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Palm Coast Thursday, Mar. 31, 2011 7 years ago

In need of a break

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by: Jock MacKenzie Contributing Writer

When will Joe Gutterman get a break ?

For those unfamiliar, Gutterman is a quality Senior Tour player. It’s just, he can’t seem to get there despite a promise here and a promise there.

Many will remember when Palm Coast hosted its only major golf event with the Senior Tour playing here, at Hammock Dunes.

Some quality inspiration from locals got Gutterman a roster spot, and he played well, but not good enough to qualify for the next offering.

Those of us in attendance still feel the heart beats when he was cheered and applauded loudly at each hole. It was enough to bring tears to his eyes and surely to ours, too.

Gutterman, who looks closer to 30 in age than the required 50 for Seniors play, took a job as head pro in Palatka, under the banner of Andy Hearst, the gentleman from Concord, N.H., who was head pro at the Pine Course, but left for a large golf contract in Europe and has since returned.

One day, Gutterman thought he had an opening to qualify for the Senior Tour. With this in mind, he quit the Palatka job and was off and running. But all the marbles failed to fall into place, just as they do for tournament hopefuls everywhere. Plans changed.

Gutterman has no regrets, though.

“Things happen, he said. “I’m teaching here at Golf USA and doing well. I’m happy to be here.”

Still, I can’t help but wonder: When will Joe Gutterman get a break? A break he deserves.

Here and there
Carl Johnson, a retired Miami fireman, heard the bells ring when he aced the tough ninth hole at Cypress. He used a 7-iron from 138 yards while playing with Jimmy Goyette, Pete Webber and Frank Roberto.

When asked how much the after-golf celebration cost, he replied: “You don’t want to know!”

The Sludgehammers, a prestigious golf group here since the first days of Palm Harbor, have a serious problem and are looking for help. These are golfers who run Francis Ouimet Day in recognition of the Boston youngster who was the first to beat the Brits and Scots and make golf come alive in this country.

Each year, a cherished book of photos and writings is shown. Trouble is, the book was lost following their last game — one played at Palm Harbor.

They hoped a Sludgehammer had it. They didn’t. Now they are pleading with Palm Harbor and you. If anyone knows of its location, please call Carolyn McLaughlin at 447-0551.

How important is it, you might ask?

Peter Uihlein, a PGA Tour player with Walker Cup credentials said, “Seeing Francis Ouimet up there? Now that’s pretty cool.”

It would be equally cool for the Sludgehammers to get it back.

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