Tags Posts tagged with "Golf"

Golf

by -
0 1473
A golfer lines up his shot at Simplay in Hauppauge. Photo from Paul Muto

The sports are simulated, but the uniqueness of this new Hauppauge business is very much real.

Simplay, located at 180 Commerce Drive, opened its doors back in November in the heart of the Hauppauge Industrial Park as Long Island’s largest simulated sports arena, but its offerings go much further than just virtual driving ranges. Former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Wyllie, who opened Simplay alongside co-owner Chuck Merritt, said his business has wide appeal to the full gamut of people in the greater Smithtown community, acting as place to blow off steam in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, kids’ birthday parties, baby showers, corporate events and more.

“Chuck and I shared a vision of bringing an unprecedented simulated sports and indoor country club offering to the Long Island community,” Wyllie said. “We’ve worked hard and built the stadium, so to speak, and are confident the players will want to come.”

Simplay is a 15,000-square-foot space filled with simulators that customers can rent on an hourly basis either in-store or online. But when they are not golfing, patrons can also kick back in front of any of the 14 high definition televisions throughout the facility, or hit the fully stocked bar near the front entrance.

Chris Wyllie plays hockey at Simplay in Hauppauge. Photo by Phil Corso
Chris Wyllie plays hockey at Simplay in Hauppauge. Photo by Phil Corso

For the average businessperson spending their time at the industrial park, Simplay serves as a place to blend work and play, Wyllie said. Deals could virtually be brokered over a leisurely game of virtual golf, or over the facility’s indoor putting green.

For the recreational golfer, Simplay boasts its array of 87 different Professional Golfers’ Association courses to hone skills on, whether it’s during a lunch hour or after hours.

“There are only a few places on Long Island with golf simulators, but nobody has the multi-sport applications that we do,” Merritt said. “We hope to be that go-to destination on Long Island.”

For the family, there is even more up for grabs, Wyllie said. In an attempt to keep the young ones occupied while the “grown-ups” work on their strokes, simulators could be transformed into virtual hockey arenas, football games or even zombie dodgeball bouts.

“It’s a big deal to people to know that we are very serious about golfing,” Wyllie said. “But all these others things we offer are important because they take this out of seasonality and allow anyone to let loose.”

In the back of Simplay, Wyllie and his partner Merritt crafted two VIP rooms and a 4,000-square-foot venue room they said was ideal for business meetings and corporate functions. It’s enough options to make someone’s head spin, but the co-owners said that was the goal, because their facility was multifaceted for different uses.

And to keep the community ties strong, Simplay has already reached out to various golf teams based out of Smithtown schools as a potential place to host practices and team events, Wyllie said. Such things, he said, could lead to more collaborative plans like golf leagues and more to attract patrons from not only Smithtown, but greater Long Island.

“There is a tremendous need for something like this in this community, we believe,” he said. “We haven’t even tapped into 50 percent of what we can offer since opening yet. There’s more to come.”

by -
0 1118
The Stonebridge Country Club is doused in flames Tuesday night. Photo from Jeff Bressler

By Phil Corso

A brutal blaze overtook the Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown on Thursday night.

Calls came into the Smithtown Fire Department around 6 p.m. for the fire at 2000 Raynors Way inside the country club’s maintenance shop and golf cart storage facility, a spokesman for the department said. It took several crews of emergency responders to battle the flames, but no one was injured in the incident, officials said.

The cause the fire was under investigation.

Firefighters battle the blaze at the Stonebridge Country Club. Photo by Jeff Bressler
Firefighters battle the blaze at the Stonebridge Country Club. Photo by Jeff Bressler

“Upon arrival at the scene, the alarm was quickly upgraded to a working structural fire,” said Jeff Bressler, public information officer for the Smithtown Fire Department. “The two-story building was fully engulfed in fire and exterior attack began to get it under control.”

Bressler said the building suffered major damage. Its upper level, which was used to store golf carts, was deemed a total loss. The lower level, which housed maintenance equipment, was also heavily damaged.

Firefighters knocked down the front entry of the building once the flames were under control and started searching the inside, where they found no one was in the building and there was no extension of the fire, Bressler said.

It took fire officials from Smithtown, Hauppauge and Nesconset’s fire departments and ambulance support from Central Islipe and Hauppauge’s volunteer ambulance groups.

This version corrects the day of the fire.

by -
0 986
Port Jefferson’s Shane DeVincenzo scored a hole in one at the Port Jefferson Country Club on Oct. 8. Photo from the Port Jefferson school district
Port Jefferson’s Shane DeVincenzo scored a hole in one at the Port Jefferson Country Club on Oct. 8. Photo from the Port Jefferson school district

It was one for the record books, as Royals freshman Shane DeVincenzo recorded his first hole-in-one during a game against Mount Sinai at the Port Jefferson Country Club on Oct. 8.

“Not many people can say they’ve made a hole-in-one, particularly during a competition,” Port Jefferson head coach Charles Ruoff said. “Shane has quickly become one of the strongest players in our league as a ninth-grader.”

DeVincenzo, who has been playing golf for the past two seasons, took the hole-in-one shot with a six iron on Hole No. 2, playing 166 yards. He went on to shoot 33 for nine holes, barely missing a 15-foot putt for 32.

“We are all very proud of Shane,” athletic director Debra Ferry said. “He works really hard.”

With DeVincenzo’s hole-in-one, the Port Jefferson varsity golf team went on to win the League VI game against Mount Sinai, with a final score of 8-1.

File photo

The Crab Meadow Golf Course is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.

The town-owned golf course in Northport hosts between 42,000 and 45,000 rounds annually, according to Don McKay, director of parks and recreation for Huntington Town.

“The playing conditions here are outstanding,” McKay said in a phone interview. “There is a very dedicated staff and I think one of the best features of this course is that you have a view of the Long Island Sound from 16 of the 18 holes on the golf course. The views are stupendous.”

McKay has been researching the history of the golf course since its beginnings in the 1920s.

Originally, Crab Meadow Golf Course was part of the Northport Country Club, which was established in the 1920s. McKay believes that world-renowned golf architect Devereux Emmet designed the original course in 1921, and that the membership then was approximately 125 people. The Northport Country Club was abandoned in the 1940s, according to McKay, and he speculates it had to do with the Great Depression.

Then in the 1960s, with Huntington Town Supervisor Robert J. Flynn, the Crab Meadow Golf Course began to develop.

“I say it all the time, if it weren’t for Flynn, we would never have the golf course today, along with many other municipal parks in Huntington,” McKay said. “His vision for Huntington was extraordinary.”

McKay said that in 1961, a $2.5 million bond was put up to vote to Huntington residents to fund a townwide park program. Included in that plan was use of the Crab Meadow property to create a new golf course. The referendum failed, but Flynn did not give up. He got more groups to back his plan, including the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce, and was able to get the bond approved the following year in 1962.

Robert J. Flynn Jr. said his father’s greatest pride was knowing how many people enjoyed the town parks and Crab Meadow Golf Course.

“He believed in the importance of recreation,” Flynn said. “His vision was to establish a municipal park program that would last for decades to come.”

According to McKay, once the town made the purchase of the land, the municipality began to restore the course and alter the layout a bit.

William F. Mitchell designed the current course, which officially opened in 1965. It’s an 18-hole course that is 6,574 yards by 5,658 yards and open to the public. There are social clubs at the course, including clubs for men, women and seniors, that anyone is welcome to join. “The club members are the MVPs of the course,” McKay said. There is also a restaurant, concession stand, locker rooms and a pro golf store.

Maureen Lieb worked at the golf course at its inception in the 1960s. She started working for the town in 1964, immediately after she graduated from Suffolk County Community College.

“When the golf course was opening, they asked if I would want to work there,” Lieb said in a phone interview. “It was between being a meter maid or working on the golf course. There wasn’t any question.” She started as a cashier and eventually became the manager.

Lieb said she worked out of a trailer when she first started working for the golf course, because it took another year after the course was opened for the club to be built.

“I always loved my job,” Lieb said. “I was very lucky. I enjoyed the residents the most that came to golf. They were so nice and I’ve actually kept in touch with some I met when I first started working there.” She retired in December 1993.

The Huntington Town Board authorized a special one-day reduced tournament green fee of $25 at the course on Oct. 21, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. The day will also feature reduced fees for golf carts, driving range and food.

by -
0 904
Jim Smoot tees off for Huntington last fall. Photo by Mike Connell

Tyler Gerbavsits has used his summer vacation to sharpen his golf play. Already one of the best young players on the links in Suffolk County, the Huntington sophomore is gearing up and looking ready for the fall season with the Blue Devils.

Gerbavsits is a member of a talented group of Huntington golfers. At the Long Island Golf Association’s Junior Championship at the Garden City Country Club, the athlete was joined by teammate and state tournament qualifier Jim Smoot. The duo both posted first-round scores of eight over par 78, with Gerbavsits finishing second in the boys’ division, which was based on one day’s play.

The twin rounds of 78 qualified the two Huntington stars for the junior division match play championship the following day. Finishing tied for seventh in the standings, Gerbavsits and Smoot drew each other in the first round of match play.

The pair battled it out through the front nine, with Gerbavsits being one-up after four holes and then Smoot turning it around and taking a two-up lead after seven holes. However, Gerbavsits won the eighth and ninth holes, bringing the match to even after the first nine holes.

The back nine was, again, a battle. Gerbavsits took a one-up lead after 11, but Smoot again responded by bringing it back to all-square after the 12th hole. Smoot took a one-up lead after the 13th hole. Gerbavsits won the 15th, bringing the match back to all even.

Both Huntington golfers made par on 16 before Smoot won the 17th hole with a par on the par-three, giving him the advantage with a one-up lead going to the 18th hole. With both of them making par on the final hole, Smoot won the match one-up, posting a score of 77 to Gerbavsits’ 78.

At the Long Island Amateur Championship, hosted by the LIGA at Southward Ho Country Club in Bay Shore, Gerbavsits was among 141 players competing for 31 qualifying spots on the first day.

With plenty on the line, Gerbavsits posted a round of one-under par 70, one of the lowest scores of any qualifier. The cut was made at 74.

The Huntington sophomore recorded an eagle on the par four 15th hole, where he holed out from 130 yards with a nine iron. Gerbavsits also tallied four birdies, eight pars and five bogeys over the round. Match play for the 32 participants followed later in the week, with Gerbavsits facing Cold Spring Harbor graduate Steven Tanen, a college senior and a member of McDaniel College’s golf team. Gerbavsits lost on the 17th hole after a great match, shooting a 75 to Tanen’s 73.

by -
0 1064
The Smithtown East girls’ golf team poses for a team photo.

By Clayton Collier

The Smithtown East girl’s golf team’s undefeated season came to an end last Wednesday when the Bulls fell to Syosset in the Long Island Championship, 421-444, on the Bethpage green at Bethpage State Park.

Juniors Alexa Niven (84) and Cassie Hall (87) led Smithtown East in the loss, while fellow junior Peyton Greco and senior Natalia Schaefer both shot a 39 on the back nine for the Bulls.

Smithtown East was at a noteworthy disadvantage heading into the Long Island Championship, having never played at Bethpage, a location familiar to Syosset. Weather conditions in the days leading up to the contest limited Smithtown East to just a walk-through of the course, rather than having the opportunity to tee off prior to last Wednesday’s championship.

“They never even got to play the course at Bethpage, so that was just unfortunate,” Andrea Niven, Alexa’s mother, said. “That’s not to say that that’s why they lost, but when you’re unfamiliar with the course, I think it takes something out of it a little bit.”

Even with the disappointment of the loss, Hall said she enjoyed playing on a course as nice as Bethpage.

Junior Alexa Niven swings away for Smithtown East. Photo from Niven
Junior Alexa Niven swings away for Smithtown East. Photo from Niven

“The course was really beautiful,” she said. “I wish I could’ve played a bit better, but it was still a lot of fun playing and we played against great girls, too.”

Though Smithtown East did fall in the Long Island Championship, the girls’ golf team put up a head-turning performance the previous week en route to capturing the Suffolk County Championship, highlighted by a 78 finish from Niven, who finished second individually in the county. Additionally, Smithtown East broke the county record with an 855 two-day total, eclipsing the previous mark of 859. With the season now finished, the team said they were pleased with the year they put together.

“Overall I thought we had a really successful season,” Greco said. “We had a really strong team again this year and I think it showed in counties. Breaking the previous county total was a pretty amazing accomplishment for us.”

Niven, Hall and Greco will all be back for their senior year, keeping Smithtown East’s top three in their order for another season. Greco said she is looking forward to what lies ahead.

“I think we’re going to have another strong team,” she said. “Our goal is always to win the county championships and then see what happens from there.”

The three rising seniors have played together since middle school. Greco said head coach Bob Woods has been a big factor in helping her to grow as a golfer.

“He keeps me relaxed before counties, because they definitely get my nerves going,” Greco said. “He always tells me to take it one shot at a time and that the only important shot is the one I’m about to hit. He doesn’t just do that for me though, he tells everyone before we play. I use that not only for high school golf, but outside tournaments too, and it really makes a difference.”

In addition to the three, Hall said there are several other golfers to look out for in the 2016 season.

“I think you should be on the lookout for Jen Leddy, she’s a junior but I think she’ll be great next year,” Hall said. “There’s also freshman Sam Klee that played our No. 6 this year, as well as sophomore Jamie Werner and eighth-grader Alexa Lubomski — they would rotate playing No. 6 throughout the year.”

With the season now in the books, the team will have the summer to enjoy before gearing up for next year.
Smithtown East will lose Schaefer to graduation, who will continue her golf career at the collegiate level as she heads to Long Island University Post in the fall.

“I love how close it was to the city for internship opportunities and their business programs were impressive,” Schaefer said. “Being recruited for the golf team really sealed the deal and sold me.”

Overall, Schaefer was thrilled to have ended her high school career with a county championship after the team went 10-0 in League I heading into the postseason.

“It’s been an awesome feeling after being part of the team for so long,” she said. “Having my hard work pay off and sharing it with my coaches and everyone that’s been rooting for me has been an unforgettable experience.”