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By Joe Soraghan

"No one has ever conquered this game. One week out there, you are God, next time, you are the devil. But it does keep you coming back." — Pro golfer, Julie Inkster

"Hey Joe, what'd you shoot today?" I thought, "Why did he ask me that? He really doesn't care how I play. In fact, he wants to kick my butt!" When I complete my round, the question I am asked most often involves my score. Golfers really don't care what the results are from your round, they want to use your score as a barometer to their own round. Golf is not just a sport where the individual is totally responsible for his or her result, but it is a sport where being selfish might have some benefit.
If you are a fan of the pro game, the torch is being passed from Tiger to Rory. The young man from Northern Ireland has put on a great display of golf over the past two months. His driving length and accuracy have been nothing less than incredible, and his explanation of the success he has experienced is fascinating. Rory responded to inquiries regarding his success by explaining how his focus and mindset has allowed him to perform at a level only few have experienced. Rory went on to explain that he was able to eliminate all that was happening around him and focus totally on his game. Other great players: Jones, Hogan, Nicklaus, Palmer, and Woods, for example, have referred to the ability to focus on what they need to do on the course and the ability to put any and all distractions aside as key for success in the game.
When you hit a good shot, you are going to get some self satisfaction along with the complimentary "Nice shot!" from your playing partners. But, if you hit a shot that is right out of a comedy, you know it was your fault and blame can only be directed at one person, you. When you hit that good or great shot, your confidence grows. However, when the errant or wayward shot is launched, a player's confidence is shaken often leading to a round that "slips away". Maybe being a little selfish on the course isn't a bad thing. You need to forget how others are playing and what their thoughts about you might be. Focus on what you need to accomplish.
Think of the number of events that you participate in that are team events. These are tournaments where you are competing with others and you don't want to let down your teammates. The success a team might have is contagious: players start making shots and putts that create momentum and hope. But miss a few shots and putts, and the momentum disappears. The athlete, golfer, or anyone who has achieved success has the ability to remain focused on his or her goals. My friend, "Buster", will often say, "You can't have a match where you and your partner are playing a three-dollar "Nassau", when the goal is to win an individual event." He's right. By having a selfish attitude your opportunity to achieve the intended goal becomes more attainable. The "bottom line" for golf success is that you still need to work at the game and you need some talent. We aren't going to have the success of Rory McIlroy, nor should we "dump" our wives and/or girlfriends so that we can focus on golf. But it is possible to try and add more focus to our game and try to eliminate the outside influences that can interfere with your next round.
Club Notes:
Indian Mound Golf Course (539-7733)
In the Rivers Edge quota league, Rickie Tibbetts was the top performer by winning a skin and taking two closest to the pins. Overall winner was Dave George who was +4. In Ladies' League action it was the team of Ann McWalters, Nancy Crowley, and Nancy Raymond taking the top spot. The Ladies' League will be hosting their Invitational on September 24 with a "Vegas in Ossipee" theme. The Mound Junior golfers are in first place for the coveted Cornelius Twinkle Darth Cup.
North Conway Country Club (356-9391)
This past week the NHPGA held their annual tournament at the North Conway 18. On Sunday, in the Pro/Member, it was the team of Doug Dugrenier, Danbo Doucet, and Kris Tatur who posted the top score at -20. Second place went to Frank Pomeroy, Roger Valliere, and Joanne Darrah at -19. The tournament was won by Jim Sheerin of Abenaki CC who defeated Rich Berberian, from Windham CC, on the third playoff hole. The shootout saw Berberian take top honors over Mitch Jefferson of Ridgewood CC. Local pros Larry Gallagher, of NCCC, and Bob McGraw from the Eagle, posted first round scores of 72 and 69 respectively. The members take over this Sunday with the Ladies' and Men's Senior event and the Mixed Scotch next weekend.
Wentworth Golf Course (383-9641)
This Saturday and Sunday, the Jackson 18 will host the Club Championship. This event has shown to be a very competitive event. Saturday evening the member cookout will be held and you can be sure there will be some "mind games" played during this social interlude. On August 5, the Ladies League had a Team Bramble event and saw the team of Cricket Catalucci, Gloria Hannon, Sheila Hastings, and Peg Casey take top honors. Chip-ins were recorded by Brenda Killourie and Diane Mitchell.
Eagle Mountain Golf Course (383-9090)
The Jackson 9 will be hosting a Member Scramble this weekend. The Fall Don Ho will start on August 26 and 27- sign up with the pro shop. There will be a Bench Dedication and Tournament remembering longtime Eagle starter and golfer Phil Kelly on September 7. The Thursday night league saw three teams tie for first and Joan Aubrey secured closest to the pin honors. The Eagle continues to have Family Golf Rates after 3 pm daily.
Hale's Location Golf Course (356-2140)
Two special tournaments are scheduled for Hale's: the Wayne Sprouse Golf Tournament Fundraiser on August 28 and the Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure on August 25. Hale's Pro, Wayne Sprouse, is battling some difficult medical issues and now needs the help and support of not only the golfing community but the public in general. The proceeds from this event go entirely to help defray the medical costs Wayne and his family face. The Komen tournament helps the largest breast cancer movement in the fight against the disease. For more information call John Szewczyk at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Bobbie Box at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Province Lake Golf Course (207-793-4040 ext. 15)
The 2014 Club Championship was held last weekend with some very competitive matches. In the Champions Division, Elizabeth McDowell, won for the woman and Marc Reardon won for the men. Janet Sherman won for the woman in the Presidents' Division, while Craig Fales won for the men. The Senior Flight saw John Creighton take the top spot. The four club match was played at Bridgton Highlands on Monday. The Province Lake team has taken over first place. They are closely followed by Kezar Lake, Bridgton, and Indian Mound. The final match of the season will be held at the Province Lake course.
19th Hole
Golf Magazine has a section titled "The Rules Guy" where readers can write in and ask questions or give scenarios seeking responses which require a good grasp of "The Rules of Golf". I think I've got a good one for "The Rules Guy", one which I originally got wrong. This week, in the NH Pro Tournament, a player's ball came to rest next to a tree and he didn't have a swing to hit his ball from the lie. As he pondered his predicament, he realized he could hit the ball left handed and when he took his stance hitting from the left he was standing on a cart path. As every golfer knows, you do get relief from a cart path. He brought a rules official in to make sure he was doing the correct thing. The official informed him that he would get relief by addressing the ball left-handed, and he was required to hit his ball left-handed from the spot where he dropped it. This one had me searching my rule book and I can not find any reference to this situation. It's a conundrum. Have a great weekend of golf.

 

8-15-14-marty-basch-bridgeriderA 24 Hours of Great Glen rider crosses the floating bridge. (MARTY BASCH PHOTO)By Marty Basch

The following takes place between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 10 at the edge of the pond by the floating bridge exit during the 24 Hours of Great Glen.

6:30 a.m.
The sounds of a bagpipe waft through the air. Piper Derek Davidson, decked out in kilt, vest, hat, tie and more, stands solo near water's edge and paints with sound a dreamy landscape that is far better than waking to the beeping of a digital clock.

6:32 a.m.
I am sitting on my backpack in a dew wet bed of weeds at the base of the pond with its floating bridge. Three riders have already been across the s-shaped floating bridge. Fall in! Fall in! I think that, but not too loudly.

6:35 a.m.
A mountain biker crosses the bridge and smiles for the camera. As he crosses, he makes a wake that ripples across the pond. The northern Presidentials are in front of me, the piper behind me. Not too bad start to the day. Now if only someone would bring me coffee.

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By Christopher Chaffee

"If you make yourself more than just a man, if you devote yourself to an ideal, you become something else entirely." — Batman Begins

I wake up everyday a little sore from the previous long but hard earned day. I look into the mirror with a determined heart and focused eyes. The first thing I look at is a picture of my hero Lleyton Hewitt pumping his fist with a quote below which reads "Just give 100 percent. And that's not just in tennis or sports; that's in life. If you give 100 percent, you'll have no regrets. "

That awakens the fire inside of me and my eyes begin to set with laser like focus. I am strong, I am determined with my heart on my sleeve.

In my life on and off the court I am committed to get the most out of myself and always have a purpose. It takes a lot hard work and dedication but it is important to me, I enjoy it and I love it. You have got to be prepared to make sacrifices and you have to be disciplined. For me every moment and everyday of this is all worth it. My will is everything.

My day in the life of a tennis player and teaching pro in the Mount Washington Valley consists of setting up lessons with the clients I have built for myself of all ages and all abilities. A lot of it is going out and trying to build clients. It is also about creating and trying to reach beyond them for more.

It is about Inspiring others, giving my knowledge and experience for those trying to learn for the first time or wanting to just improve. I try to set up work at least 5-6 days of teaching work a week. I am willing to travel around the valley because the more you reach out and teach the greater the gift is.

I love what I do and I show it on how I live my life and how I conduct myself. I am willing to set a leading example of who I am hoping it will inspire people to play tennis or if nothing else to never give up and pursue their hope and dreams. I wish for everyone to try to do what they love because then it doesn't seem like work.

It is always fun and you are doing it from with all your heart. There is a lot for me that goes on behind the scenes to be the best version of myself as a tennis pro. It isn't just about knowing how to teach or how to feed a tennis pro.

Tennis knowledge and teaching experience is important to have. You can only get that from learning from different people and through experiences. There is a lot of resources out there whether it be watching tennis matches on television, reading articles and books, or from an experienced mentor as an instructor. However for me, there is even more. I love to put in the hard work in the gym, so I can train to be my best and I know physically I can be out there all day.

Being physically fit means you mean business. You are hard to beat. I can perform my best work and be the best version of myself, because it gives me confidence. Confidence in my teaching and my playing. The training I do is for a few hours a day several times a week is a priority. I make time for it whether it be early in the morning or late at night. I also make it an absolute priority to play competitive tennis six days a week to keep my game sharp.

Whether it is playing tennis on the court or coaching I have always been professional in my work ethic. To spend that extra time and days of playing and training and being able to fit it into a busy work schedule those are the moments you push yourself. Doing the extra work preparing shows a lot and it will pay off. You find a lot about yourself. What you are made of.

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." — Molière

I am faced with a challenge that also motivates me. It is a challenge I look forward to facing and trying to conquer. The Mount Washington Valley is beautiful scenic area known to attract tourists for its remarkable scenery, outdoor activities, outlet shopping, skiing, but tennis is something like a forgotten buried treasure here.

Years ago the Mount Washington Valley hosted the Volvo Tennis Tournament at Cranmore Mountain, where I work now. As time changes everything and things adapt and change, the old remains of the Volvo are just a memory now. Tennis is and unfounded treasure waiting to be discovered. A treasure that I have discovered and trying to share to others — the best way to learn is by example.

The best example to set is being a definition of a hard working tennis player and teacher. I may not be on the tour, but I have improved as a player and a player every year. By that alone should be an example by definition to people to want to get into tennis. With this example maybe I can inspire people of all ages and hopefully grow tennis in the Mount Washington Valley.

I would love to see people of all ages and abilities fall in love with this sport either for the first time or again. People should love tennis because it is fun and it is healthy. It is great for the body and great for the mind. Tennis has many valuable traits that can be instill in a child or adult that will help them succeed in life. It is a sport that makes you look within yourself.

For me I am going out there and getting my name around the valley. I am going to various places and trying my best to be being a leader in a small town community. Leaders are born for what they are made of. Through what they hope for, believe in, and aspire to be.

John Adams said,"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

My actions show who I am on the inside as a person and also what I do shows how I conduct myself in life. I want to inspire people and share my love for the great game of tennis. If people look at me they can see how hard I work and what I put into it. I give my best each and everyday. By being well prepared it shows my commitment and determination. It also shows how much it means to me.

Tennis is basically an individual sport, and for me being a singles player it means you are in charge of your own destiny. However in life, you always need to surround yourself with people that are there for you. It helps to have a great support system by having my twin brother and my parents in Maine.

I also have all my co-workers at Cranmore Fitness in New Hampshire. They are those who believe in me and my abilities, They have given my the chance and the opportunity. They have offered nothing by encouragement and support.

They see my passion, the fire and it inspires them. It means a lot and makes a big difference knowing that you have people who believe in you. It gives you that extra gear, that extra motivation and strength to continue with the task at hand no matter what.

"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." — from the poem Ulysses

To push yourself to achieve greatness without giving up. Every day I improve on and off the court and I am always learning. I am progressing and getting better. There are no limits. As a player, as a teacher, I can always get better. The same is to those that I coach.

You can always improve each and every day. For me it is always about doing the small things, and just preparing as well as possible to go out there and executing. By staying positive as much as possible and trying to stay in the moment and not think too far ahead. One thing I will promise you will always get out of me in tennis is I will give you the best i got each and every day as a player and as a coach.

My love to compete in tennis is no different than in life. I can also help others discover that for themselves. So, when my head is about to hit the pillow I go to bed dreaming about my goals and dreams and that's more powerful than anything.

As the next day begins, I will continue to follow my passion with the realization that people may not always remember what I have taught them, but they will remember who I am. I am warrior, a fighter, teacher, and a coach who will take his love for the game and instill it in you.

Christopher Chaffee is the head tennis pro at Cranmore Resort and coach of the Fryeburg Academy girls tennis team.

 

By Joe Soraghan

“I’m more nervous teeing it up from the first tee in a competitive match than I was in the starting gate at Sapporo during my Olympic run!” — Tyler Palmer, 1972 US Olympian and Hall of Fame skier

Back in the early 20th century, Walter Hagen, the leading professional golfer of the time, wanted professional golfers to be respected and accepted by the membership of clubs where they pursued their careers. Did he have a vision of how the professional game would develop to where the purses are huge, and endorsement money even larger?

When Rodman Wannamaker brought some amateurs and professionals together in 1916 to form “The Professional Golfers Association,” Hagen jumped at the opportunity to help. This week, the end result of these early beginnings will take the spotlight as the final major of the season, the PGA, is played at Valhalla Country Club in Kentucky. The purse is $10 million.

There remains a large segment of the professional fraternity that won't be competing in Kentucky that play a very important role in the game of golf, and to the millions of men, woman, and children that play the sport: the club professionals.

These are the men and women who have chosen golf as a career. Ninety-nine percent of the golfing population will have contact with one of these people. They assume responsibilities as ambassadors, teachers, referees, salespersons, and “sounding boards.” They have developed skills in retailing, psychology, agronomy, marketing, diplomacy, and they have the ability to play golf well.

Most club professionals have “paid their dues” by developing their skills through apprenticeship positions. They were assistants, guided under the tutelage of the club pro. They have the ability to play a high level of golf. They show the ability to communicate to others the skills the customer wants to learn.

Today’s club professional needs to have knowledge of the equipment. A professional's advice is sought for what equipment is suitable for a client, and what is a proper fit. And, if you want to engage a golf professional in conversation, ask a question regarding rules. Be ready for a response and explanation. Knowledge of the rules is not only an expectation, but an area of pride. The professional golfer is well versed in the rules and usually willing to enlighten others regarding scenarios that occur on the course.

Golf is a global game. When the term, “golf pro” is used, many immediately think of those on tour who get paid large sums of money for their ability to play this game at the highest level. A club professional makes a salary by working at a particular club and wears many hats in providing a service to you, the golfer. The next time you walk into the pro shop, understand that the individual with “Golf Professional” attached to his or her name has worked endless hours and taken many courses for the privilege of being referred to as the “Pro.”

Club Notes

• Indian Mound Golf Course (539-7733): The junior golfers from the Mound played for The Twinkle Darth Cup at Ridgewood last week and came out on top. Team members are Josh Rivers, Josh Kondrat, Ryan Pacheco, Troy McDonald, Ben Dougherty, Zack Phaneuf, and Kyle Buffelli. The team will play next at the Kingswood CC on Aug. 14. The Rivers Edge Quota saw Karen Chase, plus 7 and Trish Picard plus 6 take the weekly game. Closest-to-the-pin honors went to Fuzzy Martin and Larry Ewing. The Ladies Invitational theme this year will be Vegas in Ossipee and will honor the late Lorraine Hoffman who passed earlier this year. Putt for Pets is holding their annual tournament this Sunday. If you would like to play call Tom Dean at 356-3855. A Pro/Am tournament is scheduled for Oct. 19 that will benefit Junior Golf.

• North Conway Country Club (356-9391): The Men’s Club Championship was held last weekend. In Flight 1, Fuzzy Martin took top honors with Bruce Sanderson finishing second. Flight 2 saw Tyler Palmer take first with Scott Terry in second. Flight 3 had Ted Davis in first, followed by Doug Darrah. Flight 4 had Karl Seibel take first and Brett Russell in second. This weekend the Pro/Member will be held on Sunday and the pros will play their tournament Monday and Tuesday. The Ian Meserve Shootout will be held on Monday afternoon. This fun event, which was refereed by the late NCCC assistant pro, is always entertaining to watch. The Thursday morning Ladies League is gathering momentum and is open to all. The North Conway Club lost one of the true gentlemen in this community with the passing of Bob Saunders. Condolences go out to his entire family.

• Wentworth Golf Course (383-9641): The Ladies Invitational was held at the Jackson 18 and they had a “Beach Party” theme. Taking the top spot was the team of Claire Devellian, Dixie Coleman, Jane Goulart, and Jill Lucchetti. Second place went to Lorna Kimball, Gerri Levesque, Barbara DiNapoli, and Lynne Anderson. Long drive winners were Helen Cote and Kathy Scanlon. Closest to the line winner was Dottie Heffernan and closest to the pin winner was Rita Descoteaux. Sheila Hastings won the putting contest. The Mixed Team Championship, or the “Divorce Open”, was won by Peter and Ellie Thompson. Roger Leblanc and Kitty King took second and were followed by Don Mason and Gloria Hannon. The Red Fox is heading into its final week and results are being tallied by Price Waterhouse at their secure facility.

• Province Lake Golf Course (207-793-4040): The Sunday Quota game has had some fantastic weather to go along with some great golf. Bob Murphy and Mark Reardon took the team honors with a combined plus 13. In the skin pool it was Mark Reardon having the only birdie that lived. The quota game is open to all. The 4Club match saw Lake Kezar winning the most points, followed by Indian Mound, Province Lake, and Bridgton.

• Eagle Mountain Golf Course (383-9090): A Member/Scramble will be held on Aug. 16. This will be an A, B, C,D event and will start at 12:30 p.m. On Aug. 19, the Battle of the Sexes will take place. Sign up at the pro shop for both of these events. The Fall Don Ho will begin on Aug. 26 and 27. The Thursday Eagle League saw the team of Buzz and Jane Query, John and Jeannie Chanley, and Rita Stoessel and Haig Zeytoonian win with a score of minus 2. Closest-to--the-pin honors went to Jeannie Chanley. The date for the Phil Kelly bench dedication and golf tournament date has been moved to Sept. 7. at 3:30 p.m. There will be two “cannon starts” at 1 and 4 in the Don Ho format with teams made up from four to six players. The cost is $20 a player, with half of the proceeds going to charity.

• Hale’s Location Golf Course (356-2140): The Kiwanis' 21st annual “Children Are Priority One” Golf Tournament was held at Hale’s last Friday. Taking the top spot was the team of Steve Cote, Brad Littlefield, Pat Kittle, and Ryan Sommer. Second place went to the team of Al Capone, Arnie Blethen, Bob Bechtold, and John Sullivan. Evelyn Stiller and Tim Westwig won the long drive contest and Westwig also took closest to the pin. The benefit for Hale’s Pro Wayne Sprouse is moving forward. Wayne joined The White Mountain Hotel team in 2013 and is an accomplished player. He shares the nine-hole record of 33 with former pro Jonathan Rivers. The tournament is scheduled for Aug. 28 and there will be three tee times 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. All proceeds go to help defray medical costs. Call Carol Sullivan at 356-7100 Ext. 412 to register or become a sponsor.

19th Hole

From the “You can't make this stuff up!” files:

During Sunday's round in the Men’s Championship at North Conway CC, the threesome of Dan Kelleher, Bob Heiges, and Dan Sullivan showed that they are moving up on the aging ladder when they exhibited lack of foot speed on the 11th   hole. Sully was in the bunker to the left of the green. When he entered the bunker to hit his shot, he realized his cart was a bit to close and gave it a push. Turning to hit the shot, with his playing partners watching, the pushed cart gained momentum and headed towards the pond. Always the gentlemen, nobody said anything until Sully completed his shot. As Sully got out of the bunker, a cry went out that the cart was heading toward the water. With three players in pursuit, the cart submerged. Sully had to enter the pond with the water level almost waist deep, and Bob hanging on to him as he retrieved his precious clubs. Always the competitor, Sully “drained” his 12-foot putt and squished his way around the course.

Golf news may be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

By Marty Basch

Usually around this time of peak summer bicycling, I'm contacted by a handful of concerned cyclists urging me to do a column about the rules of the road.

Put simply, follow regulations for motorists (remember, most bicyclists drive) and ride with traffic on the right.

But this year, with the growing use of the Mountain Division Trail in Fryeburg, I've had conversations with a variety of users looking to make the experience fun and safe for all.

So, in the spirit of cooperation and ambassadorship for the rolling citizens of the valley, I've culled some common sense rail trail courtesies from various sources because, well, common sense sometimes takes a holiday.

Be aware of others. It's easy to forget there are other people on the planet when you're on the rail trail. They walk their dogs. Earbuds pulse with sound and stories. Many users find themselves in their own "zone" and become so focused they are unaware of others.

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