Do you play a lot of golf, or maybe you wish you did?
Larry Lundin of Shorewood CC, located on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, recorded 212 rounds in the 206 posting days of 2010 (April 9-Oct. 31). All but two of those rounds he played at his home course.
His 212 scores are the most this year among the 29,613 NYSGA members who posted. In 2006 he recorded 281 rounds, which was good for 7th nationally on the GHIN system. The GHIN numbers get tallied at the end of each year, so we will wait to see how he ranks in 2010.
From what we have described thus far, you may think Larry is retired, single and has a running tab at the Shorewood CC bar for all of his holes-in-one. The answers surprised us, as they will surprise you too. We decided it was necessary to interview Larry and talk about his love of golf.
NYSGA: How do you find the time to play all those rounds?
LARRY: I work at ECR, which is a plant that produces furnaces, boilers and air conditioners. I go in at 6:00 am and get out at 2:30. I play most everyday, as you could tell from my postings. I am usually on the first tee by 3:15pm.
NYSGA: With all of those rounds, how many holes-in-one do you have?
LARRY: I have not had a hole-in-one. I’ve holed out for eagle nine times from various yardages the longest of which is 219 yards with a four hybrid. But never a hole-in-one.
NYSGA: Are you single, married, married with kids?
LARRY: I have a girlfriend, Cindi Polowy, whose name I need to mention as she is the most understanding girl in the world. A lot of guys at the club don’t get it that she doesn’t mind that I play everyday and multiple rounds on the weekends. Her and I have a great relationship because we support each other’s interests. Every year during the Christmas season my Sunday morning foursome and spouses get together for dinner and drinks at one of the guy’s houses. Cindi jokes to two of them who are hunters that she wants them to teach me how to hunt because I’m around too much in the winter months. Cindi has a 20 year old daughter, Andrea, who I think of as my own. She is in her sophomore year at SUNY Fredonia. Cindi works at Brooks memorial hospital in Dunkirk NY.
NYSGA: What is your age (if you don’t mind sharing)?
LARRY: I am 48 years of age. D.O.B. 5/3/1962
NYSGA: Do you live near Shorewood Country Club?
LARRY: I live about 4 miles from the club. It’s only about a 7 minute drive.
NYSGA: Do you get tired of playing Shorewood CC all the time? What do you like about it?
LARRY: You know, a lot of people have asked the same question. I always say that it never plays the same twice. Different pin positions, which are changed 2-3 times a week in the summer. You never hit the ball in the same place so different shots appear before you on a regular basis. Plus, being located right on the shore of Lake Erie we have different wind conditions all of the time. It can be relatively calm at home and by the time I get to Shorewood there will be a 10 or 15 mph breeze coming off of the lake. I also like the challenge of trying to improve on my best score.
I like the course itself as I find it to be a challenging course. Par 72 that is 6624 yards from the Men’s tees. We have some short par 4′s of around 350 but they are facing westward into the wind which makes them play much longer on especially windy days. This also provides the opportunity to play different shot shapes and trajectories. We have 12 holes where water can come into play, we have 22 sand bunkers, 9 grass bunkers and some areas of heather that can cause additional mayhem. Not too mention that we have OB on 5 holes. I played on the Golf Channel Amateur Tour for 2 years and played many other courses but Shorewood is convenient, close by and challenging. I do get the most out of my membership cost.
NYSGA: Do you walk or take a cart?
LARRY: I am on the cart plan which I ride about 80% of my rounds. Another nice thing about Shorewood is that you can play it year round provided we get a little good weather. Carts are available from April through October but members are welcome to walk as long as the greens are not frozen. I had a stretch where I played Shorewood for 35 consecutive months. So I walk quite a number of rounds as well.
NYSGA: Do you play alone or with a group?
LARRY: I have a Sunday morning foursome that is a regular group and play with various players in groups on Saturday mornings. The weekend afternoons and most weekdays are alone with the exception of our Men’s league on Thursday afternoon/evening which is team match play.
NYSGA: How many times do you play during the inactive season (Nov. through March)?
LARRY: During one year I played 75 rounds in the “off-season”. In 2006, I was out of work and I posted 281 rounds but ended up playing 356 rounds. That did include 14 rounds in Arizona. The 281 posted was best in New York State and was good enough for 7th in the country according to an article on the GHIN website. I found that by accident as my girlfriend’s daughter Googled my name and the article which was basically just a list came up. To answer your question more directly, as long as the weather is good enough and there’s no snow on the ground there’s a chance I’ll play.
NYSGA: What’s the worst weather you’ve played in?
LARRY: I have started a round where the temperature was sunny and in the low 50′s when I started and finished the round with temps in the 30′s and snowing. The last couple of holes it was extremely difficult to track the flight of the ball. But, by using the feel of how I hit it (going straight, left or right) and the club selection I could narrow down the yardage and it’s approximate location. From there is was look for it or the line it made in the fresh snow. It was a bizarre and so much all at the same time.
NYSGA: What was the most rounds you’ve played in a day?
LARRY: More than a few times I have played four rounds in a day. Usually early in the season when we are first able to post scores and the weather is turning nicer and carts are out it is difficult to lure me away from the course.
NYSGA: How many total rounds have you played in recent years?
LARRY: I have wondered how I fared [in the GHIN rankings] in other years since I started playing a lot in 2004. The total rounds played in the 8 seasons is 1,668; all rounds played not just eligible posted rounds. 2003 – 61, 2004 – 138, 2005 – 177, 2006 – 356, 2007 – 227, 2008 – 285, 2009 – 193, 2010 – 231 and counting.
NYSGA: How much have you improved playing so many rounds?
LARRY: For the last several years I have kept extensive records. I have a copy of each scorecard since the opening of the 2004 season. That is the year I decided to see how good I could get at this game. I keep everything as far as stats go. I track fairways, greens, drive distance, sand traps, penalty strokes, putting just about anything. I have been a member on Leaderboard.com since January of 2006. It’s a great website that tracks everything about the game and produces charts for you to study. I used this site to help identify the strong and weak points of my game and what I need to work on. I started at Shorewood in 2003 with a 23.4 handicap. With all the playing and the help of the charting I got myself down to a 12. That’s as far as I could get on my own. I then enlisted Cindy Miller and her husband Allen to give me lessons. I have been as low as 3.7 since I got their expertise involved.
NYSGA: What’s your best round at Shorewood CC?
LARRY: I have twice shot a round of 70 which is -2 at Shorewood. My best this year was 72 which was also achieved twice.
NYSGA: How many golf balls do you go through/lose in a year?
LARRY: Each year I usually buy about 12 dozen balls. I don’t use a new ball for every round but, I do for much more than half. I probably lose about 20-30 balls a year if I had to guess. That’s a significantly lower number as my handicap improved. 7 years ago it was probably more like 100 or more. I used to carry a ball retriever for when a ball would find the water. As I got better, I was more interested in the stroke I lost rather than the ball. I figured if It wants to be wet it should stay there so it doesn’t cost me another stroke later on. Golf balls have these tendencies. Wet balls like to be wet, lost balls like to be lost and the like. I just figured if I hit in the water, I deserve to lose the ball. So I stopped carrying the retriever. I think it made me focus more on the water holes when I was improving as there was the penalty stroke and the monetary penalty as well.
NYSGA: Do you travel to play any other courses throughout the year?
LARRY: This year I stayed pretty close to home. But other years I have been to Canada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Arizona. The Golf Channel Amateur Tour led me to some courses I have not played before. Every year I make a point to play at Peek N Peak’s Upper Course where the Nationwide Tour used to have a Tour stop. Very pretty and very challenging. I would love to play at Oak Hill someday.
NYSGA: The NYSGA Men’s Amateur is at Oak Hill next year. Do you play in tournaments?
LARRY: Yes, I do. I play in four charitable scrambles every year plus our club’s major tournaments. We have a stroke play Club Championship as well as a Match Play Event. We also monthly events for the members as well as the New York State Medallion Tournaments from which I own three Medals! The scrambles, of course don’t count toward that yearly total of rounds but I like to be involved in the tournaments that help our local hospital (Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk), the DARE program, the Boys and Girls Club and a local police tournament. We also just had our 3rd annual Par 3 Skins and Pins tournament. It could be my favorite event of the year. We turn all 18 holes into Par 3′s. It is such a great time but it’s over pretty quick because of the length and the fewer number of shots taken.
NYSGA: What do you like to do when you’re not golfing?
LARRY: I am an avid hockey fan. Until three years ago I played hockey but my knees have forced me to give up that sport. Fortunately that issue does arise in golf as it is a little more impact friendly compared to skating and playing hockey. Oddly enough, I like to watch golf on TV too. I like to spend time with my girlfriend Cindi and her daughter Andrea.