“Cancer may have started the fight, but we will finish it!”
Those were the inspirational words of Rena Amidon the pro shop manager at Templewood Golf Course in Templeton last week as she addressed 60 women golfers clad in all shades of pink before they headed out to play, wheeling away in their flashy, pink-decorated golf carts in the 10th annual Rally for the Cure Golf Tournament.
“We had another successful tournament and another great turnout of women golfers,” said Amidon, who anticipated that more than $1,000 from the event would be donated locally to Heywood Hospital’s oncology department in Gardner.
Among the 60 participants were golfers from the Greater Gardner and Templeton area and also from cities and towns all over Massachusetts, several from the western part of the state. Before the tournament began, a continental breakfast was served in the clubhouse. After golf, lunch was served in the Templewood Course Pavilion, catered by the King Phillip Restaurant in Phillipston.
Amidon thanked all the golfers who entered the tournament , reminding them of the tough battle against the disease.
“One in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime, and events like this one help with the cause,” she said.
“We’re here to help with the fight against breast cancer,” said Linda St. Laurent of Winchendon. “And we also have a great time playing golf together.”
St. Laurent was in a foursome with friends Debbie LaPrise of Templeton, Mary Glotch of Gardner and Janice Couture of Templeton. The group has played in all 10 of the Rally for the Cure tournaments over the years.
“We’re the Fab Four,” said Couture with a laugh. “We’ve been here every year since the start. We’re good friends and we love to golf.”
“I love the camaraderie and we have a lot of fun,” said Glotch. “Everyone decorates their cart and we have a lot of great prizes. Most importantly, though, it’s all for a great cause.”
“Everybody looks forward to this tournament all year long,” added LaPrise.
Interestingly, the 10th Rally for the Cure Tournament coincided with the 20th anniversary of Templewood Golf Course, which opened in 1999.
Before the tournament began as all the golfers watched from their carts, Tara Corey, a special guest, sang a touching rendition of “You Say,” an emotional song written by Lauren Daigle and released in 2018.
Winning the tournament with a net score of 2-under-par 68 was the talented team of Linda Harris, Kendra Shea, Elaine Hautanen and Cathy Forbes.
And splashed in pink from the top of their golf carts to their golf spikes, the team of Bernice Ouellette, Helen Carol Pascale, Sheila Cregg and Joy Charters won the coveted “Best Team Carts” award.
Birdies for the Blind: The 8th annual Birdies for the Blind Golf Tournament will be held on Sept. 13 at Gardner Municipal GC. Money raised from the tournament will be donated for LHON (lebers hereditary optic neuropathy) research.
The tournament will begin with registration at 9 a.m. and a shotgun start at 10 a.m. The $100 entry fee includes golf with cart, prizes, and hot dogs and hamburgers following the event at the Napoleon Club, 271 Park St., in Gardner.
Donations with names or business names for a minimum of $50 can also be made for a hole sponsorship with a sign on a tee box or green. There will also be gift cards and gift certificates given in raffles. For more information, contact Shane Stewart at 978-906-1805 or via email at email@example.com. Checks should be made payable to “Birdies for the Blind.”
Another Ace: Congratulations to longtime GMGC member Ken Michaud of Fitchburg for his second career hole-in-one. Last week, Michaud, playing with John Curran, Al Arsenault and Charlie Lane, spun his ace right into the cup on GMGC’s sixth hole using a 7-iron.
GMGC Flashback: While I was looking at the list of GMGC club champions (1937-2019) printed on these sports pages last week, the winner from 1962 stirred a nice memory — Jeff Ambrose. Ambrose was 52 years old when he won the championship and never bought into the theory that as one’s years mount, golf scores do likewise.
In fact, on his 65th birthday, July 23, 1975, Ambrose, whose golf apparel and sweet swing resembled the great Ben Hogan, took the afternoon off from his job managing a local service station and headed for the Gardner course for an 18-hole round.
“I shot in the 70s, and I decided to play 18 holes on my birthday every year after that and see if I could break 80 on that day,” Ambrose told me in 1988, shortly before his 78th birthday when he extended his special sub-80 streak to 13 consecutive years.
Sadly, Ambrose passed away only three months later, never getting a chance to make it 14 in a row. Still, “The Silver Fox,” as he was called on the local links, left quite a golfing legacy, and it was nice to see his name among the list of all the GMGC men’s club champions.