Timing Of The P-J Champions - The 24th annual Post-Journal Champions golf tournament was held on Sunday and again it was in May. The target date is the Sunday after Mother's Day and the Sunday before Memorial Day.
There was some discussion among a few of the competitors last Sunday about why the tournament is held so early in the golf season instead of July or August. The question has come up before, often in the years when we actually had snow flurries on the day of the event.
Here are some reasons why The P-J Champions is held in May.
At many golf courses, the club championships are held very late in the season and sometimes are completed in September. I know one course a few years ago that held its in October. So often when the club champ is finally determined, no one at the course even knows who won their title.
Sometimes the golf course personnel don't remember, either. You wouldn't believe how many times I have called a course to get the name of its men's club champion and the result is a long pause. Then the person who answered the phone has to go look it up or give me a call back when they can find out.
The club championship is the most prestigious event at a golf course, but it too often falls far behind in publicity compared to handicap-filled events such as member-guests and other net events.
So 24 years ago The Post-Journal backed up my idea of having a tournament for men's scratch club champions from regulation 18- and nine-hole course in the newspaper's circulation area. The goal was to give these club champions publicity for their accomplishment.
Since their club championship was won in the previous year, we wanted to have the tournament as early in the following year as possible. It is on the first available Sunday in May, which has become the Sunday after Mother's Day and the one before Memorial Day. We didn't think it would go over too well to have the tournament on Mother's Day and many club champs might be unavailable on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
We don't want to hold it in June or later because that is when tournaments at most courses begin. Also, we are asking courses to donate their layout on a Sunday and doing it in May is possible while they wouldn't be anxious to give up a Sunday in June or July.
So The P-J Champions is the first major golf event of the year and since the County Amateur is gone, it is the only ''real'' golf event of the year with no handicaps.
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Extra Help - As usual, The Post-Journal Champions went off without a hitch, thanks to the help of Cardinal Hills Golf Course manager Eric Brown and his staff. But he had some extra help.
It came from Lola, seen above in her usual perch in a golf cart awaiting a ride out onto the course.
Lola usually keeps an eye on things around the pro shop area, but she isn't afraid to patrol the course. And if she can't hitch a ride on a cart, she'll travel by foot - or make that by paw.
Play can often drag at The P-J Champions, but I think I noticed golfers stepping up their pace when Lola was seen in the area.
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A Dozen Is Enough - Because of severe flooding that made several holes unplayable at the Ocean Club Course in the Bahamas, the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was shortened to 12 holes for Friday's first round and possibly for today's second round and Sunday's final round.
Everyone teed off at No. 10 and the golfers needed a road map to find their way around the12-hole course because the order of holes was 10-6-7-4-5-11-12-13-14-2-3-8.
Par for the 12 holes was 45.
High school golfers from about 40 years ago would be very familiar with the 12-hole format. That's how many holes were included in a high school match back then.
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Part-Time Job - I wonder if pro golfer Sergio Garcia has opened a side business in excavating. He seems to have an amazing ability to dig himself into a hole with his comments and then make it deeper and deeper with more comments.
Garcia wouldn't need any tools. His mouth would do all the digging.
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Typical Weather - It's not surprising we had temperatures in the 30s on Friday when there were plenty of baseball and softball playoff games scheduled. What more would be expected in Chautauqua County on the Friday before Memorial Day?