Golf Bucks County

By Bob Oliver

Middletown Country Club

Middletown is a compact 80 acres of challenging golf, with rolling hills and large specimen trees that have watched many golfers travel its fairways over time. It has retained its old time feel with tees and greens in close proximity, allowing golfers to walk the course if they choose.

The Traveling Golfer

With host Tony Leodora will travel both near and far to bring viewers a look at some of the most spectacular golf destinations in the world!

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10 Oct

Smeraglio, Timby team for title

Written by Bob Oliver

Glenn Smeraglio and Tom Timby are no strangers to the winner's circle or the pressures of competition. Both have competed in numerous USGA championship events.

They teamed to claim the Philadelphia Publinks Golf Association Fall Classic at the Donald Ross designed Jeffersonville Golf Club in Norristown, scoring a 4-under-par 66 on the strength of five birdies against one bogey on the par-70 layout. The competition featured six holes of better-ball, modified alternate shot and scramble play. The Bucks County twosome defeated Chris Thude, the PPGA Match Play champion out of Torresdale-Frankford, and Steve Owens by two shots.

Yardley's Terry Law teamed with Roy Gagne for the Super Senior Championship after a 70, while Chris Terebesi and Steve Lieber claimed the Senior Championship with a sparkling 65.

Notes: Congrats to Pennsbury's Jackie Rogowicz for her victory in the PIAA District One Girls Championship.

15 Sep

Radick claims 5th NVCC championship

Written by Bob Oliver

One thing is certain these days at Northampton Valley Country Club: If the club championship is going on, Jonathon Radick will be in the thick of it. The 2014 season was no exception, as Radick claimed his fifth NVCC men's club championship with a strong effort in the finals beating Matt Kothe.

Radick set up his three-peat by storming to a six-up lead after 18 holes of their 36-hole finale. Kothe, however, didn't led down. He cut the lead in half before Radick won the 33rd and 34th holes of the day to claim the championship. He also won the 2004 and 2009 championships.

Dave Drabot captured the First Flight championship, defeating J.J. Johnson, 3 and 2. "Dave was a par machine today," stated Johnson.

Mike Conway claimed the Second Flight championship over Eric Green, 5 and 4, while in the Senior D Flight Dr. Edward Betof nipped Henry Vogt in a tight match, 2 and 1.

"As always, the competition was tough," explained head golf professional Vin Ciarlone. "This is the highlight event of the summer."

Drabot, incidentally, claimed a golfer's dream shot on NVCC's 15th hole recently. Playing from the 161-yard tees the 11-handicapper watched his tee shot find its way into the hole for an ace. He used a 5 iron for the shot.

In other action, Jonathon Radick teamed with uncle John "Buff" Radick to capture the NVCC Member-Member championship with a sparkling 4-under-par 31-35--66 effort. John Schikal and Brian Bohlman teamed for the net division title with a 72-112--net 60.

NVCC Notes: The annual Fall Classic is slated for November 9. Details available from the pro shop...Long-time member and champion Herb Rolland retired from competitive play on his recent 90th birthday. He was honored recently at the home of Paul Edwards, last year's senior flight champion...In Pinehurst, NC, the NVCC duo of Jeff and Kevin Hilton claimed their division of the Pinehurst Member-Guest. At Pinehurst No. 5, they combined for a gross 71, while at Pinehurst No. 6 they scored a 73. With handicap their net team total was 31-30--61.  


02 Sep

USGA Sr. Am to Hidden Creek

Written by Bob Oliver


EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ --- The 61st annual United States Golf Association’s Senior Amateur Championship will be played just more than a year from now at Hidden Creek Golf Club. The event will feature the best amateurs in the world ages 55 and above battling the sparkling Coore-Crenshaw design over a week of stroke qualifying and match play.

It seems so easy, but holding a major championship is anything but as simple as hitting the easy button and opening the gates.

While the course is superb, it has to be in great shape. And the logistics surrounding the event, from registration to the championship ceremony, requires an attention to detail and a lot of luck.

“This will not be an easy assignment,” explains David Goddard, who is co-General Chairperson of the event along with Edwina Hansen. “There is so much to be done, and we will need a whole lot of help from the community to make this happen as a seamless, superb event.”

Goddard estimates more than 400 volunteers will be required. Many will be needed to help marshal and forecaddie during tournament play at the Egg Harbor Township layout, but of critical importance is the work that needs to be done prior to the event.

“The opportunities for volunteers are endless, and any help whether in person or financial will be appreciated,” added Goddard.

“We believe it will require about $300,000 to ensure a superb championship event,” stated Hansen at a kickoff meeting for the event. “There is a lot at stake. We believe the course is of championship quality, as does the USGA, but the behind the scenes efforts to make it happen will be voluminous.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Greater Atlantic City Charities First Tee DRIVE program.

The event will be staged September 26 through October 1, 2015. There will be 156 of the best players over age 55 from around the world in the field who will play 36 holes of stroke play qualifying with the top 64 advancing to the match play component.

One local player who knows a thing or two about USGA events and the Senior Amateur in particular is George “Buddy” Marucci, who earned his first and only USGA championship with a 2008 Senior Amateur victory. Marucci has competed in 50 USGA events over the years, with the highlights being his championship run at Shady Oaks GC in Texas over New Yorker George Zahringer and his winning captaincy of the US Walker Cup team in 2007 and 2009.

“The Senior Amateur is a unique championship,” said Marucci, a four-time Pennsylvania State Amateur Champion. “We all have jobs and families. Many have grandkids. But the thing that knots us together is our love for championship golf. This is an outstanding event and a sort of marathon. You advance through stroke play, but then have to win six times in match play.”

Marucci, a long-time Merion Golf Club member who was instrumental in directing the successful 2013 U.S. Open there, spoke at the kickoff to the Senior Amateur at Hidden Creek and implored those assembled to take advantage of the opportunity.

“Of course there will be great golf, no question about it,” said the former champion. “But seriously, it does not happen without a lot of work over the next year. If you can get involved, to any degree, it will help. I know first-hand that being involved with a USGA event will get you a wealth of satisfaction from that involvement.”

For Edwina Hansen, co-owner of the stellar layout with husband Roger Hansen, even a year of preparation is short.

“There is just so much to do in preparation for the tournament, we are so proud to be the venue,” said Hansen. “The USGA will help – they’ve sent us pages of guidelines – but we know the tasks are endless to have a great tournament.”

Hidden Creek Golf Club is “on the clock” for the 61st USGA Senior Amateur.

Senior Am notes: Marucci holds the distinction of losing to one Tiger Woods in the finals of the 1995 United States Amateur Championship…Hidden Creek, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is ranked as the 71st best Modern course in the United States by Golfweek Magazine...The Delaware Valley has seen four of its players earn the USGA Senior Amateur Championship: J. Willard Platt (1955), William Hyndman III (1973, 1983), O. Gordon Brewer (1994, 1998) and Marucci….Interested in volunteering for the event? Contact: Volunteer Chairman, 61st US Senior Amateur, Care of Ole Hansen and Sons Inc., PO Box 1020, Cologne, NJ 08213…The Hansens owned nearby Blue Heron Pines when it hosted the US Amateur Publinks Championship, won by now PGA Tour standout Brandt Snedeker...Hidden Creek has hosted qualifying tournaments for the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open in recent years.  

19 Aug

Irey, Delcher grab Sr. Am berths

Written by Bob Oliver

Lookaway's Roc Irey and Richboro native Duke Delcher earned berths in the USGA Senior Amateur Championship in qualifying at Galloway National Golf Club. Former Atlantic City C.C. member Spike Smith, now of Pinehurst, SC, earned medalist honors with a 1-over-par 72 while Irey followed with 74 and Delcher at 75.

Delcher has competed in a bundle of USGA events, including the US Open, US Amateur, US Mid-Amateur and US Senior Amateur. All told the former Courier Times Golfer of the Year and two-time player of the month has competed in 25 USGA Championship events.

Irey lost a playoff to Martin Detweiler in the recent William Hyndman III Memorial Senior Amateur after rounds of 76-77-73---226.

The US Senior Amatuer will be contested Sept. 13-15 at Big Canyon C.C. in Newport Beach, CA....

Jericho National's Frank Corrado, Jr., missed qualifying after a 76.

In other local news, Lower Bucks County's two qualifiers for the national PGA of America Junior Championship missed the 54-hole cut. Yardley's Jackie Rogowicz carded rounds of 74-78-79 for 231 total, while Newtown's Vinay Ramesh scored 76-75-80 for a 231. Still, a fine effort by the locals.