By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Are golf records made to be broken during mid-winter rounds in the northwest? Typically not; you would think record rounds would come during dry summer months when fairways offer their best bounce and greens their truest roll.
Scratch golfer and former Chimacum High School and Olympic College golfer Eric Nelson proved those thoughts to be baseless when he set the Port Ludlow Golf Club course record with a sizzling 61 on Saturday, Feb. 9.
His round bested the mark of 62 held for decades by Mark Wurtz, a former Chimacum state champion and a winner on the Nike Tour in 1997.
Nelson got things rolling with birdies on his first two holes and ended better than he began, sinking birdies on the final three holes.
Playing Ludlow’s Tide and Timber nines from the blue tees (6,342 yards), Nelson was steady throughout his round, shooting 31 and 30
Port Ludlow assistant pro Darren Posey said that he has “heard the guys that were playing with him were just in an awe and could not believe that he was making putts from everywhere.”
I’ll see if I can get some more details on this round for next week’s column.
A round of the heartiest of golf claps for Nelson and his record round.
Softball scramble set
A four-person scramble to raise funds for the Sequim High School softball team will be held at SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim on Saturday, March 9.
Check-in begins at 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
Sequim Softball Boosters are raising funds for a field cover, a concessions stand and ultimately a new field surface.
Cost is $50 per person or $200 per team and includes 18 holes, range balls and lunch at the course.
A limited number of carts are $15 per seat.
Hole sponsorships are available for $100 by phoning Karen at 360-460-0380.
Mulligans are available for $5, long putt contest is $1 and a honey pot is $10.
Peninsula at home
Peninsula Golf Club will staff a booth at the annual KONP Home Show this weekend at the Port Angeles High School gymnasium.
Attendees can stop in and visit with Peninsula staffers and enter drawings for free golf and various other prizes.
Photos and memorabilia from the clubs early days will be on display and visitors are urged to ask Peninsula representatives about “home show specials” as they make their way through the expo.
Dry fairways get dryer
I’m not sure that its translated to more clear, sunny days but the weather on the North Olympic Peninsula has been some of the driest on record in the past year or so.
I’m tempting fate as I write this, but it seems this winter has been exceedingly mild, with less wet and wild and more gray and mild.
Peninsula Golf Club member Paul Reed passed along a recent fairway sanding undertaken by the club’s maintenance staffers.
The “continued effort with sanding of their fairways has made for a more enjoyable place for golf,” Reed wrote in an email.
Peninsula isn’t the only course from which I have heard news of dry fairways. Port Townsend and Discovery Bay have mentioned their own success stories and SkyRidge passed along they are getting great roll off of fairway drives.
Of course you do have to actually hit the fairway to receive the benefit of these drier-than-usual swaths of turf.
Discovery Bay deal
A year’s membership at Discovery Bay Golf Club near Port Townsend is available through February for the discounted price of $999.
Those eligible must not have been an annual pass holder at the course the past two years.
Membership offers unlimited golf all spring, summer, fall, the rest of this winter and the first portion of next winter for a very fair sum.
Wide World of Golf
Planning a trip to Reno and have about $5 million laying around? An auction for the Sparks, Nevada-area D’Andrea Golf Course will be held on the steps of the Washoe County Courthouse in Reno at 11 a.m. Feb. 26.
The 18-hole public facility opened in 2000 in northeast Sparks on the edge of the Pah-Rah range.
It was closed by its ownership, D’Andrea Golf Holdings LLC, in March 2011 after the D’Andrea homeowners association voted down a fee increase to help support the course.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the notice of foreclosure shows the principal balance is about $4.8 million, including interest, late charges and other fees and costs.
It’s not quite March but bracket madness certainly begins today when the 64-competitor WGC-Match Play Championship starts up down at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.
Golf Channel has coverage each day, and NBC will provide Saturday and Sunday coverage from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this weekend.
This match-play event is nearly impossible to predict; a player draining birdies and blasting it down the fairway last week can be knocked out by someone who missed a series of cuts but is able to put together one solid “upset special” of a round.
It is fun to watch, though.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.