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Golf gets start in middle schools

Students in middle schools in at least five Florida counties can expect to have a golf program during the 1991-92 school year. Physical-education supervisors from 40 of the 67 counties in the state discussed the possibility Thursday in Orlando, North Florida PGA Section Juniors Association chairman Don Bliss said Monday.

"All of the supervisors were very interested in our presentation, and four counties came up afterward and asked for more immediate information," Bliss said. "Those four counties are Bay, Volusia, Manatee and Broward. There are 28 middle schools in Broward County, and about 50 (middle schools) among those four (counties)."

Leon County has the only middle-school golf program in the state at present.

Bliss said he must put together a support group of pros to help with the "First Swing" program, get out necessary materials to the counties ready to start, and do an in-service workshop for physical education teachers before it can be implemented.

A questionnaire will be mailed out within the next two weeks, Bliss said. The response will determine which counties implement the program next school year.

Funding already is in place from private corporations. The startup cost is estimated at $250 per middle school.

Bishop plans qualifying attempt: Ridge Manor golfer David Bishop is among the entrants for the PGA Tour Qualifying School this week at DeBary Plantation Country Club.

A field of 109 golfers will participate in the 72-hole event, the first of three stages needed for tour qualification. Between 40 and 50 players will advance to a second-stage qualifier.

A final qualifying event Nov. 28-Dec. 3 at Palm Springs, Calif., will determine exempt players for the 1991 PGA and Ben Hogan tours. All golfers will play 18 holes today and Wednesday. A cut will be made to the low 90 and ties for the final two rounds Thursday and Friday.

The DeBary Plantation course is a 6,776-yard, par-72 test with a premium on accuracy.

"The difficulty is not that the course is long, but it's tree lined in the North Carolina style," DeBary assistant pro Mac Snow said. "As long as you keep the ball in front of you and don't hit it in the woods you can shoot some good numbers."

DeBary Plantation opened in March and has played host to a U.S. Open qualifier, a Florida Open qualifier and a Florida Amateur qualifier.

Golfers from 18 states, plus Mexico and Australia will participate this week.

Glen Lakes women take crown: The women's team from Glen Lakes took the championship of the Ladies Tri-County Travel League last week by winning its fifth weekly tournament in six outings.

Fran Cummings shot a net 69 and Glen Lakes posted a 283 total in beating runner-up Citrus Hills by seven shots Wednesday in a match at Brooksville's Seville Golf and Country Club. The victory gives Glen Lakes 23 points and an insurmountable lead with two tournaments left this week to conclude the season.

Citrus Hills and Plantation are tied for second place with 10 points apiece. Winning a tournament is worth four points, meaning 18 points would be the most either club could earn.

Citrus Hills will play host to a make-up tournament Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The final tournament is set for Thursday at 9 a.m. at Glen Lakes.

Women needed at Seville: Seville pro shop worker Gerry Dunn says that a ladies 18-hole league is forming at her club. Play begins Nov. 15 at 8 a.m.

Amateur women interested should call (904) 688-8064 or the Seville pro shop at (904) 596-7888 no later than Nov. 8.

MDA benefit at Glen Lakes: About 120 golfers, including 30 area professionals, are expected to participate Nov. 3 in the Glen Lakes Muscular Dystrophy Pro-Am. A shotgun start at noon is planned.

Each pro will bring along a member of his club to play in the event. The remaining 60 spots will be taken by members from Glen Lakes and Timber Pines.

Entry fee is $50, which includes golf, carts, prizes and a steak cookout after the tournament.

A team point-quota system will be used to score the event. Each birdie will be worth four points, pars receive two points, and bogeys get one point.

Among the pros planning to participate are: Jim Cocchi and Brian Pietsch of Glen Lakes; Don Bliss of Timber Pines; Jack Johnson of Seven Springs; George Ritch of Connell Lake; Pete Summers of Citrus Hills and Kelly Gosse of Seven Rivers.

Glen Lakes members interested in playing should call (904) 597-1118 and Timber Pines members that would like to play should call (904) 683-8439.

Night Light event moved: Quail Ridge head pro Jan Johnson has announced a change in dates for the Halloween Night Light Tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society.

This scramble will be conducted Nov. 3, starting at 7 p.m., and is open to 72 golfers. The original date was Oct. 31.

"We have several teams that want to play, but their members will have Halloween duty," Johnson said. "They're taking their own children around, and helping with the trick-or-treating so we decided to change the date for the tournament."

Entry fee is $15 per player, and does not include night light balls. Call (813) 856-6064.

Brennan to attend school: Overlooked for the announcement last week of North Suncoast pros attending golf business schools in Naples was that of Plantation head pro Jim Brennan. He will be in Orlando for Business School III Oct. 29-Nov. 2.

"This school is for guys that already have their Class A cards and want to keep themselves updated on accounting and inventory procedures," Brennan said. "They don't cover those areas very thoroughly in Business School I or II because the attendees don't have their (Class A) cards."

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