The Sweet Spot: Seth Raynor Society at Blue Mound; Cameron Hus’ Long Week; latest golf participation statistics | sweet spot

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Raynor fans gather at Blue Mound Golf & CC

When Seth Raynor designed golf courses, it is unlikely that he would have imagined that his work would be celebrated by a group of architectural enthusiasts more than 100 years later.

The Seth Raynor Society, which has about 190 members, held its spring meeting last week at Blue Mound Golf & Country Club, a conception of Raynor. Some 45 members attended the meeting, hailing from as far away as California, Connecticut, Texas and Massachusetts. The Sweet Spot was honored to be invited to dinner on Wednesday evening, at which the Superintendent of Blue Mound Alex Beson Crone and club historian Marc Ruttum gave presentations.

Raynor, an engineer by training and who died in 1926, was the protege of Charles Blair Macdonald, considered the father of golf course architecture in the United States. The two teamed up to build the Lido Golf Club on Long Island, a “lost” course that is faithfully replicated by Tom Doak at Sand Valley in the city of Rome.

Other well-known Raynor courses include Chicago Golf Club, Camargo Club, Shoreacres, Yale University Golf Club and Monterey Peninsula Country Club.

The pre-dinner conversation was stimulating on the course architecture, as Society members shared their opinions on template holes, discussed bunker restoration and tree removal and debated whether the location of a front hole on a Biarritz green was kosher.

Ruttum pointed out that the Blue Mound champions are among the biggest names in golf, including Gene Sarazen (1933 PGA), Babe Didrikson Zaharias (1940 Women’s Western Open) and Cary Middlecoff (1955 Miller High Life Open). The Sweet Spot was surprised to learn that Ben Hogan and Jimmy Demaret played an exhibition at Blue Mound in 1947.

Blue Mound will be the stroke play partner course when Erin Hills hosts the US Mid-Amateur Championship, September 10-15.

Huss, without appendix, ready for US Open final qualifying

It’s been quite a week for the University of Wisconsin golfer Cameron Hus of Kenosha.

“I had my appendix removed a week ago and have been recovering ever since,” Huss wrote Saturday in a text to the Sweet Spot.

Suffice it to say, the week ended much better than it started for Huss. He learned on Friday that he had been assigned to Columbus, Ohio, for the US Open final qualifier and will play June 6 with the former Badgers teammate. Barela Griffin and PGA Tour golfer Pierre Malnati in the last group of No. 1 at Kinsale Golf & Fitness Club in the morning and the last group of No. 10 at Wedgewood Golf & Country Club in the afternoon.

“It will be a good experience for sure,” Huss wrote. “(I) should be ready to leave (physically) for next Monday, but it will be a good experience to see all the guys on the tour and play with Grif!”

Hudson Bennett Swavely will also be in Columbus, playing Wedgewood in the morning and Kinsale in the afternoon.

Former Marquette University golf course Eichhorn Hunter and Oostburg native and 2020 Wisconsin State Open runner-up Patrick Stolpe will be in consecutive pairs from No. 10 at the end of the draw at Woodmont CC in Rockville, Md. Marinette’s Ty Kretzsophomore at South Dakota State, will play at Admiral’s Club in Jupiter, Florida.

Keep Calm and carry on

Golfers around the world have been impressed with how Mito Pereira handled his collapse on the 72nd hole at the PGA Championship.

Equally impressive was how the professional sports player Rufus Peabody handled Pereira’s crushing double bogey, when a par would have given the PGA Tour rookie the title and a bogey would have put him in the playoffs with Will Zalatoris and eventually champion Justin Thomas.

According to a story on golfwrx.com, Peabody, who oversees data at Unabated, a statistics-based sports news company, bet $500 on the former Korn Ferry star to win $150,000. Peabody tweeted a copy of his bet with the caption “Well that hurts.”

He could have been excused for throwing a brick through his television, but Peabody took Pereira’s meltdown in stride. Later, he tweeted, “Yeah I feel drained. But I can’t do anything. Out of my control. Live the disappointment. Then reset and continue. No “what if” allowed. That’s how you survive doing this for as long as I do.

Decline in golf participation; is the COVID boom over?

Is the nine-month trend of declining golf participation a sign that the COVID-19 boom is over?

It depends on how the latest national rounds played report from Golf Datatech is interpreted, according to Joseph F. BeditzPresident and CEO of the National Golf Foundation.

April rounds are down 13% from April 2021. Rounds in 2022 are down 10% year-to-date, exceeding the drop in the second half of 2021, when rounds followed the boom year of 2020 by about 7%.

Beditz pointed out that the weather appears to have had a significant impact so far in 2022. Hours of golf play – calculated using detailed weather data from across the country – have fallen 14% in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2021.

Beditz wrote: “Golf winter typically accounts for 20% of total annual rounds, so while we sure would love to start the year, a 10% drop equates to just 2% annual impact. Other metrics and parts of the golf business continue to show strength. Club and ball sales are up 14% in wholesale dollars year-to-date, online golf search popularity remains high and steady, and while rounds played are down, Golf revenue per round is up from last year. … With 80% of the rounds of 2022 still to be played, it is far too early to speculate on how the year might end.

A bad day at the office

Organizers of the 122nd Philadelphia BMW Amateur Championship apparently failed to verify the playing credentials – or handicap – of a named participant Zane Pycher.

In stroke play qualifying recently at Inniscrone Golf Club, Pysher shot a solid 64 of 134. The Twitter Account Monday Q Info reported that Pysher’s card included a score of 18 on the 17th hole.

Unsurprisingly, he did not qualify for match play.

Tap-in, lip-out and double circuit breakers

Steve Stricker, who withdrew from the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship last week after contracting COVID-19, is on court this week for the Principal Charity Classic in Des Moines, Iowa. He will be joined by his brother-in-law, Mario Tiziani, who received a sponsorship waiver. … The PGA Tour Canada season begins Thursday, with three golfers from Wisconsin taking to the course at the Royal Beach Victoria Open: Chippewa Falls’ Thomas Longbellafrom Oconomowoc Georges Kneiser and Janesville native and former UW golfer Jordan Hahn. … Tournament officials and Sentry Insurance representatives announced last week that the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions raised $642,490, which was distributed to more than a dozen Maui nonprofits. …Club Champion is looking to fill positions at its warehouse in Willowbrook, Illinois, as well as at its stores nationwide. Visit clubchampiongolf.com/careers.

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