To the Editor:
A stiff wind blowing in from the southwest curled the collars of the 70 golfers at the sixth annual Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard Golf Classic on the last Sunday of summer. But with an ample supply of Back Door apple fritters and doughnuts, and plenty of hot coffee prepared by a score of Hospice volunteers, the talk soon turned to “Good to see you again” and “Let’s make lots of birdies,” as the field headed out to do battle.
New to the competition this year was an online auction featuring VIP packages from the Celtics and Red Sox, with the bidding due to end an hour after the end of play. Since the use of cell phones is frowned on at most golf clubs, including Mink Meadows where the competition is held,
it made for the unusual sight of a chalkboard on the clubhouse wall announcing the ever-changing auction prices. It was as if the 1920s had suddenly returned to Mink Meadows, when golf was first played with hickory-shaft clubs named “mashie” and “niblick,” and the
rudimentary balls were not nearly as user-friendly.
But even though the winds kept howling, they couldn’t stop a birdie barrage from a couple of teams. This was a handicap competition, so the eventual winners, who made 12 birdies on their way to a net 60, was the team of Dave Bettencourt, Keith Fullin, T.R. Fullin, and Jayme Baker.
The other winners, with 13 birdies, were the team of Mike Magaraci, Mike Peters, Jarda Kral, Sean Fitzpatrick, and Colin Murphy.
The big winner of the online auction was lifetime Celtics fan Laury Binney of West Tisbury, who remarked that “sitting courtside and watching the new and improved Celtics will be sheer joy.”
Dick Barbini of Edgartown won the Red Sox seats, and suddenly had a lot of new friends.
As the players dispersed and the signs of 25 tee sponsors fluttered in the breeze, the nonprofit’s new executive director, Tom Hallahan, thanked the Island community for making the biggest winner on the day Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, one of the few free hospices in all of America.