Last revised: May 03, 2013

   Countryway TUESDAY Golf

"This Website is created for a great group of friendly golfers
who play golf at Sunrise every Tuesday all year long."


"After 25 Loyal Years -- And No Gold Watch"

Tampa Bay Pro-Am Golf Tournament - April, 2012

One of our favorite Tuesday Golfers, PAT DONELLY, has been volunteering at the
Annual Tampa Pro-Am Golf tournament for the past 25 years. No gold watch but he
 was presented with a first-class golf hat, which does have a Gold Pin attached.

Pat is one of those 'Rare Octogenarians' who enjoys life to the fullest. He's a 'so-so' golfer, but
everyone wants to be on the same Tuesday Morning foursome with Pat. His great sense of humor
occasionally is taken as sarcasm, but all's well on the 19th hole with a pitcher of Michelob Lite.


Our '15 Minutes of Fame' - St. Petersburg Times


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Golfing league in Tampa has clubs drawn at dawn

By Rodney Page, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Thursday, December 17, 2009


The Tuesday morning golf league, gathering since 1999, gets in plenty of shots — on the course and to one another. Despite the early hour, the golfers toss about barbs while aiming for the pin.

The Tuesday morning golf league, gathering since 1999, gets in plenty of shots — on the course and to one another. Despite the early hour, the golfers toss about barbs while aiming for the pin.

It is 6:15 on a Tuesday morning and the clubhouse at Countryway Golf Club in Tampa is jammed with golfers. They are patiently waiting for the sun to rise, or at least the first glow of light to break up the darkness. Until then, there is work to do. Ric Wharton, 67, and Bill Flood, 70, are arranging the four-person teams for the scramble format. It is their job to make the teams as fair as possible. Each name is put on a poker chip and arranged by skill level. On this day, there will be seven groups and 25 players overall. It is everybody else's job to sip coffee and take aim at whoever is in sight.

"Hope you play better than you did last week, especially if you're in my group,'' Carl Mione, 77 and an original member of the group, quipped to a fellow player.

This is the Tuesday morning golf league. Members have been gathering before the sun since 1999, when Mione; Pat Donelly, 80; Larry Kotke, 80; and Bob Capo, 63, started the group. There are leagues like it throughout the area, diehards willing to suffer the early hour to be the first ones on the course.

Some days you win. Some days you lose. But every Tuesday is a chance to be together, hitting shots and trading barbs. Nobody is immune, as I found out this Tuesday morning.

St. Pete Times, huh?'' somebody cracks from the back of the clubhouse. "They still printing?''

I am in Group 6. We'll see who's laughing in a couple of hours.

7:05 a.m. 

The sun doesn't officially rise for another six minutes, but the first tee shot is on its way. As most of the group mills around the putting green or loiters near the tee box, shots sail over the lake (or into it).

"Hey, a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then,'' someone shouts as Bob Kowalski, 70, knocks one on the green of the 95-yard first hole.

Countryway Golf Club is an executive course off W Waters Avenue. It has 11 par 3s and seven par 4s for a par 61. That's perfect for this group, whose average age is 65; the oldest players are in their 80s.

"A lot of these guys have been coming out here for years,'' said Ron Fandrick, 69, a retired air traffic controller from North Dakota who has been playing in the group for three years. "It's always a good time. It's a great group of guys.''

  7:35 a.m.

It is Group 6's turn to take the tee and the sun is peeking through the clouds. I'm teamed with Claude Shaver and Jim Armstrong. Shaver, 67, is a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman who has lived in Clearwater for 10 years. He owns a software company but always finds time to rise early and play on Tuesdays. Despite two knee replacement surgeries, Shaver still has game and is especially deadly with short irons.

"I used to be a 3 handicap back in the day when I was young and skinny,'' he said. "Now I'm happy just to be out playing.''

Armstrong, 68, is a retired civilian worker for the Navy in Clanton, Ala. He lives in Tampa and has been playing with the Tuesday morning group since 2003. A left-hander, he swings with all his might despite back problems.

"I used to play twice on Tuesdays,'' Armstrong said. "But then I had some back trouble and I couldn't do it anymore. It's kind of amazing I'm still playing with all the back problems. It hurts every time I swing.''

All three of us fail to hit the green on the first hole and we are forced to try a chip-in for birdie. Not even close. We're off to a bad start.

  7:50 a.m.

Pete Castelli, 66, lets out a roar as he chips in on the second hole for birdie. They are in the group ahead of us and are already 2 under.

"Knock it off,'' Shaver shouts.

We par the hole. Two holes in and already two shots down.

  8:15 a.m.

After four straight pars, Shaver is trying to put on a happy face.

"Okay, we've got to get it going,'' he said. "We pick up some birdies here, and there are a lot of birdies on the back nine.''

The fifth hole is a 308-yard par 4 with a dogleg right. We cut the fairway and have only a sand wedge to the green. Armstrong gets us close on the second shot, and we make the birdie putt. Off and running.

We finish the front nine with birdies on the eighth and ninth holes.

"I'm telling you, we can make a lot of birdies on the back side,'' Shaver said. "But it's going to take at least 8 or 9 under to even come close.''

  9:10 a.m.

The back nine starts with a bang. Shaver hits his pitching wedge on the 103-yard 10th hole just to the right of the flag. Then it starts trickling to the hole. It stops 1 inch from the cup.

"Almost made my seventh,'' Shaver said. "Thought that was going to fall in.''

It also happens to be the closest-to-the-pin hole for the back nine. Later, we find out the 11th hole was supposed to be the closest-to-the-pin hole but the stake was on the wrong hole. Too late now. Shaver sinks the marker right next to the cup. Good luck trying to beat that shot.

We follow with another par-3 birdie. In fact, we birdie the first five holes on the back nine. On the 15th hole we are 10 feet away but fail to make the birdie putt.

"Blew a chance there,'' Shaver said. "We needed that one.''

Yes, we did. With momentum clearly gone, we limp in with three more pars.

   10:25 a.m.

The round is over. Our group finishes at 8 under.

"That's not going to be good enough,'' Shaver said.

It is not. The winners shoot 11 under. But Shaver did get closest to the hole on the front and back nines.

The first group has been done for a half-hour. Pitchers of beer are already on the table, and the stories begin. The group was not impressed by Shaver's near hole-in-one.

"The only reason he didn't make it was because he didn't want to buy (drinks),'' Kowalski said with a laugh. "He's the cheapest guy out here.''

By 11 a.m., most of the group has dispersed. Another round in the books before lunch. They will gather again next Tuesday, just as sure as the sun will rise.

"It's a lot of fun,'' Shaver said. "We play a little golf and give each other (guff).

"If you can't take it, then you shouldn't be playing with this crew.''

   ###.

     


  "Golf LIFE Secrets from Patrick J. Donnelly!"

How many 80-Year-Olds do you know who
"Backpacked" through Europe?

How many 80-Year-Olds do you know who
have studied Mandarin Chinese?

How many 80-Year-Olds do you know who
are as interesting and exciting as THIS guy?

No, it's not Bob Hope and it's not George Allen.
It's our own Tuesday morning golfer
Pat Donnelly.

 
   Tuesday Golf League's Senior Golfer 

Pat Donnelly is always a lot of fun when he is on
your team on Tuesday morning.

And... even Keith has a tough time keeping up
with him on the 19th hole, with pitchers of beer!

 


"Follow Your Dream..."

     

Pat Donnelly is one of those rare individuals who enjoys life to the fullest and has taken advantage of international travel opportunities including a golfer's 'dream trip' to Scotland to play St. Andrews, where golf has been played since around 1400 AD, and is known as "The Home Of Golf" - the oldest golf course in the world.

St. Andrews now has seven golf courses, and is the largest public golf complex in Europe. Pat played 'The St. Andrews Old Course', unrivaled for its history and prestige.

This week, 'The Open Championship' returns to St. Andrews for the 28th time. It will be the 150th anniversary of the first Open Championship.

Caddies in St. Andrews -- The original role of caddies was to carry clubs and run ahead to check if the way was clear. Today's caddie is expected to be a guide, advisor, storyteller, and psychologist - and he has to understand the needs of the golfer. A good caddie has local knowledge, sound judgment and experience. Unfortunately, for Pat's round of golf, St. Andrews had to find a caddie shorter than Pat, and all of the above qualities did not apply. Sometimes Pat even had to carry his own clubs.

 

   

 


17th - St. Andrews Old Course

The par-4 17th hole, is known as the Road Hole, and this year will
have a new look, including an extra 40 yards. This hole was tough
enough, before the added length, considering the blind tee shot 
over a maintenance building, the deep bunker fronting the green,
the old paved road and rock wall that are in play behind the green,
and the long, diagonal putting surface perched above everything.


   

18th Hole and World Famous Clubhouse


"Scoreboard and seats along fairway on the 1st hole."

   

BRITISH OPEN starts tomorrow morning (July 15, 2010) -  St. Andrews - The Old Course (7,377 yards, Par 72); Fife, Scotland -- Purse: $8,600,000.  Tiger, who won in 2000 (-19) and 2005 (-14) is favored again, but keep an eye on the Road Hole 17th for some interesting bunker shots, and frustrated professional golfers.


St. Andrews Old Course #14.

"You do not want to get anywhere near these bunkers..."

'Potbunkers'


"An experience I'll never forget..." -- Pat Donnelly


"Master your life!"

Pat is one of those rare individuals who's not afraid to take risks and try new things. I'd describe him as a 'Curious Explorer' -- a person who's comfortable with risk and challenge and who functions optimally in an unstable, unpredictable world. And he's always encouraging all of our Tuesday morning golfers with new opportunities for joy, purpose, and personal growth. Most recently by taking special Continuing Education courses from the University of South Florida, and enjoying the best of the Tampa Bay area.

Pat's E-Mail Invitation:

Addressed to all the "TMOGS" (Tuesday Morning Golfers):

Here's a Tampa Fun Thing to do:  

THE RIVER WALK DOWNTOWN IS NOT YET COMPLETE, BUT ABOUT 1 MILE IS READY.

SUGGESTION FOR A FUN SATURDAY: 

1. PARK BEHIND THE PORT AUTHORITY BUILDING (Also known as "The Joe Garcia Building, At the end of Kennedy and Channelside Drive - no charge to park here. 

2. WALK OVER TO THE STREET CAR LINE AND EITHER GO TO YBOR CITY OR TO THE CONVENTION CENTER. HISTORIC REPLICA STREETCAR RIDES BRINGS BACK GOOD MEMORIES. (Street car ticket for Seniors is $2.50 for all day) - Be sure to get the All Day Pass.

3. YBOR HAS A GREAT OUTDOOR MARKET ON SATURDAYS (9 AM TO 3 PM). (Arts and crafts, jewelry, collectibles, fresh baked breads, honey and other specialty food items, fresh produce, plants and herbs.) (Bring a cooler of ice and enjoy the fresh food all week). Pets Welcome, Free Admission, Free Parking...  AND A BAND PLAYS MOST OF THE DAY.

4. CARMINE'S RESTAURANT ON SEVENTH AVE. IS A GREAT STOP FOR A CUBAN LUNCH (And Pat recommends 'YBOR GOLD' as a good beer).

5. AT THE TAMPA CONVENTION CENTER -- WALK OVER TO THE RIVER SIDE AND GO NORTH TO THE END OF THE RIVER WALK. GOING THE OTHER DIRECTION WILL TAKE YOU TO THE TAMPA HISTORY MUSEUM.

6. THE COLUMBIA CAFE AT THE MUSEUM IS ALSO A GOOD LUNCH STOP.

"ENJOY!"

THE TAMPA RIVERWALK!
http://www.thetampariverwalk.com

FUN, FREE THINGS TO DO (and learn) ON THE TAMPA RIVERWALK

The southern section – almost a mile - of Tampa’s Riverwalk is perfect for a family stroll.

Parking is free from 11:30 to 1:30 every weekday in the self park lot just west of Channelside Bay Plaza, near the Starship.  On the weekends, metered spaces can easily be found just north of the St. Pete Times Forum.

Shop around Channelside Bay Plaza before going west along Channelside Drive to the new South Plaza where Riverwall, Bruce Marsh’s 40’-long tile mural has been installed at the intersection of Beneficial and Channelside Drive. 

Channelside Bay Plaza

"RIVERWALL" - 40' Long Tile Mural

At first glance the mural appears to be an abstract but it is actually composed of 550 tiles, each with its own photographic image of the Hillsborough River.  The composition makes it interesting from both a distance and up close.  The mural serves as the focal point of the plaza and a connector between Channelside and the southern portion of the Riverwalk.

From the plaza continue left on the walk towards the water.  As you ‘round the new Tampa Bay History Center a stainless steel structure comes into view along the naturalized shoreline of Garrison Channel. This is Ceremonial Space, a cenotaph dedicated as a place of memory for all groups and individuals who were engaged or affected by the events and/or actions that occurred when Ft. Brooke was operational on this site in the 1800s. 

The stainless steel focal point was created by Bob Haozous.  It is flanked by sixteen bronze panels recounting the history of Fort Brooke, including texts by historian’s written accounts from witnesses of the time, the Seminole Song of Removal, maps and muster roll.

Be sure and stop at Cotanchobee (pronounced ko-TAN-cho-bee) Ft. Brooke Park’s playground.  The park offers a myriad of surprising features including 24 ceramic seat-backs along the serpentine “park bench,” created by local artist Peter King.  The colorful tiles depict archival maps, retro postcards, photographs and textile patterns relating to the city and our region.



Continue on the Walk past the colorful boats docked at the Marriott Waterside then make the bend around to the new Sail Pavilion.  If you’ve got Fido with you he can enjoy a cool drink of water or enjoy a dog bone on the house.  Just past the Sail and the Convention Center is the upper deck which provides an awesome vista of the Hillsborough River.

Coming down from the upper deck go right under the Platt Street bridge and into USF Park on the Riverwalk where you can take a break and watch the crew teams practice.

Retrace your steps along the Riverwalk watching for water birds nesting in the marsh grasses and native plants along the shore.  Keep an eye out for dolphin that frequently breach the waters of the channel or you might also spot a manatee!

Of course, if it’s in your budget, a visit to the Tampa Riverwalk could also include a stop at the Florida Aquarium, an IMAX movie, bowling and/or a snack at one of Channelside’s many family friendly restaurants.  A visit the Tampa Bay History Center (the second floor exhibits are hands-on) is a treat for the young and young at heart.  And, with temperatures cooling it’s a great time to enjoy alfresco dinning at the Columbia Café the Marriott Waterside or the Sail Pavilion – all offering spectacular water views.

For a Special Treat, Visit the Tampa Riverwalk on a day when a cruise ship is in port.
(usually Monday, Thursday or Saturday) and you will be awe struck by the enormity
of these floating resorts. You may also see a container ship sailing the harbor escorted
by one of the many tug boats calling the Port of Tampa home.


Pat's Recommendation for us 'Older Adults'"

Happiness, great opportunities for joy, purpose, and personal growth happen when we are mindful, when we explore, and when we live in the moment and are open to new experiences and relish the unknown.

Pat has had some great experiences participating in the University of South Florida' Lifelong Learning Institute (A Division of USF Continuing Education), and encourages all us golfers to try it too. Interesting study groups in the liberal arts, Friday lecture series, day trips and computer classes are available.

Visit their Website:     http://www.outreach.usf.edu/conted/seniors/


Please send any corrections, additions, changes, new ideas,
photos, stories or whatever to: Ron.Fandrick@verizon.net

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