By Steve Pike
The Brown Jug — symbol of golf supremacy in Gulf Stream — went to the Little Club on March 26. The host Little Club defeated neighbor St. Andrews Club 18-15 in the annual event that began in 1975.
The tournament, which featured two-man teams from each club, was played in a Nassau point system, with the most points any team could get being three.
A “tournament within a tournament’’ also was held, with each foursome competing in a Best Ball format. The Little Club team of John Lynch, Charles Begg, Henry Hagan and Peter Stockman recorded a 17-under score of 37 on the par-three layout (2,102 yards) to win that event.
The Brown Jug is one of the more anticipated events of the year at each club.
“It’s a fun event,’’ said St. Andrews Head Professional Jim Simon. “This year it seems like we had more participation than last year.’’
St. Andrews member (and resident) Bruce Bone has participated in many of the Brown Jug tournaments over the years, dating back to his first event in 1977.
“It’s a big event for us at St. Andrews,’’ said Bone, who splits his year between Gulf Stream and Toronto. “We don’t like it when the jug is over here (at the Little Club).’’
The Brown Jug is the first of two big tournaments at the Little Club this season. The club will host the South Florida PGA Southeast Section Pro-Pro tournament on April 17 and then shut down the course on May 4 to renovate its greens with Platinum TE Paspalum grass.
Little Club Head Professional Wanda Krolikowski said the plan is to reopen the course in late August. Legendary golf course architect (and Gulf Stream resident) Pete Dye — who along with his wife, Alice, are founding members of the Little Club (1968)— is overseeing the renovation, which also will include the reshaping of some greens.
The greens renovation at the Little Club make it a Gulf Stream trifecta for Dye, who has recently renovated St. Andrews and Gulf Stream Golf Club. At Gulf Stream, Dye replaced Paspalum with Celebration Bermuda grass basically because that course uses more fresh water than saltwater tolerant Paspalum.
“We have more salt intrusion, which is why we’re using Platinum TE Paspalum,’’ Krolikowski said. “We have more salt intrusion than St. Andrews, but we’re on the same aquifer. Because of that, Pete Dye’s recommendation a long time ago was to stay with the natural flow of the Paspalum.’’
Platinum TE Paspalum, Krolikowski said, is a “much thinner blade’’ of grass than the strain of Paspalum currently on the greens.
“It creates a much better putting surface,’’ Krolikowski said.
St Andrews Club members Noel Copen and Dick Morris at the tee of the 8th hole.
Joseph Hardiman, who plays for the Little Club, won a prize for the closest to the hole, with a drive that stopped just 7 inches from the cup. Photos by Jerry Lower/ The Coastal Star
Part of the foursome with the best overall score, Little Club member Jack Lynch was swinging some classic hickory-shaft clubs.