If ever there were doubts that modern-day sports have become too regulated, consider new rules adopted for one of the area's leading father-son golf tournaments.
Remember when it was a lifetime thrill for a father to have his young son enter as a partner in an official tournament?
Remember how proud the dads were to have their fledgling golfers stride with them to the first tee? And what it meant to the youngsters to get their initial tastes of competition?
Well, today it's not always like that. What tournament officials have been forced to do is to discourage those father-son combinations who are entered just for a walk in the park.
In order to weed out the weaker teams at some tourneys, regulations state that father-son duos must have a combined handicap of no more than 25. In other words, if your team is not a legitimate contender, forget it. Even a dad with a 12 handicap and a son with 14 would be ousted by the combined 25 limit.
This is not to say that restrictions are not warranted. With entries for golf tournaments constantly rising, a method was needed to assure that better teams had the chance to compete. After all, there was no justice in having high-handicap teams over-subscribing the entry list while title-contending combinations were shut out.
While the decision to adopt handicap limitations is harsh, it had ,, to be done to allow the event to carry a championship banner.
Evidence of caliber of play for father-son competition was reflected in this year's Middle Atlantic Championship at Rolling Road. The winning score was 63 (gross) and it took scores of 69 or better to finish in the top 10.
Although all of the major sectional golf associations conduct father-son events, none includes father-daughter tourneys. Most clubs, however, schedule mother-daughter events.
* It was a par 72 by host professional Tom Haskell that set up an early course record at Hampstead's Oakmont Greens course.
In just its first full month of operation, Oakmont Greens has yet to hold a formal tournament. "Golfers should expect to call for tee times on weekends," said owner Lee Snyder, "but there are many openings during the week."
Speaking of course records, here are some of them at Carroll County courses:
Wakefield Valley -- a 68 by Dennis Winters from the blue tees, a 67 by Fred Funk from the white tees, and a 66 by Todd Eckenrode in informal play. Bonnie Fry's 74 is the record for women.
Piney Branch -- a 65 by Joe Max from the white tees, 66 by Tim McCoy from the blues. A 70 by Jill Nesbit is the lowest score by a woman.
Bear Creek -- Ron Rogers holds the men's record with a 66 for informal play.
Western Maryland College -- a 68 by Randy Biden is the best competitive mark.
* The three winning teams in the Oldsmobile Scramble Tournament at Wakefield this weekend will advance to the sectional finals, also listed at Wakefield, on Sept. 8. It will be these winning combinations that will qualify for the national final in Disney World in Florida in October.
There will be 33 teams returning to Wakefield for the sectional trials. Play will be for the best net and gross teams.
The Oldsmobile is advertised as the largest participant tourney in the nation. It includes four-man teams, advancing from home club play to sectional and national finals. In the finals in Florida, each team will be assigned a touring pro, making up a fivesome.
A team from Clifton Park was the Baltimore-area representative for low gross honors last year. The winning area net team was from Chestnut Ridge.
Western Maryland College -- Three holes-in-one were scored in July: John Olsh and Bob Sedlak on the eighth hole and Ralph Seher on number three. Max Mosner's 69 led play for the President's Cup team tourney. He was followed by Scott McCauley with 72 and Charles Palmer with 73.
Bear Creek -- Winning foursome in the twilight league was Lee Miller, Roy Bradley, Alston White and Jim Amerethn.
Piney Branch -- Member-guest overall winner: Doug Jacobs and Bob Vesta. Two-man teams, Denny Myers and Bob Naylor; foursomes, Steve Yount, Bill Lancaster, Jay Guynn and Eric Herman.
Wakefield -- Two-man handicap leaders: Tivis Buckingham and Gus White, 121; John Brandenburg and Russ Faulkner, 124; and Steve Wah and Del Fletcher, 125.