Sagamore plans a Masters-ful change on 9th hole
If the newly-designed ninth hole at Lynnfield’s Sagamore Spring Golf Course looks familiar, don’t be surprised if Dave Loggins’ iconic theme music, “The Masters” (yes, that music), pops into your head as you approach the green. That’s because, well, the hole has been cleverly renovated to replicate the treacherous par-3 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Club.
The new hole made its public debut during Memorial Day weekend. It features a brand new two-tiered green, sloping downward from left to right. Located to the right of the old green and left of the lesson/nursery green, the new green measures 3,400 square feet and is only about a club-and-a-half deep. It is approximately 70 feet wide with a steep-faced bunker protecting about half the width of the green in front.
The old hole measured 210 yards from the tips. Players could bounce the ball onto the green as there were no bunkers or other obstacles in front,
except for the large water hazard about 70 yards short of the green.
The new hole measures only 165 yards, but the penalty for a poor shot is more severe.
“It’s definitely going to play tougher for the average golfer as it’s a much smaller target,” said Assistant Course Superintendent Phil Miceli, who supervised the construction. “It may be shorter, but the target is smaller, certainly more shallow; you can’t run the ball over the green like you can on the old hole. Players are going to have to hit a much higher shot to hold the green.
“Anything that is short of the green will end up in the bunker or rolling back away from the green toward the water. You go over, you are facing a downhill chip shot that will be tough to keep on the green. Hit it too hard and you are going to roll off the green and end up in the bunker or rolling down the hill. It is definitely a much more challenging hole.”
Miceli said the cost of the renovation was more than $100,000 and involved the removal of many trees, mostly pines. Approximately 16 pines, other smaller trees and underbrush were cleared from the tee box area alone, to promote better growing conditions and open up a direct line of flight from the right tee box to the new green.
The renovation was handled in house by Sagamore’s grounds staff: Superintendent Jerry Dunklee, Miceli, Stu Spooner and Billy McCarthy.
The reason for the renovation? Public demand.
“I’ve only been here two years, but from what I understand, players have been asking for a practice putting green for years, so the old green is now the new practice green,” said Assistant Professional Tim Doucette.
“I’m not sure who came up with the original idea to rebuild the hole, but I think it was a total group effort with everyone coming on board.”
Attention junior golfers! North Shore Golf magazine and Reedy Meadow Golf Course are teaming up to revive the Junior Golf Invitational, last held in 2014. It will take place July 28 at 11:30 a.m. at the 195 Summer St. nine-hole course in Lynnfield.
Matt Parziale (Thorny Lea) and Herbie Aikens (Pinehills) won their second straight MGA Four-Ball Championship, which was held at Renaissance GC and Haverhill CCMay 9 and 10. Aikens’ birdie on the first sudden death playoff hole clinched the title. Sean Fitzpatrick (George Wright GC) and
Chris Tarallo (Thorny Lea GC) were runners-up. Both teams were 16-under par.
Many competitors from the North Shore did well. Nick Maccario and Shawn Roderick from Bradford CC finished third at 15-under. Two teams from Gannon GC, Jay Fiste and Tim Calvani and John Bolland and John Lynch Jr., finished at 7-under and tied for 11th place.
The North Shore Chamber of Commerce’s annual Summer Golf Outing will be held at Ipswich Country Club on Monday, July 17. Tee-off is 1:30 p.m. The Bramble format will be used. For details or to register, call 978-777-8565.
The Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Golf Tournament at Gannon Golf Course in Lynn on Monday, Aug. 14. Shotgun start at 10 a.m. A full-catered meal will follow. For more details or to register, call 781-592-2900 or go to LynnAreaChamber.com.
Big doings at your club? You or a pal get a hole-in-one? Planning a tournament for charity? Something North Shore golfers should be aware of? Please let us know by contacting editor (Bill Brotherton at email@example.com).