Spring is right around the corner, and North Shore Golf is planning its next issue. What would YOU like to see in your magazine? What are we missing? What do we do well? What are our epic fails? Please let us know.
By Bob Albright
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway this offseason that features great golf along with tranquil, unspoiled beaches and some of the freshest seafood around, then you would be well served to head for North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Spread out among a collection of barrier islands, 30 scenic, unique, and challenging championship courses await golfers of all abilities with the only common thread being the laid back and welcoming atmosphere that oozes from this slice of golfing heaven. North Shore Golf made the trip last spring and we offer up this somewhat ambitious, but very satisfying four-day itinerary
Stage your personal War by the Shore at Kiawah resort
By Mitch Marcus
After spending several days at Kiawah Island Golf Resort and playing three of its five courses, I can rightfully say it is a golfer’s paradise. It is remarkably beautiful and happy place; even the occasional double bogey won’t sour your mood.
Ron Forse of Forse Design Inc., the golf course architect who helped Salem Country Club with its long-term improvement plan in advance of the 2017 U.S. Senior Open, on Oct. 17 toured the ongoing renovation project that he is supervising at Tedesco Country Club in Marblehead. Nearly every bunker on the course
is being remade according to the original design
Karen Moulton’s company spreading putting greens across the North Shore and beyond
By Bob Albright
Looking for the roots of some of the most imaginative synthetic putting greens in New England?
These golfers are determined to play America’s top 100 public courses
By Stacey Marcus
Long before Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman teamed up in the movie “The Bucket List” to play a couple of aged curmudgeons determined to fulfill their life’s fantasies, James Motzkin and his friends were embarking on their own dream journey: to play the top 100 public golf courses in the United States.
WOBURN — The region’s grateful golf community came out to pay homage to Lynn native and longtime PGA professional Paul Barkhouse (and wife Nancy) Nov. 17 at an emotional retirement party held at Woburn Country Club.
“To have you all here for me tonight is unbelievable,” the ever-humble Barkhouse, 76, told the gathering of close to 150. “It is really something for a kid from Lynn.”
Barkhouse, best known as the head professional at Woburn the past 17 years and earlier in his career for 12 years at Ferncroft Country Club, was especially moved by the presence of 13 of his fellow PGA pros, including former Ipswich CC head pro Steve Carter, who flew in from Akron, Ohio, where he has been a general manager for 10 years.
Among the other professionals in attendance were North Shore favorites Bob Green, Jim Tobin, John O’Connor, Donnie Lyons, Jim Lane and Bill Lindquist, plus Joe Carr, David Lane, Dana Janis, Andy Froude, Jack Neville and Tony Morosco, former PGA of America Professional of the Year. Tobin, Lyons, Jim Lane, and Morosco are members of the New England PGA Hall of Fame, as is 2000 inductee Barkhouse.
“Paul has been one of the best club professionals in Massachusetts and New England for a very long time,” said Green, who will be serving as Tedesco’s head professional in 2018 for the 40th consecutive year. “We all know he was a legend as an amateur around here. He only enhanced that legend during his outstanding career as a PGA professional.
“When I was a kid at Happy Valley (now named Larry Gannon Municipal) in Lynn, Paul was the Pied Piper as Larry Gannon’s assistant, the way he could hit the ball a mile, be such a fine player and be so helpful to any kid he saw. He was always willing to give gentle guidance to one and all. He was the same way throughout his professional career,” continued Green. “He never changed as a person either, even after his time on the PGA Tour and later as one of the best players the NEPGA ever saw.”
Green closed his remarks by relating a story told by just-retired Bear Hill head pro Eric Stevenson. “When Eric bumped into some Philadelphia-area pros and he mentioned the name Paul Barkhouse to them, they replied, ‘You mean Bionic Barkhouse?’ ”
Jesse Menachem, executive director of the Massachusetts Golf Association, called Barkhouse, winner of the 1976 Massachusetts Open in a dramatic playoff with Bob Menne and Bruce Douglass at Worcester, “as storied a golf professional as we have in Massachusetts today; a true ambassador of the game.”
Carter, Barkhouse’s multi-year partner in the NEPGA Pro-Pro championship, called Paul “my favorite player in the world. He gave me a wonderful outlook in the game and my career. And he always made golf fun.”
North Shore Golf magazine columnist Gary Larrabee shared with those in attendance his 50-year relationship with Barkhouse, which started in 1968 when he latched on as Barkhouse’s permanent caddie for two seasons. “I later became his unofficial publicist, or so people thought, when Barkie became head pro at Ferncroft and I covered his exploits for The Salem Evening News. We won a few NEPGA Pro-Press titles together and he set me up with some special interviews with Ferncroft guest golfers Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays and Brent Musburger. I consider myself blessed to be able to honor Paul tonight, a half century after we first met.”
Three letters of congratulation were read, one by Larrabee from PGA of America president Paul Levy, one by Carr from NEPGA president Ron Bibeau and one by emcee Barry Donovan of Woburn CC from Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America. Donovan was the chairman of the event.
Also attending were Paul’s wife of 47 years, Nancy Galeazzi Barkhouse, their daughter, Tracy Winter, and her three children – Savanna, Vin and Dagan.
It was a marvelous night for North Shore golf. Barkhouse has been an exemplary face of professional golf for 53 years, a champion player, instructor and mentor; a friend to all who love the game.
With the final MGA regional event of the 2017 season having wrapped up at the Cape Cod Amateur Championship, final points for the Massachusetts Golf Association Player of the Year points have been accumulated in respective divisions.
Upon final tallies, Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea GC) as the 2017 Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year while Boxford’s Frank Vana Jr. (Marlborough CC), pictured above, has collected George M. Cohen MGA Senior Player of the Year accolades and Gloucester’s Mark Turner (Bass Rocks GC) the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year recognition. The announcement was made by the Massachusetts Golf Association Championships Committee under the direction of Director of Rules and Competition, Kevin Eldridge.
“After another tremendous season, we are thrilled to announce that based on their performance throughout the 2017 competitive season, Matt Parziale, Frank Vana Jr. and Mark Turner have accumulated the most points in their divisions and have earned the prestigious honor of being named MGA Players of the Year,” said Eldridge. “With their top play, all three competitors represented the Massachusetts Golf Association in events across the Bay State, New England and the United States with class and we are thrilled that we get to honor all three of these players for their hard work.”
Parziale, Vana and Turner will be recognized as part of the annual Salute to Champions Dinner at Wellesley Country Club on January 11, alongside the champions from each of the 12 MGA Championship propers and select WGAM Championship propers held during the 2017 season.
MATT PARZIALE (THORNY LEA GC)
»» RICHARD D. HASKELL MGA PLAYER OF THE YEAR
He’s won the MGA’s top award three times, including two of the last three years, but Matt Parziale’s fourth time being named the Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year is by far the most memorable as the Brockton Firefighter and top-amateur golfer set personal records that will be hard for him to ever match again, nevertheless anyone else.
The 30-year Parziale, ranked No. 174 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, made national headlines in mid-October when he captured the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship after an exciting week at Atlanta’s Capital City Club – the first national championship for Parziale in what has been a summer of firsts.
After competing in nearly a dozen Massachusetts Amateur Championships over the course of his career, Parziale picked up his first Massachusetts Amateur title in 2017 after five days of grueling golf that ended with him defeating Matt Cowgill 4&3 in the 36-hole Championship match. Alongside fellow MGA competitor and longtime friend Herbie Aikens, Parziale also captured his second straight MGA Four Ball title and then went south to compete in the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship during the 2017 season.
He won the Norfolk County Classic in May, the Amateur Invitational in June, the Ouimet Memorial Tournament in July and the Tarlow Invitational in August, while an array of top-5 finishes in other MGA and regional events helped guide him to a stellar 1,603 Player of the Year points, the most points by an individual in a single season since the MGA began recognizing the award in 1976.
With his fourth Richard D. Haskell MGA Player of the Year, Parziale moves into a tie for second most Player of the Year Awards with Kevin Johnson, who won four straight from 1985-1988. Only Frank Vana’s nine awards are more.
FRANK VANA, JR. (MARLBOROUGH CC)
»» GEORGE M. COHEN MGA SENIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
In his first year of eligibility as a senior, Frank Vana Jr. finished near the top of the leaderboard in nearly every competitive event during the 2017 season, a season highlighted by a semifinal finish at the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship – an event he became eligible for exactly five days before the stroke play portion began – at the Minikhada Club in Minneapolis, Minn.
A 9-time MGA Player of the Year, Vana, who last won the award in 2007, garnered 500 total points in the George M. Cohen Senior Player of the Year standings, including 275 for his performance at the U.S. Senior Amateur, the 32nd career USGA Championship appearance for the Boxford resident.
Vana also accumulated 125 points for earning medalist honors at the US Senior Amateur Championship local qualifier that was held at Charter Oak Country Club in early August and 55 points for his T4 finish at the Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship, which took place at Watertown’s Oakley Country Club in mid-September. The Marlborough Country Club member Vana, a 2016 Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame inductee, also finished T6 at the Massachusetts Mid-Amateur Championship, finishing only eight strokes off the lead of 2017 victor, Colin Brennan.
At the 109th Massachusetts Amateur Championship in July, Frank Vana also set a record by qualifying for the match play portion of the Championship Proper for the 27th time in his career, the most by any competitor in MGA history.
MARK TURNER (BASS ROCKS GC)
»» CHRISTOPHER CUTLER RICH MGA JUNIOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mark Turner, an 18-year-old from Gloucester, had another tremendous season on the links, accumulating 523 points in the Christopher Cutler Rich MGA Junior Player of the Year standings, a margin of over 100 points for the next highest competitor. The former St. John’s Prep star, who will compete for Dartmouth College beginning next fall alongside older brother James, finished 6th and 17th, respectively, in the standings the past two years, while his 298 points in this year’s Richard D. Haskell Player of the Year standings saw him finish ninth overall.
No stranger to the Massachusetts golfing scene, Turner, who plays out of Bass Rock Golf Club, got off to an early start by placing fourth at the 2017 Hornblower Memorial Tournament, then followed up his superior play with noteworthy performances in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, the Junior Amateur Championship and the New England Amateur Championship.
After shooting a 1-over 141 in two rounds of stroke play at the Massachusetts Amateur Championship, Turner advanced all the way to the quarterfinal round of match play after knocking off Doug Clapp in 20 holes then besting Kevin Gately 5&4 before falling to eventual champion Matt Parziale.
He finished fourth at the 99th playing of the Massachusetts Junior Amateur Championship, four strokes off champion Dillon Brown, held at the Orchards Golf Club while also finishing T6 at the New England Amateur Championship. Competing on Team Massachusetts at the 2017 New England Junior Amateur Championship, Turner finished sixth at 2-under 214 in the 54-hole contest.
Turner also won the 2017 Northern Junior Championship, an event where Massachusetts competitors swept the podium, while placing third at the World Series of Junior Golf in early July at Triggs Memorial Golf Course in Rhode Island.
For more information on all the champions from each of the 12 MGA Championship propers, visit mgalinks.org.
The WGAM Player of the Year will be announced upon the conclusion of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which is taking place at Houston’s Champions Golf Club November 11-16.
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund will present its first annual Ouimet Golf Professional of the Year award to long-time Tedesco Country Club professional Bob Green this fall.
The award will annually recognize a New England PGA Professional for not only their efforts and achievements in guiding the young men and women who work for them to the Francis Ouimet Scholarship, but also their ongoing mentoring through college and beyond. The recipient will be someone who works closely with The Fund and plays an important role in promoting both the scholarship to kids, their parents and also the various Ouimet programs to the club membership.
Green, a North Shore Golf magazine contributing writer who has been head professional at Tedesco for 39 years, is one of the strongest promoters of the scholarship. Over the years, Bob has been serving as the Head Golf Professional, Tedesco has had 140 Ouimet Scholars including all four of his children who worked as caddies or in the pro shop. Each fall, Bob organizes a meeting with all potential scholarship recipients and their parents to explain the benefits of being a Ouimet Scholar and offers them help on how to navigate the application process. Bob works tirelessly with Tedesco’s Ouimet Chairperson, Michael Zmetrovich, to ensure that all club caddies and golf employees take advantage of this scholarship opportunity. They also work together to keep the rest of the Tedesco Membership involved in the mentoring process as well as the support of The Fund’s critical fundraising programs, including the Bag Tag and Golf Marathon. Bob Green demonstrates how integral a role the golf professional plays in the Ouimet programs and the future of those young Ouimet Scholars.
“Frankly, I am literally speechless receiving this award. The Ouimet Scholarship has been such an asset for the young men and women who have worked at our club over the years. They are such outstanding kids and being able to help them every year was an honor itself,” said Mr. Green when informed of the award.
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund was founded in 1949. Ouimet Scholars have served at least two years as caddies or in pro shop or course superintendent operations in Massachusetts, and many have gone on to outstanding positions of leadership in business and professional careers. Over the years The Fund has awarded nearly $34 Million in need-based tuition assistance scholarships to 5,700 students. In 2017-2018, The Fund will award a record $2 Million in financial awards to 345 Students. The Ouimet Fund is a 501 (c)(3) organization and is considered, “The Golf Charity of Massachusetts™.”
By BOB ALBRIGHT
Of all the possible ceremonies discussed as part of Winthrop Golf Club’s 100th anniversary this summer, there was one that proved to be a no-brainer for the centennial committee: rename the club championship trophy for the guy who has won 20 percent of the titles in the club’s 100-year history.