Season Opener - 2015
Naples, Fla. - 7/17th March

"If you think it's hard to meet new people,try picking up the wrong golf ball "
                                                                                            -Jack Lemmon-

As Harald waited at RSW Airport ,Fort Myers for the arrival of the participants to  the Seaon Opener,he must have realised why that airport has the distinction of having the most wheelchair and zimmer frame passengers in the US.....thankfully none of us are requiring that service......yet!!!!!!
However,as George was flying over the snow covered North and Harald was speeding away from it,2 of our members interupted their busy business schedules for a game in Houston on Saturday March 7th.At the Black Hawk C.C. ,formerly known as The Houstonian,which sounds much better,Ola and Steinar got the trip underway.
ST  30 pts
OS  24
Next it was Harald and George to unshackle their winter blues at Vineyards North,showing no signs of jet-lag.
GFD   35 pts
HL      32
Steinar was next to arrive and even with his Palladium Card in seat 1A ,he had to wait till 11 wheelchairs shuttled their loads through the jet-way ,before rushing past them with his new stetson in a box which looked suspiciously like a small dog or pussy carrier.A few minutes later defending Champion John McGraner touched down.
La Playa hosted the Monday morning game.Although the greens where in bad shape and about to be ripped up in May,the course was otherwise fine and as usual presented a stiff test,which the scores mirrored.
HL      29 pts
JMcG 27
GFD   27
ST    19
Jan Randulf ,looking fit and well oiled chauffuered Bjorn across from Fort Lauderdale in time for the next round at The Vineyards South course.Again the weather,which it was to remain all days,was fantastic,with temperatures at over 30 degs(about 85F)with clear blue skies overhead.
The ever popular Matchplay event got underway with JR and George playing their 1st round match.Due to our new tee-box ruling ,George had the advantage of playing up front,which helped his team to quite considerable Junk money at the Par 3's.......much to the annoyance of John.....JR held on bravely until a sequence of pars around the turn ,set our Chairman up for a 8 and 6 win.The day before Harald and Steinar crossed swords at La Playa,with the NJ Norwegian showing no signs of his extended lay-off with a 6 and 4 passge to the semi-final.
On the 11th of March at La Playa,Alex de Sanctis needed all of his putting skills to  topple Bjorn ,who made a spirited comeback after being 5 down at the turn.Alex proceeded with a 3 and 2 triumph.This only left Ola and John to settle their match  in the 1st round.John finally bursting through to clinch the tie at the 15th 5 and 3.
The semi-finals saw Alex continue his putting wonders with his magic wand,stroking the ball from any spot.George finally waved the white flag on the 15th green ,a 4 and 3 loser to Alex ,who was showing great potential....In the lower half of the draw the 2 Beacon Hill stalwarts battled it out,with the ding-dong match going to the 17th where John secured his final place 2 and 1.Both these matches were played at Vineyards North.
This set up a Beacon Hill final between Alex,who spends the winter months in Florida and John McGraner,Mr Fixit at Royal Palm.This very fine course is in the Lely complex.Mr Cornelius van der Lely owns this and much more in the area.The Dutch inventor and industrialist's son,grandchildren and daughter-in -law (keeper)are all members at George's club at Kralingen,in Rotterdam.
A  fantastic match took place,with golf of the highest quality.It looked like John was out of sorts ,with a double bogey at the 1st,as Alex built up a lead,but he came back quickly to retain the trophy 2 and 1.It is worth noting that John reached the turn in 38 and finished with a round of 77 while Alex recorded an 83........
While all this was going on the Season Opener,our 1st Major of the year was underway.Evenings had been spent in a variety of Italian,Japanese,French and seafood eateries and John had supllied the usual hearty breakfast.
Day 1 La Playa 11/3
Alex set up a comfortable lead with a strong 37 pts with Steinar leading the overseas chase 3 pts behind. JR,HL ,OS and GFD were lagging below 30 pts.
Day 2 Vineyards N 12/3
Alex created a larger cushion with another fine round accumulating 36 pts as the field drifted backwards.
Day 3 Royal Palm 13/3
John and Harald thought they had made some in roads but De Sanctis walked off with 34 pts to further stretch ahead.
Day 4 Royal Palm 14/3
The final round got underway and after Alex settled down,John had only shaved 4 points off Alex's 12 point advantage at the turn.A birdie at the 10th and a level par last 3 holes sealed John's fate and the engraver could start his job.
Alex de Sanctis was the worthy winner of the Season Opener,leading from Day 1.He was peresented with the trophy in the clubhouse.Unfortunately Old Tom's driver has gone AWOL together with Loeff.
As some players left for pastures greener(it was the day before St Patricks Day) the others enjoyed the always spectacular sunset at La Playa together with a fine dinner and looked forward to a few more rounds.
There were protests for a beach day but our tour organisor was having none of that.In fact he barely allowed our photographer time to snap at the bald-headed eagle,hawks,Turkey vultures and the US equivalent of the linerlie while charging round the courses.Our ornothologist did however capture some species that even CharlesDdarwin hadn't discovered.
Alex arranged tee-times at Lely Flamingo in beautiful weather,which had brought the local beauties out in force on the beach.....
JMcG  35 pts
GFD    33
BKM    30
HL       25...he should have gone to the beach....
John had a day off in preparation for his trip across the state to PGA National while Harlad and George charged round Vineyards South course in 3 hours ,catching up with ladies Club Championship at the keepers,although an attractive lady from Beacon Hill looked like she had a fancy for HL.
And so it was all over for another year.After months of planning,hundreds of emails and phone calls the sun set on the 2015 event.
Our thanks go to John and Harald for making their apartments available,arranging the programme ,supplying breakfasts and supplying sufficient beveredges,incl Red Label...skandale...
Also thanks to Alex for arranging some of the locations and to JR for transporting Bjorn  to Naples.That gave Bjorn time to reflect of the trip his Viking predecessors are reputed to have made in AD 1000 to discover this continent 500 years before Colombus claimed the honour.He also advised us that,contrary to popular believe ,Christopher was not born in Genoa,but in fact in Hyen in upper Norway......a good story that shouldn't be spoiled by facts,but is worth checking.


(Additional Matches)
Naples, Fla. - March 2015

EditBlack Hawk Houston
Vineyards North
La Playa
Vineyards South
Lely Flamingo
Vineyards South
CompetitorRound 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6

(Incorporating Old Tom’s Driver)
Naples, Fla. - 11/15th March.

Round 1Round 2sub totalRound 3sub totalRound 4totalPlacings
CompetitorLa Playa - 11/3Vineyards N - 12/3 Royal Palms - 13/3 Royal Palms - 14/3
Jan Randulf Bull202545196433978th
George Doughtie2432562985321174th
Harald Lindstoel2329523284301145th
Bjørn Markussen3232642589401293rd
John McGraner3230623395451402nd
Alex de Sanctis37367334107401471st
Ola Solheim263157217821997th
Steinar Thomassen3428622284271116th