Cape golf team’s scores trending nicely downward

April 1, 2022

The Cape Henlopen High School golf team won its second and third matches of the 2022 season, while also experiencing a pleasant downward trend in the team scores.

Junior Ethan Mercer won medalist honors in the Vikings’ 181-277 victory over Lake Forest March 25 with his 42 on the front nine at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. 

Co-captain Tom Burn’s 44 was second best for Cape. Freshman Jacob Gabbard continued his fine early-season form with his 45, with the last scoring spot taken by co-captain Seth Reynolds’ 50. 

The team’s 181 total was a six-stroke improvement on its March 22 opening-day score against Smyrna at Garrison’s Lake. Mercer smiled as he readily agreed that he enjoys home cooking, which in this case was five strokes better than his Smyrna result.

Cape head coach Robert Harrod complimented the Burn, Mercer and Gabbard trio for their consistency as the top three golfers for the team. “We’re still trying to figure out who will be the rest of our starters. They were a little rough around the edges, but we played through it.”

The Vikings hosted the Sussex Tech Ravens March 29 at Rehoboth Beach Country Club’s front nine, this time winning 179-197. 

Burn won medalist honors for the second time this season with his 42. Mercer’s 43 took second place overall, followed by Reynolds’ 46. Gabbard completed the team scoring with his 48. 

Burn credited a steady approach to his round, while Reynolds said he managed to avoid any real trouble. Gabbard said he needed to work on his putting, which he did during the next day’s practice session.

Harrod said, “I think it was a great team win. I think our guys were a little surprised at how we got under 180, especially in the cold we had to deal with. There was a 32-degree wind chill and yet they continued to go lower. It was nice to see how the team celebrated the win. They are showing some great team dynamics and spirit. It looks like we now have four consistent, solid scorers, so we’ll see who joins them for the fifth and sixth spots.”

Weather permitting, the Vikings were to host Caesar Rodney March 31 at RBCC. The Cape squad hopes for a rare victory against the Riders.

A great $5 program now here in the Cape Region

Imagine you are a young person eager to develop your skills as a golfer, but you don’t have the advantage of playing privileges at a country club or public golf course through your family connections.

The Youth on Course program is a great alternative, and there is a Cape Region option for those who would like to participate.

As noted in past columns, California-based Youth on Course is a 501c3 organization that enrolls member golf clubs that make tee times available for junior golfers, who pay $5 per round at those clubs. The money raised by YOC reimburses the clubs for the green fee difference they would normally charge for that playing spot.

To date, approximately 1,700 courses are receiving YOC subsidy payments.

Mulligan’s Pointe near Georgetown is the closest golf club participating in YOC, with tee times available for YOC kids after noon on all days except Wednesday.

It is a great opportunity to grow the game, and it’s great that Mulligan’s decided to sign up.

YOC also offers internship and caddie opportunities as well as college scholarship programs, for which $2 million has been awarded thus far.

For more information, or to donate to help with the subsidy program, go to

Just because you can does not mean you should

If your golf ball is on the green and someone else’s ball is farther from the hole, it is common to mark your ball, remove it and replace the ball once it becomes your turn.

There is a huge business in selling these ball markers, which are typically flat, circular and about the size of a quarter. Under the Rules of Golf, however, you can also use a standard golf tee for this purpose.

That does not mean you should.

In a recent golf match between Cape Henlopen and Sussex Tech, the ball for a player from one team was a good 15 feet or more from the hole. His playing partner used a wooden tee to mark his ball, which was several feet closer. 

The player from farther out aimed carefully and made a nice-looking putt. A golf coach from the other team and I watched, dumbfounded, as the player’s ball hit that wooden tee dead on, bringing it to a complete stop about 7 feet from the hole.

It was obvious that his putt would have finished far closer, if not in, if the ball had not hit the tee/marker.

Fortunately, after the tee was removed, the young man made his second putt to finish the hole.

Golf sometimes gives you the opportunity to learn a painful lesson.


  • Fritz Schranck has been writing about the Cape Region's golf community since 1999. Snippets, stories and anecdotes from his columns are included in his new book, "Hole By Hole: Golf Stories from Delaware's Cape Region and Beyond," which is available at the Cape Gazette offices, Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Biblion Books in Lewes, and local golf courses. His columns and book reviews are available at

    Contact Fritz by emailing

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