The NJSGA concluded its 2019 Member Golf Day schedule with the third of its popular Best-Ball-of-Four formats at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale. 

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The team of Joe DiBartolo, Louis Salerno, James Murphy and Joe Longobardi combined for a net 17-under-par 54 to win Monday’s Fall Best-Ball-of-Four event.

The team of Deock Suh, Daniel Roh, Victor Joo and Hank Rehrer were awarded second place on a match of cards, while the squad of Alan Adamiak, George Dellisanti, David Rittinger and Don Priff placed third. Both teams tied at 14-under-par 57.

“We kept it in the fairway and putted really well. The soft conditions allowed the balls to hold the greens. The conditions were really nice,” said DiBartolo, who plays out of Bella Vista. Murphy, of Glenwood, sank a 35-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole to highlight the round.  

The NJSGA and the Caribbean island of St. Kitts conducted a season-long promotion, offering a random winner a free golf vacation to St. Kitts and Nevis for two. The package includes two rounds of golf per person, three nights at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel and free breakfast each day.

The winner, drawn on Monday, was Frank Schwindel, who participated in the Member Golf Day at Metuchen Golf and Country Club. The promotion was based on the number of Member Golf Day appearances for individuals, and the amenities (for two) include a three-night stay at the Royal St. Kitts Hotel, breakfast each day, two rounds of golf (each), and airport transfer.

Jack McCardle of Madison participated in his sixth Member Golf Day of the Year after playing the same number in the previous year.

“To be able to play on all of these private golf courses is such a treat, and at a reasonable price,” said McCardle, 60, who plays mainly at Morris County public courses.  “If you’re into golf, it’s a great day and the NJSGA treats everybody so well. It’s such a great benefit they offer to their members.

“I’ve been retired for five years and have a lot of time to play. I can’t wait to see what courses are available for next year.”

One women’s foursome, comprised of Grace Ciampi, Lavinia Ruby, Pat Larkin and Lisa Scarfuto, competed.

“I’m playing today and wearing pink to support my friend, Judy Winter, a breast cancer survivor, who loves playing in Member Golf Days. She’s not here because she’s on vacation in Egypt,” Ciampi said. “This is a great day out with friends and I really like the competition. Anybody can win.”

The 13-event season equalled the same number of Member Golf Days from the previous year; all events maintained strong attendance with sellouts at multiple venues.

NJSGA Director of Handicapping and Membership Services, Rich Kennedy, was pleased with the Best-Ball-of-Four Stableford format, as well as the Member Golf Day season in general.

“Most of these four-person teams are composed of friends getting together, which adds to the fun. Participation this season was very strong. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. We’re fulfilling a golf need in the State of New Jersey with these events,” Kennedy said.

“We’ve seen a lot of new faces this year, which is a good sign, and we’ve also seen a lot of familiar faces. The demand to play in these events has gone up. Places like Hollywood, Echo Lake, Rumson, and the Ridge at Back Brook sell out quickly. We had another sellout today (Eagle Oaks) and Crestmont sold out last year, the first time we offered the Best-Ball-of-Four format.

“Whether we have a full field or less, it still adds up to a great day for the players and a great day for the clubs,” Kennedy stated. “The clubs love having us. They give good feedback about our participants, about their etiquette, how happy they are to be there and the way they take care of the golf course. We are fortunate to have such passionate golfers in our state.”

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