MICHAEL CARMAN’S GOLF COLUMN: Eric Nelson discusses record-breaking round at Port Ludlow Golf Club

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

MINUS HIS THRILLED playing partners, when Eric Nelson walked off Timber No. 9 and completed his record-breaking round of 61 at Port Ludlow Golf Club on Feb. 9, there was no adoring throng waiting for him, no champagne or beer shower, and thankfully no carts to clean or range balls to wash for the next day’s golfers.

Nelson and one of his three playing partners, former Chimacum and Olympic College teammate Adam Barrows, still help out at the course on occasion in exchange for playing privileges and as the last out on the course they “locked up” the facility after Nelson’s record round.

Nelson has played Port Ludlow as his home course since 2007, after switching from playing baseball to playing the links.

He’s crafted his game to the tree-lined course and typically breaks below par when he plays there.

“During the summer I felt my game was really coming around,” Nelson said.

That was until the right-hander suffered a setback — a broken pointer finger on his right hand in a golf cart accident in early fall.

No tomfoolery here, his cart bashed into another around a blind corner at Ludlow.

The break didn’t chase him off the course but it did slow his improvement a tad.

“I was still playing but I was playing one-handed,” Nelson said sheepishly.

After healing, Nelson resumed his normal swing pattern and now plays about four rounds a week.

On his big day, Nelson started strong, with five birdies in his first six holes.

He cooled a little before the turn, making par on 7, 8 and 9 on Tide, but his superb putting stroke delivered him a 25-footer for birdie on his 10th hole (Timber No. 1).

Nelson was a putting machine all day, needing just 23 total putts over the 18 holes to craft the 11-under-par 61.

His only dalliance with danger came on his 13th hole of the day, Timber No. 4, when his approach shot on the 396-yard par-4 was hole-high but drifted a touch left and plugged in the face of a greenside bunker.

He was able to blast out to about 20 feet, drain the par putt to get up and down, and shook it off with a birdie on his next hole and again on his final three holes.

Nelson’s round was witnessed by Barrows, former Port Townsend High School golfer Sean Anderson and Chris Holloway.

I asked Nelson how they were treating him during the round, especially down the stretch with the record in reach.

Were they giving him a wide berth, like a baseball team does to a pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter?

“They were quiet for the most part but when I was making putts they were going off and we’re just as excited as I was,” Nelson said.

Just your average, run-of-the-mill course record 61

Shamrock Scramble

SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will host its seventh annual Shamrock Scramble tourney on Saturday, March 16.

The four-person scramble has a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start.

Entry fee is $40 per player, $160 per team and includes golf, lunch and range balls, plus KP’s and a long-putt contest on hole No. 18.

Carts are an extra $15 per seat.

An added bonus for this one is a prize for the best-dressed team.

Leprechaun wear is entirely acceptable.

For more details, phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.

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.

Dungeness Niners set

The Lady Niner’s of Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course will begin their 2013 Season on Thursday, March 7.

Club captain Arlene Cox invites all interested ladies to join the Niners for a season of new friends and great golf.

All are welcome, regardless of your level of play.

On opening day, the group will meet at the Cedars at Dungeness pro shop at 9:30 a.m. with a tee time of 10:30 a.m.

The hour before play will give club members the chance to divvy up teams for that day’s round as well as saying hello to old friends and welcoming the new.

Dues are $46 a year, plus the weekly green fee for nine holes and $12 for a cart if you prefer to ride the course.

For those new to the game, a Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) number will be assigned upon payment of the yearly dues, otherwise, come with your GHIN number and handicap from when you played last.

For answers to additional questions or more information, phone Shari Miller at 360-582-0732, and she will be happy to discuss the Dungeness Lady Niner’s Golf group with you.

Thanks to Lady Niner’s member Lee Stanley for the information.

Disco Bay madness

Great deal on tap all March out at Discovery Bay Golf Course near Port Townsend.

Starting Friday, Discovery Bay is featuring “March Madness,” a two-for-one golf promotion where you and a friend can play nine or 18 holes for $22 total. Use of a cart is not included in the deal.

The special is good everyday in March.

“For those who have been hunkering down the past few months, this special is an easy entrance back into the game,” said Discovery Bay’s Randy White.

“If you have cobwebs or rust in your swing talk to our pro, Dan Swindler, about scheduling a few lessons to get you back in the swing of things.”

Discovery Bay’s ladies and men’s clubs are recruiting new members and have scheduled their first meetings for March 28 and April 24, respectively. More info on the meetings will be found in upcoming columns.

“Plenty of time to get out to practice, including hitting balls from our covered range,” White said of joining either club.

Peninsula club update

Paul Reed checked in by email this week with news that Peninsula Golf Club had hundreds of people stop in and view their slide show and check out photos and club memorabilia at this past weekend’s KONP Home Show.

Initial reports said that attendance was up at the event, thanks in large part I’m sure to my mention of Peninsula’s booth in my column last week.

Peninsula Golf Course had a “guess the amount of golf balls in the case” game and had seven winners receive a free round of golf for two and lunch in the clubhouse.

Winners are Rob Dunk, LoAnn Goodworth, Riley Shea, Levi Charles, Ron Winter, Scott Thornhill and Steven Lewis.

There is still time for those interested in locking down the “Home Show” special price for an annual membership. Just phone Chris or Sonny in the Peninsula pro shop at 360-457-6501.

The Peninsula winter golf league will wrap Friday. Right now, the Pro Shop Team holds a slim four-point lead over Triggs Dental Lab with bragging rights on the line during Friday’s round.

On a final note, Reed wrote in an email: “The Peninsula membership would all like to thank one of their own, Carl Larson, for his generous donation and long term membership.

“Carl has been a member at Peninsula Golf Club sine 1934 and even won the club championship in 1939. So once again, thank you Carl Larson.”

PT club events

Port Townsend Golf Club will begin posting scores to the GHIN on Friday.

Players interested in joining the Port Townsend men’s club can pay their GHIN fees and become a member of the club, which provides a fun group of guys with which play golf and a large amount of tournaments all year long.

The next tournament at Port Townsend is the Saint Patrick’s Day two-person best ball on Saturday, March 16.

The tournament costs $35 per player, with only $10 greens fees for non-members.

Players will tee off with a 9 a.m. shotgun start and will build their appetites for a corned beef dinner following play.

Phone the pro shop at 360-385-4547 to get involved.

Port Townsend hosted a Men’s Club Blind Draw Scramble event last Saturday.

Held during a late-winter windstorm, a hearty group of golfers were able to overcome the tough conditions and post low scores.

First place went to the team of Woody Woodley, Doug Collins and Chris Storm with a net score of 48.1.

Russ Jerabek, Paul Itti, and Dan Owen were second with a net 49.8, and Russ Harding, Roger Ramey and Jerry Spieckerman were third with a 50.9.

The team of Greg Miller, Gene Yantz and Bruce Madsen worked together to drain the longest putt on hole No. 13 (No. 4).

Storm landed the closest to the pin on hole No. 7.


Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-417-3527 or pdngolf@gmail.com.

Last modified: February 26. 2013 6:12PM
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