File this under "good things come in smaller packages." Pine Shore Golf is a good thing and the people who run it are largely responsible for its appeal.
First there is its principal guiding light, Al Janis. Born into a golf construction family, his father, James, built DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del. Mr. Janis came to Ocean City in the early 1970s and decided he would like to settle his family there.
Doing what he does best, Mr. Janis acquired land for a golf course, but was unable to pick up the acreage necessary for a full-sized layout. So he took 75 acres on Beauchamp Road, next to Ocean Pines, added another 25 later and created a gem of now 27 holes billed as an executive golf course.
What distinguishes the Pine Shore course is that the greens and tees are regulation size, with all the contours and breaks you could wish for on those greens. Each of the three nines has three par four holes and six par threes. The yardages are 1,602 for the Willow Nine (1,240 for women), 1,663 on the Pines (1,342) and 1,717 on Dogwood (1,377), all with pars of 30.
Mr. Janis, who also owns the new Willow Springs course in Howard County at routes 70 and 32 is proud of Pine Shore Golf.
"We have over 75 percent of your golf game here and very few people who play here are any nearer par than they are at their home courses. It's a challenge, that's why so many come back," he says.
He must be right because I know of several low handicappers who enjoy playing Pine Shore, and it is a comfortable place for older people and beginners, and it's always busy when I drive by. Last year, 35,000 rounds were played there.
The course is open to the public and on Sunday mornings there is a Scramble Tournament, on Wednesdays a Ladies League and on Saturday evenings a Guys & Dolls Mixed Scramble, also all open to the public. Trudi and Gini in the clubhouse keep the place moving. Call (410) 641-5100 for more information. Beauchamp Road runs off state Route 589, less than a mile past the Ocean Pines North Gate. *
On the local scoring scene, one of the featured events was the Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club's Annual Ladies Member-Guest Tournament with a field of 63 players. The overall gross winners with a 157 in the best two balls of four format were Sandra Andersen, Liz McClary (both of Ocean City) with Gail Elliott and Madeline Purdue, both from Green Hill. The net honors on a 120 total went to Terri Sanko and Carolyn Rainville of Ocean Pines with Phyllis Bell of the host club and Mary Ann Dunston from Pennsylvania.
Also at Ocean City G&YC;, the Men's Golf Association held a better-ball tourney with 75 percent of handicap allowed.
Winning with a net 67 were Thomas Kohn and Carl Lyons. Tied for second at 68 were Charlie Herbert with Leonard Belkov and Van Seibel with Joe Ryan. In another tie, at 69, were Harry Cullen with Bill McDonald and Jay Coleman with Robert McAlwee.
In the Ocean Pines Ladies Golf Association -- 9 Holers a Low Gross -- Low Net took place. In Flight A, the gross winner was Delores Atwell with 53 and net went to the 39 of Joan Lovelance. In B, the winners were Margie Kane with 57 and Emma Tompkins 37, respectively. The C laurels went to Carol Mills at 59 and Nancy Wells with 35 and the gross winners in D were Norina Sweetman and Julia Stricker in a 68 tie.