08/21/13 9:00pm
08/21/2013 9:00 PM
GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Golfer Marie Santacroce of Mattituck, shown here practicing at Island’s End Golf and Country Club in Greenport, was named to her conference All-Academic team.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Golfer Marie Santacroce of Mattituck, shown here practicing at Island’s End Golf and Country Club in Greenport, defended her Long Island Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

GOLF: Santacroce retains L.I. title Marie Santacroce of Mattituck shot a 1-over-par and then won a four-hole playoff over Casey Durant of Eisenhower Park Golf Club to defend her Long Island Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship last Wednesday at the Bethpage State Park Red Course in Farmingdale.

Santacroce, representing Island’s End Golf and Country Club, shot a 77 in the first round on Aug. 12 before following that up with a 76 in the second and final round. She held a three-stroke lead going into the second round. Durant had a two-day total of 149.

On the fourth playoff hole, Santacroce two putted to win the championship.

RUNNING: Year 15 for Sound to Bay The 15th annual Sound to Bay 10K and 5K will be run Saturday, starting at 9 a.m. at Iron Pier Beach in Northville and concluding at South Jamesport Beach. Gerry O’Hara of East Rockaway, making his debut in the 10K event, won last year’s race in 36 minutes 29.1 seconds. The top female finisher was Maria Pavkovitch of Union City, N.J. Her time was 39:23.2.

The winners of the five-kilometer race were Patrick McCabe (18:42.7) and Patricia Alcivar (20:38.2).

FOOTBALL: Four carries for Maysonet Cleveland Browns running back Miguel Maysonet ran the ball four times for 5 yards in a 24-6 preseason win over the visiting Detroit Lions last Thursday night. Maysonet, a former Riverhead High School and Stony Brook University standout, has 30 yards from 13 carries in two preseason games for the Browns (2-0). He has also caught two passes for 13 yards. The Browns have injury issues at running back. Trent Richardson was listed as out for Saturday night’s game at Indianapolis with an ankle injury. Dion Lewis broke his left leg and will require surgery.

08/07/13 5:18pm
08/07/2013 5:18 PM
STEVE ROSSIN PHOTO | The 16th hole at Island's End Golf Course in Greenport overlooks the Long Island Sound.

STEVE ROSSIN PHOTO | The 16th hole at Island’s End Golf Course in Greenport overlooks the Long Island Sound.

The board of Island’s End Golf and County Club, Greenport’s public golf course, has reached an agreement on a new long-term lease with the property’s owners, club officials said this week.

The new lease between the golf course and the King family trust — which owns about two-thirds of the land while the course owns the rest — will last five years, with another five-year option the course can choose to accept, said Nicholas Mazzaferro, a member of the club’s board of directors.

Mr. Mazzaferro said Island’s End was founded in 1960 as a nine-hole course and originally had a 50-year lease with the King family. In 2010, the club applied for a two-year extension on the lease while the board hashed out a new deal.

“It was a huge difference transitioning from a 50-year lease to another lease,” Mr. Mazzaferro said. “When the dust settled, we started working on the longer-term lease.”

The new agreement was reached in January, and while some paperwork still has to be filed, the terms are legally binding, he said.

Mr. Mazzaferro said the new lease has a revenue-sharing component that will increase the course’s payments to the trust if business improves.

“If we meet certain thresholds, the rent goes up, but then again revenues will be up,” he said.

Board president Mark Schrader said the course has always had the right of first refusal to match any other offer to use the land.

With a new lease lasting up to a decade, the course now has the stability to begin planning for the future, board members said.

“For the short term we’re maintaining the course, we’re keeping our heads above water and hoping the economy turns around, just like everyone else,” Mr. Mazzaferro said.

Mr. Schrader said the golf industry has been suffering in the economic recession but added that the venerable Greenport club is faring better than other courses in the area.

“We’re a solid ship in rocky water,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, we feel we have a high probability of sticking around for the foreseeable future.”

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07/06/12 7:00am
07/06/2012 7:00 AM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Island’s End head golf pro Will Fish takes in the view on the 16th hole.

Every muscle in my body ached as I began playing the back nine at Island’s End Golf Course in Greenport Saturday. In between holes at one point I thought about Michael Jordan.

A week earlier I watched NBA TV’s documentary on the 1992 Dream Team, which described how Jordan would play a full round of golf every morning as the team prepared for the Olympics. After golfing he’d go to practice or a game and without hiccup be the best player on the court.

Must be nice to be a super human, I thought to myself.

Me? Not so much. I could barely stand after 18 holes, let alone playing any kind of basketball game afterward.

My journey to Island’s End came at the suggestion of my friend James, who’s an avid golfer. He thought it would make good copy to experience a full round of golf. For someone who fancies himself a sports guy, I’ve never gotten into the sport aside from watching the final round of a major. My playing experience has consisted of mini-golf, video games, the occasional driving range and one nine-hole round with a few college friends. But we spent more time trying to prank each other, like untying the bags to the golf cart so the clubs would go flying, than playing golf.

My lessons learned that day: It’s frowned upon when someone takes his shirt off on the course as if he’s on a beach tossing horse shoes. And flipping over a golf cart with a cooler full of beers in the back is never a good idea.

I knew not to expect any similar shenanigans as I prepared for my first 18-hole golfing experience at one of the finer courses on the East End. For starters, I was playing with Will Fish, the head pro at Island’s End. Will and James have been friends going back to their days at Longwood High School, where Will excelled on one of the best teams in the county. He started the sport in his teens, later than a lot of golfers, but he was a natural. He quickly broke 100, 90 and then 80.

I’ve gotten to know Will over the last few years through Mets games, concerts and backyard Kan Jam, but had never seen him in his element on the golf course.

As head pro, a big part of Will’s job is instructing beginners. So, I figured, what better way to get started in golf than playing with a man who does it for a living? I expected to endure some ribbing along the way and I was ready for it.

My first mistake came before we ever stepped foot onto the course. I threw on a brand-new white Under Armour shirt, my best option for an afternoon of athletic activity under a blazing sun. When James saw what I was wearing, he looked at me like I was wearing Converse All Stars to a wedding.

“You better grab a collared shirt,” he said, adding that I could maybe get away with not wearing it on the course.

Slim chance.

“Why don’t you get that shirt off your shoulder and put it on,” were the first words I heard Will say as we walked toward the clubhouse around 11:30 a.m.

I obliged a few minutes later as Will unwrapped several shiny new irons to put in my bag. It’s not often a first-timer gets to use high-end clubs.

We hit the first hole, with Will’s friend Kenny rounding out our foursome. A longtime groundskeeper at Island’s End, few know the course any better than him.

On the first hole, a 351-yard par-4, I started off surprisingly well. I got the ball onto the green with the chance to make a long bogey putt. That didn’t quite happen, and a few putts later I tapped the ball in for an 8 — a disaster for most golfers, a self-congratulatory moment for me.

For a second, I allowed myself to think maybe this wouldn’t be so hard.

That moment didn’t last long.

A few things I learned along the way:

• For one, I drive the ball with about as much ferocity as I imagine a 12-year-old could. And when I did make decent contact, the ball often curved way right. On the 14th hole I drove a ball into a bunker across the fairway on an adjacent hole. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen somebody in that sand,” Kenny observed.

• Whenever you swing and miss, just pretend it was a practice swing (better yet, just don’t swing and miss).

• Whenever you bring two clubs with you walking up to a green, always leave one club on the green and never in the rough. James told me this early on, but I still managed to forget. On the 17th hole I went to grab my favorite club of the day — my W, the wedge. It wasn’t in my bag. I looked in James’ bag. Nothing.

Oh, boy. I’m in trouble, I thought to myself.

I had to break the news to the group: I lost a club. Everyone kept their cool. James grabbed the cart and doubled back to search for it. Will handed me one of his clubs and I finished the hole. A few minutes later, I could see James flying down the fairway back toward us. The club was safely back in our possession.

Crisis averted.

• I did learn some real techniques along the way, which paid immediate dividends. Will showed me the technique for chipping, the kind of shots you could never know how to do until you’re actually on a golf course.

• I learned to keep my left foot planted on my swing and I learned the left hand is far more important than the right. And I discovered how difficult it can be to maintain proper form as fatigue sets in and every swing becomes a chore.

• James gave me good advice early on: “Just watch Will and do what he does,” he said. Yeah, OK. The ball off his drives disappeared into the horizon, landing perfectly on the fairway a mile away. Four shots later, my ball would be in the same spot as Will’s.

• My favorite part of the course was the famous 16th hole, a short par-3 that overlooks the Long Island Sound from high above. It’s a spectacular view. I hit my best drive of the day on the 16th. Only the fairway is real narrow and my ball sailed to the right and landed on the beach down below.

The afternoon ended with James sinking a long putt on the 18th. When the final scores were tallied, Will scored 76, James 98 and Kenny 100. Me? A lot.

As I walked back into the clubhouse to hand over my clubs, I told the gentleman how I put the clubs to shame.

“I’m sure they’ve been put to shame by worse players than you,” he said.

“Probably not,” I replied.

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