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Chip Shots: Don’t Let the Rain Reign

Richard Heathcote, Getty Images

I know, I know. The longest winter has turned into the wettest spring, and it all adds up to golf lovers and course owners feeling, well, depressed. I’m here to tell you to have hope, for better weather has to be coming, and soon.

In the meantime, if you enjoy a good walk with friends and don’t mind less than ideal conditions, you can STILL get out there and swing the sticks. And hitting a golf ball, even if it’s soggy, is better than sitting on your duff watching golf on TV!

I’ve had a chance to play Bar Harbor Golf Course in Trenton; Hermon Meadow, and Bangor Muni. In every case, the courses were in good shape considering the weather conditions, and well worth the time. I’m actually getting excited about the season as I’m already playing bogey golf and making some good swings, so I know when things firm up I should see improvements in my scoring.

At this time I believe nearly all courses from Old Town south are open for business. I just saw a post on Facebook from Hidden Meadows in Old Town saying they are now open (albeit with a few temporary greens). Joe Perdue is making some nice improvements at this nice nine-hole course, so it’s worth a trip to check it out.

And if it happens to be raining on the one day of the week you were planning to play, don’t forget the indoor golf option; with simulators at Barnes Brook in Enfield, Traditions in Holden, and Rocky Knoll in Orrington. Hey, it’s either that or Wii Golf!

Professional Golf a Mixed Bag
In what was, in my opinion, a lackluster weekend for the PGA, Seung-Yul Noh, the 22-year-old South Korean, overcame windy conditions by shooting a 1-under 71 on Sunday to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by two shots at 19-under.

To my mind, Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner who had the gallery behind him, choked. Instead of asserting himself early he played himself right out of contention by the sixth hole, notching a triple-bogey.

On the other hand, kudos to the LPGA for a very compelling tournament at the inaugural Swinging Skirts Classic on Sunday at Lake Merced Golf Club, near San Francisco.

Rookie Lydia Ko used her deft touch around the greens to earn her first LPGA Tour victory as a professional, but it was tight the entire day as Stacy Lewis and Jenny Shin were also playing well. The final outcome was in doubt right up to the 18th hole, where Ko managed a tough birdie, besting Lewis by one stroke and Shin by two.

What’s on the Pro Schedule for the Upcoming Week?
The PGA travels to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Wells Fargo Championship. Let’s see if Phil can make a run at this one.

The women will be playing at the North Texas LPGA Shootout Presented by JTBC in Irving. Will Stacy Lewis win in her home state?

Next Week’s Chip Shots Program
We’re going to welcome the month of May with special guest Joe Perdue, owner of Hidden Meadows in Old Town and certified PGA teaching professional. I’ll also be giving a pro golf update and sharing the results of my participation in the ReMax Long Drive Contest qualifier, which is set for May 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pine Hill in Brewer. You can participate by simply showing up that day and registering (entry fees are $20 or $40, depending on your division). C’mon out and join me!

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