Ralph Paone, who will represent the Naval Academy golf course in the U.S. Junior Amateur championships at Ohio State University, July 26-30, has drawn a distinguished name for a partner -- Jack W. Nicklaus II.
Young Nicklaus, who plays to a two handicap, will be 16 in August. His father reports that the youngster likes other sports as well, if not better than golf.
Jack Nicklaus I never won the U.S. junior title. He played as a 17-year-old in the 1957 championships held at Manor Country Club and was eliminated in the first round.
Dick Harris, son of baseball Hall of Famer Bucky Harris, is president of Springfield Golf and Country Club. Dick who had a tryout with the Senaters, has a son, Glen, 16, who is undecided between a career in baseball or in golf. The young Harris qualified for the Bobby Bowers Memorial Junior championship at Springfield last week with a 76. He's lefthanded, except when playing golf.
Springfield proved itself a model host for the Bowers event. The members joined in enthusiastically and had the youngsters as guests in their homes for the entire tournament. The final Thursday between Joe Sadowsky and Ken Stauffer drew a crowd of more than 200.
The United States Golf Association is concerned about the growing commercialization of junior golf. The USGA has drawn up a set of guidelines, the most important of which is that a junior's amateur status is threatened if the expenses of his or her parent or guardian is paid to an event, or if a junior who is permitted expenses - allows his or her name or likeness as a golfer to be used in any way for the advertisement, sale or promotion of a product."
A couple of years ago, Joe Walter of Baltimore made a hole in one in a tournament in which a new car was offered for an ace. He had to turn it down.
Montgomery Village has a crossover system from 7 to 9 a.m. on weekends. The success of the system depends on everyone playing his first nine holes in two hours.
Occasionally, some slow players have upset the schedule, so Don Gundry, the head pro, came up with a solution. Those who do not make the turn in two hours lose starting times for two weeks. If, however, a lead foursome forces the slowdown, that foursome is the only one penalized. The first week, there were four foursomes set down for slow play. Since than, there have been no problems.
The Maryland State Women's Amateur championship starts Monday at Chestnut Ridge in Baltimore and goes through Friday. And the District Golf Association men's championship begins Thursday at Indian Spring. Tournaments like this are not always received wholeheartedly by members of the host clubs. Many balk at holding tournaments that tie up their course for most of week. Also this week, Tantallon and Leesburg will have junior tournaments while the District championship is being played at Indian Spring.
Hap Spuhler, director of athletics at George Mason University in Fairfax points out that John Long, who gained the quarter finals of the recent Virginia State Amateur championship at Washington Golf and Country Club, is a former golf captain at GMU, as is Dave Allen, former District champion. The two teamed in the Belle Haven Four Ball tournament this spring and did very well.
Spuhler pointed out that his school is struggling for recognition and often is overlooked. "We realize we are getting a little more indentity for our program each year." says Spuhler, "but also realize we still have a long way to go."