Jaden Szurley putts during a rules clinic and scramble held as part of the regular scheduled high school match in Bethlehem last week. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 24, 2020BETHLEHEM — In a shortened season, it's tough for the local golfers to squeeze in time to work on simple things such as rules and basic game play.
With a lot of young players amongst them, the three North Country golf teams got together on Thursday, Sept. 17, for a scheduled match at Maplewood in Bethlehem, but the match was a little more than just a regular match.
The older, more experienced players (five from Woodsville and four from Littleton) teed off for the traditional match while the younger players from both teams along with their counterparts from White Mountains Regional took a different route, heading out with Littleton assistant coach Wayne Natti for a rules clinic and some basic work on the course.
"I wish they were doing this across the state," said Littleton coach Sam Natti, noting that with just a little practice time, the kids hadn't had a chance to work on some of the basics.
"When you take people with no experience and put them into a nine-hole match, they aren't working on anything, they're just trying to survive," the Crusader coach said.
Wayne Natti is a longtime PGA Professional and has sat on numerous rules committees and he offered up his time to help the younger kids learn the game.
"I love seeing kids play and I love them learning the rules of the game," he said.
While the older players worked their way through the tough front nine at Maplewood, the younger kids worked in groups with Wayne Natti, soaking up the knowledge.
After the clinic, the kids got some time on a couple of the back-nine holes where they played a scramble format and got to know each other and the game at the same time.
All of this was pretty important to White Mountains coach Dave Cameron, who has a team comprised completely of freshmen who are new to the game and they haven't had a ton of practice time in the new season. Three of them were in attendance last Thursday.
"My whole team is new," Cameron said, noting the extra time to commit to learning the rules and also seeing the camaraderie develop between golfers from the three schools was fantastic.
In fact, it seems the rules clinic and scramble got the kids in the mood for golf, as almost all of them took the opportunity, with the sun setting, to play a few more holes after finishing the scramble.
While the kids were working on their skills, nine golfers were making their way through the course in the scheduled match.
Woodsville and Littleton agreed to use the Stableford system to keep the match moving. In that form of scoring, the higher the score the better.
Littleton finished with 50 points with its four golfers while Woodsville's top four golfers finished with 30 points.
Spenser Stevens had a great day, finishing with 32 points out of the top spot for the Crusaders.
Brenton Cleaves finished with 10 points and Christan Demoras had six points. Trevor Collins rounded out the field for the Crusaders with two points.
For Woodsville, Jackson Horne, Anna McIntyre and Mackenzie Kingsbury all finished tied for top honors with eight points apiece. Mike Hogan rounded out the scoring with six points while Noah Titorenko had five points.
All three teams were in action after deadline on Tuesday at Mount Washington Resort and will be at Blackmount Country Club on Friday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or email@example.com.