1, at Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown.

If last year's sold-out experience of the Walt Jones Memorial Project is any indication, Cape Region golfers should sign up as soon as possible.

The sessions, open to golfers of all ages, will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. and from noon to 2 p.m. Attendance is limited to 40 players for each session, in rotating groups of six to seven participants.

Each segment will include instruction in pitching, putting, and driving. There will be a special breakout session for junior golfers ages 8-18.

In addition to the teaching sessions, golf equipment and apparel from Ruddo's Golf and other local pro shops will be on display. A raffle will distribute prizes from several golf clubs and pro shops.

The Walt Jones Memorial Project honors the memory of the late Walt Jones, an owner/operator of Old Landing Golf Course until 1979, and the founder of Midway Par 3, where many Cape Region golfers had their first real experience with the sport. Before his passing in 2010, Jones was an avid supporter of Habitat for Humanity, donating the use of Midway Par 3 for the charity's annual golf outing fundraiser since its inception.

Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, founded in 1991, seeks to help eliminate substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes, and by advocating for fair housing policies. It also provides training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions.

Habitat partner families contribute significant sweat equity hours toward the purchase of a home, which is also supported with a not-for-profit 30-year mortgage. Those hours contribute toward their own homes as well as the homes of other Habitat partner families.

Shaun Jones, Walt's grandson, is continuing the family's support for Habitat. These combined efforts, using outings, pre-tournament mixers, and mini-auctions, have generated significant funds. Last year the proceeds led to the dedication of a Habitat home in Georgetown Point in Jones's memory.

In addition to the golf pros' support, the organizers also appreciate the sponsorships provided by MoneyMailer, the overall event sponsor, as well as Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Delaware, the pro station sponsor.

The clinic fees are $30 for adults and $20 for children 8 and above, who must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own golf clubs, but lunch and snacks will be available for purchase.

To register online, go to, or call the Habitat office at 302-855-1153, Ext 208. If the clinic's date doesn't fit your schedule, the 9th annual Walt Jones Memorial Golf Outing will be held at Midway Par 3 Friday, May 16.

Count to 14 before the round

The Rules of Golf limit to 14 the number of golf clubs that may be used during a round. The makeup of the set is up to the golfer, but that total can't be exceeded without penalty.

A recent Ruling of the Day at the USGA website explained how to apply the necessary penalty strokes if a hapless golfer didn't do a quick count before the round. In the example given, the player doesn't discover the error until the eighth hole.

The maximum penalty is two strokes, for up to two holes. Under the ruling, these strokes should be added to the first two holes, no matter when the mistake is finally noticed.

In four-ball stroke play, the penalty strokes are added to the score of the golfer's playing partner. That penalty might add a little frost to their day together, but it does highlight the fact that partners should check each other's bags before the first tee, just to make sure.