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Golf

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The 30th annual Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club golf tournament will be held Saturday, September 6, at the Edgartown Golf Club. The format is four-player scramble, with shotgun starts at 8 am and 1 pm, rain or shine. The tax-deductible entry fee is $100 per player, $400 per team. Entry includes 18 holes of golf, a player gift, greens and cart fees, practice green time, continental breakfast, on-course contests and prizes, and trophies for the top three teams. Lunch is provided between morning and afternoon groups. The field is limited to 100 players (25 foursomes).

Registration is open at Edgartown Golf Club only. Visit or call the EGC at 508-627-5343 to register. Space is limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Visit edgartowngolfclub.com for more information about the beautiful host course.

For more information about the event, contact Peter Lambos at 508-627-3303 or bgclub@vineyard.net.

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A round of golf in the summer can be pretty pricey but there are ways to lower the cost.

President Barack Obama, shown here on the first day of his 2013 vacation at Farm Neck Golf Course in Oak Bluffs, is among the many Island visitors who spend time on the links on Martha's Vineyard. — File photo by Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald

Affordable golf. On Martha’s Vineyard? In the summer? Actually, yeah. In fact, there’s even an inexpensive option.

Island golf courses appear to have constructed a fee schedule designed to maximize income during the season and still provide affordable in-season golf to a pretty passionate group of year-round Island golfers who hold a resident membership in one of the Island’s many clubs and visitors able to play at off-peak times. Affordable off-season and winter memberships are offered by Edgartown and by Mink Meadows. Off-season rates at Island courses are in line with off-Island courses.

One might think the five courses here would probe the outer limits of pricing as Island purveyors sometimes do. But that’s not the case with golf.

Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs and the Edgartown Golf Club have not raised prices in years, and while in-season midday rates are zesty, $160 at Farm Neck, reading the small print can get you on for just a few dollars more than nearby off-Island public courses charge in-season. Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown is a members-only club and doesn’t have public play or rates.

Courses in upscale communities such as Pembroke, Wayland, and Scituate feature greens fees with a cart in the $60-70 range for 18 holes. Pinehills in Plymouth, a top-quality course, gets $100-110 for 18 holes and a cart in season and charges about the same as Farm Neck and Edgartown for early and late day rounds. Mink Meadows is less expensive than Pinehills for off-peak tee times.

You can play Farm Neck early in the day for as little as $80, half its midday in-season rate. Edgartown plays all day for $70, though you need to play a round with a member before earning three additional rounds at that price without a member present. Mink Meadows in Tisbury offers 18 holes for $95, with a cart for $113, midday in-season, but you can play nine early for $35, or $46 with a cart. Play nine late in the day for $45, $56 with a cart at Mink.

“I think Island golf fees are reasonable,” Mark Hess, general manager at Edgartown Golf Club said this week. “Our rates have remained the same for about five years. And relative to resort areas, golf rates here are really reasonable. Go to Hilton Head [S.C.]: you’re looking at $150 or more easily. There are fair rates out there and you ought to be able to get on. The number of Island golf courses is sufficient to meet demand.”

Farm Neck is humming along nicely, head pro Don Costello said. “Our rates have been unchanged for three years,” he said. “Greens fees at other top-rated resorts are two or three times higher than ours. The number of rounds are up this season. Our pro shop does a good volume of business. We have top brands and we’re less expensive than the (golf) warehouses. We see it as a service for Island golfers for their clubs and equipment.”

But the hands-down most affordable, and probably the coolest golf experience you’ll ever have, is offered by The Ancient and Honorable Chappaquiddick Links (AHCL) on North Neck Road on Chappaquiddick.

This 105-year old course was built by and is maintained by descendants of the Marshall family which owns the property and attendant buildings. It’s nine holes, and a classic Chappy experience. Featuring two par 4s and seven par 3s, the 1,325 yard beauty wends its way along the Cape Poge Bay shoreline. The family maintains the rustic course as a matter of love.

“No, it’s not a moneymaker,” said Brad Woodger, who manages and maintains the course for the family. The AHCL, also known as the Island Ball Watchers Society, is real golf presented in a droll, understated Island way.

It’s a private club, which actually means pretty much anyone can play at a rate of $40 a round, though recognized Islanders often get a discount. There is still be an honor box for off-season golfers. Sir Reginald the Crow is the course mascot and logo-bearer and keeps an eye on all things golf. The Ancient and Honorable is reluctantly up for sale by the family. Golf course, main house, outbuildings and 18 acres for $12.5 million. No buyer yet.

Mr. Hess and Mr. Costello play Chappy and enjoy it. “It’s really a fun course and golf doesn’t come any more affordably,” Mr. Costello said.

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From left: Collin Boyd, Griffin Allen, Jeff Whittaker, Scott Fraumini, and William Brown, Jr. took first place with a score of 56.0. — Photo by Heather Tilton

The 20th annual Children’s Benefit Golf Tournament was held on a beautiful spring Sunday at Farm Neck in Oak Bluffs. The event raises more than $35,000 annually for the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Morton Financial, The Edgartown National Bank, and Vineyard Vines were the major sponsors of the event.

Steve Mussell drives off the first tee.
Steve Mussell drives off the first tee.

The quintet of Collin Boyd, Griffin Allen, Jeff Whittaker, Scott Fraumini, and William Brown Jr. came in first place with a score of 56.0. Mark Lucier, Mike Lynch, Chris Boyle, Jeff Norton, and John Farrington took second (58.0). Third place belonged to Bill Cleary, Rob Baker, Greg Monka, Patrick Echlin, and John Shepard (58.2). Julia Murray, aged nine, won the A. Donald McGrath Youngest Golfer Award.

For more information about the tournament and the charities, visit www.mvbgclub.org/golf.