Friday, May 15, 2015

Ku & Kudos at Stanton Ridge: Lyd Thoughts on NJSIAA North Jersey Girls' Golf Sectional

It feels good!

A week prior to the event the weatherman was calling for rain and thunderstorms, but it never happened. Thank you for that. It was just a perfect day!

All 10 teams showed up in time, the folks at Stanton Ridge could not have been more accommodating and the girls played some impressive golf.  And to top matters off, the on-line scoring concept worked nearly perfectly, thanks to Shawn Bennett. If you recognize his name it's because his dad is Tournament of Champions Director Dick Bennett

Did I mention Stanton Ridge? I did, but seriously, getting to play such a beautiful private venue followed by a great cookout is something to behold. Head pro Jeff Rickenbach was actually off on Tuesday, but showed up to help with the overall organization and carts (yes, we get to use as many as we needed). 

Then there’s Steve Peppe, who handled all the important matters (practice rounds, scorecards, water on ice—hey, it was hot) and just about everything involved in making the event seamless. 

General manager Jeff Miller was there to add insight and make sure everything was there that we needed. And assistant golf pro Kevin Wall took our scorecards and graciously handled all the final sheets. 

Membership Director Joanne Toth was her effervescent self when she stopped by the scoring table to say hi. I will do a better job of getting some on-course photos of golfing action next time. Thank you all.

The girls… oh yeah. What fun it is to see 50 of the best golfers in north Jersey on the Stanton Ridge golf course. I also got to reunite with some of my Girls Go Golfing alumni. 

Problems? Well, we had a few, but managed to handle things. Of course, speed of play is always an issue and we’ll be working on that this off- season—believe it.

Eight girls broke 80, with Ridge freshman Anina Ku tossing in a one-under 70. Three of the top four scores were registered by two freshmen and a sophomore. The game is in great hands!

Ridge wound up with the team title, advancing to the TOC with Hunterdon Central, Tenafly and the Holy Angels. Nice. 

Ridgewood, Bergen Tech and Northern Highlands were close behind, making it very interesting to watch the scores posted. Can anyone add four scores in their head?

My good pal Johnny added a nice touch this year, providing breakfast bagels (Clinton Bagel Company) for the coaches and volunteers. 

Volunteers? Yep, we had six adults join us to help with marshaling, scoring, etc. The fact is, we could use six more. That’s something for us to think about next year. More marshals. 

Kudos to Chrissy Ramadan, the assistant coach at Northern Valley. When one volunteer failed to show up (an email miscue there, oops), Chrissy jumped into a cart and marshaled all day long. Thank you Chrissy!

Here’s a behind the scenes note: One of our volunteers was Hilary Abramowitz, who represented the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Newark   We called that group, since we had accumulated a good amount of clothing for girls from Girls-Golf CEO Annie Margulis, along with shoes, hats and a brand new set of golf clubs (donated by Colonial Electric)
Clubs, Skorts & Shirts: OH, MY!
LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Director Beverly Harrison
shows-off the golf-related donations
from the Girls Go Golfing program

Hilary came down to pick up the donation and help us out as well. She and Beverly Harrison (pictured left) are the main wheels behind the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Newark.

As it turned out, Hilary proved to be invaluable. The on-line scoring involved having the coaches text us the scores after every hole… hmmm… that’s 10 coaches, times 18 holes, times four players… ouch! Let’s just say we were very busy at the computer. 
Girls-golf brand
clothing smorgasbord

Fortunately, Hilary was with me all day and was a fantastic help. She could be the coolest woman I’ve ever met! 

Oh yeah, my nephew Mike Leasure jumped in along with coach Brian Quirk of Ridgewood to complete the on-line scoring (while Hilary and I ate some lunch). Mike is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh and made the 3 hour round trip with Aunt Lyd & Uncle Johnny.

Thank you, Michael & Brian.

Okay, what could we do to make this even better?

Hmmm… of course, pace of play. We’re hoping to get more volunteers to shuttle the players between two or three of the holes… and emphasize the “one practice swing” concept, as well as “on-green issues”… we need to work harder on golf etiquette… and walking faster… teeing off immediately when you reach the tee, etc. These concepts need to be stressed throughout the season, not just when the players arrive at Stanton Ridge.

We’ll improve the on-line scoring system, making it easier on the marshals… we need more marshals on “trouble holes,” like #6… and we need to have a better plan when closing out the tournament and handing out the awards. We are working on increasing the overall course yardage. 

We will also look for breakfast, water  and lunch sponsors. I could go on.

Thanks again for all the help. Johnny and I love to run this event, I think you can tell.

Stay in touch, encourage more girls to try golf, and local schools to field girls golf teams (until they make their coed teams TRULY coed by having six girls and six boys on the roster--but that situation is better left for another blog) and we’ll see you next season!

Your golf & blog pal,

Coach Lyd

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