Tag Archives: Longshore golf course

COVID-19 Roundup: Longshore Golf Course; Paul Newman; Jon Gailmor; Food, Art, And More

1st Selectman Jim Marpe and Parks & Recreation director Jen Fava confirm that the Longshore golf course fairways, rough and cart paths are open to walkers. The greens are not open, and of course the course is closed to play.

Oh, yeah: It’s closed to dogs too.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)


Can’t get to the Westport Country Playhouse? Missing Paul Newman?

In 2002, our town’s hero appeared on stage — as the stage manager — in Thornton Wilder’s classic “Our Town.”

It was one of the most memorable performances on that venerable stage. And now you can watch it all, through the magic of YouTube. Click below — and thank your lucky “stars.”


Speaking of stars, Jon Gailmor shined brightly — and sang beautifully — even before graduating from Staples High School in 1966.

Decades later, “Peaceable Kingdom” — his Polydor album with classmate Rob Carlson — remains one of my favorites ever. (You’ve got time on your hands. Click here and here for 2 of the greatest tracks.)

Gailmor then moved to Vermont. He runs music-writing workshops in schools, writes and performs all over, and has been named an official “state treasure.”

Ever the social commentator, he’s taken his guitar and pen to the coronavirus. “What We Have Found” (“This is 2020 from a distance”) is all too true, and very poignant.

There’s not a lot to enjoy about COVID-19. This, though, is one of them:


They’re located just a few yards over the border, in Southport. So Garelick & Herbs did not make the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s great list of markets open for takeout and delivery.

However, their many local customers will be glad to know that G&H offers curbside pick up and home delivery, via phone (203-254-3727) or online (click here).


Trader Joe’s is limiting the number of customers in the store at a time. Mornings are the most crowded, but the line moves quickly. This was the scene this morning, as shoppers lined up (properly socially distanced) beyond Jersey Mike’s.

(Photo/Tom Cook)

At 12:30 there was no line. When I left 15 minutes later, 2 people waited outside.


Reader Adam Murphy writes about this generous act: “When the owner of The Simple Greek in Norwalk (its really close to Westport!) found out that a recent catering order was for the Gillespie Center, he voluntarily doubled the amount of food. ‘I want to make sure everyone has enough,’ he said. In times that must have him worrying about his business surviving, he still has generosity for others. Great food and great people!”


Westporter Steve Parton reminds readers that — with galleries closed, and self-isolating the new normal — our neighbors who make their living from art and art lessons are having a tough time.

“We would all like to make a sale if possible,” he says. “Everything must go! No reasonable offer refused!”

Check out his website — and those of any other local artists you like. As you look at your walls (what else is there to look at?!), now is the perfect time to buy new works!

“Compo Beach,” by Steven Parton

Friday Flashback #178

It’s still a couple of months until the opening of the Longshore golf course.

But the other day, alert “06880” reader Phil Bancroft spotted an interesting item on an online auction site: A score card for that very course, signed by Babe Ruth.

Nearly 7 years ago, I wrote about that week in 1946 the Bambino spent at the River Lane home of Dr. Vito Caselnova, a longtime friend. The doctor was chairman of the golf committee at Longshore, at the time a private club.

Ruth played on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon with Caselnova; Ruth’s physician Dr. George Irwin; Norwalk police commissioner Thomas Murphy, and club pro George Buck. The Sultan of Swat shot a 79, highlighted by a 35-foot eagle putt on the 12th hole.

Babe Ruth at Longshore. (Photo courtesy of Norwalk Hour)

Babe Ruth at Longshore. (Photo courtesy of Norwalk Hour)

The next day, Hour sports editor Williard Williams wrote that Ruth “did not dub a shot. His drive was good, his approach shots excellent, and his putting almost perfect.

“In between his golf, he shook hands with scores of persons introduced to him on the course and took care of autographs for the youngsters who swarmed all over him. The Babe was as gracious as ever and seemed to enjoy it all.”

Ruth played several more times at Longshore that week. His partners included US Senator Brien McMahon.

Babe Ruth autographs a baseball for George "Nookie" Powers. A nurse looks on.

Babe Ruth autographs a baseball for George “Nookie” Powers. Powers’ fiancee looks on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth also visited Norwalk Hospital, where he met Westport firefighters injured in a horrific Post Road truck blaze. He signed baseballs for — among others — brothers Nookie and Chick Powers. Both had been legendary athletes at Staples.

Just 2 years later, Ruth was dead from cancer. It started in his throat, and moved to his brain.

Caselnova’s son, Vito Jr., told Albano:

When he stayed with us he used to complain about headaches. He would come downstairs in the morning, go right to the refrigerator, and pull out a can of beer. Not to drink it, but to rub the cold can over his head. He said it made him feel better.

He said he was going to come back next year, but he never made it. He said he was going to bring another player with him, a guy named Joe DiMaggio.

Bancroft remembered all that. But he was fascinated by something more: the score card itself.

The hole numbers, distances and pars were different from today’s course. He was confused too by some of the rules.

So Bancroft went sleuthing. Comparing a 1934 aerial view (below) with one from 1965, he determined that although none of the yardages are the same, identifying the par 3s and par 5s seems to fit — if today’s 17th hole is made into the original hole number 1, and today’s 16th is the original 18th.

A1934 aerial photo. Longshore is at the center; Compo Beach at the bottom of the image.

He adds, “Rules regarding balls on the then 2nd and 3rd holes have similar rules to today’s 18th and 1st. And the roads mentioned related to then holes 13 and 17 would be today’s 11th and 15th holes.”  

Bancroft concludes that when Babe Ruth played Longshore, the road ran to the left of today’s 11th hole. Today it runs down the right hand side. Today’s 11th and 12th holes would have been “oceanfront,” with 12 having an “over-ocean tee shot at high tide, and mud at low tide.”

Fore!

The holes that Babe Ruth played.

Pic Of The Day #976

Longshore golf course wildlife (Photo/Carolyn McPhee)

Fore!

Alert — and safety conscious golfer — Philip Corbo writes:

I am an avid golfer. My handicap is around 4. I hit the ball in excess of 100 mph.

At Longshore, the entrance road runs between the 6th and 7th holes. Although I generally keep the ball in play, that was not the case on my 7th hole tee shot the other day.

My shot headed directly for a car. Our group heard a loud bang. We thought the worst.

Fortunately, it hit a speed limit sign. There was no damage to the car, or anyone.

Not 30 seconds after my errant shot though, a person came into view pushing a stroller — at the exact spot where the sign was.

The sign on the Longshore entrance road is clear. (Photo/Philip Corbo)

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve warned people of the dangers, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.

Ten or so years ago, someone was pushing a stroller down the same road. The toddler was not so lucky. The ball took one bounce off the road, and struck the baby in the head. The infant spent the next several months in the hospital — and was lucky to live.

Longshore is a beautiful place for a stroll — but it is not the place for babies in strollers.

I hope this message garners attention. It is an accident waiting to happen — again.

Fore?!

The Longshore golf course was supposed to open today.

Not gonna happen.

This photo of the Longshore golf course was actually taken on February 18. The scene today does not look much different. Except that the sun is not out. And it’s still snowing. (Photo/Larry Untermeyer)

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Westport, this was the scene the day after April Fool’s Day:

Evergreen Avenue, looking toward town. (Photo/JP Vellotti)

 

59!

For the 3rd time in history, a golfer has shot a 59 on the Longshore golf course.

This time though, there’s no asterisk.

The other day, assistant club pro Chris Davies fired that record-tying score.

That ties the round shot previously by Andrew Gai and former head pro John Cooper.

Chris Davies

However, Gai was playing alone — so it’s unofficial. And Cooper’s round came when the 17th hole was under renovation. The hole was playing as a par 3, making the course a par 68.

Davies was playing in a threesome, on the par 69 course.

Actually, he does have an asterisk. But it’s a great one.

Davies — who in addition to his other duties is in charge of the junior program — got a hole-in-one on his record-tying afternoon. It came on the 8th hole.

So while the traditional “ace” drinks were on him, we should all drink a round to his incredible round.

Chris Davies’ scorecard

Pic Of The Day #119

Longshore golf course, 10th hole (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

Longshore Golf Course Opening Set

Today is not exactly golf weather.

But Parks & Rec announced moments ago that the Longshore golf course will open April 10 — weather permitting.

Golfers will see 2 new faces: head pro Jon Janik and course superintendent Todd Salamone.

Both have scrambled to get the greens, bunkers and pro shop ready. They were appointed less than a month ago.

Also new: the golf course website (www.longshoregolfcourse.com) and pro shop phone number (203-221-0900).

Other numbers remain the same: automated tee times (203-341-1833) and day-of-play tee times (203-226-9785).

Westport residents can purchase or renew a golf handpass by clicking here, or in person at the Parks & Rec Longshore office, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fore!

The Longshore golf course reopens soon.

 

Parks & Rec Names New Golf Pro, Course Superintendent

With spring just a chip shot away, Westport Parks & Recreation Department has filled 2 big golf course holes.

Director Jen Fava announced today the appointment of Jon Janik as head professional, and Todd Salamone as Longshore golf course superintendent.

Janik played at Longshore as a member of the St. Joseph High School golf team.

Jon Janik

Born and raised in Bridgeport, he learned the game at Fairchild Wheeler. He won the 1997 junior club championship there, then 5 years later the men’s club title.

Janik began working in the golf industry while still at Fairfield University. He spent 3 summers at the Ivan Lendl Golf and Tennis Camp. After graduating, he became the assistant pro at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull. A year later, he was named head pro.

In 2007 Janik earned his professional golf management degree, and was elected to PGA membership.

He has won the Connecticut Section PGA Junior Golf Leader Award, and been recognized as a US Kids Golf Top 50 Kids Teacher.

Janik also served as Trumbull High’s boys golf team head coach. In 2014 he was named FCIAC Boys Golf Coach of the Year.

Todd Salamone

Salamone has been with BrightView Golf Maintenance for 4 years, as senior assistant superintendent at New York’s Village Club of Sands Point. In 2015, he oversaw a bunker renovation there.

The Queens native majored in turf science at Ohio State University. After graduation he worked at private clubs on Long Island, and volunteered at pro events including the US Open and US Amateur.

Fava said, “We are very excited to welcome our new team to Longshore. We look forward to a great season, and lots of good things to come.

“We hope all of our golfers welcome them when the golf season gets underway.”

Information on course openings will be announced soon.

Longshore Golf Pro Situation Still Rough

The Longshore golf course opens in about 6 weeks.

There are still no carts or balls in the pro shop. A new pro has not yet been hired.

Now there’s no greenskeeper either.

Michael Golden — who earned raves as head golf course superintendent at Longshore, turning the facility into Golfweek’s #8 public place to play in 2016 — has moved on to Sterling Farms in Stamford.

A number of Longshore golfers have expressed concern about the unsettled situation. As reported in December on “06880,” longtime pro John Cooper felt that the terms offered for renewal of his contract were untenable.

The town has reworked its RFP, but so far has not reached an agreement with a new pro.

Time for a  mulligan?

The Longshore golf course reopens in just a few weeks.

The Longshore golf course reopens in just a few weeks.