By Kevin Edwards
HONESDALE — Local links fans were recently treated to an outstanding afternoon of action when the Honesdale Golf Club hosted one of its most prestigious events.
Nearly 50 talented ladies took to the course on Tuesday, August 18, battling it out for the 2020 Member-Guest title.
When the final putt dropped and all the scorecards were tallied, the team of Bridget Simons and Julia Santo were crowned champions.
This marked the fourth time this dynamic duo has won the tournament.
“They both played excellent golf,” event organizer Bob Simons said. “Bridget and Julia are very good partners. Their games really complement one another.”
Next up for HGC is the 2020 Men’s Member-Member. Weather permitting, qualifying will be held Friday followed by two full days of action Saturday and Sunday.
Also coming up are the Club Championships which are tentatively slated for Labor Day weekend.
On the Dais A total of 24 teams took part in this year’s Women’s Member Guest.
The tournament was played using a partners better ball format. There were three flights and each team played 18 holes.
“This year’s tournament was very competitive,” said Simons, a longtime HGC member who’s embarking on his 50th year as head coach at Wallenpaupack Area.
“The turnout was excellent and the course is in fantastic shape. As always, I have to give a shoutout to Chris Moran and his crew for doing such a great job.”
Bridget Simons, who is Bob’s daughter, is a graduate of Honesdale High School who played collegiately at East Stroudsburg.
Santo starred at Paupack before moving on to play at the NCAA level for Gannon, a Division II university in Erie.
The two partners were rock-steady on this particular day, shooting 36 on the front nine and 36 on the back. Bridget and Julia each recorded a birdie en route to the title.
Rae Ann Bishop and Julie Cerra earned runner- up status in the Championship Flight, posting an 18-hole total of 78.
Kathy Haser and Emily Bold combined to take third place, checking in with an 81.
In First Flight action, Helen Rigler and DJ Savage emerged victorious with a score of 93. That was good for a two-shot margin over the team of Janette Krause and Joyce Southerton (95). Sandy Newell and Candy Watson were alone in third with a round of 97.
Finally, in Second Flight competition, the duo of Pip Tagle and Linda Utegg took home the laurels by carding a 104.
Liz Slocum and Marie Korb were awarded second place via a “match of cards” over Pat and Jill McGinnis. Both teams shot 106.
A Bit of History
Honesdale Golf Club was founded in 1900 by a group of local links enthusiasts led by William J. Birdsall.
These men originally laid out a crude threehole course on the Birdsall property in Seelyville.
However, after officially forming the club, a plot of land overlooking Honesdale was purchased from the Blandin Family.
According to the deed, which is dated July 27, 1905, a total of 30 acres changed hands with a price tag of $2,750.
Augustus Thompson was one of the earliest golfers and he won the very first men's club championship in 1901. Miss Mary Tracy, who later became Mrs. Charles Bentley, was among the first female golfers to play the course.
While any written records of the club's first five years have been lost, there are still fascinating documents from the early 1900s.
Among them is the minutes of a meeting held on May 30, 1906, which was attended by Grace Salmon (secretary), Mary Tracy, Messrs. Bentley, Hand Farnham and Birdsall.
The earliest list of HGC members (1906) is significant in that women outnumbered men by a total of 106 to 80.
Interestingly, the first time club minutes mention the results of a tournament was September, 1912. According to the entry, WB Birdsall captured the title at an event for which eight men had qualified.
HGC also sponsored tennis tournaments in its earliest days. The club's first tennis chairmen on record are listed in the April, 1916 minutes. They were SJ Eddy and the Rev. HS Whittaker.
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Honesdale Golf Club
121 Golf Hill Road
PO BOX 573
Honesdale, PA 18431
Phone: (570) 253-5616
Fax: (570) 616-4650
Honesdale Golf Club is a 501(c)(7) nonprofit organization.