Down The Fairway: C.W. Players league Muny's best
Schenectady Municipal Golf Course has more than its share of outstanding leagues for all ages and skill levels, but one of the best has an intriguing name, The C.W. Players.
Dave Semione is the secretary of this league, which features many strong competitors, including Chris Fatone, Jay Taub, Dave DeMarco and Jay Singh.
It’s probably the strongest league at Muny in terms of overall talent level, and many of its players are mentioned prominently in our weekly golf league roundup.
It’s also the only league that plays exclusively from the blue tees.
“I started the league in 1998 with a friend named Chuck Walters,” recalls Semione. “I just wanted to have a league with seven or eight of my friends with handicaps between 0 and 7.”
Semione noted that Walters died just one or two months before the league actually started, so he decided to name the league after him. “We were going to name it just the Players, but after Chuck died, I wanted to have a memorial to him, so I called the league the C.W. Players,” Semione said.
“We later jumped to 12 players, and the handicaps moved from 0 to 6. Then the handicaps dropped from 0 to 4 because we got a couple of scratch players. Now, we’ve got about 16 guys, and we use a 20-point system for our matches — two points per hole and two points for net total. The winners of each half play an 18-hole match to determine the champion.”
Other players in the league include Mike Pollock, Mike Drake, Carl and Chris Gilbert, Mike Salvatore, Ron Cohen, Jim Collain, Todd Trepess and Mike Java.
STOP THE MADNESS
I’m getting tired of listening to supposed golf fans yelling at the top of their lungs after certain players — especially Tiger Woods — hit their tee shots during golf tournaments.
It was bad enough to hear the same old “you’re the man” or “get in the hole” screams, but during the PGA Championship last week at Oak Hill Country Club, we heard “mashed potatoes” and “scalloped potatoes.”
Once, during the final few holes when Jim Furyk was trying to make a run at Jason Dufner, a fan yelled something in a time frame so close to Furyk completing his swing that he turned and stared for several moments before heading back up the fairway.
Golf is not football, and there is no reason to allow fans to yell ridiculous statements just so they can be heard on television.
Nobody minds a few cheers for great shots, but this other stuff is crazy. It doesn’t belong at any level of golf, professional or otherwise.
I’m thrilled with my new putter, called the Probe 20/10 N.
I’ve gone through many, many putters in my lifetime, although I’ve settled on an Odyssey 3-Ball putter for most of my rounds during the last year or so.
But as a golf writer, I often get notices of new products with offers to send them on for a review. I usually oblige. This is only the second putter I’ve reviewed.
The first time I used my Probe 20/10 N, I knocked in a 35-foot birdie putt on my last hole at Eagle Crest -- the par-5 18th hole. I was only playing nine holes that day because I had a tournament to cover. I also made some other fine par putts.
But on those putts, I just putted normally and took advantage of the center-shafted design, thicker grips and excellent alignment aid.
This putter has much more to offer, however.
Most of us have tried to take a little off our severe downhill putts by placing the golf ball toward the toe of our putter. But the Probe 20/10 N putter goes even further by claiming to take much of (up to 80 percent) the break off putts, whether they are hooking or slicing.
Here’s an example. There’s a three-foot putt that looks like it breaks four inches right to left. The Probe 20/10 N instructional sheet says that instead of aiming outside of the hole, aim to the inside right of the cup and use the hash-mark at the toe to line up the putter. The clockwise side-spin will reduce the break by one inch, and you will make the putt without giving up the hole.
On a putt that breaks four inches left to right, aim inside the left side of the hole and use the hash-mark at the heel. As long as you reach the hole, the counterclockwise side-spin will reduce the break by an inch, and you will make the putt again without giving up the hole.
I’m just starting to learn the advantages of this putter, but I like it already.
Check out probe.com for more information.
MUNY IN SUPER SHAPE
I can’t say enough about the shape Schenectady Municipal Golf Course is in.
Superintendent Mike Scesney has done a remarkable job of not only keeping the course’s scenic beauty intact but also making this local jewel extremely playable. The greens are in top-notch shape.
Just ask anybody who played in the Gazette Senior County Amateur this week. Everyone was raving about the greens.
Well done, Mike.
u A correction to last week’s column on two-time Gazette Senior County Amateur champion Andy Long, who returned to the area from Carlisle, Pa., to play in this year’s event. Long, 78, did his golfing in England in the Korean War, not World War II. He would have to be a few years older to have been in WWII. His return was successful, however, as he bettered his age with a 75 in the opening round to win the overall low net with a 64.
u Kenny Hall won the Town of Colonie Golf Course senior club championship. He used a 32 nine-hole score during the finals to pull away.
u Michael Zhao of Niskayuna, the Gazette’s 12-14 division champion in the Newspaper in Education Capital Region Junior Championship, won the 12-14 division championship in the New York State Elks Golf Tournament recently at Yahnindasis Country Club in Utica. Zhao, who advanced from the Rotterdam Elks qualifier at Schenectady Municipal, shot an 81. Other Rotterdam Elks qualifiers who fared well included Mike Doxie, who shot an 83 and was second to Zhao, Emma Ward, who won the girls’ 17-18 division and also took medalist honors among the girls, and Christine Guidarelli, who was third in the girls 15-16 division.
u The St. Jude Classic Golf Tournament & Pig Roast, which was rained out last week, has been rescheduled for Sept. 15 at Briar Creek Golf Course. Entry fee is $100 and includes golf, cart, lunch at noon, prizes, raffles and beverages on the course. Send entries to Bedrock Inn, 3132 North Thompson Street, Rotterdam, NY. Call 669-5575 for more information. Entry deadline is Sept. 5.
u Van Patten Golf Course will host the eighth annual Mother Teresa Academy tournament Sept. 19. Entry fee is $150 and includes golf, cart, awards dinner, contests and prizes. There will be a scramble format. You can register at www.motherteresaacademy.org. Entry deadline is Sept. 6.
u The third annual Adirondack Senior Open, part of the Sunbelt Senior Golf Tour, will be held Aug. 26 at Whiteface Club & Resort. The Sunbelt Senior Tour has been the training ground for Champions Tour players for nearly two decades. It’s a developmental tour for players 45 and older. The week begins with a trick shot show and free clinic on Aug. 26. The pro-am will be held Aug. 27, and the three rounds of the tournament will be held Aug. 28-30. For information on playing in the pro-am or attending the tournament, call 1-404-944-9988.
u The NEWGA Schuyler Meadows Mixed Invitational will be held Monday at Schuyler Meadows Club.
u Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau will host the Eastern New York Golf Association’s Four-Man Scramble on Monday. There will be an 8 a.m. shotgun start.
u Congratulations to Paul Pratico Jr., Brian Daley, Dan Rancourt and Tim Kelley, who passed their PAT (playing ability test) in their quest to become PGA professionals.
u Devin Delisle of Brushton (boys 16-18), Tanner Donovan of Loudonville (boys 13-15), Harry Thorp of Glenmont (boys 12 and under), Natalie Squillace of Slingerlands (girls’ 16-18), Madison Braman of Loudonville (girls 13-15) and Juliette Melita of Niskayuna (girls’ 12 and under) were named the NENYPGA Junior Tour Players of the Year.
u The NENYPGA YMCA Pro-Am is set for Monday at Wiltwyck Golf Club in Kingston. Local pros also will compete in the NENYPGA Senior Stroke Play Championship at the Country Club of Troy on Wednesday.
u The Russo Grill Memorial Member-Guest/Member-Member is set for Sept. 7-8 at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. There will be gross and net flights. Call 842-4265 for more information.
u The Knights of Columbus Council No. 11064 will hold its annual Roland L. Felano Memorial Golf Classic Sept. 9 at Mohawk River Country Club & Chateau. Entry fee is $95 and includes golf, cart, lunch, awards dinner and prizes. Call Steve Sweet at 357-8932 or Scott Germain at 424-1272 to register or for more information.
u The Union College Football Dick Roberts Fighting Dutchmen Gridiron Club Tournament will be held Sept. 20 at Mohawk Golf Club. There will be a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Lunch and dinner will be included. You can sign up online at www.UnionAthletics.com.
u Saratoga National Golf Club will host the Teeing Off on Cancer Golf Classic Aug. 26. The tournament benefits the Coaches vs. Cancer program to fight cancer nationwide. For more information, contact Amanda Medina at 472-0069.
u At Airway Meadows, the second annual David LaFountain Memorial Golf tournament will be held Aug. 31. Proceeds go to the Center for Donation & Transplant of New York and Vermont. Entry fee is $85, and includes golf, an entry gift and a steak/chicken barbecue.
Tom Rankin aced the 138-yard 23rd hole at The Edison Club with a 9-iron.
Greg Chalmers used a pitching wedge to hole out on the 80-yard 16th hole at Whispering Pines Golf Course.
Tony Benaquista aced the third hole while playing in the Falvo Insurance league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.
Jim Carney of Hagaman eagled the par-5 490-yard second hole at Town of Colonie Golf Course.
Kevin Waldruff eagled the ninth hole while competing in the City Hall league at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course.
Tom Kalinski (fifth hole), Chris Matthewson (sixth hole) and Michele Russo (10th hole) collected eagles at Amsterdam Municipal.
Yogi Guinipero holed out from 150 yards with a 7-wood on the par-5, 485-yard 26th hole at The Edison Club.
Paul Wright eagled the 17th hole while playing in the Fritz Tavern league at Briar Creek.