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!

General

Rain, rain go away

Written by Bob Oliver on .

It has been said, many times, many ways, that the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains.

Okay, I believe it.

On the east coast of the good old United States, it has been emphatically shown in 2019 that there was no lack of precipitation.

I don’t believe it, I KNOW it.

Courses were closed more often than any year in recent history as in some areas of PenJerDel there were more than 110 days of rain in 2019. Some of those days meant courses were closed because of the monsoon which caused flooding, lakes moved into bunkers and soaked fairways.

The typical year sees 41 inches of rain in this area. With time left in the year, the area has received over 60 inches of rain thus far.

“No question that 2018 will be remembered as a year of poor weather,” explains Shore Gate Director of Golf Harry Bittner. “We were hit hard, but not as hard as what we’ve heard from courses located along streams. They’ve had flooding and washouts. We’ve been down about 9 percent in rounds played this year given solely to the weather.”

Oh, golfers will play in a drizzle, but unless they have access to a float couldn’t play some of the area’s courses.

“Of course, we’ve been hit hard by the weather,” said Ron Jaworski golf VP B.J. Jaworski, whose course Riverwinds is along the banks of the Delaware River but situated on land well above the river but still lost play days to water issues. Still the course was closed due to conditions on numerous occasions.

“Our rounds (at Jaworski courses) were down about 10 percent. A linked problem was the slowing of play due to the wet conditions.”

Water wasn’t the only thing hurting courses. The wetness brought grey hairs to superintendents as grass diseases were able to flourish with the wet conditions.  

“We are in a consistent fight with the elements to maintain our wonderful golf course,” explained Damon Klepczynski, GM at the Bulle Rock Golf Club in Maryland and Neshaminy graduate. “There are courses in our area who have lost the majority of its fairways.

Rain, rain go away, please come back next year with less gusto is the cry of area golf course operators.

Collegiate Play

Written by Bob Oliver on .

Not to be missed was some fine play by area collegiate golfers in their fall seasons. 

Penn State University's Lukas Clark posted rounds of 78-73 and a career best 72 in the Bank of Tennessee Classic.

Penn State's Madelein Herr was 20th in the Princeton Invitational held at Springdale with rounds of 77-74--151.

Drexel sophomore Stephen Cerbara, of Langhorne, was 11th in the City Challenge played at Galloway National.

Makefield Highland's Dan Altieri playing for Swarthmore was fifth in the Anton Memorial.

Washington Crossing's Ambrose Abbracciamento was 16th in the Pioneer Creek Classic playing for San Diego University. 

Levine claims MHGA Stroke Play

Written by Bob Oliver on .

David Levine scored a two-day 36-hole total of 164 to claim the Makefield Highlands Golf Association Nicklaus Flight Championship.

The net winner was Greg Cady whose 157 total bested the field.

In the Palmer Division, Eric Kadish posted a 166 to win the gross diviion while Pat Bradley won the net title at 157 over Jim Kitzke at 163.

In the Sarazen Division, for players 55-65, Rich Driscoll scored a 158 to claim top honors. In the net competition Bill Chaykin at 145 scored a one stroke victory over Rich Eisner. Mark Monkhouse was third at 153.

Finally, in the Snead Division, Bob Woods claimed the gross title at 162. Regis Gaughan scored a 148 to claim net honors, over Frank Draper at 153. Also at 153, but losing a match of cards playoff was Mike Midash.

Shockley claims MHGA event

Written by Bulldog McCay on .

 

Jeff Shockley carded 34 points to claim the gross division of the Makefield Highlands Golf Association Stableford Tournament.

The net winners were Greg Cady (39 points) followed by John Blough (37 points).

In the senior division, Jim Litzke earned top honors with 39 points. Alan Coslov was second with 37 points, scoring a match of cards playoff win over Regis Gaughan and Joel Sackarowitz.

 

"Hole By Hole" book a must read!

Written by Bob Oliver on .

 
It has been said the more things change, the more they stay the same.
That even applies to my golf game. My drives have somehow shrunk over the years, but by playing from the correct tees for my game I can still score about what I did years ago. Golf is that kind of game. Each course is a different challenge. And while age may never overcome youthful exuberance, it does provide the foundation for saving strokes while playing a thinking person’s game to maneuver around the course.
So, why are these words appearing on this web site?
Simple. We may long for the good old days, but the new – while maybe not improved – days are upon us. Inquiring minds want to know about new technology, trends and the latest whatever from wherever. Still, documenting and remembering what has happened is an important part of life.
In golf, our games change but our memories, while possibly not perfect mind recordings, are there.
It used to be the local golf writer was a staple of the sports pages. These days those scribes are few and far between as news hole shrinks and “the paper” moves to other platforms or the down and dirty information on local golf just disappears. There are a number of stellar local newspaper and magazine golf writers, the folks who tell the local golf story. Their work is priceless. But every year there are less and less of them. 
My first sports editor, Dick Dougherty, said it best. “Names make news. Stories about area people places and things attract readers. So, write your column to satisfy them, evoke emotion and get the story on local golf out there.”
A local writer who must have heard the same speech from his editor has a brand spanking new book out that meets the test.  
Fritz Schranck, whose stories about Delaware’s Cape Region have formed a strong group of followers who read his columns in the Cape Gazette for nearly 20 years, is one of those writers.  Stories about trends in the region, outstanding occurrences, tournament winners, great rounds and a little bit of everything from the world of golf. With a touch in humor. 
These are priceless memories.
Schranck has presented the public with an outstanding scrapbook of highlight columns collected from his work in the book, “Hole by Hole – Golf Stories from Delaware’s Cape Region and Beyond”. To be sure, the book is chock full of information on the area’s local golf scene. But it’s that and a whole lot more. The author has taken a snapshot of the goings on and happenings of the region and the golf scene in general.
There are stories about local heroes and zeros, regional events interspersed with columns on national items rules changes and professional events. There is a history of the development and unveiling of the Rookery Golf Club and thoughts on golf course design and challenges.
An avid golfer, Schranck provides a special insight into the game with a local flair. His profiles of Delaware greats like former Senior British Open Champion Pete Oakley or local stars like Chris  Osberg and Frank Abbott dot the book's pages.
But Hole By Hole is a lot more than “mere” Delaware tales. The author takes us deep into the recesses of his mind on trends such as winter golf at the Delaware Shore, tales from his coverage of LPGA and PGA tours, book reviews and match play strategies from his own experience.
There are compelling tales of local golfers that must be read, like a trespassing youngster or how a shoe disappeared while playing a round. I won’t spoil the surprise.
He touches on tales of exuberance, woe and reality. His documenting of attempting to evade trees that somehow get in one’s way on the golf course, is priceless, as is his recounting of a temper tantrum of a golfer whose identity was masked to protect the guilty party.
It there is a story from Delaware’s Cape Region, Schranck has found it and written about it in his own special way. A throwback to the local golf writers of yesteryear he’s chronicled news and information that tells a real, in depth, story of golf in Delaware.
Hole by Hole – Golf Stories from Delaware’s Cape Region is a must read for anyone but especially those with ties to The First State.
CHIP SHOTS: Copies are available at Cape Region golf pro shops, bookstores and directly from the author at PO Box 88, Nassau, DE 19969 for $17.95.  It’s well worth it, and www.golfbuckscounty.com wholeheartedly endorses.