MICHAEL CARMAN ON GOLF: Send-off planned for Port Townsend’s Early

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

GOLFING WEATHER OF late has been a trifle frightful, those frozen fairways the opposite of delightful, but as long as it doesn’t snow, feel free to visit your favorite course’s golf pro.

A look ahead at the week’s forecast does show some warmer temperatures coming, albeit sprinkled with rain showers, but hitting off of softer, wet turf is a big improvement over spraining a wrist swinging a club on a frozen, hard-packed fairway.

For those winter golf enthusiasts, there are a host of happenings before Christmas, including a chance to bid a fond farewell to outgoing Port Townsend golf pro Mike Early and his partner and pro shop stalwart, Vicki Handyside.

Party, scramble set

Port Townsend Golf Club will celebrate the season and say goodbye to Early and Handyside at the course’s Christmas Party at 4 p.m. this Friday.

Guests should bring a dish for the potluck and their own beverage for the “good cheer” portion of the event.

And now for a few words on Early’s departure from new Port Townsend pro Gabriel Tonan:

“I bought my first golf membership during the summer of 1986 for $18 from Mike Early during his first year at Port Townsend Golf Club,” Tonan said.

“It was from that point on, that I fell in love with this beautiful little golf course and the game I love to this day.

“I have had the privilege of watching this course grow into what it is now.

“Mike planting numerous trees which have grown into beautiful full-grown obstacles, which cost me daily; bunkers that have been filled in and others built, which also seem to catch my golf ball.

“There seems to be a pattern here, was he doing this to me?

“I have formed many lifelong friendships at this golf course over the years, and look forward to continuing them and forming new ones.

“I have worked for Mike for most of my life — range kid in the 1980s, grounds crew and shop assistant in the 90s and as an assistant pro during the 21st century.

“He has been a great mentor teaching me the business and a better friend.

“I will miss him always being around to answer questions and [to] ask for advice, but I look forward to starting a new chapter in my life. Besides, he will be in Walla Walla and only a phone call away.”

Well put, Gabe.

Best of luck, Mike and Vicki, and thanks for the tips and the help over the years.

Port Townsend also will host its annual Blind Draw Holiday Scramble on Saturday.

A 10 a.m. shotgun start is planned and green fees are $25 per player, plus $10 in green fees for nonmembers.

Phone the course at 360-385-4547 for more information.

Pre-Christmas tourney

Because of the below-freezing conditions last Saturday, SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim decided to postpone its Pre-Christmas 18-hole Golf Tournament to this Saturday.

The two-person event will tee off from the green tee boxes, with the first six holes a scramble play format, followed by six holes of better ball and six of aggregate play.

The shotgun start time for the event is 9:30 a.m., but frost may play a factor.

Price is $60 per team, and includes golf, range balls and food.

An optional $30 per team honey pot also is available.

Power carts are available for $15 per seat.

Handicaps will be determined by 10 percent of total for scramble, then strokes-where-they-fall for better ball and aggregate.

Get in the game by phoning SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.

Secretive Santa?

Cedars at Dungeness in Sequim will hold a HO-HO-HO Holiday Scramble on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Head pro Garrett Smithson promises a memorable event.

“You do not want to miss this tournament,” he said.

“We are not going to give any secrets away until the day of the event, but we will tell you that this will be one of the most unique events you have ever played in, and fun for all playing abilities.”

The four-person scramble has a 10 a.m. shotgun start.

Cost is $49 per person for the public, $31 for members and employees, and includes play, cart, lunch, range balls and prizes.

To signup, phone Cedars at 360-683-6344 or visit the clubhouse.

_______

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

Last modified: December 10. 2013 6:32PM
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