It started when four golfing buddies from East Hampton — brothers Matt and Ryan Burns, John Robertson and Aidan Arnone — grew bored playing the same public courses on the South Side. Looking for a new venue, they turned to the hilly, blind-hole course at Goat Hill, where every round can be an adventure.
A 45-minute trip aboard a 27-foot Chris-Craft from Three Mile Harbor to Dering Harbor added a new dimension and the annual “Boat to the Goat” skins tournament was born.
They play just nine holes, which takes about as long as the time limit for free space at the Bridge Street town dock.
This summer, they added four more golfing buddies.
Usually, a Go’fors Taxi takes them to the Shelter Island Country Club. But Covid-19 nixed that part of the plan.
“So we flagged down a local in a blue Dodge truck. He said his name was James,” Matt Burns said. “The eight of us piled in the back with our clubs and he drove us up the hill and dropped us off.”
What followed on Saturday, July 25 was a rambunctious round of hilarity with whoops, hoots and hollers bouncing off every hill on the course. Matt Burns and Arnone won the match and all the dough that day. No one really cared about their scores, just a good time with friends, a boat ride and bragging rights to a gold plastic trophy garnished with a goat on top.
Pairings for the 2020 SICC championships are now posted at the clubhouse. First round play for the men’s championship and B flights must be completed by Aug. 12 and by Aug. 15 for first-round play for the men’s A and C flights. The women’s championship flight concludes Aug. 31. Golfers must arrange their own date and time for their matches.
A few more slots are still open for the Aug. 16 Backwards Tournament, but the clock is ticking. Email [email protected] as soon as possible and indicate whether you need a rental cart. Just three rental carts remain available for the tournament.
Thanks go to Walter Ogar for donating balls, tees and ball marks for our tournaments. Ogar, by the way, has a bevy of golf accessories for sale at his Smith Street home. Stop by if you see his maroon truck in the driveway. Thanks, too, go to person(s) unknown for the donation of three sets of golf clubs, bags and push cart. Very much appreciated.
Jokes, puns and one-liners
A golfer has one advantage over a fisherman.
He doesn’t have to produce anything to prove his story.
“Your trouble is that you’re not addressing the ball correctly.”
“Yeah, well I’ve been polite to the bloody thing for long enough.”
“Are you a scratch player?”
“I sure am. Every time I hit the ball I scratch my head and wonder where it went.”