A full field, minus one, sticks around through frost and rain delays to complete the seventh edition.
With a full complement of 96 women braving frost and rain delays over a two-day span, it would be hard to question the health of the annual Windmill Invitational after its seventh year of existence at Lakeside Country Club.
It wasn't always healthy, however. Early on, the tournament found itself on the losing side of a numbers crunch. Originally scheduled for October, its field always seemed to come up short of expectations.
The cure? Move the tournament to winter.
"It used to be a one-day tournament that we held in October," said Jean Weissmuller, one of three committee members responsible for organizing the event. "But there are so many other tournaments in October that it was difficult to have a good turnout. We decided to make it a two-day tournament, but we knew October wasn't the month to do it."
So it was moved to January and, slowly but surely, the field started to grow. The first year it was a two-day event, it drew 50 golfers. This year's event featured a full field and 10 on the waiting list.
Seems the Windmill has come of age.
"We try to determine how many we can handle," Weissmuller said. "We had 72 last year and we didn't think we could handle 96 this year, but we found a way. But this is it. Ninety-six is the most we can handle."
Proof of the tournament's success could be found in the diligence and determination of those in this year's field. The first round was delayed for a frost warning _ the first in the tournament's history, according to Weissmuller _ and the second for rain. Nonetheless, all but one of the 96 completed their rounds.
"They played just like troopers. You wouldn't believe it," Weissmuller said. "One cancelled on the second day, but other than that, they all stuck it out. And we had some good scores too."
Foremost among those was the two-day total of 164 by Linda Travis, who hails from Seven Rivers Country Club in Crystal River and edged her friend, Dee Dee Roberts of Gainesville, by two strokes. Karen Greenway of Silverthorn and three-time Windmill champion Janet Brown of Citrus Hills tied for third at 167.
LADIES POINT QUOTA CLUB: There are still openings in the new Ladies Point Quota Club founded by Joyce Moore.
The group, which plays on Wednesdays at courses around the Nature Coast, uses the Points Quota System, which awards points for certain scores.
For more information or to join either the men's or ladies club, contact Mike or Joyce Moore at (352) 344-3005.
WOMEN'S GOLF SCHOOL: Due to the success of its first Golf School for Women, Sherman Hills Golf Academy is hosting another.
The three-day program is open to women with a handicap of 25 and above and will be conducted by Sherman Hills director of golf Valerie Brown and 1996 LPGA Professional of the Year Marion Walker. The class will run from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily from Feb. 28-March 1.
"The school is very different," Brown said. "We'll go out on the course with them and help them take what they've learned on the range and apply it to the course.
"We also like to focus on the mental aspects of the game and show people how the consciousness affects shots."
For more information, contact the Sherman Hills Pro Shop at (352) 344-0990.