IN THE FAIRWAY......with a happy hacker

by Gerry Ryberg

It’s contagious! Norman Hill is the latest to be infected - lucky man! He celebrated Independence Day weekend in his own way, scoring a hole in one on #7 with a seven iron. Way to go, Norman! Not to be out done, Robert Stepec used an 8 iron on number 4 for his ace on July 2. Billy Zup was the envious witness playing with Bob, who now works and resides in St. Cloud - when not on the Ely nine making a hole in one, that is! <BR><BR>And we add #3 to the list after reading about Steve Piragis in last week’s Echo - ’though his was made at Wilderness at Fortune Bay in June! We and many others wouldn’t mind that kind of contagious ‘disease.’ <BR><BR>EWGA Veep, Cheryl Martinetto gave us the word at the Exec Board meeting that for sure, the traveling trophy has rested on Ely’s shelf in the past but Babbitt announced at Tuesday’s Exchange that it has found a home on their shelf since 1994! <BR><BR>Cheryl also played reporter for us for the Babbitt Exchange. More than 20 Elyites sojourned to the Babbitt fairways to battle for the little trophy on the 13th. Friday or not, the 13th was still bad luck for Ely, whose top 10 used 26 strokes more than the top 10 from Babbitt, who scored 485 to Ely’s 511. Royleen Tipton, Sue Baker and Mary Mills were Ely’s top scorers, with 41, 44, and 50 respectively. <BR><BR>Lynette Huovinen, Bernie Krtinich and Pat Frietag copped top honors for the Babbitt linksters with 47, 44 and 48 respectively. Of notable mention was the chip in on #8 for Ann Lincicome, the longest drive by Kelly Klun and the least putts, 14 each, by Doris Adamic, Royleen Tipton and Sue Baker. Thank you, Cheryl. We are sorry we had to choose between golf and the watercolor show. We missed the good food and the good friendly rivalry from Babbitt-ites. <BR><BR>We also talked about the ‘youngsters’ on the LPGA tour, and failed to mention that Annika Sorenstam is not ready to relinquish her domination of tournaments! According to Associated Press writer, Doug Ferguson, “ a familiar motivation has returned to Annika since the crushing loss in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.” <BR><BR>In other words, don’t count her out. We agree! She is one fantastic golfer and will be in the running for quite some time - we think, anyway! <BR><BR>Our “41 year old youngster” Meg Mallon did it again, however. She completed a “North American double,” winning the Canadian Women’s Open a week after winning the U.S. Women’s Open. Another ‘youngster,’ Beth Daniel, defending champion of the Canadian, came in second, scoring 274 - 4 strokes more than Mallon. Mallon finished the four rounds 18 strokes under par. Again, her putter was hot. (Must be nice, eh?) That tourney was played at Niagara Falls - Ontario. <BR><BR> Here is a bit of good advice a lot of us may have forgotten: that is, before taking a stroke that will land your ball in the rough. Be sure you put your zip code on it! (Sorry. Humor is hard to come by in hot sticky weather!) <BR><BR> Did you catch a glimpse of the bunkers at Royal Troon? My first thought was “open pit mining!” And the size and shape is nothing we have ever seen! The Trib ran a picture of a laughing Justin Leonard - laughing during a practice round that is - as his club kept hitting the back lip of the bunker on the back swing of the sand shot. Leonard was the defending champ of the this weekend. <BR><BR>Clifton Brown, who writes for the New York Times, described the British Open as being “fraught with Peril and Pressure, making it the most unpredictable of the four majors.” Apparently the July weather on the coast of Scotland is a bit windy - wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph. Unfortunately, press time came before the outcome of the Brit Open, but we are confident many of you followed the tournament play this past weekend. <BR><BR>See if this strikes a chord with you - about the dichotomy of golf, as expressed by Denver golf writer Jerry Walters: “Things I love about playing golf. - The smell of freshly mown grass. Things I hate about golf - The smell of fresh pine deep in the rough. I love - a white ball soaring into a clear blue sky. I hate - a white ball soaring into a clear blue pond. I love - making a 30 footer for a birdie. I hate - making a 30 footer for a triple. I love - hitting a par five in two. I hate - hitting a par three in five.” There is more - for another day. <BR><BR>We have been meaning to mention this: Taylormade calls their hybrid a “rescue fairway wood” stating it is an extension of the popular Rescue Mid Hybrid. It’s designed to be longer and more forgiving on off-center shots and is available in 3-5-7- and 9 wood ($249 each). Nancy Lopez Golf offers a 10 piece set, revolutionary they say, for women, especially to enhance distance, trajectory, and control. The set, called Torri offers a unique design progressing from the driver to the pitching wedge seamlessly. “All ten clubs were created to be used throughout each round for specific distances and circumstances.” <BR><BR>Check them out on the internet: The set looks good in the picture! Maybe that is what we need at this stage - and age? <BR><BR> One question that needs answering for a few cohorts: “What am I allowed to use to clean off debris on the green?” The rule (answer) was revised in this year’s rule book. You can now touch your line with your hand, club, towel, cap ham sandwich - you name it - in order to remove loose impediments, as long as you don’t press anything down.”<BR><BR> Stay in the fairway!