A BORN STORYTELLER died March 7 at the age of 90.
Dan Jenkins was best known for his decades of golf writing, filling the pages of Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest and more with wry, acerbic and most importantly dead-on accurate prose, during a career that saw him cover 231 major championships beginning with the 1951 Masters.
He also covered college football for years and wrote 23 books, including the sports classics “Semi Tough” and “Dead, Solid Perfect.” Jenkins also showed a remarkable ability to adapt to changing times.
As Associated Press golf writer Doug Ferguson noted, “Jenkins started on a standard typewriter. He finished on Twitter.
“He wrote what others only thought.”
That came through during recent major championships as Jenkins’ Twitter feed continued to pop the ego balloons of professional golfers — particularly a certain 14-time modern day Major champion who felt he had nothing to gain from an interview with Jenkins. Tiger Woods even demanded Jenkins apologize for publishing a mock interview with the golfer that Woods characterized as “a grudge-fueled piece of character assassination.”
Woods was the only one who didn’t get Jenkins’ jokes.
“He defined not just a generation of golf writers, but he defined the sport,” Jerry Tarde, the editor-in-chief at Golf Digest said last week. “He taught us how to write golf, talk golf, smoke golf, drink golf. He just created the modern language of golf. He made it fun.”
Jenkins was clever, never cruel with his needling — he didn’t tear people or programs down, straddling a fine line between biting commentary and malicious intent.
Back before the University of Florida football program brought in head coach Steve Spurrier and proceeded to win consistently, Jenkins wrote that Gator Nation possessed, “The arrogance of Notre Dame and the tradition of Wake Forest.”
After Greg Norman blew a six-shot lead and lost by five strokes to Nick Faldo in the final round of the 1996 Masters, Jenkins pointed out how Norman said he could have been a brain surgeon if he had had an inclination to take that career path. “Maybe,” Jenkins wrote. “But he wouldn’t operate on this cowboy — at least not on Sundays.”
Jenkins was feted at the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine for publishing, “Jenkins at the Majors: Sixty Years of the World’s Best Sports Writing, from Hogan to Tiger.” He had another decade ahead of him. His first major was Hogan beating Skee Riegel. His last major was Patrick Reed beating Rickie Fowler at Augusta last spring.
“I never wanted to do anything else,” Jenkins said at the 2009 PGA. “So I wasn’t going anywhere.”
St. Paddy’s Scramble
SkyRidge Golf Course will hold its 13th annual St. Paddy’s Scramble, a four-person event with a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start, Saturday.
Cost is $40 per player, $160 per team and entry fees include KPs, long putt on the 18th hole, green fees, range balls and a mulligan stew lunch.
An optional honey pot is $40 per team.
Best-dressed prizes will be offered for the best St. Patrick’s Day-themed outfit.
Carts also are available for $15 per seat.
To get in the game, phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673 or stop by the clubhouse.
St. Patty’s shootout
A St. Patty’s Day Shootout par-3 challenge will be held Thursday at The Cedars at Dungeness in Sequim.
The shootout will have individual gross and net divisions.
Tee times are available from 10 a.m. to noon.
The cost is $60 for the public, $40 for members. Closest-to-the-pin contests will be held on each hole, and the price includes green fees, any competition fees, range balls and an Irish dinner after golf.
The event is open to all players with a handicap. Players not wearing green will be assessed a two-stroke penalty.
Honey pots and giveaways also are planned.
To sign up, phone 360-683-6344 or stop by the pro shop.
Ludlow hosts events
Port Ludlow Golf Club will host a couple of tournaments this month including a Washington State Golf Association Winter Series event on Friday, March 22.
That event, an 18-hole Gross and Net Stableford competition, will tee off with a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
Entrants must be members in good standing of a WSGA-member club and possess a handicap up to a maximum of 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women. Players will receive 100 percent of their handicap for net scoring.
Entry fees are $80 and include green fees, range balls, tee prize, $10 in Puetz Golf bucks and a merchandise payout.
Cart fees are $17 per rider. Registration continues until 11:59 p.m Sunday at www.golfgenius.com/pages/1745885
Port Ludlow also will host a four-person scramble on Sunday, March 24.
A 10 a.m. shotgun start is planned. Entry fees are $50 for the public, $30 for members and includes green fees, range balls, KPs on all par-3s and lunch. Carts are an extra $10 per player.
For more information, call Port Ludlow at 360-437-0272.
Sunland kick off
Sunland Golf and Country Club member Janet Real checked in with a sure sign of the coming spring, Sunland Women’s Golf Association holding its Kickoff Breakfast last Thursday.
Real reported the SWGA board hosted a delicious continental breakfast consisting of fruit, breakfast casseroles, and pastries. With seven new members this last year, membership in the club now stands at 55. Thirty-one members attended the luncheon and briefly introduced themselves. The number of years ladies have been members of the Sunland club ranged from new additions to 30. Common remarks came back to the welcoming camaraderie of the ladies group, the great condition of the golf course and how lucky they were to live in the Sequim area.
The new golf booklets containing the golf season calendar, member’s pictures, and additional past and future information were distributed. Alice Myers has been the primary editor of the booklets for 20 years. This year she is passing the job on to Dana Burback and Dorene Berard.
Following breakfast, seven women braved the cold and played the opening game of the season (ONES — count only holes beginning with O, N, E, and S). Mary Kubas-Meyer and Cheryl Coulter were the winners. Sunland golf pro Fredrick Green briefly talked about the new rules.
The 2019 SWGA Executive Board: Judy Nordke, Captain; Mary Kubas-Meyer, Assistant Captain; Sharon Maguire, Secretary; Gail Flynn, Treasurer; Carin Bunney, Rules; Dorene Berard, Handicap; Judy Kelley, Nine-Hole Rep.; Cecil Black, Past Captain.
Port Townsend Golf Club’s annual Arctic Open is touted as the tournament that is played regardless of the weather.
Port Townsend’s head pro and general manager Gabriel Tonan passed along a report from the event.
With last month’s plentiful snow fall, Men’s Club members volunteered to get the course in shape for the February event, spending hours shoveling snow off greens.
A little help from Mother Nature melted much of the snow, “except of course the huge snowballs rolled by locals enjoying the golf course for sledding and family fun.”
Peninsula Golf Club members Mark Mitrovich and Gary Thorne teamed to win the Gross Division title with a two-round total of 131, three strokes better than Eric Nelson and Adam Barrows.
Hazli Katsikapes and Chris Lux were third with 136.
On the Net side, Doug and Brian Lux partnered to score 112.4, ahead of Woody Woodley and Scott Baker’s 117.8 and ahead of the twin brother duo of Austin and Keegan Khile at 118.6
“It was a competitive field from Port Townsend, Port Hadlock, Port Ludlow, Sequim, Port Angeles, Bainbridge Island, Silverdale and Tumwater,” Tonan said.
“This is always one of my favorite tournaments of the year and this year it did not disappoint.”