5/13/21 – Congratulations to Nick Speliopoulos for his 5th Hole in One  on #7 on the Championship Course. 
Silver Tees – Blue Flag (170 yds) – Taylormade M4 #5 Hybrid – Taylormade “A” ball
Nick and Ken Schwoerer watched as the shot went straight at the flag bounced on the front of the green and rolled into the cup!

We Made It! 

As I began to write this note, I reflected back on our first Men’s Club Board meeting of the current season last October.  We were in the throes of COVID-19, with California averaging 3,000 new cases per day.  We were unsure if it would get worse (it did!) or what rules and policies would be implemented to deal with the pandemic.  But we were sure that we would do our best to try to have a golf season that was as “normal” as it could be.  

One of the earliest impacts of COVID was the big reduction in Men’s Club members who returned for this season – particularly the Canadians.  We look forward to a much more normalized year next year, and hope to be able to welcome back as many of those former members as possible.  

The most tragic impact of COVID was the loss of Jewell Manspeaker.  I suppose we can feel lucky that the pandemic did not take a broader toll in Palm Valley, but even one person like Jewell was a very difficult loss to handle.  

We began the year with our first ever video presentation to the membership.  With no gathering after Opening Day, the best way to get our welcome-back message to everyone was to host it on the website in a video format.  Another major first was the introduction of the Masters’ Tees, which has been received with significant approval.  If you didn’t have a chance to play these tees (a combo of the White Tees and Silver Tees), give them a try. 

Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Jim Ivy and his Tournament Committee (Mike Walker, Board Secretary Sheldon Smith, Bob Payne, Fred Bowser and Chris Tallen) the season actually happened.  From Opening Day through the Pasta Challenge, these guys pulled off the impossible by giving us 14 wonderful events. There were the inevitable changes mandated due to COVID-19, including no rakes in the sand traps, one person to a cart, flag sticks remaining in the cup, social distancing, putter-bumps after a round, limited food and beverage gatherings after the event, and remote raffles.  Perhaps the most impactful change of all was the elimination of shotgun starts, which mandated maximum participation at 104 golfers in an event, versus the normal 120.  But we overcame every challenge, learned to recognize each other even when we were masked, and played some great golf!

The biggest change to the tournament lineup was replacing the 45 with the COVID Cup.  Gary Lennon (with help from Board Treasurer Neil Machlis and Bob Payne) did an astonishing job in conceiving, designing, publicizing and orchestrating the event.  It was wildly successful, and will certainly find its way (probably with a new name) into the lineup for next year.  Plans are to resume the 45 next year – bigger and better than ever before!  And let’s not forget that this year the Lady 18 Holers expanded their event offerings with the first-ever Sadie Hawkins coed scramble.

On a related issue, the Desert Valley League suspended team play for this season.  Palm Valley’s Team did get together to play a round among themselves once a month this season, but Captain Gary Fox and his team members are looking forward to full inter-club play resuming next year.

With no leaderboards, the tournament results found a new home on the Men’s Club website.  Gary Doyen worked closely with the pro shop staff to ensure the results were quickly available online.  He has also been tireless in his efforts to add punch and pizzazz to the homepage.  Gary’s efforts, along with the rest of the Board constantly reminding everyone to use the website more often, have resulted in average “hits” increasing 100% over last year.

Larry Maw and his Membership Committee deftly handled all administrative and operational issues from billing members to overseeing the publication of the roster book to assigning big brothers to those new members who wanted one.

During this season long-time Board members Howard Kaplan and Ted Wilson retired from the Board – and Pete Fortenberry finished his year as Past President.  We owe all three of them a debt of gratitude for their unflagging efforts toward making the Palm Valley Men’s Club the success it has become. In March, Kevin Kellerman, Adam Schaller and Chris Tallen were elected to the Board, along with Neil Machlis who was reelected and will continue his tenure as Treasurer. 

No season retrospective – particularly in this strangest of years – would be complete without recognizing PVCC staff.  Malia Folquet, Bryan Miller and Diane Richey were unflagging in their  efforts to make all our events run smoothly.  Chef Christian and Debi Capestrini – working with Chris Tallen – provided food and service that was remarkable in light of the ever-shifting constraints within which they had to work.  Finally, through his leadership and communication skills, Hale Kelly provided the backdrop to make all of this possible.

Stay well.  Stay safe. Have a great summer.  I look forward to seeing everyone back in the fall so we can play some real golf.


Handicap News from Chairman Gary Lennon and Committee members Chuck Bija and Bud Slobodian:

The newly-restructured  Handicap Committee consists of Gary Lennon (Chairman), Chuck Bija and Bud Slobodian. With the Men’s Club Board’s help and direction, the Committee is hard at work prioritizing their functions – stressing issues that impact the way we play here at PVCC and the way we structure our tournaments.  All this needs to happen while maintaining compliance with the SCGA/USGA. 

The basis of having a fair and equitable Club Handicap System lies in the members’ hands. Individuals must post their scores in an accurate and timely fashion.  Since 1/1/2020 when the USGA adopted The World Handicap System (including updating a player’s index daily), a “timely fashion” means you must post your score the day you play.

A recent review of our active members shows that there are many players who are not currently posting in a timely fashion.  This may be caused by the year of the Pandemic, or the fact that you have to wear a mask to go to the posting kiosk in the Men’s Locker Room, or maybe you’re having technical difficulties with the mobile app or on-line software at home.  All of these issues can easily be overcome.  Just ask for help.  The bottom line is, as PVCC Men’s Club Members – with official GHIN indexes – it is our responsibility to post scores accurately and timely.

 Questions or comments can be addressed to Gary Lennon (631-707-4772) or (glnot49@mac.com) or the other Handicap Committee members.  


2021 Overseeding Date Closures

Championship Course, Driving Range & Putting Green
·       Closes – October 4, 2021
·       Opens – November 6, 2021

Challenge Course
·       Closes – October 25, 2021
·       Opens – November 22, 2021

Chipping & Pitching Greens
Closes – November 8, 2021
·       Opens – December 8, 2021