A Call to Arms

The Islandwood Arm Wrestling Association held their 4th annual Golf & Arm Wrestling Tournament this past Monday.

A good time was had by all.  Dave Bruster (above in black) won Longest Divot, and Colin O'Leary (far right) claimed the Closest to the Fairway prize.  

Meanwhile, the final group featured a back and forth contest for the Meathead Jug where we saw Lexington Luther Jr. elbow his way in front of defending champion Theo "Thumbs" Thorkowski.

The evening was capped off with a raucous arm wrestling championship event that was won once again by the club's founder and president, Hans Ulna.

President Ulna revealed that included among next year's invitees are @b_dechambeau and @BKoepka with honorary invitations to @slugger_white and @JustineKReed

Tony Sweet, Assistant Golf Professional, Islandwood C.C.


Gianni Bench

The Islandwood Country Club held a very special putting contest yesterday, and we couldn't be prouder of our winner.

This is the first of eighteen (18) such contests with the prize being one of our tee box benches.  These masterpieces go back to our club's opening in 1925.  We are finally replacing them.

Gianni DeSantini splintered the competition with an artful putting display that would make Michelangelo blush.  Gianni finished the putting course with a series of five one-putts in a row and in doing so edged out Louis Carpenter IV by two strokes.

When asked about his victory, Gianni stated, "I am not taking this victory sitting down - even though my feet are tired and sore.  I want all eighteen on these, and I won't rest until I get them."

Well you can't win them all unless you get the first!  Well done Gianni.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional      


The Winning Pairing

Last week's 22nd Annual Islandwood C.C. Swinging Singles Tournament was once again a huge hit.

The winning twosome bounced around the course with a very impressive 88 and finished out in front.

The 2nd place finishers and runner-up pairing in the alternate shot format rallied bravely. They suffered from a lack of support and eventually got nipped.  They could only manage a 91 after falling flat with a triple bogey on the final hole.

The highlight before dinner was the traditional jump into the pond next to the eighteenth green to claim the winning prize, which -as always - was a motorboat package sponsored by Crestliner.

Chef Roland then provided a bountiful seafood buffet, headlighted by his signature oyster bar. It featured six raw variations and two cooked dishes which disappeared faster than the rapidly setting sun on this glorious day.

I hope to see a full field of equal quality next year, and we wish this year's award winners all the best. 

And as always, we hope that this event served to bring these two even closer together.

Tony Sweet, Assistant Pro, Islandwood C.C.


Big Brother

Oh Brother.  The Islandwood Big Brothers Charity Golf Tournament took place this past Monday.

As is the tradition, the pre-screened foursomes competed for the right to be Big Brothers and mentors for a local child in need of outdoor fun, direction and guidance. The format is better ball of four using 80% of handicaps.

Local rules for the day included a one (1) stroke penalty for each use of vulgarity, and a two (2) stroke penalty for the use of any tobacco product or consumption of an adult beverage.

Our winners this year were the Pelegrino brothers. Shooting a team better ball of four net of 129, they erased an early lead by the O'Flahertys who once again faltered after fetching their well-stocked cooler at the turn. 

Anthony Pelegrino summed up his winning team's round:

"We hit the sugar out of the ball today. Despite a few major fudge-ups on ten and eleven, I think that we put together a pretty gosh darn good effort. 

It should have been much better. We were 14 over par during our time at the halfway house alone.  But a win is a win."

Way to come up Big fellas.

Thomas Clooney, Head Golf Professional, Islandwood C.C.


Daredevil/Superhero Golf Event

One of our nearby clubs, Crab Crossing Golf Club, asked us to pass this along.

They are hosting their 2nd annual Daredevil/Superhero tourney. They invite local golf clubs to field a foursome with at least one of their members dressed as a Daredevil or well-known Superhero.

It is a better ball of four event (net), but any person in each foursome who plays the entire round in an approved costume will be rewarded with an extra three (3) total handicap strokes.

Last year, Vincent Bagadona (shown above) won individual low net in the inaugural event and the prize of 3 dozen Top Flite XL 2000s.  Let's get involved in this one!

If you are interested, call the Pro Shop

Tony Sweet, Assistant Golf Professional, Islandwood C.C.


Now That's a Stretch

Seemingly every year, the Islandwood Three-Day Member Guest Tournament's first day has been dominated by one team.  They are led by a highly respected member who also happens to be the Islandwood High School Athletic Director, Dale Cunningham.

Each year, his foursome shows up at the first tee with a scant few minutes to "warm up". It has always been a mystery as to why the Cunningham foursome is always casually delayed in arriving to play, yet they start strong right out of the gate.

Well, this year as we were whipping the greens, we stumbled upon his foursome behind the 12th teebox a full one hour before their tee time. Mr. Cunningham was not very appreciative of the interruption as he was caught barking and putting his squad through their pre-tee paces. But at least the mystery has been solved.

Slightly embarrassed, thoroughly heckled, and clearly unnerved, the Cunningham foursome tied for eighth place in the flight. It was their lowest finish since 1995.  

They were seen doing penalty laps around the putting green during the cocktail hour as Mr. Cunningham was in full throat trailing behind using extremely colorful language.  He will get a letter.

Charles M. Toth III, Islandwood Greens Committee Chairman

Fast Eddie Busted!

There have been countless complaints this season regarding players' golf balls disappearing from the middle of fairways and from the greens. Well, this weekend, the apprehension of Edwin "Fast Eddie" Zalkowski might just have solved the mystery.

Fast Eddie, 3, hailing from north of the tracks in the Island Heights Projects area has apparently been very busy reselling golf balls in front of Golf Galaxy. 

This morning's bust came after the brazen and fleet-footed Fast Eddie darted from the pine trees behind the 16th green and snatched himself a Titleist Pro V1x belonging to our guest - Officer McClean of the Islandwood P.D.

After a nasty verbal exchange, near escapes and some arm wringing, Edwin was taken away by golf cart to answer for his crimes against golf. He spent a long evening accounting for the whereabouts of his kidnapped spheres.

We have over 200 golf balls confiscated so far that can be claimed in the pro shop if you can identify your markings. Come on by to claim them any time.

Thomas Clooney, Head Professional, Islandwood C.C.


King of Clubs

High stakes golf, and the Islandwood Pro Shop's favorite event of the year!  $500 entry fee.

Most of the brave souls that enter the "King of Clubs" invitational this time of year know exactly what they are getting into. And if someone occasionally doesn't understand; it can be painful. (see guest Wilson Stolz above left)

The rules require that each player must relinquish one of his/her golf clubs on every hole that they make a bogey or worse. The last player with a club is the winner. The confiscated irons and woods are donated for use at inner city and junior golf programs. The winners, (including Paco Mediate -this year above) receive an Islandwood Pro Shop credit for a complete set of clubs, apparel upgrade, 12 dozen balls, and 20 free guest fees for the coming season.

Paco won this year's event, and finished having saved his seven and eight iron. He graciously added them to the pile for delivery to the IGA after the awards ceremony.

Best of luck next year everybody!

Thomas Clooney, PGA Golf Professional, Islandwood Country Club


Dancing With Wolf

The Islandwood School for the Arts came out for their golf outing this weekend.  And, oh boy, was it a challenge for some!  For some others - maybe not a challenge at all.

On the 16th hole, the highest scorer from each particular group on that hole had to endure what was supposed to be a severe penalty of dancing. (a few refrains of Swan Lake with a professional dancer as everyone watched on.)  Meant initially to demoralize the golf hacker.

Well, the reliable low handicapper George Wolf joyously embraced the penalty according to the fellow competitors who were there.  His score of 13 on the hole might even suggest that he was downright looking forward to it!  What an animal.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional


Holy in One

Wow, he did it! A glorious shot and result. After 25 years of coming over to play our golf club, the esteemed Right Reverend Father Michael Angelos recorded his first hole-in-one. A blessed six-iron of 127 yards on number fourteen.
Congratulations Father Mike!  Your prayers have been answered.

He was reportedly overcome with emotion, and curiously preferred to not jump around quite as joyously as his playing partners. Must have forgotten the chin-strap for his..... ahem, ahem .......Hat.

(We can say that. We let The Rev play for free... and he has a great sense of humor too)

Shoot him an email at and he'll walk you through the shot. Chapter and verse of course.

Tony Sweet, PGA Assistant Golf Professional


Old Yeller

Golf balls can move at up to an initial velocity of over 250 feet per second.  You would not want to be craniumed by one of these rockets.

Unfortunately however, the risk is not enough to deter some folks from walking through the golf course at their leisure.

We had quite the scare recently when a stray jogger wearing headphones and not paying attention caught a drive in the left ear.  It was delivered by an esteemed octogenarian member of Islandwood who has been with us since 1952.  

Just 40 yards from the teed ball, the ruthless runner should have clearly heard the yell of "FORE!" from Islandwood's beloved Mehityu Nosui who was the striker of the ball off of the tee.  For fear of this type of event occurring, the affable Asian always yells Fore!! both before and after every single stroke.

Relief spread quickly when Nosui realized that the jogger, later identified as M'Ander A. Cross from nearby Tres' Passing G&CC suffered only damage to her headphones and not to her empty dome.

Be forewarned.  No walking on the course unless you are are playing golf.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional 

Look Away...I'm Hideous!

Once every year here at the Islandwood C.C., the Thursday Afternoon Men's group holds their Bakers Dozen Challenge.

This nine-hole event is composed of strictly 13 entrants, and has a unique but simple scoring system. It gives a negative point to the the highest scorer(s) on each hole. The golfer who has the most negative points after nine holes embarrassingly becomes the "Baker" for the whole calendar year up until the next event. He also must wear a yellow shirt every time he tees it up.

The Baker from last year was Sam Van Velde (in yellow pictured above).

The brave souls joining Sam this year posed on the first tee prior to the start of play.

Sam is keeping up with the strict tradition of not being permitted to pose for any pictures on or off the golf course until teeing off for the following year's round. Everyone else is free to look directly into the camera. I don't want to give away what happened, but let's just say that Sam will have very few Kodak moments until next year.... if he is lucky.

Thomas Clooney, PGA Golf Professional


Speedy Gonzalez Open

We schedule this golf event each year right before the United States Open Championship.

The general rule: Your threesome gets 2 hours to play the round of golf. For any holes that are not completed, the team receives a net double bogey.

In our 12th year hosting this event, Islandwood Country Club has once again drawn a full field.

We will, as is the custom, be donating raffle profits and the 50/50 drawing proceeds to the Islandwood chapter of the Big Hermanos & Big Hermanas Club. The event also illustrates that a round of golf can be played at better than a snail's pace.

Participants have made some necessary and subtle adjustments (above) to their normal golfing routines to get through the round quickly.

Tony Sweet, Assistant Golf Pro, Islandwood C.C.


A View From the Top

Long standing tradition continues.

Just finished up the "A Head Above" charity golf outing. And a grand time it was. As is customary, each foursome must have one player that is literally A Head taller than all of his/her partners.

The winners (pictured above) were lead by Creighton Wallace IV - far right, who really rose to the occasion. Congratulations on claiming the George Archer Cup!

Second place was claimed by Ernesto Verticalia -far left, and his team. (below)

Tony Sweet, Assistant Golf Professional

The Grumpy Pro - Monday Blues

Holy ratfarts!  This again? 

Islandwood Country Club is closed on Mondays.  That means that on Mondays the club is CLOSED!  And next Monday too.  And substantially all year on Mondays unless we have an outside charity outing or a tournament or such.

And even on those Mondays that you see us busily practicing as you circle and drive by the club with your clubs peeking out of your convertible.  You are not welcome here!  

Only on Mondays that is.

It is generally a day (Monday) strictly for course maintenance and for the Club Staff to get ready for a new and fresh week of serving you!

So if you feel like jumping onto the golf course like Clyde Dale did last Monday, think again.  You can expect to be met with our busy golf course full of workers and a good chance of bodily injury due to numerous unpredictable dangers.  

Not the least of which is an armed pro with a two iron and half a bucket of balls.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional

Course Knox

For your own safety and for the care of the course, Islandwood Country Club is closed to golfers until further notice.  Recent storms and a number of private golf carts have caused considerable damage.

Anyone caught with anything from a putter to a driver to a ball retriever will have them confiscated and sent off and cut down for junior golf.  

Additionally, anyone caught transporting golf clubs onto club property without the grips removed will have them seized, and the owner's GHIN card will be revoked on the spot.

The 2nd Amendment of the Islandwood CC bylaws of 1925 is not recognized in the off-season as written.  Therefore, members have no rights with regard to bearing golf clubs until the formal announcement of the opening of the 2017 golf season. 

It reads: "A well regulated golf club is necessary for the freedom, safety and security of the people and the property here from fairway to fringe."

Our canine enforcement unit, Moose and Rocco, will be patrolling the golf course looking to apprehend violators.  Don't get bit. Thank you.

In other news, sign up for the canasta tournament starting January 15th!!  Also, Friday is Prime Rib Night!  Call Leo in the grill for reservations!!

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional


Teed Off: Louise Suggs

One of golf's most talented players of all time, Mae Louise Suggs, was born in 1923 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her father was a professional baseball player who later ran a golf course. Louise began playing at age ten and quickly developed into a highly successful amateur player. She was a founding member of the LPGA Tour, and had a bitter rivalry with Babe Zaharias whom she felt was a bully.

Suggs demolished the field in the 1949 US Open, winning by a record 14 strokes ahead of the second place Zaharias. After a tournament in 1953 that Zaharias won, Suggs refused to sign Babe's scorecard. During their round, Suggs felt that Babe had "stretched the rules" in getting a favorable ruling.

Suggs was known for a powerful and athletic swing which prompted Bob Hope to nickname her "Louise Sluggs".

She won 58 tour events, and 11 majors. She also won both the U.S. Women's Amateur and British Women's Amateur. She was enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1951, yet at the very height of her career, she stubbornly stopped playing the full Tour schedule. It was after being insulted when she was fined $25 for withdrawing from a tournament for which she had signed up.

The license plate on the car of this charter member to the LPGA Hall of Fame:

"TEED OFF"   Good for Her!

MaryEllen Franklin-Worthington, Chairwoman, Islandwood Ladies 18-Holers


Noonan! A Tournament

It was supposed to be for fun and laughs.  It was a train wreck.  

The Thursday Afternoon Men's Club held a new event - the First Annual Noonan! 9-hole Scramble Championship here at Islandwood last week.  

We called upon the loudest and most obnoxious employee that we have at the club (Evan Poulter) to run around the course and unleash "Noonans!" during the players shots.  

Our man Evan barely made it back to the clubhouse alive.  It turns out that a Noonan! outside the confines of Caddyshack is neither fun nor laughable.  

When he nailed Mr. Whitehurst's group on the 18th with an air horn blast on their final putt attempt, Evan suffered multiple injuries from the angry launch of putters in his general direction.

In total, we counted a total of 47 chili dips, 31 hosel rockets, 72 toppers, and 194 whiffs.  Also reported were 7 sprained wrists and 3 nervous breakdowns.  

This one might not make it back onto the calendar.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional

Short Drive Contest

Cole Topper from Crab Creek Golf Course captured the 9th Annual Rusty Golfer Shortest Drive Contest (RGSDC) which is held at their indoor practice facility each February.

Taking advantage of the home turf advantage, Cole (in stall # 15) defeated fellow finalist Eli Nuffington with a full swing drive of 7 inches. "I was born for this." Topper claimed. "My head comes up naturally."

Eli could only manage a 3 footer, which fell far long of his goal.

Islandwood's best finisher (8th place) was Lars Fjord with an unfortunate yet delightful "chipmunk-chaser" of nearly fifteen yards.

Said Mr. Fjord, "If people realized just how hard it is to just-miss whiffing, there would be more spectators showing up. The RGSDC committee should publicize us more. Maybe next year."

Tony Sweet, PGA Assistant Golf Professional

A Sucker Born Every 8-10 Minutes

Did you ever begin a round and immediately get the feeling that somebody put wasabi in the Grounds Keeper's oatmeal that morning?

You find pin placements that, a fair argument could be made,  were cut so close to the fringe that you might need to drop yourself into a bunker just to read your putt from behind the ball.  

On other holes, a hole will be positioned at the very apex of a buried elephant on the green.  It is so severe a slope that all putts will need to go in the hole or your next shot might be made from the 100 yard marker.

Sometimes you will find the entire round of golf with these "anomalies".  Sometimes, it is just the way that the golf course plays.  While, other times, it is not by accident. 

Here are a few reasons for harsh hole locations:

- Someone actually DID put wasabi in the Super's breakfast.
- There are weather and course conditions that require them to preserve and protect the greens from traffic and wear.
-  A noteworthy tournament is scheduled to be played there soon and they want to preserve the decided upon pin positions.
-  And finally and quite often:  There is a hot-shot player coming by to play at the club, and the greens committee wants to toughen things up to defend their turf.

Regardless of the reason, don't attack the sucker pins!  Aim for the middle of the greens, and whenever possible - try to leave yourself uphill putts.  Otherwise, you might join a long list of players on that day who would have preferred to have missed their tee time.

Francis Westmoreland, Head Greenskeeper

Tees Bagged

Redesigning a few holes at Islandwood Country Club was not met with universal approval to say the least.  

We are simply planning on moving the tees back on # 1 and #5 as well as turning the par four 12th into a par 5.

Well, the Islandwood Senior Mens and Senior Ladies Groups were none too pleased.  In fact, in a unified protest, they took over the entire pro shop this afternoon to show their solidarity against any changes that lengthens their golf course.  

Leonard "Popeye" Doyle (red jacket) summed up their feelings this way: 

"We'll accept absolutely no changes to the length of our golf course. Let them start elsewhere at the club!  

Raise the tennis court nets a foot to start, then add three extra pins to knock down in our bowling alley. Heck, make the shooting clay pigeons the size of a silver dollar.  Come talk to us after that.

We will occupy our pro shop until the plans are scrapped."

This might take a while.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional


Restless Leg - How the 2014 PGA Ended Like An Emergency Nine

Empty legs.  Simple.  And no, that does not describe how John Daly managed to consume enough Miller Lites to kill a thousand razorbacks.  It was about logistics, money, big business, and private aviation.

Who flies privately these days as it relates to Sunday at a Major?  Well, let's see.  At least three quarters of the players and their families - check.  Top Sponsors - check.  Television execs- check.  Golf associations' top officials- check.  Johnny Miller's Ego- check.  (Johnny himself is in business class ordering food and beverages that are "very makeable".)

So here come the last few groups being herded towards the finish like anxious sheep by the toe-tapping border collies disguised as PGA officials.  It looked like our own Mr. Luddingsworth III at dusk desperately trying to win a five-dollar back-nine press at Islandwood Country Club for the first time ever.  But, I digress.

Private jets (like commercial airliners) are made to be in the air or waiting at a regional airport for as short a period of time possible for its next "leg".  An empty leg is when the jet is not in use due to weather, lack of bookings, maintenance, cancellations, delays, or similar inability to get from one place to another.

An empty leg is expensive.  Very expensive.  If an aircraft is booked fully and properly, an unexpected empty leg affects the next leg, the next leg, the next etc.  In that case, there is a scramble to get a plane of the same class (type) for the next few day's and week's private flyers because the plane that is expected to be available for them going forward is sitting on an airstrip with a hundred or so others somewhere near Kentucky.

You get the picture if there was Monday golf action I assume?  In private aviation there is rarely a "next flight" you can be squeezed onto.  Best case is that you share rides if there's room with someone going your way.  Not likely.

So it is getting dark, and all of these mile highers are getting antsy.  They may have meetings on Monday, players with a paid appearance or charity tournament, final summer family vacations starting, a board meeting, a tee time, a child's birthday, not wanting to spend another night in the g'dam hotel  --  any number of things.

So they allow their expected and desired winner - who only has a thin one stroke lead by the way - to bull rush the 18th and play up on the second to last group.  Accomplishing absolutely nothing, and completely throwing off the challengers' rhythm, blowing their minds, and erasing their time advantage.

This only occurs on THE LAST HOLE OF A MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP!!  Why do that in an event that everyone involved has spent millions of hours and dollars on?

And remember, the winner and his escort is not all that far removed from winning closest to the cul-de-sac on #10 that Sunday at Augusta.  Anything could have happened under these circumstances.

Clearly put: Blame it on Private aviation.  You could feel it, see it, and it reeked of it.

How the Interim Assistant Golf Coach at Arizona State kept his composure, we'll never know.  Not sure he did based on reports from the tent.  Look for details of his take in his first book when he gets around to buying Amazon.

One of the first quotes from Rory after the win, pretty much verbatim, was:  "I am just happy to get on that plane and be able to get the heck out of here tonight."

Now you know exactly what he meant.  And everyone was flying high at 30,000 feet that evening.  Except the fans and a small piece of the PGA's integrity.

Tom Clooney, Head Golf Professional


The Ladies Vroooom...

We are very excited to announce that Islandwood has taken delivery of two additional "Ladies Vrooms".

Since the ladies 18-holers took a "stand" against the mens groups' ability to enter the wooded areas for relief, we have endeavored to provide some discreet equality.

The first two Vrooms were so popular, that we were able to budget for two additional mobile latrines. They will be strategically placed on the front and back nines so that our lady members and guests can hit the woods as effectively as the men.

As requested, we have also glued the seat permanently in the down position.  Anything for our members!

Francis Westmoreland, Club Superintendent/Greenskeeper, Islandwood C.C.


Dead Salad Perfect

Quick, healthy and delicious lunch at the turn. Islandwood's zesty Chicken Salad.

Ingredients (for one serving):

- 2 lean boneless chicken breasts
- 1 large beefsteak tomato
- sliced pineapple
- 4 ounces juice of pineapple
- lettuce, pepperocini, green olives
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- Cracked peppercorns and salt and paprika to taste
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley


A. Grill chicken over medium heat for about 3 minutes each side. Set aside.
B. Carefully core your tomato and slice vertically about 3/4 way to the bottom five times around (as shown)
C. Combine cooled chicken with mayo, pineapple juice, pepper, salt and parsley
D. Layer plate with lettuce leaves, pepperocini, olives and pineapple slices
E. Stuff tomato with the chicken salad, sprinkle with paprika and crushed black pepper

Great with an Arnold Palmer with plenty of ice...

Roland Livingston, Executive Chef, Islandwood C.C.