Tiger Woods, for the first time in five years, was in contention for an entire tournament.
He’s back and, in spite of all that happened, I’m still glad to see him. I’m sure my readers know who I am referring to: The one and only Tiger.
Sunday’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook — managed by the same company that handles the Hammock Beach Resort — ended with Tiger’s one-stroke loss to Paul Casey, who, believe it or not, had a grand total of 21 putts in his win; how can you beat that?
But Tiger, for the first time in five years, was in contention for the entire tournament and has already brought back many of the missing golf fans. And to those who say Innisbrook may have been a fluke, how about this statistic: Tiger’s clubhead speed was measured at 129.2, the fastest on the PGA Tour this year.
This week is the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill classic over in the Orlando area. Think it will be crowded?
Events at area clubs
There are those golfers, however, who would rather play than watch, and the next six weeks or so are going to be very busy at several courses with some major charity events coming up in addition to club and association championships.
Grand Haven has a number of charity events on its schedule, and all are open to the public. Coming up on March 26 is the Live Like Cameron tournament, named after Cameron Fulling, who died last year of brain cancer. Proceeds go to support children with the disease.
Slated for May 7 is the First Tee tournament that will benefit the First Tee of North Florida; the organization is also seeking donations of used equipment. Call the Grand Haven pro shop at 386-445-2327 for information on where to drop off any donated equipment.
Grand Haven has slated its club championship for this weekend, March 17 and 18, and at Palm Harbor, the women’s association championship is already underway and concludes next Tuesday.
Cypress Knoll will be very busy with several benefit tournaments coming up. On March 24, there is the Matanzas Baseball Booster fundraiser to benefit the school’s baseball team. It begins at 9:30 a.m. and is $75 per player.
On April 7, the African American Cultural Society’s Pyramid Players Golf Tournament is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
April 14 is the date for the ReGener8 Youth Tournament, sponsored by the Palm Coast United Methodist Church that will benefit the church’s Youth Mission Trip and a summer camp. It’s an 8:30 a.m. shotgun; the cost is $75.
And on Saturday, May 5, is the Flagler Woman’s Club first annual tournament that will benefit several local charities. It begins at 9 a.m. and costs $75.
Nine and Dine
In the March 6 Nine and Dine scramble at Cypress, a new course record of 29 was set for the front nine by the team of Fred Robinson, Jack Lehman, Phil Martin and Bernie Nix. Lot net went to the foursome of Pat DeGrave, Gary DeGrave, John Zbytec and Dave Lavine with a 28.5. Closest to the pin honors went to Denny Kerr on #2 and Phil Martin on #5.
Rates for public play at the four daily fee courses in the area vary and there are frequent changes. At the city-owned Palm Harbor, the standard rate for a Palm Coast resident is $40 between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m.; drops to $33 from 2 to 1 p.m. and to $29 after 1 p.m.
At Pine Lakes, the resident rate is $44.50 before 11 a.m., $39.50 between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and $29.95 after 1 p.m.
Cypress Knoll, said a spokeswoman in the pro shop, has a rate of $35 from 7:30 to 10:50 a.m., it drops to $32 between 10:50 a.m. and 1:50 p.m. and is $22 after 2 p.m.
Grand Reserve, according to its website, charges $50 all day.
Several of the clubs have discount cards for frequent players; check with your course of choice. And after the high season ends in late spring, rates at all courses will drop.
Diane S. Zeeman is a former newspaper editor and public relations consultant who lives in Palm Coast. Email questions or news items about golf to DZeeman38@gmail.com.