As the sun set in beautiful Oceanside, CA four of Southern California’s most seasoned and accomplished golf professionals battled it out in search of the inaugural Pro-Pro Short Course Shootout title hosted by Emerald Isle Golf Course.
Tucked away at the top of El Camino Real Road is a quaint golf oasis that was taken into new ownership almost a year ago by two of the PGA’s more influential couples – Don & Nikki Gatch and John & Holly Kennedy. On Wednesday afternoon, 38 golf professionals competed in the first ever Pro-Pro Short Course Shootout. The event was comprised of 19 two player teams in a Fourball format and included a BBQ lunch, prize money, and the coveted Inaugural Short Course Shootout title!
Emerald Isle proved to be no pitch and putt, as players learned quickly that there was some bite left in this little dog! Greens were immaculate, running at a 10 with some extreme contours, making it near impossible to stop the ball near the hole if a player was out of position. Wind was a factor as well, with some very exposed greens and gusts reaching 20 mph. When it was all said and done, there were two teams tied at -4 par, which would be broken on the 3rd playoff hole. With a gallery watching, Gary Sowinski, PGA hit his gap wedge to a foot, birdieing the hole, giving him and partner Chris Starkjohann, PGA the victory over PGA members Jim Petralia and Paul Wise. It was a thrilling finish to a terrific afternoon of golf!
A special thanks goes out to the host and owners of Emerald Isle; John and Holly Kennedy and Don and Nikki Gatch; and US Foods for sponsoring the event. The course received raving reviews and solidified that these par 3 and executive golf courses, can play a big part in growing the game. The Southern California PGA is looking forward to returning!