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WACO week highlights local golf calendar

August 03, 2003

There will be some sort of activity every day this week at Beaver Creek as the 20th WACO Golf Championship unfolds.

Defending champion Kenny Smith heads a field of 184 amateur golfers that will tee of at 6:20 a.m. Saturday in the first of two days of stroke play. Sunday's final round will be flighted following Saturday's results.

Other former champions include Greg Henry, Greg McNaney and Chuck Ingram, as golfers go after what has become a coveted prize over the years.

In addition to the amateur event, Monday kicks off the festivities with the WACO Junior Championship.

Those in the 18-hole division will tee off at 6:45 a.m. and the 9-hole group goes off at 8:30 a.m., chasing three $500 scholarship awards.

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After the Media Tournament Tuesday (yours truly will be there), the Pro-Am tees off at 1 p.m. Wednesday, followed by the Chi-Chi's Shootout Thursday at 5:30 and the 'Big Daddy' Long Drive Contest Friday at 5 p.m.

The public is welcome with adherence to all course regulations.

PGA section hits area

Club professionals start looking forward to the 2004 PGA Tournament one year ahead of time and those within the Middle Atlantic Section of the PGA will do so in the area Aug. 18-20.

Maryland National head professional Michael Hauk reports 161 club pros will converge on the Middletown-Myersville area for the 2003 Club Professionals Championship, which is a step toward reaching the PGA Tournament next year.

The field will be split between Maryland National and Musket Ridge the first two days, and those making the cut will return to Musket Ridge for the final round. All rounds are open to the public to attend.

The 2003 PGA Tournament will be held Aug. 11-17 at Oak Hill in Rochester, N. Y., and four Middle Atlantic club pros will be in the field, having qualified in July at the CPC following the section championships last year.

Woodholme's Wayne DeFrancesco, who tutors several area junior golfers, will be in the 2003 PGA field along with Chip Sullivan, Rick Schuller and Cory Sciorrra.

Maryland National, open since June of last year, is beginning to makes its mark in the region among golfers, both professional and amateur.

Hauk, who moved on to National in March just prior to the club opening following three years as an assistant at Holly Hills Country Club, reports the clubhouse is just about ready to open.

"It's 13,700 square feet and should be ready to move into around Sept. 1," Hauk said. "We've been having the usual outings and so forth under the tent, but this new clubhouse is something."

With the "upscale daily" tag on the course, Hauk said there are no immediate plans for country club privacy.

"We have weekday membership, but there is no intent to do so," Hauk said. "The tavern will be open to the public if not playing golf, and we're getting rave reviews from the playability conditions of the course," which stretches 6,811 yards from the back tees at par 71.

Much of the greenery credit goes to head groundskeeper Ethan Lester, who Hauk said was a "magician" last season, consistently finding ways to grow grass in last year's horrid, rainless conditions.

Hosting a part of this year's Middle Atlantic, Hauk sees Maryland National with a future where "we'd love to be hosting future U. S. Open qualifiers and section events."

A little perspective

Caught this on the Internet and thought it was worth passing on in an attempt to put everything in its proper perspective.

Oh sure, there is the argument that golf doesn't match the physicality of the big sports. True, but with the history and popularity of golf, the following truisms might shed some light on why people who don't even play golf watch it on TV or go to see it in person:

n Golf is an honorable game with the overwhelming majority of players being honorable people who don't need referees.

n Professional golf doesn't have some of its players in jail every week.

n Golfers don't beat up on each other during the game.

n In golf you cannot fail 70 percent of the time and make millions of dollars a year, like the best baseball hitters (.300-plus batting average) do.

n Professional golfers are compensated in direct proportion to how well they play.

n Golfers don't hold out for more money, or demand new contracts, because of another player's deal.

n As a spectator you can watch the best golfers in the world up close, at any tournament, including the majors, all day and every day, for $25-30. The cost for a seat in the nosebleed section at the Super Bowl is around $300.

n When golfers make a mistake, nobody is there to cover for them or back them up.

n Golf doesn't change its rules to attract fans.

n Golfers have to adapt to an entirely new playing area each week.

n Golf does not have free agency.

n Tiger Woods and a few others can hit a golf ball three times as far as Barry Bonds hits a baseball.

Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His golf column appears every other Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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