12/03/12 5:00pm

LEIGH NOTLEY PHOTO | Mike Stromberg, former New York Jets star, taking a whack at cross county golf at GBCC.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving  and your houses were filled with family fun and raucous laughter.

My day was filled with food, football (not soccer), carving, then contractions — and not my belly after too much Turkey — but Bethany, my wife, going into labor. A speedy drive ensued to Southampton hospital. This was followed by new life on

Thanksgiving Day as baby Lila Taylor Notley was born and all our family had something, or rather someone, to be tremendously thankful for.

A word, if I may, from an Englishman, about Thanksgiving. This holiday isn’t celebrated in England, or any of the British Isles for that matter. I didn’t realize what all the fuss was about when I arrived in Philadelphia 13 years ago. However, for over half a dozen years (and the arrival of my family) it has become a very special day for me indeed and now I feel, “in the know”. Thank you America, for bestowing on me a tradition which I am very thankful for.

Now, onto the golf: Gardiner’s Bay Country Club held their final golf tournament ‘with a twist’ over Thanksgiving. On the Friday following Turkey Day nearly eighty intrepid golfers took to the links in a crazy cross country golf format. It was a great way to burn off some calories after some turkey stuffing With the ‘cross country’ golf holes granted names such as; “Precipice,” “Climb,” “Tangent” and “The Rock,” you can imagine the scene. Our members and their guests hiked up hill and down dale, teeing off from one tee box, and putting out on an entirely different green. This carried on for fourteen holes. The golf course looked like a battlefield with golfers embarking up embankments and then vaulting down valleys! Brandishing their four irons like broadswords!

Fortunately no one was injured, although there were plenty shouts of, “Fore!”

After just over three hours of fun everyone gathered into the warmth of the clubhouse to sample Chef Sebastian’s wares and a couple of, “Turkey Trotter” Cocktails.

After all the shouting and shooting, the results were as a follows;
1st Place — 46
Terry Barber, Ted Barber, John Barber, & Hap Oakley

2nd Place Gross — 48
Mike Stromberg, Ken Nolan, Martin Karpeh, & Mike Pomarico

3rd Place Gross — 49
John C.G. Brownlie, Hunter Starzee, Myles Clark, & Chris Young

Special Awards:
Men’s Closest to the Hole — Thomas A Carey – 7ft. 2in.
Women’s Closest to the Hole — Sarah Ward – 10ft. 1in.

I look forward to a continuing happy holiday season and reconnecting with everyone in the Spring. Happy Holidays!

06/05/12 2:44pm

LEIGH NOTLEY PHOTO | Dede Gray with her hole-in-one ball.

Leigh Notley, the pro at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, reported Tuesday afternoon that Dede Gray just holed in one on the 4th hole.

“You know the one, the one with the pond!,” he said in an email to the Reporter.

He said that Dede hit her 7 hybrid 103 yards into the cup and added, “Awesome shot, Dede, Congrats!”

10/16/11 11:05pm

LEIGH NOTLEY PHOTO | Carl Alexander and Kirk Satterfield, winners of the Metropolitan Pro-Pro Team Championship co-hosted by Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

Compliments galore for greens at Island course

The Metropolitan Pro-Pro Team Championship, played over the links of co-hosts Gardiner’s Bay Country Club and The Bridge, on October 3 and 4, was won by Carl Alexander and Kirk Satterfield of The Golf Club of Purchase. In a better ball of a team-of-two format, Alexander and Satterfield shot 128, 14 under par. They triumphed by three shots over the teams of Tyler Jaramillo (Seawane Golf Club) and Heath Wassem (Fenway Country Club); and Michael Laudien (Rotella Memorial Golf Club) and Dave Fusco (Patriot Hills Golf Club), who both shot 131.

Alexander and Satterfield began the championship at Gardiner’s Bay with a sensational 60, 10 under par. Satterfield, assistant to golf pro Alexander at The Golf Club of Purchase, has been in fantastic form. He recently won the MET PGA Assistants Tour Championship with a sparkling 63 at Rockaway Hunt Club.

He stated after last Monday’s round that the Gardiner’s Bay greens were the purest putting surfaces he’d played on all year. That opinion was reiterated throughout the field.  Pro after pro left the 18th green commenting on the exceptional quality of the greens and what a delight and hidden gem they had discovered in Gardiner’s Bay Country Club on Shelter Island. Many of the younger professionals had never been to GBCC and they were wowed with their experience.

Golf clubs represented in the field of competitors included the likes of Shinnecock Hills, Friar’s Head, Century, The Creek Club, Quaker Ridge and Deepdale.

The quality of the field wasn’t in question. More than 35 of the top 50 professionals in the Metropolitan Section battled through the two rounds. The MET PGA decided to create a ying/yang set-up. The Bridge was set up beastly: there were only four scores in the 60s on Monday. Meanwhile, Gardiner’s Bay, the beauty, was set up as a birdie fest. Generous hole locations and immaculate greens led to the field posting a combined 109 under par on Monday — a birdie blitz.

Chance Scheffing and I shot 144 for the 36 holes, a respectable finish that put us in a tie with Bob DeStefano, who teamed up with Dave Gosiewski from Noyac Golf Club. Well played, Bob!

We thoroughly enjoyed hosting the event. Receiving so many unsolicited compliments left, right and center concerning the quality and presentation of the golf course left us all with an incredible feeling of fulfillment and gratification that we belong and we’re heading in the right direction.

09/21/11 9:14pm

What a tremendous finish to a great golfing year at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

The Sessa family continued to positively represent GBCC and topped off a fine year of golf. Samantha Sessa, who is now our youngest-ever club champion, did the double: along with her ladies title here, she won her junior championship at Cherry Valley Country Club in Garden City. Slammin’ Sammy made three birdies and an unfortunate triple bogey but shot a sensational level par 72. Not bad for a newly turned 15 year old!

LEIGH NOTLEY PHOTOS | Jay Sessa recently played United States Senior Amateur Championship at Kinloch Golf Club in Virginia.

Sam’s father Jay, 14-time Gardiner’s Bay club champion, recently qualified for the United States Senior Amateur Championship. He was leading qualifier last month at Elmwood Country Club in White Plains, no mean feat in itself. The championship was held at Kinloch Golf Club in Virginia. Kinloch is a sensational golf course. It’s currently ranked at 48th in Golf Digest’s top 100 courses in America and has been as lofty as 29th, back in 2008.

The format of the championship was 36 holes of stroke-play and then the top 64 moved onto matchplay, a head-to-head knockout. Jay shot very solid rounds of 73, 76 to qualify for the matchplay section and take the 36th seed, a great achievement.

Unfortunately, Jay lost his first round match against Kent Frandsen from Indiana. Frandsen, a member of Pine Valley, the world’s number-one golf course, threw four birdies at Jay on the first eight holes, including an 80-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second and a holed 30-yard pitch shot on the par-3 seventh. Jay fought well and was only 2 down at the turn. Jay birdied the 17th to go 1 down but they tied the 18th.

It was a tremendous performance by Mr. Sessa to get into the tournament itself but making the matchplay stages was fantastic.

Club ladies champion Samantha Sessa won her junior championship at Cherry Valley Country Club in Garden City last week.

Congratulations and well played, Jay. An added bonus is that Jay, through his performance, qualifies for the 2012 British Senior Amateur Championship next year at Machynys Peninsula in Southern Wales. We look forward to following your trans-Atlantic trip, Jay.

Back at Gardiner’s Bay Country Club, we held our last member tournament of the year, the Mixed Twosomes Team Championship, aka “The Divorce Open!” Several of the ladies finished the round bemoaning their husbands’ inability to putt well! But our intrepid group of competitors took on cool temps and stiff blustery winds. The result was impressive. Marc and Melina Wein shot a net 72 to finish 3rd. Kevin and Sue Scanlon, also 72, pipped the Weins by a shot in a card playoff to finish 2nd. 1st net went to Jim and Judy Bennett, who shot a level par 70 to win. Congratulations to the net winners.

Net winners of the Mixed Twosomes Team Championship, Jim and Judy Bennett, shot a level par 70.

However, the biggest round of applause went to Roy and Patti Bumsted, who annihilated the field. They shot 83 to win the gross division by six strokes; their net was 64. It was a remarkable round on a rough day. Although the writing was on the wall, Roy Bumsted had warmed up well for the championship: a couple of days earlier, he had knocked a 7 iron into the hole on the 18th for an eagle two.

Thank you to all our members and their guests who participated in all our tournaments in my first season as head golf professional of Gardiner’s Bay Country Club. I feel very honored to hold this position at a wonderful country club in a sensational setting. I continue to fall further and further in love with this Island. We are all privileged to be spending time here!

Thanks again and see you all next spring for more tournaments.