The Golf Association of Philadelphiaclose_icon

President’s Letter: Winter 2019

Who’s your favorite child?

I have followed the story closely, and it’s been pretty painful. There have been nasty arguments laden with fake news. Quality people have had their judgment and impartiality called into question. It is even possible that bribery may have been involved. I’m referring, of course, to the selection of GAP’s ULTIMATE 18 holes, which is revealed in this issue.

The 18 holes were identified by a team of Blue Ribbon panelists with superb golf qualifications who clearly made egregious mistakes in their choices owing in part to their failure to solicit my opinion. How, for example, could No. 1 at Irem have been overlooked? This starting hole, when the leaves have turned, is probably the most spectacular hole in all of GAP. Feeling tension over the opening shot on No. 1 at Merion because you’re teeing off feet away from people having lunch? That’s nothing compared to Irem where you’re hitting your first shot over a heavily traveled road. Really frightening when you’re having trouble getting your drives airborne (I’ve always wondered if you get a free drop if your ball comes to rest on the passenger’s seat). How did they miss No. 11 at Whitemarsh Valley or No. 10 at North Hills? I definitely have my ultimate 18 as I know you do. So let the debates begin. Hopefully this issue and this debate will enliven the clubhouse during the chilly winter months.

There is no debate about our 2019 Champions, who are recognized in this issue. These outstanding golfers treated GAP to another season of superb play and outstanding sportsmanship. It’s been rumored that two-time reigning BMW Philly Am champion Jeremy Wall will leave his home in Brielle, N.J. in late May in order to travel the 140 miles to Lancaster Country Club to defend in June. At the Player’s Dinner in October, we were especially delighted to recognize Neil McDermott with the GAP Distinguished Service Award. Neil’s contributions to golf in GAP are unsurpassed, and his enthusiasm for all things GAP is unwavering.

Finally, let me offer my five tips to surviving the winter between golf seasons:

  • Watch golf – I’m not necessarily talking about the TOUR. If you haven’t seen “Caddyshack” at least 10 times, then you have some catching up to do to be a true GAP Golfer. For shorter videos there is always Club Pro Guy, which is hugely irreverent and often inappropriate but very funny.
  • Go South – visit some of the great and reasonable golf destinations in the Deep South. Nothing makes the snowy months pass more quickly than a winter golf trip. Most importantly, remember to get your club pro to ship your clubs to your golf destination. You haven’t been getting a lot of exercise over the winter so lugging them yourself is inviting a hernia or nasty pulled muscle.
  • Read golf books – there are some fabulous books on the history of our wonderful game with fabulous stories and amazingly little known anecdotes. For for those like me who are literacy challenged, there are super table top golf books with breathtaking pictures of some of golf’s greatest courses.
  • Play winter golf – don’t be a sissy. You’ll sit in 30-degree weather for four hours to watch your favorite football team crater in the final two minutes, but you won’t step on a golf course when the temperature drops under 50? Remember, when there’s a layer of ice under the sod you get another 30-40 yards of bounce and roll!
  • J. Wood Platt – your golf game isn’t going get better over the winter, but you can make the future of a deserving young woman or man much better by making a contribution to the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. You’re not paying guest fees or tons of bar bills from December to March. How about directing that money to “Give Kids A Chance”?

Thanks for a great 2019 and we look forward to better 2020. Thank you for your support of GAP.

T. Quinn Spitzer