Par for the Course: Ricky Jones highlights Hall of Fame class

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This year’s Maine Hall of Fame class consists of one of the state’s best-ever amateurs, Maine’s top rules official, a well-known teaching professional, and an all-time great women’s player.

They will be inducted Sept. 6 in the banquet room of the Poland Spring Resort Inn. One of the many buildings on the Poland Spring complex is the Maine State Building, which houses the Maine Golf Hall of Fame.

Ricky Jones of Samoset Resort is one of the leading amateurs in Maine golf history, having won the Maine Amateur three times and the Maine Mid-Amateur six times while being named Maine Player of the Year 11 times. As a scholastic player he was on the Rockland High School state championship squad four consecutive years. He has captured a Maine Open, and has qualified for three U.S. Amateur and three U.S. Public Links championships.

Jones’s three U.S. Amateur appearances are believed to be a state record, and in one he defeated PGA Tour superstar Dustin Johnson — then an amateur — in match play.

“Ricky consistently plays at a high level,” said one veteran Maine golf official. “He was excellent on fast greens, and he never hit the ball crooked.”

Well, almost never.

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During the 40-year teaching pro career of John Stacy, he was known best for his work with juniors. He was golf coach at Marshwood High School for 10 years and spent most of his teaching career at the York Golf & Tennis Club. He was founder of the Maine Chapter of the Dream Factory, which is a wish-grant organization for chronically-ill children ages 3-18.

Stacy was perhaps the most significant golf instructor of his era in the Sea Coast Area.

During a period of approximately 30 years, Lori Frost was a two-time Women’s Maine State Golf Association champion, and four times a runner-up. She was a multiple women’s club titlist, having won once at Bangor Municipal, three times at Penobscot Valley, and 18 times at St. Croix.

The fourth inductee is Randy Hodsdon, who is a Maine golf lifer. He grew up as a Maine junior and amateur player, turning pro in 1977. As a pro, Hodsdon took a half dozen Maine PGA Chapter match play championships and several pro-am events, plus he won four pro-pro tournaments, and played in four Hogan Tour events at The Woodlands. He was the pro at three Maine clubs — Hermon Meadows, Portland and Falmouth.

“I was a contender many times,” Hodsdon said with a smile about his tournament record. “I played well enough to keep everyone honest.”

In 2005, he joined the MSGA staff and today he is its director of rules and competitions. He is Maine’s foremost authority of the rules of golf.

When asked if he was being inducted as a player or official, Hodsdon replied: “I think it is a combination of both.”

The Maine Golf Hall of Fame is in its 26th year and seems to have found an induction dinner home at Poland Spring, where there will be a noon tournament on the historic and fabled golf course, a 5 p.m. cocktail hour, and 6 p.m. dinner, followed by the induction ceremony.

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In the MSGA Senior Amateur Championship, held Aug. 28-29 at Waterville, some area “old guys” did very well. David Kroll of Fox Ridge won the over-70 gross division by shooting 75-78—153. Second in that division was Paul Pelletier of Martindale (74-82—156), and fourth was Dale Brown of Fairlawn (80-85—165).

Brown became the unofficial over-80 state champion. That is unofficial, because there is no over-80 bracket, but since he was the only over-80 player in the field, he is that age group’s champ.

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With school having been started in Maine, the MSGA junior tournament season is over. But in its place on weekends will be U.S. Kids events, starting Sept. 8 at Rockland and extending until Oct. 14.

There will be MSGA women’s weekly events Sept. 4 at Sugarloaf and Willowdale. Senior Tour play is Sept. 5 at Sanford, and the weekend tournament is Sept 7-8 at Sable Oaks.

Ricky Jones hits the ball on the 18th hole at the 2017 Maine Amateur Golf Championships at Brunswick Golf Club. (Sun Journal file photo)

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