GREATEST GOLFER LIVE | Youngsters push vets? | Tee times up | Fans coming?


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The Latest on Greatest Golfer:

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Youth is served?

Men's Open at the Greatest has been the division many golfers watch as it is the greatest of all our greatest golfers who play.

Veteran names have fueled it. Porter, Karzmer, Marlowe, Zarlenga, Milton, etc.

This year, the kids might take over. 

Joey Cilone just beat Jonah Karzmer in The Lake Club championship. Brandon Pluchinsky just missed playing in the U.S. Am this week in Michigan and is dominating Ohio golf this summer. 

YSU's Thomas Lydic and Steve Sveda are entered. 

JFK standout James R. LaPolla is in, as are Greatest Juniors grads Joey Shushok and Nolan Snyder.

Most can't buy a beer. Others are just able to.

Youth is served in Greatest 2016.

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Mill Creek tee times up

We have the Mill Creek times up, and are 98.3 percent happy with them.

When we get to 99.2 percent, we will spin them around for Saturday tee times.

Please get to vindy.com/golf and read the TEE TIMES stories to find your name.

If your name is not on there and you paid, email tfranko@vindy.com

Saturday times will get posted Thursday.

Sunday finals at Lake Club run from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

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Remember new pace rules

We had to adjust our format to expedite the play.

So please remember for Friday and Saturday: No caddies, and share a cart if you are the least bit social.

We will not hassle walkers so long as you are keeping pace.

We define “keeping pace” as staying on heels of group in front of you.

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Your Gallery

Players can invite fans. We love them. It’s what makes Greatest special.

Please have fans stay in the trees and away from green and tee box.

If they are any closer, they are no longer fans but are distractions to your playing partners.

If they are trailing you, please be sure they are not in way of the group behind you.

(All of these things have happened with fans. Your help is appreciated.)

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The History of Greatest

In 2010, The Vindicator launched a weekly story series “Greatest Golf Holes of the Valley” to salute Valley golf courses.

As part of that project, two guys who never played in a real golf event in their lives decided to try a golf tournament at the end of the holes series, which was also the end of the summer.

Meet Ted and Todd.

Our first call was to this guy named Dennis Miller at Mill Creek Golf Course. We didn’t know him.

After two minutes on the phone, Dennis was in and said we should call these three next people.

We called Ed Muransky, Mike Ferranti and John Diana. We knew of Ed but did not know him, and Mike and JD were total strangers, as we were to them.

Blissful 3-woods passing in the night.

The six met for 30 minutes. The idea was agreed upon in the first 5 minutes. The next 25 was just logistics.

That quick, immediate gut feeling hatched the Greatest Golfer of the Valley you are enjoying this week.

With The Lake Club donating golf and Farmers National Bank interested in funding the marketing and prizes, Greatest Golfer of the Valley was off.

That year, 97 golfers tested the event. Mike Porter, Joan Ash and Bob Leonard were our first Open champions. They are with us this week again. So too are James LaPolla and Tom Onesti. They won titles that first year, along with Ed Antonelli.

Greatest has grown in seven years.

More partners and sponsors, more players, more events. Of course, more stumbles and event mulligans, too. But that happens when you challenge yourself to grow.

This year, more than 3,000 golfers will touch Greatest via juniors, scrambles and long drive competitions.

You have challenged us to grow. You have cheered us in good and counseled us in bad

We love all of it. We love all of you.

And that original 97-person adult event 2010 is now touching on 300 players for the 5th consecutive year.

All of that said, we always remember how it started.

What is most loved is that the same handful of people who launched Greatest — Dennis, Ed, Mike, JD and Farmers — will be on the courses somewhere this week with you.

Have a Greatest Week in the Valley.

— Ted and Todd

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Sold out & stand by

Even with sold-out divisions, we passed 295 registered players on Tuesday.

All divisions are on standby.

We will try to get standby players in with any withdrawals.

We are also watching the sunset and the weather forecast and the ouji board. We will place as many standby players as we can.

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Still checking handicaps

Congrats to about 15 players who have had great summers and have thus adjusted their divisions.

That’s awesome.

We’re still completing this process, and more players may move.

Please send in GHIN or league rosters scores if you have them. It will help the process.

Email tfranko@vindy.com.

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Why is it the Greatest Week in the Valley?

The next 10 days, Greatest, Panerathon, HS Blitz football and Covelli Centre concerts will all take place. That’s why Covelli Enterprises celebrates this as “The Greatest Week in the Valley.” Ok — “Week-ish.

• Aug. 15 — Miller Lite Greatest Scramble

• Aug. 19-21 – 2016 Farmers Bank Greatest Golfer

• Aug. 21 — Panerathon

• Aug. 21 – 2016 Vindy HS Football Preview Section publishes

• Aug. 24 — YSU Classes begin

• Aug. 25 — Start of HS football season

• Aug. 26 – KISS at the Covelli Centre

• Aug. 27 – Lionel Richie at the Covelli Centre

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GET YOUR PRACTICE ROUND IN

To our first-year Greatest players, please know that you can get a practice round in at your Saturday course — even though 3 are private.

Call the course to arrange a time that works for you and them.

Tell them you are in Greatest. They are very accommodating folks.

Lake Club is not avail for practice rounds due to the logistics:

It is the finals course, thus 280 would-be finalists would have to be able to get out — and there’s no such room.

Your Lake options are:

Bug a buddy who’s a member to get you out for a round, or arrive early on championship Sunday to walk the course if you should make the finals.

Lake Club Finals will start at 9 a.m.

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CADDIES ON SUNDAY; CARTS ON FRIDAY. SATURDAY

Please remember our adjustment this year: Caddies only on Sunday; not on Friday or Saturday.

This is a pace-of-play issues. We are also asking all players to ride in a cart on Friday and Saturday.

We will be flexible on this. If a player in the group wishes to walk, we will allow it so long as you keep pace.

If you get one hole behind, we will ask all players to cart up.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Greatest Golfer is in need of volunteer love to make Greatest Week happen.

On Monday, Aug. 15, we need 24 volunteers to help keep score for the Greatest Scramble Championship. We need you from 12:30 to 5:30.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, we need 10 volunteers for scoring the championship.

All volunteers get lunch, drinks, a great golf gift and a front-row seat to some greatest competition.

Please email tfranko@vindy.com if you can help us.

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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Greatest Golfer is in need of volunteer love to make Greatest Week happen.

On Monday, Aug. 15, we need 24 volunteers to help keep score for the Greatest Scramble Championship. We need you from 12:30 to 5:30.

On Sunday, Aug. 21, we need 10 volunteers for scoring the championship.

All volunteers get lunch, drinks, a great golf gift and a front-row seat to some greatest competition.

Please email tfranko@vindy.com if you can help us.

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ADULT TEE TIMES TO

POST MONDAY, AUG. 15

Tee times for the Farmers Bank Adult tourney will be posted Monday night, Aug. 15.

Those will be the specific times and pairings for Friday, Aug. 19 and Saturday, Aug. 20.

The general times for those days are listed below.

Tee times for Sunday finals at The Lake Club are based on the standings. We advance approximately the top third of all divisions. Tees Sunday will run from 9-11 a.m. In order of level with the Open divisions teeing off last.

NOTE: ALL Saturday play at Oak Tree will start at 2 p.m. and start off of both 1 and 10 tees.

Mill Creek North, Aug. 19

8 a.m.-9:30: Men's Open and 17+ divisions

1 p.m.-2:30: Men's 9-12 divisions

Mill Creek South

8 a.m.-9:30: Ladies Open, Ladies 9+, Seniors Open, Seniors 10+, Super Seniors, Men's 5-8 divisions

1 p.m.-2:30: Men's 5-8, Men’s 13-16 divisions

(* Some Men’s 5-8 will tee off from 9-930 due to size of division. Please email if you need a PM time.)

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Saturday, Aug. 20:

Avalon — Men’s Open, Ladies, 10:40 a.m. start

Oak Tree— Men’s 5-8 and Super Seniors divisions, 2 p.m. off of 1 and 10

Youngstown — Men’s 13-16, Seniors Open, Sen 10+ and, 11 a.m. start

Tippecanoe— Men’s 9-12, Men’s17+, 10:00 a.m. start

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HANDICAPS CHANGES, VERIFICATIONS

We are in the process of checking all registrants’ handicaps now.

If you handicap has changed so that it puts you in another division, please email us. We love those changes.

If you have questions on a player’s stated placement, please email that concern in confidence.

Direct any emails to tfranko@vindy.com.

We’re proud to have developed a good system for competition.

Watch for a story on last year’s final-day scoring and players’ relation to par. It will go online this weekend.

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The Long Drive Competition

Reminder that Tippecanoe Country Club will again host the Greatest Long Drive championship at 6 p.m., Aug. 18.

There is a registration link here:

http://www.vindy.com/golf/longdrive/

It’s free to watch that evening on the club’s awesome back patio.

So, swing with us if you got 320 in the bag. Visit with us if you want to watch.

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Read Greatest roster; Protect the field

This is a critical period for Greatest golfers and the event as players properly align themselves in the correct division.

Our skill verification process has grown over the years, and we will spend many hours on the phone in the next two weeks calling around.

We’re proud that at last year’s Greatest, each champion was well within USGA’s format for reasonable performance of their stated level of play.

All players are encouraged to review all Greatest divisions NOW and alert us confidentially to any discrepancies in placement. Email tfranko@vindy.com.

Rosters are found on vindy.com/golf and then clicking the MENU box in the top left corner.

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MUSIC & GOLF

We’re fans of “local” here at Greatest headquarters — whether golf, news or even arts.

One local artist we’ve partnered with over the years is singer-songwriter JD Eicher of Canfield. JD has a new album out, and one of the new songs serves as the music we use in our 2016 Greatest TV commercials.

Well, we made a whole video of the song — featuring your Greatest golfer moments from the last two years, as well as JD.

CLICK HERE

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CONGRATS TO VIVO, KREPS & Co.

It was a Boardman High School sweep this weekend as Cade Kreps and Jenna Vivo won the Flynn Auto Greatest Golfer titles in the u17 boys and girls divisions.

In the boys 14-U finals, Michael Porter took second with an 84, while Luke Nord finished third with a 93.

Conner Stevens won the boys 14-U and Olivia Taylor won the girls 14-U.

Read here.

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COURSES

Here’s the projected course plan for the 2016 Farmers National Bank Greatest Golfer of the Valley adult tourney Aug. 19-21.

Practice rounds are available at the host courses. Call the pro shop in advance to learn of each course’s specifics of times and prices.

All men’s divisions, except Open, will play normal men’s tees. Senior Open will also play from the normal men’s tees. Seniors 10+ will play normal senior tees.

Mill Creek North, Aug. 19

8 a.m.-9:30: Men's Open and 17+ divisions

1 p.m.-2:30: Men's 9-12 Division

Mill Creek South

8 a.m.-9:30: Seniors, Seniors 10+ Super Seniors, Ladies, Ladies 9+

1 p.m.-2:30: Men's 5-8 Handicap, Men’s 13-16

Saturday, Aug. 20:

Avalon — Open, Ladies, 10:40 a.m. Start

Oak Tree— 5-8 and Super Seniors, division 2 p.m. off of 1 and 10

Youngstown — 13-16, Seniors, Sen 10+ and, 11 a.m. start

Tippecanoe— 9-12, 17+, 10:00 a.m. start

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FASTER PLAY

As a way to speed up play on Friday and Saturday when the fields are thick, Greatest will be “Must cart; no caddies” on those days.

Caddies and walking will be invited for Sunday play at The Lake.

Of course in carting Friday and Saturday, if you desire some space, feel free to cart your bag and enjoy occasional bagless walks in smaller gaps.

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FOR OPEN DIVISION, a VINTAGE threesome makes it to Sunday finals:

We have noticed a tug-of-war with the best male golfers in our Valley who are veterans of the links. They want to compete with the young bucks in Open, but over 3 days with them, it is a tough grind.

Some opt out of Greatest altogether. Other Open guys ponder managing their way to a 5 handicap and playing in the 5-8 division.

We want to incentivize those guys to stay in Greatest, stay in Open and not opt out or wander up.

So here’s what we’ll try this year:

If you are 50+ and playing Men’s OPEN, but fail to make the Sunday leaderboard, you have a chance to play Sunday.

Three tee spots for 50-over Open players will be created to celebrate the commitment and the sticktoitiveness of their play.

Of course, if a 50+ player pulls a Bernhard Langer-Augusta feat and is on the leaderboard, that player will stay there as per normal.

We’ll try this this year.

This salutes the venerable guys and gives them some Sunday incentive. Greatest Sundays at Lake are pretty special. We think it also protects the 5-8 hcap division.

So we’ll try this this year.

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