Along the Coast: Teeing off for summer

First ‘Little Cup’ a pleasant competition

7960650877?profile=originalGolfers roll in to The Little Club for the first Little Cup tournament in Gulf Stream.

7960651660?profile=originalThe tournament trophy remains at The Little Club since no overall winner was awarded.

Photos by Taylor Jones/The Coastal Star

7960651852?profile=originalTom Rubel of  The Ocean Club at the tee at The Little Club.

By Brian Biggane
     
    Gulf Stream Golf Club member Andy Laidlaw offered a smile when asked if the first Little Cup golf tournament, contested in early April at The Little Club in Gulf Stream, offered an opportunity to network for its 40 competitors.
    “It’s more of a social event,” he replied. “The people that are here are done networking.”
    A well-heeled clientele representing nine clubs — most of them either east of the Intracoastal or close to it — enjoyed a low-key afternoon of fellowship and fun on a relatively cool, breezy day on the par-3 layout.
    “It was great,” said Charlie Begg of The Ocean Club, which fielded a four-man team despite the club’s absence of a golf course. “Everybody had a great time. Beautiful weather, and the course is in great shape.”
    The tournament came about when Little Club members John Lynch and John Smith got together with Michael Mullin of neighboring St. Andrew’s and kicked around ideas for an event to celebrate the end of the season.

7960651100?profile=originalMichael Mullin (left) of Gulf Stream, playing for the Wianno Club,

chats with Bill Egan of Delray Beach, playing for the Seminole Golf Club.


    “We thought we’d call 10 of our buddies and ask if they’d like to bring a foursome up here,” said Lynch, who teamed with fellow Little Club member Jay Carey to win the two-ball event with a low score of 43. They teamed with Smith and John Doering of Indian Creek to win the four-ball with a net of 40.
    “About half of us know each other already,” Mullin said. “This way we mixed it up a little.”
    While the original plan was to have teams play as foursomes, Lynch decided it would be more fun to pair twosomes from different clubs. St. Andrew’s had a conflict — the final day of its men’s league season — so Mullin put together a team from Wianno, a club he plays out of in the summer in Cape Cod.
    Other clubs represented included Gulf Stream Bath & Tennis, Country Club of Florida, Seminole and Everglades. Gulf Stream had two foursomes, everyone else one.

7960652452?profile=originalDavid Lloyd of The Bath & Tennis Club hits out of a bunker

during The Little Cup at The Little Club in Gulf Stream

Photos by Taylor Jones/The Coastal Star


     “It’s good for the club,” said Little Club member Andre Lemire. “It makes the club better known, and people will appreciate the difficulties. It’s a tough course; the greens are hard to read.”
    The greens were a topic of discussion throughout the day. Gulf Stream resident and iconic golf course architect Pete Dye installed new greens last summer and the consensus was that, while they’re coming along nicely, they remain a work in progress.

    “They’re still a little hard, so it’ll take awhile,” said Begg, also a Little Club member. “We’re getting some new members here and everything looks good.”

    Bath & Tennis member Duke Felt, whose parents were Little Club members, said he hadn’t played the course in 10 years but that the improvements made during his absence are noticeable. “It’s changed; it’s gotten better,” he said.
    Gulf Stream member Curtiss Roach said anyone expecting the par-3 layout to yield low scores was in for a surprise.
    “I played worse than many of my rounds at Gulf Stream,” he said. “But it was great to have gotten a lot of these clubs together, so you run into people you haven’t seen for months, if not years.”
    St. Andrew’s has signed on for next year and Smith said he expects the second annual Little Cup to be on the spring schedule.
    “I hope so,” he said. “It sure sounds like everybody would like to come back.”

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