“Veni, vidi, vici!” the immortal words of Julius Caesar when landing in Britannia. Fast forward a couple of thousand years and these words ring true again except in this case it was The Bird Golf Academy students who “came, saw and conquered”.

The 2004 Invitational was our largest and most successful to date and filled with laughter, great fellowship and outstanding golf. There is no more wonderful feeling for us as teachers, than to watch our students’ progress and continue taking their games to new levels. Universally true for all this years participants who were once again, magnificent.

Our opening day featured another fascinating Clear Key presentation by the master himself, Carey Mumford. At the forefront of the mental game for over 30 years, Carey’s dynamic and insightful method of “taking your game to the golf course” is without equal.

The first day of the tournament was at Palm Valley on the Arthur Hills championship course (which is in absolutely perfect condition). In the scramble format the team of Don and Barbara Raymond, Joe DeLong and their professional, Kelly Olohan shot an extraordinary 49, putting their team 3 shots clear of Harry and Iris Brener, Kay Stafford and Jay Ewing. Following play, Mary Mills and Sharon Miller presented a fascinating clinic on “drills’. The insight of these two multiple LPGA Tour winners was, as always, invaluable.

01-Sharon-Mary-Clinic

Sharon & Mary present their clinic on “Swing Drills”

02-jayclinicteaching

Jay’s clinic on ball flight laws.

Day Two on the Wigwam’s Blue course was indeed “moving day”. The Raymond/DeLong team with Jim Samsing (who shot a 69) prevailed once again and distanced themselves from the field by recording an incredible 25 under par team total in the 2 Best Ball Net format. Don Raymond played superbly and shot a career best 95. A quantum leap was made by the team of Steve Bybyk, Susan Ostrowski, Mike Wright and professional Ross Kroeker who came from 6th place overnight into second place after the end of round 2. Defending champion Krista Katusha had flashes of brilliance as her team of Tom Peebles and Ted Bassett (who played brilliantly and scored on most of their holes) moved into 3rd.

Halloween! … on the links!

03-Wizard-of-Oz

Dorothy and her Uncle Henry in the Wizard of Oz, Susan and Steve were charming and a lot of fun to see on the driving range that morning warming up.

04-Bassett---Tin-Cup

Chris (Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy) and Astrid Bassett (Romeo Posar) stole the show with their Tin Cup outfits

05-Ewing-and-Jones

Pictured here with Jay
Ewing as Bobby Jones.

The final day was a day of individual bests. Kay Stafford shot a superb 79 which included back to back birdies. Chris Bassett (see the “Tin Cup” outfit) shot and 80 and his lovely wife, Astrid (who has only been playing for 7 months) recorded a 104. Both these scores were personal bests. Sandy Cable shot an 88 and Tom Peeples a career low 92 (Tom is also relatively new to the game). The leaders however did not relent. Barbara Raymond led the way with her lowest score ever and Joe DeLong recorded his best score with a 77. Playing alongside professional Ronnie Wood, the Raymonds and DeLong team posted an Invitational record score for 3 days with a team total of 290.

John and Christopher proudly accept their 2nd place trophy for their team. (Jackie Yost not pictured). (From left to right) Kelly Olohan, John Mann, Christopher Walker, Sharon Miller and Ross Kroeker.

John and Christopher proudly accept their 2nd place trophy for their team. (Jackie Yost not pictured). (From left to right) Kelly Olohan, John Mann, Christopher Walker, Sharon Miller and Ross Kroeker.

The biggest move of the day was made by John Mann, Christopher Walker, Jackie Yost and their professional Ross Kroeker who came in with a 19 under par score that would leap them into second place overall. Christopher, who at age 15 is our youngest competitor ever, distinguished himself for the duration of the tournament and will surely become a very fine player. One stroke back in 3rd place overall was the team of Chris and Astrid Bassett and George Yost. In 4th place was the Bybyk, Ostrowski and Wright team. Jim Samsing became the first repeat winner in the professional division edging out Jay Ewing by a single stroke with Kelly Olohan and Ross Kroeker a further stroke behind in a tie for 3rd.

At the end of the day; everyone was a winner. Friendships were made, skills were learned, laughter rang throughout and indelible memories were created. Once again, golf gave of itself and rewarded us all with its’ infinite mystery and magic.

Our first place winners Don Raymond, Barbara Raymond and Joe DeLong delighted with their success accept their trophy and share their success with Bird Golf professionals. (From left to right Jay Ewing, Don Raymond, Barbara Raymond, Joe DeLong, Kelly Olohan, Jim Samsing and Larry Shute).

Our first place winners Don Raymond, Barbara Raymond and Joe DeLong delighted with their success accept their trophy and share their success with Bird Golf professionals. (From left to right Jay Ewing, Don Raymond, Barbara Raymond, Joe DeLong, Kelly Olohan, Jim Samsing and Larry Shute).

The next Invitational will be held on November 3-7 2005 at our new site in Jekyll Island. For more information, call our office at 623 882-2054.

See all the reasons why Bird Golf Academy
is the World’s Top Golf School.

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