Article Contributed by
Lakewood Rod & Gun Club
What started in 2005 as an idea of Art Asquith, which had been fermenting in his head for years, finally came into being. Art contacted Chautauqua Golf Course head pro Stan Marshaus and asked if he would be interested in hosting over forty senior golfers on a Monday for a low fee including a pop and a hotdog. Stan enthusiastically offered to host the first match. When Art explained the idea of having a “Senior Golf Tour”, Stan thought it was a great idea and that other courses would be certain to participate.
In the first four years of existence, the Golf Tour grew to over 150 golfers participating and over 20 area courses on board. The founding concept of the Golf Tour was to have seniors over 60 years old, play golf inexpensively, have fun, enjoy competition, while playing with different partners each week on a variey of courses. Art enlisted the help of area friends and golfers to form the first steering committee. Some of the early committee members were Rick Brown, Tony Barone, Jim Sorg, Merle Elkin and Charlie Avery. The current committee consists of Harry Trippett, Jim Rissel, Randy Carlson, Merle Elkin, Pat Hepinger, Tuck Underwood, and Jim Fincher.
In the early years, scheduling and foursomes were constructed by pen and paper. With the computer skills of Charlie Avery and purchased golf management software, the tasks of scheduling, pairing and handicapping because much easier. The Tour has six different flights and uses the Modified Stableford System for scoring. This allows players of different skill levels to enjoy golf and compete for prizes. Members of the committee took responsibility for the tasks of making signs, collecting and managing money, distributing prizes, registering golfers at each event and calling subs. As the years passed, other members have stepped forward to replace the original committee members and to keep the Golf Tour operating. In addition, the league has Tour clothing for sale to unite our members in dress. Our goldenrod colored hats really stand out on the course, along with golf shirts, golf shells, ball markers, etc. The Tour also enjoyed the sponsorship of McDonalds for many years.
At our fall banquet held in October, the committee renamed the Senior Golf Tour as “The Art Asquith Senior Golf Tour” in honor of the man whose idea gave birth to the Tour and has been the guiding force since its beginning. Art has decided it’s time to step back and have the current committee manage the Tour.
The Art Asquith Senior Golf Tour will be entering its twelfth year this spring. Registration will take place on April 18th at 11:00 a.m. at the Lakewood Rod & Gun Club. Information can be accessed at our web site: www.sgolftour.com. If anyone has any questions concerning the Tour, they can call Pat Hepinger at 716.397.8934 or Harry Trippett at 716.485.6790.