Par for the Course: Fairlawn celebrates late member Pattie Griggs

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There are lots of reasons that golfers at the Fairlawn Golf & Country Club enjoyed playing with the late Patton S. Griggs.

Having won the woman’s club championship 13 times (2002, 2004 and 2006-2016), her game was up to the level of all players, male and female. In addition, when Griggs was on the course, no one had to be guarded about what kind of language was used.

Patti, as she was known for 20 years, was at her best, however, on the 19th hole, which at Fairlawn meant sitting on the second-story deck of the clubhouse which overlooks the 18th green. When Griggs was there people seemed to gravitate toward her, and it always was a party.

For these reasons and a few others, her many friends have placed a commemorative granite bench beside the women’s tee on the 18th hole. It was there that she always said to any and all golfers: “Last hole, (rhyming expletive deleted) …” And that inscription is on the bench with the aforementioned expletive deleted.

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All players on that hole were instructed by her mother Carol to sit on the bench during the inaugural Patton S. Griggs Memorial Tournament July 9, and to wiggle their butts in Patti’s memory.

“In our hearts, it is Patti’s headstone,” said Jackie Rybeck, one of Griggs’ best golf friends, who revealed that under that bench are a Griggs golf ball and her ashes, along with a very used Rybeck plastic tee pin. “I used to drive her crazy with that tee, because it had only three prongs and the ball often would fall off it.”

Griggs was not, however, all fun and games on the golf course. She ran the Fairlawn Couples League on Monday nights, and handled the public relations for the Thursday women’s tournaments at her home course. She also was chairman of a Wednesday night league at Fox Ridge. When she was not president of a league, she held other offices, and did all of those jobs well.

Before the women were allowed to become members of the Fairlawn Membership Golf Association (FMGA), Griggs ran the putting contest and was a volunteer scorer for the men’s member-guest. And because she was so widely liked and accepted by the men, Griggs probably was the primary reason the FMGA voted to become a coed association, which was a goal she discretely had pursued.

“Patti was not only accepted by the men, but her game was respected by them as well,” Rybeck said. “She loved people, and it was returned in kind. The bench is a testament to that. Without her, the game is not as joyful, but most of all we miss her contagious laugh on the deck after a round.”

For Griggs, a contract physicist for CMMC (Central Maine Medical Center) in the radiation oncology department, her love of golf only was exceeded by the love she had for her mother and four godchildren — Mark DiConzo of New York City, Meegan DiConzo of Buxton, Matthew Rubano of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Chelsea Pettingill of South Portland.

People who knew her well think that Griggs, 63, who died on Jan. 11 in her Raymond Pond home, is now playing golf at the Pearly Gates Golf Club.

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Two area players advanced to the semifinal round of the Maine State Golf Association Match Play Invitational Aug. 15-17 at Waterville. Craig Chapman of Fox Ridge won three matches before losing to state amateur champion Jack Wyman of Portland, 7 and 6. Joe Baker of Martindale had a bye and won twice before being eliminated by state amateur runner-up Sam Grindle of Island CC, 3 and 2. Will Kannegieser of Martindale and former Martindale member Andrew Slattery were ousted in the quarterfinal round after winning twice. Grindle topped Wyman, 3 and 2 for the title.

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In the MSGA Senior Tour event Aug. 14 at Martindale, Vic Gaudreau of Poland Spring was sixth (83/66) in individual net for 63-year-olds.

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Lewiston resident Rick Grant, 66, who runs the Wednesday senior tournaments at Fairlawn, shot a lifetime best round on his home course Aug. 14, carding a 34-35—69. It was a bogey-free round which included an eagle on the par-5, third hole, and a birdie on the par-3 13th. Grant’s playing partners were his cousin, Ron Grant, and Ken Edgerly.

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Maine junior golfers finished sixth among six teams in the New England Junior Team competition Aug. 15-16 at the Manchester (Vermont) Country Club. Ryan Collins of Cape Elizabeth posted the low Maine score with a 231, which got him 23rd place among 42 players.

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The Maine State Golf Association is conducting its Mixed Championship today at Rockland. Its Senior Amateur Championship is Aug. 22-23 at The Woodlands and Falmouth, respectively, and the Weeky Tour will be Aug. 25-26 at Springbrook.

Bill Kennedy
Bill Kennedy
Bill Kennedy

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