Jerry McFerren, one of a handful of scratch amateur golfers in this area, is moving to Phoenix. McFerren plans to maintain a nonresident membership at Crofton Country Club and commute here for some major tournaments.
Commuting is nothing new for McFerren, 41, the 1976 Maryland Amateur champion and runner-up the same year in the D.C. Amateur. He is a Trans World Airlines pilot. For seven years he has commuted between New York, from where he flies international routes, and here.
He will join the Moon Valley Country Club in Phoenix and eventually will fly L-1011s on domestic routes out of San Francisco. McFerren figures that flying domestic routes is less tiresome and will give him more time for golf.
"I intend to come back here and play in the Middle Atlantic Amateur, the Crofton Invitational and the Eastern Four-Ball, if Marty West invites me," McFerren said Friday as he finished packing at his Crofton home.
McFerren is one of the most reconizable names in area golf. His father, Bill, is one of the region's top seniors. Wife Pat is women's club champion at Crofton, and they may be the only husband-wife club chamion tandem in this area.
Jerry McFerren's area golf career goes back to the 1950s. He was Frank Emmet's first area junior-golfer-of-the-year, in 1954, and won the Western Junior championship in 1955. He attended Maryland and played on an NCAA runner-up team that included current PGA Commissioner Deane Beman and noted teaching pro Carl Lohren.
The Belle Haven Four-Ball Tournament, the area's first major amateur championship, is assured a new team champion. Bob Boyd, who won last year with University of Maryland teammate Bob Darling, has turned pro.
Darling will play this year with Frank Reese, another Maryland standout.
The tournament already will have its usual big names, with former Walker Cup players Vinny Giles and Marty West already entered.
Giles will play with Dave Wysong, the tournament director. West is teamed with fellow Colubia Country Club member Jerry Nye. Other strong teams entered are Charlie Holden, Belle Haven-Moss Beecraft, Newport News; Dave King, Bethesda-Dave Pelz, Greencastle, and Henri deLozier-Parky Cullinane, both from Columbia.
Max Elbin, Burning Tree Club pro and former PGA president, watched Severiano Ballesteros in the recent Masters tournament and was enamored with the style of the 21-year-old Spaniard.
"He was not only the longest off the tee, but plays with reckless abandon," said Elbin. "He doesn't play safe, he slashes at the ball, like Palmer when he first began. He's a very bright young star."
There was a time when the Middle Atlantic PGA pro-arms never started until after daylight saving's time began. But now the pro-ams starts in early April and MAPGA members have a potential 63 tournament days this season.
The early pro-ams at Montclair and Eagleshead drew very small fields, but the $3,000-added 36-hole Shannon Green event tomorrow and Tuesday in Fredericksburg, Va., has drawn a full 64-pro field.
That means there will be 256 players in this event, and the last scheduled starting time is 2:30 p.m. Daylight saving time is another week away. And the question is: How many foursomes will be unable to complete play before darkness?
Shorts: The Middle Atlantic junior championships have been rescheduled Thursday, July 26 at River Bend Country Club . . . . Holes in one are fairly common, but J.G. Murdock III pulled a rarity at Congressional this month. He made aces on consecutive Sundays, first on the second hole, then on the 18th . . . The PGA has granted Billy Casper a special exemption to play in the PGA tournament Aug. 3-6 at Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburgh.