Par for the Course: Golf courses spared from tornado damage

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The devastation caused by tornadoes July 1, apparently was not inflicted on golf courses.

A poll of a half dozen courses in the northern part of Cumberland County and the western section of Oxford County proved to be mostly good news with the damage limited to branches down and some erosion.

None of the clubs polled were in a tornado path, which produced a water spout in the northern end of Sebago Lake, where it overturned some boats. The golf courses, however, were spared.

Mike Cloutier, head pro at Point Sebago in Casco, said: “It did not come close to us.”

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He then said: “We did have lightning strikes with a tree destroyed. A car was damaged on the Point Sebago Resort. But none of this was the result of the tornado.”

Nearby Naples reported heavy rain of 2 1/2 inches but no wind.

A spokesman for Frye Island, located in Sebago Lake, said, “We fared well. We had a ton of rain but no high winds. Our cartpaths were devastated by the rain.”

Bill Bissett, manager of Lake Kezar, said: “We were fortunate. We had a couple of limbs down, not to mention 3 1/2 inches of rain. We had to use cartpath only for a couple of days. The tornado missed us by a mile or so.”

Jim Mains, general manager of Bridgton Highlands, had a similar report. Bridgton was one of the Maine towns in which there was heavy tornado damage.

“It was all around us,” he said. “But not on the course. There was damage to homes nearby, but we were very fortunate.”

Further upstate in Rangeley, Mingo Springs reported that the heavy rain created some water damage only.

Considering the damage to homes and property in Maine reported by several media outlets, golf courses came away relatively unscathed, which is good news for golfers, who patiently waited through a cool and wet spring for the weather to turn warm and sunny.

With any luck the good golf weather will continue through the rest of the summer.

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The 98th Maine Amateur at Brunswick, which finished July 13, was a big-time test for area golfers.

Joe Baker of Martindale had the best tournament among them, finishing tied for fourth place (69-74-72—215). He has been a consistent top-10 player in this event, so he will be a contender to the championship in 2018.

Other good finishes came from Craig Chapman of Fox Ridge, who tied for sixth (73-73-72—218), former Martindale member Andrew Slattery (72-86-74—222), who tied for 12th along with Will Kannegeiser of Martindale (69-76-77—222).

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Here is a little Maine State Golf Association trivia for you.

The Long Lake Country Club is the newest member club of the MSGA, according to a July 7 announcement. It is located in St. David, Aroostook County, and is the second northern most golf course in the state. Originally, it was called the Brook Pond Golf Club, built in 1965.

Do not mistake this for Long Lake in Cumberland County, the second largest lake in the Sebago Lake Region. It has no relationship to that Long Lake located in Bridgton, Harrison and Naples. But it does beg the question: Are there any other Long Lakes in Maine?

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The Maine State Golf Association tournament schedule heats up this week. There is a Senior Tour event July 17 at Point Sebago, and the Weekend Tour July 21-22 at Highland Green. The Junior Tour has events July 19 at Riverside and July 20 at Clinton.

The New England PGA is conducting a junior championship July 18 at Waterville, and for the better Maine amateurs, there is the New England Amateur Juy 18-20 at Metacomet in Rhode Island.

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There are openings for players and teams for the annual Charlie’s Maine Open Pro-Am, which will be at 1 p.m. July 23 at the Augusta Country Club. Individuals or teams of three amateurs and a pro can be registered online by clicking onto MESGA.org and using the Maine Open link. Additional information can be obtained by telephoning the MSGA at 207-829-3549.

Bill Kennedy
Bill Kennedy
Bill Kennedy

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