Andy Stynchula, tournament chairmen, wasted no time yesterday in laying the ground rules for the first NFL Alumni Washington Chapter Golf tournament at Indian Spring Country Club.
"We'll make it as easy for you as we can," he said as the 33 fivesomes waited for the shotgun start of the scramble event. "Winter rules everywhere -- the fairway, the rough, the sand traps."
For most, it was a day to renew old acquaintances -- "Hi chubby," Roy Jefferson said to now-artist George Nock, when he saw his old teammate -- and help out the alumni's Dire Need Fund and its two youth charities, the Special Olympics and Pop Warner football.
Some took their golf seriously; most didn't.
Terry Hermeling, the Redskin tackle, made an eagle deuce on the 426-yard par 4 third hole. Playing off his own drive, Hermeling hit his second shot into the hole on two bounces.
That helped his team, which included Woodlawn pro Dennis O'Leary, a close friend of Stynchula's who brought a foursome from his club at $300 per man. The team was five under par at 65, six strokes behind the winning team, captained by former Redskin and Colt linebacker Mike Curtis.
Curtis played with a foursome from Prince George's Country Club and they took their golf seriously, coming to Indian Spring on Friday for a practice round. His winning partners were Bill Baker, John Jenkins, Erik Joki and Joe Fantozzi. Curtis, who underwent ankle surgery a month ago, helped on only a couple of shots, but the fivesome hit 17 greens in regulation.
They won a free trip to the national championship in August at Firestone Country Club, Akron, Ohio.
Hobnobbing with football stars was not their purpose for paying the $300.
"We wanted the free trip to Akron. That was our whole reason for coming," Joki said.
Finishing in a tie for second with eight-under-par 62s were teams captained by NFL Hall of Famer Dick (Night Train) Lane and former Redskin running back Jim Podoley.
At one stage, after Hermeling's team birdied the 466-yard, par five 12th hole which is the easiest birdie on the Chief course, Hermeling said, "A par would have been like making a bogey on that hole."
In another fivesome, which included two good celebrity players in Ralph Guglielmi and Rod Breedlove, each player in the group missed eight-foot putts for birdie. "That's like making a bogey," said Guglielmi.
Guglielmi's team was one of two for the day to report no card.
The fivesome that drew the biggest gallery, including a majority of female volunteers, was captained by quarterback Joe Theismann and included linebacker Pete Wysocki. It was one fo the less serious groups, but still finished six under par.
"I don't understand this," Theismann said, approaching the ninth green. "Wysocki's carrying the fivesome. It's ruining the reputation of quarterbacks."
Wysocki was wearing two wristwatches. "One's daylight savings; the other's daylight wasting time," he explained. He said he let Theismann and the other partners take care of the short game.
It not only was a day for Redskins and their alumni. "The Baltimore Colts are here; the Baltimore Colts are here," Mike McCormack, the one-time Redskin assistant and new Baltimore coach, announced, as he got out of his car at the main entrance.
Jim Ricca, a Redskin alumnus, noticed Marion Motley, the Cleveland Brown running star of another era.
"My wife saw him at the party last night," Ricca recalled, "and told him 'My husband made you a star. He had cleat marks on his chest for a year.'"