FORE! The Good of the Game
THREE RIVERS — This week, it’s also “fore the good of the golfer.” I have mentioned many times how the game attracts all genders and all ages. Let’s not leave out disabled golfers.
At Pine View Golf Course this past week, the Hemlock and Spruce courses were filled with golfers on Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday.
Let’s pause for a paragraph to recognize wheelchair basketball, wheelchair racing, wheelchair dancing; well, wheelchair sports... period. You discover in all sports, though sportsmen and sportswomen learn to play their games with a disability, they are often more physically capable than many able-bodied sportsters.
The Michigan Amputee Golf Association, established in 1955, held their annual State Golf Tournament at Pine View Golf Club, July 28, 29, 30. Friday was a practice round with each disabled contestant playing in a scramble with four able-bodied golfers
It gave those with a disability a chance to be familiar with both courses, which were played on Saturday and Sunday, 18-holes each day, separated into six divisions: 1) Nine Hole Division 2) Open Division 3) Senior Leg Division 4) Arm Division 5) Multiple Division — and new for 2017, 6) Non-Amputee Division.
Golf is known for its separation of pros and amateurs; no handicap for the pros, but a long-established A-B-C-D system for amateurs, which levels the playing field and has nothing to do with physical disabilities — just scores.
In the MAGA State tournament, there were 25 winners within the six divisions. The overall State Amputee Champion for 2017 was Tracey Ramin (played in the leg division, with a prosthetic). He scored 75 on the Hemlock course and 78 on the Spruce course for a remarkable 153 low gross total (That’s scratch, meaning no handicap).
Runner-up to the overall championship was Brian Bemis with 18-hole scores of 82 (H) and 79 (S), a 161 total. Bemis played on crutches with one leg and no prosthesis. (See photo).
Bryan Biagioli, president of the Michigan Amputee Golf Association placed fourth overall in the Sr. Leg Division.
Hole-In-One in Pine View’s Tuesday Night Handicap League Play
Mike Larson, of Three Rivers, playing with his partner, Todd Evans, in the age-old Tuesday Night Handicap league scored his ‘ace’ on the 133-yard, par 3, Spruce No. 8 on July 25. Who was the opposing team in the match? None other than the course owner/manager Stephen Scott and the Pine View Golf Pro Cody Sinkler; they carded a 36 and 41, respectively.
Larson shot a 41 and Evans a 52. After the team handicaps came into the tally for league points, Scott and Sinkler had a combined 11 handicap and took 10 points; Larson and Evans, had a combined handicap of 23, and managed eight points. Stephen said with a smile, “I got a par 3 on the hole, and lost by 2 to Larson’s ace!”
At Don and Sue Powell’s St. Joe Valley Golf Course, the White Pigeon Men’s Golf league reported the standings remained the same for the season, but “Things are tightening up,” said Don, the pro/co-owner.
The team of Jim Altimus and Jim Hummel have 34 1/2 points after last week’s play, holding on to first place. Now only one point behind with 33 1/2, Kasey Strawser and Mike Brorson had their goal set on working into the first place spot.
In third place are Charlie Carpenter and Cheyenne Miller, who are ever-so close with 31 points.
Please see Saturday’s Commercial-News print or e-edition for the full article.