Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb—
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:
And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing — nothing at all.
— Archibald MacLeish
There are as many different ways to understand the Old Club’s 94th season as there are of understanding MacLeish’s poem. Your editor has an insight however, perhaps because MacLeish and I both grew up in Glencoe, Illinois, albeit MacLeish about 50 years earlier. Simply think of the Island Country Club as a circus, with three rings (golf, tennis, Clubhouse?), filled with performers of various functions, with varying predictability in both performance and behavior, going about their activities in a year with peculiar difficulties, and being at once both in the rings and observers. Then, while perfectly on time but in our minds unexpectedly because we want the summer to never end, the time to perform ends and we are left with …
The shadows on the golf course are now exceptionally long at 5:00PM instead of after 6; in the mornings the sun takes longer to remove the dew if it can at all; there are deepening reds and intensifying oranges in the trees beyond the 7th green; the geese look to the south as they waddle across the 5th fairway; and the deer are eating everything they can fattening for a winter that is almost always harsh. In our minds it seems the season’s end is quite unexpected, because we want the season never to end. But nature is reality, and the reality is that soon there will be nothing but darkness and dreams of the next summer that is sure to come.
More practically, the registers will be turned off soon, probably this week. In the mornings, Patty’s word remains law. In the afternoons, Willow’s and Diana’s. Annie’s always is. The Clubhouse will close early, whenever play slows. And all of the clothing, foodstuff, beer and wine in the Clubhouse is being sold off at true “end of the season” savings.
And with that, for the last time in the 94th Season, herewith the news:
News of the Clubhouse:
The Clubhouse registers will be turned off at the end of this week. That means no more snacks, no more beverages, no more lunches, no more golf balls, no more clothing, no more … We are offering breakeven pricing on case purchases of beer, wine and soft drinks and very low prices on other merchandise that we simply don’t want to store. Willow is ready to negotiate. While the registers will close, the Clubhouse will be open mornings through October 10, and in the afternoons if there is a reasonable turnout. The bathrooms will remain available and functional until October 10. As noted, if you want a tee time in the afternoons, it is wise to call ahead to see if the Clubhouse will be open.
The Final Full Board Meeting of the Season was held on September 21, in the Clubhouse and via Zoom. Treasurer David Greiwe characterized the season to date financial results as “pretty good” with the probability that we can add a reasonable amount to the Club’s Operations Reserves. The total of full memberships (Sustaining, Individual and Couples, season long house) declined modestly, continuing a long-term trend. The most significant action of the Meeting was Board approval of the purchase of a Ventrac 4520Z for Grounds maintenance, with dual wheels, and contour and rough-cut decks which will be used to replace our ancient rough mower, but with a capability for working steep hills and the grades around many of the bunkers. There are also attachments to consider in the future to perform many other functions, limiting our need to replace other aging equipment. The purchase, for about $50,000, is being funded with $31,000 of Friends of the Club money, the refund of our $12,500 deposit for a riding greens mower, unspent money from the Grounds budget and the remaining First Links money from the no longer active golf and tennis camps for kids. This year’s Friends of the Club solicitation will focus on raising funds for the Greens mower as well as small capital improvements for the Clubhouse.
News of Golf:
“Wacky” Golf, the traditional end of the season tournament, will be competed on Sunday, October 2 at 9:00AM. Grounds Superintendent Keith Hoover, after a maddening but highly successful first season, will derange our nine hole course in ways unimaginable, with cups placed on the steepest of slopes, a cup almost completely blocked by large bricks, teeing off from paper cups, or playing a hole entirely with a putter. And there’s more derangement in store – none of it making golf easier, all of it very much fun to play. Signup in the Pro Shop or call 348 2379.
Twilight League’s final session of the season held its Championship September 19. Commissioner Ken Wiberg reports on the truly awful weather in play and the winners that night and of the full session: It was a cold and rainy championship round. 4 teams quit and 2 individual players also quit, leaving their partners to play by themselves. Unfortunately, the players who replaced you (your editor) and Lee (my wonderful partner) were 2 of the players who quit so you got zero points (Editorial Note: which was better than we did one week when we went negative!). Everyone who stayed was pleased with how the league was run and all said they would return for next season!
September 19 Results:
1- Mark Sterritt/Richard Eaton 15 pts
2- Ken Wiberg/Nick Eaton 14 pts
3- Jim Twitchell/Dick Dunham 12 pts
Pins Hole 4:
1- Ken Wiberg 24’ 4 1/2”
2- Jim Twitchell 25’ 2 1/2”
Champions: Ken Wiberg/Nick Eaton 124 pts
Runner-up: Mark Sterritt/Richard Eaton 116 pts
3- Ryan Hayward/Myron Curtis 109 pts
4- Jim Twitchell/Dick Dunham 106 pts
5- Steve Stone/Steve Smith 94 pts
6- Vito Corsini/David Greiwe 91 pts
7- Jack Shaw/Kendall McGuffie 81 pts
8- Lee Levant/Sam Ostrow 80 pts
9- Vern Seile/Jim McDonald 74 pts
10- Luke Hartmann/Jerry Gray 67 pts
Billings League’s Scheduled Championship Round on September 22 was rained out! News of the makeup date and final results will be communicated when available.
Scrambles was played on Friday, September 23, as Co-Commissioner Mimi Gerstell reports with the precision of the world class physicist and mathematician she is: Eight persons braved the Arctic winds to play in Scrambles on Sept. 23rd. The winning foursome, by exactly 1 stroke, was the team of Mark Sterritt, Dan McLaughlin, Joe Bruno, and Dave Goddard. We will post a sign-up sheet for one last Scrambles to be held on Sept. 30th, and hope that the weather is a bit more pleasant.
Golfers are expected to post their scores on the GHIN system for rounds played in Maine until October 31, although rounds on the ICC course should not be posted after the out-of-bounds and “penalty area” stakes are removed by the Grounds Crew, which marks the end of our “official” season. If fairway aeration is completed before then you may remove your ball from any aeration holes as well as remove any nearby ground plugs without penalty. After the course is closed by the removal of the stakes “Winter Rules” will apply, allowing golfers to move the ball one club length no closer to the pin in the fairways and six inches in the rough. At that time, please do not use irons on any of the tees (tee up adjacent to your preferred tee).
News of Tennis:
The tennis courts will remain open for play until the nets and lines are removed, most likely in mid- October. Open Tennis is over for the season.
Editorial Note: When I closed my “real business” some years ago I promised The Missus (aka Judy) that I would never again do anything that wasn’t fun. While being Co-President of our Club is serious business, it is something I have loved doing, and writing this newsletter is the fun part. The Missus agrees.
I have long loved MacLeish’s poetry, and I understand the darkness that comes with contemplating “the end.” But know also this – the Intrepid Company of ICC Golfers will soon take to the course for winter play; your officers and staff will find ways to welcome you and our community to the Club over the coming winter months; and, together we will prepare to greet the 95th season with the warmth of Spring and of renewed friendships, and, with care and with grace, in the best of health.
Editor at Large