By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Sweet missed the cut at the tournament — a collection of PGA head pros competing for 20 spots in the PGA Championship this August at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
The tournament was held last week at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club and Grande Dunes Country Club in Myrtle Beach.
“The entire experience was unbelievable,” Sweet said.
“You show up to the first practice round and they have the tour trucks on the range, and it’s just unreal the way they build it out.
“They run it like a PGA Tour event.”
Besides a putting stroke that left him hanging on occasion, Sweet was encouraged by his play.
I chipped great, drove great, I just didn’t putt well,” Sweet said.
“Those bermuda putting greens killed me.
“Trying to read them was really tough. You’d have a 50-foot putt that went 10 feet into the grain 20 feet down grain, and trying to figure those out was a challenge.
“They had the greens running 12.5 [on the stimpmeter — a tool that measures the speed of a green] and firm as can be.”
Sweet mentioned that his two three-hole bogey streaks “were all three putts.”
“I kept leaving myself in bad positions on the greens,” Sweet said.
The two courses really offered a tough test, Sweet mentioning the 18th hole at Dunes as a typical example.
“That 18th was set up as a 455-yard par 4, and you drive it 250 with no roll and still have a 200-plus [yard] hybrid into the green,” Sweet said.
“I had a member there, Tom Chirhart; he couldn’t believe how tough it was set up.”
Sweet then mentioned he and his family continued their vacation down in Orlando, Fla., where he shot a 32 on the front nine at the Disneyworld PGA course.
The PGA National Championship experience, while tough, piqued Sweet’s interest, and he plans to compete for the 2015 event, starting with the first stage of qualification this fall at Salish Cliffs Golf Club in Shelton.
“Absolutely. It was an a great learning experience and really taught me what I need to work on to do better at this event,” Sweet said.
Port Ludlow tourney
Port Ludlow’s Festival by the Bay, a three-day celebration of the former timber town turned retirement village, includes a golf tournament.
The festival runs from July 25-27, with the golf tournament set for Friday, July 25, at Port Ludlow Golf Club.
Sign-in begins at 11 a.m., and the shotgun start for the four-player scramble format event is 1 p.m.
Entry fee for Port Ludlow members is $35, and $75 for nonmembers.
The fee includes lunch, range balls, prizes for on-course contests, prizes for winners and an admission badge for all festival events.
There will be KP prizes for two of the par-3 holes and a $10,000 prize for a hole-in-one on a designated par-3 hole.
An awards ceremony will follow play at Niblicks restaurant in the Port Ludlow clubhouse.
The festival schedule is available at plfest.org.
For more information, or to register, phone Port Ludlow at 360-437-0272.
Discovery Bay events
Discovery Bay Golf Club near Port Townsend will celebrate Independence Day with twilight rates from 11 a.m. to close Friday.
The course will host the North Olympic Salmon Coalition Tournament starting at noon Saturday, July 19.
Entry is $75 for the four-person and includes golf, cart, lunch and prizes.
Proceeds will benefit the coalition, which works to protect and restore wild salmon stock on the North Olympic Peninsula.
Phone the golf shop at 360-385-0704 to register.
Discovery Bay also hosts a Thursday night skins competition, a nine-hole event with KP’s.
Entry is $10 with $10 green fees for nonmembers.
Start time for the skins is about 5 p.m., but call ahead to let the golf shop know.
Port Townsend golf
Port Townsend Golf Club will hold a three-club tournament Saturday.
Players will have their choice of any three clubs for use during the 18-hole event.
Cost is $25 plus $10 green fees for nonmembers.
The tournament starts at 9 a.m.
On Saturday, July 12, the course will host the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Aloha Summer Golf Tournament.
The four-person scramble is $30 per player with $10 green fees for nonmembers.
Entry includes lunch/soft drinks prizes and games.
Prizes will be given for best Hawaiian shirt, best Hawaiian hat and best Hawaiian costume.
Proceeds support Jefferson County Recreation youth sports.
Phone the pro shop at 360-385-4547 to sign up.
Stars and Stripes
SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim will present a Stars and Stripes Golf Tournament, a two-person 27-hole event with three separate formats, on Saturday.
A 10 a.m. shotgun start will start things off.
Only 28 two-person teams are available.
Green fees are $40 per person, $80 per team, and the price includes golf, range balls, food and $5 in competition money.
An optional honey pot is $20 per player and carts are $15 per seat.
Phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673 or stop in to sign up.
Support JeffCo sheriffs
The annual Jefferson County Sheriff’s Golf Tournament is planned for Port Ludlow Golf Club on Saturday, July 19.
The four-person scramble has gross and net divisions and will tee off in a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
Entry fees are $500 per four-person team and includes 18 holes on the Tide and Timber nines, use of cart, competition prizes, unlimited use of the practice facility and a barbecue dinner with all of the fixins after play.
Proceeds from the tourney will support the general scholarship funds for the three Jefferson County high schools: Port Townsend, Chimacum and Quilcene.
Registration is due July 13.
To sign up, or for more information, phone Port Ludlow at 360-437-0272.
Golf columnist Michael Carman can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.