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Midnight Madness brings joy on the links at Goat Hill

A full moon eventually rose to light the way for about 20 golfers who dared to play golf in the dark during Shelter Island Country Club’s Midnight Madness tournament last Friday. Aided by neon balls and armed with flashlights, the hearty troupe made it through nine holes without incident or accident. At some of the darkest moments the course was eerie with the sound of far-away laughter, the sight of sparks flying from errant swings and the whiz of bright golf balls that shot through the air like meteors.

Bruce Taplin came in first and Bennett Karnis was second among the men and Mary Fran Gleason and Ann Beckwith were first and second, respectively, among the women. Bill Seeberg won the 50-50 raffle, and subsequently donated $50 to sponsor a tee for the Alex Cannon Benefit Tournament Oct. 17.

Support grows for the Cannon Tournament

Donations are pouring in from Island businesses and residents alike to help former South Ferry captain Alex Cannon as he battles to recover from a tragic accident last November. Cannon is paralyzed from the shoulders down and remains bedridden at a Queens hospital. All proceeds from SICC’s Oct. 17 benefit tournament will be directed to Cannon’s Supplemental Trust Fund to pay for medical equipment and other necessities once he can return home. The tournament, a two-person, nine-hole Scramble, costs $100 per golfer. It includes cart, refreshments and five free raffle tickets for some great prizes. Players can also purchase mulligans (limit two per golfer) for $5 each. Sign up for a tee time at the pro shop or call 631-749-0416. (Note that the course will be closed to general play until 2:30 p.m. that day.

Raffle prizes include gift certificates and/or gift baskets from Shelter Island Ace Hardware, Bliss’ Department Store, Piccozzi’s, Shelter Island Wine & Spirits, Isola, All Dogged Up, Shelter Island Florist, Commander Cody’s, Grady Riley Nursery, Eagle Deli, Stars Cafe, Maria’s Kitchen, 18 Bay, Shelter Island Seafood, Geo Jo Video, Rock Beverage, Shelter Island IGA, Pure Soul, Elli’s Country Store, Vine Street, Slice, White Oak Farm and Garden, South Ferry, golf lessons from Gardiner’s Bay Country Club pros and PGA pro Bob DeStefano, one-year membership to SICC and one year of SICC cart rentals or cart storage. More donations are expected.

Raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20. They are available to all and can be purchased in advance at the SICC pro shop and on the day of the event. You need not be present to win.

If you are not a golfer or unable to play, you can still donate to the effort by mailing a check made out to Shelter Island Municipal Golf Course, Inc., to PO Box 843, Shelter Island Heights, N.Y. 11965. Please put Cannon Benefit in the memo line.

The SICC Board of Trustees and all club members thank everyone for their donations. 

In memory of “Johnny O”

Our golfing friends from The Bridge Golf Club in Sag Harbor, captained by Jeff Warne, the club’s director of golf operations, played their annual Goat Open last week, dedicating their day-long rounds to their beloved colleague, John Oliver.

Oliver, 77, died in his hometown of Dublin, Ohio, in May of Covid-19, just days before he was scheduled to return to The Bridge where he worked as the starter, among other jobs, over the last 20 golf seasons. “He was there from the beginning,” Warne said. 

The golfers — Bridge pros, assistant pros, caddies and caddy manager — paid tribute to Oliver with a moment of silence before teeing off. Then, after a hand-over-heart playing of the National Anthem, the games began. We won’t even attempt to unravel the complicated betting and scoring system the Bridge golfers use to determine the winner. It’s only important to know that assistant pro Erik Easton won the Open, and the green jacket, for the second time in as many years. 

And, in a gesture of generosity, all the cash the golfers paid into their kitty, $480, was donated to SICC’s Alex Cannon Benefit. 

A shot for the ages

Congratulations are in order for “Fireman Dave” Porella who made a “hole-in-one” on No. 4 on Sept. 25. But before you break out the champagne, there’s a caveat. Fireman Dave made his spectacular shot after he sent two balls into the woods. His third try sailed over the “green monster” and rolled neatly into the cup. So, while we can’t declare this a legitimate hole-in-one (further complicated by the fact he was playing alone), we do want to issue Fireman Dave a hearty “atta boy” for his hole-in-three, and for scoring a double bogey after two errant drives. Not too shabby for the guy who was the most improved player in the Tuesday Twosomes summer league.