Tournaments for disabled are affirmation of human spirit

June 26, 1994|By Blair Holley | Blair Holley,Special to The Sun

A release came to me the other day which told about the second annual tournament of the Association of Disabled American Golfers.

The release reminded me of the National Amputee Golfers Association tournament that I covered some years ago at Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. When you see a guy strike the ball soundly while holding the club in one or more prosthetic devices, you know it's another affirmation of the human spirit.

This group, ADAG, has recently acquired a corporate sponsor for its 1994 National Tournament, the Electric Mobility Corp. of Sewell, N.J., which makes those electric carts you sometimes see wheeling around on the board walk, giving their riders the independence and mobility they deserve. This is only the second year for this national tournament.

What you just read was not brought to you as an add for those carts but rather to alert someone reading this to the fact that such an organization exists.

If you have a disability and play golf, call (303) 220-0921 for more information about the ADAG.

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I keep running into people visiting Ocean City from many states. The "run in" occurs because my big ears hear the word golf in their conversation and that's all that's needed to get me involved.

Most of the time people take my intrusion into their relaxing lives in good humor but fail to follow up on a request to send me a brief summary of their golf experience in our area.

One visitor who was trapped into communicating his golfing exploits was our son, David Blair Holley, who spent several days here after the spring semester closed at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro where he is director of opera. To those of you who have called (410) 641-6711 to tell me some news and gotten our answering machine, yes, the voice singing the message is David's. It sure isn't mine.

Well, David only had a few days here before heading to Brevard, N.C., where he will be singing and teaching this summer. If you're down in the mountains near Asheville and enjoy fine classical music, take an evening and go hear him sing at the

Brevard Music Festival. We teed it up at Eagle's Landing and then he teed it up at the Beach Club Golf Links.

On the back side at the Beach Club, we caught up with two nice guys from Harrisburg, one of whom was also named Dave, and they invited us to play the hole with them. Then we went on, hoping to stay out of their way. Two holes later we caught up with two more or less local golfers who invited David to play as a threesome.

One of the two golfers was Mike Quillin, who owns the Sandpiper and Satellire Motels in Ocean City. The other used to live in Ocean City but has spent the last 20 years in Hawaii, surfing and playing golf. He is best known to area friends as "Skill."

The final settlement was something well short of a financial coup for Skill but he was chortling nonetheless. David shot an 86, not bad for the first time on Eagle's Landing.

Both encounters with the other players pointed up one of the other benefits of playing golf in a resort at a public course -- meeting strangers who sometimes turn into friends. But the friendship thing usually takes a full 18-hole round and not far less than that.

The next morning, David let me stay in bed and went over to the Beach Club. Even though he only carded an 88, he came back from that experience raving about the Berlin course. The greens at the Beach Club especially impressed him.

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The Ocean Pines Ladies Golf Association-9 Holers held a Flag Tournament in which each woman got a flag before tee off which added the total of her handicap to the lady's par of 37.

Then, and I've always found this a real fun type of tourney, each woman played until she had used up that handicap-plus-par stroke total and planted her flag at that spot. Ten golfers played beyond nine holes, indicating a much better day than playing their listed handicap.

Emma Tompkins went the furthest to win the event, with Skip Smith (is she ever not involved?) in the runner-up slot. In third was Dottie Calhoun and fourth went to Lois Hall. Winners of Honorable Mention prizes were Dottie Stotz, Bobbie Buckley, Kay Jones, Doris Culbertson, Betty Larsen and Isabelle Makowski.

The OPLGA-9 group then sent representatives to play in the Chester River Invitational. In the four-person team scramble, OP women were successful, as Audrey Teaney was on the team that finished third in a draw over the quartet which featured Sara Demetrowitz (fourth) and the fifth-place bunch which had Shirley Anderson on board.

In the Women's Peninsula Golf Association Mixed Better-Ball at Nassanwango Country Club, first place went to Ann and Phil Reed of Ocean Pines with a net 61. Only one stroke back at 62 were Joanne and Bunny Kirby, another OP couple. Then the OPLGA-18 group had its Flag Day event and Joanne won it over Marge McDonald and Margaret Markiewicz in second and third, respectively.

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