Turf Valley's aces overshadowed by its wealth of `age shooters'

PLAYING AROUND

Howard At Play

May 21, 2000|By LOWELL E. SUNDERLAND

Working in a partial round of county golf courses, we learned a new term from Craig Day, longtime head PGA pro at Ellicott City's Turf Valley, which, with three 18-hole courses, is Maryland's largest golf complex."We have 25 to 30 aces [holes in one] made here every year," Day said, referring to every golfer's dream experience. "But what's really terrific to see are our `age shooters.' They're in a class by themselves."

An age shooter is a golfer whose 18-hole score matches his or her age, which, as Day pointed out, is impossible for virtually any golfer until he or she passes, say, at least 70-something.

Turf Valley, Day said, has three age-shooting regulars: Vic Turyn, Maryland quarterback when legend-to-be Paul "Bear" Bryant coached football at College Park; Dick Breen; and Phil Markman."I've been playing golf for some 35 years, and I've shot only one ace," Day said. "But if I ever get the title of `age shooter,' I'd consider that more exceptional. It's very, very rare."

Gold Medal contender

For the second year in a row, Howard County's Department of Recreation and Parks is a finalist in the Gold Medal Award program co-sponsored by the National Recreation and Parks Association and the National Sporting Goods Association.

The annual award, to be presented at NRPA's October convention in Phoenix, Ariz., recognizes overall management excellence. Howard County's competitors are comparable agencies serving areas of 100,000 to 250,000 population.

Last year's winner in that bracket was Henderson, Nev. Other winners since the award was founded in 1993 include Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Peoria, Ill.; Tempe, Ariz.; and Plano, Texas.

Winners get a plaque and recognition; no money is given. Winners cannot re-enter the competition for five years.

Where's Chuck?

Last we wrote about Chuck Daniels, the retired Columbia lottery software programmer who began hiking the Appalachian Trail north to Maine from Georgia in February, he was in mid-Virginia. He's likely in New Jersey or New York by now.

Daniels, 60, was the first "Class of 2000" through-hiker to reach the Appalachian Trail Conference headquarters in Harper's Ferry, W.Va. He also spent a couple of late April days cooling his hotfeet at home.

There, he wrote of completing about 1,000 of the AT's 2,165miles: "I feel good enough mentally and physically to continue all the way to Katahdin[in Maine]. To reach my goal of completing the trail in five months is still very realistic."

A few more samples from Daniels' Internet journal (http://www.striders.net), which his wife, Andrea Almand, edits and posts:

April 26, near the traditional, if inexact, Appalachian Trail midpoint marker in Pine Grove Furnace State Park in south-central Pennsylvania: "I drop my pack on the Green Mountain Store's covered porch ... and buy half-a-gallon of chocolate-covered peanuts in vanilla ice cream with caramel swirls. ..."I can't believe I ate the whole thing. Then I head back to the deli counter to order a cheeseburger and medium Coke as a chaser. I can't remember eating so much food in a two-hour period; still, I feel great."

May 4, Allentown area, approaching Bake Oven Knob: "A nasty fall. I'm taking very large steps across a boulder field when my backpack shifts ... and over I tumble. I fall 6 feet, becoming wedged into a crack between boulders. I swear to myself as I lie there, thinking I have broken something, but after I crawl out, everything feels whole and still moves. ... It is quite painful, like a bike fall on hard pavement, but I'll live."

Scrapbook

Dave Hutsell, 29, in his fourth year as assistant pro at West Friendship's Willow Springs Golf Course, made his first Buy.comtournament - "the minor league of the PGA Tour" - earlier this month, qualifying for the Richmond (Va.) Open with a 68. But tournament rounds of 72 and 76 drove him home early. "It was a good learning experience," he said.

Know any "age shooters," or something or someone else we should write about? Tip us off anytime at 410-332-6525. We'll call back.

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