Around The Green
By Darryl Loo
On a fine September day we were once again rewarded with beautiful weather. With little or no wind we were prepared to attack this revamped Tony Lima Golf Course. Although several players shot decent scores, on the whole this tough tract won most of the battles. Chris Spear, who joined us earlier this year, had a fine outing and won the A flight. Following were Chris Diaz and John Won, John gained some precious points in his chase for the A flight crown. But Jerry Hess the leader of the pack finished right behind, so the gain was only 2 1/2 points.

Ah, not Terry Smerdel again. Yes, Terry in first once more. In what I like to call “a moving year”, Terry moved his handicap lower all year. He finished first in several tournaments and placed high in several others. By the end of the day, Terry wrapped up the club trophy with his winning effort. In second place was Mike Braida, who often must travel all over the greater Bay Area. It must have felt great to only travel across the Bay. I would like to thank Mike’s fine group for their support this year. Tied with Mike was Dennis O’Neill, who is my candidate for next year’s moving year. Dennis has been steadily improving.

Frank Bonal even with all the responsibilities of running the club, still manages to shoot a solid round on occasion. He finished in fourth place just ahead of the trio of Dave Thompson, Leo Tingin and Allison Yee. Dave, who belongs to the group from Station 2, they as a group are all in the race to win a flight or place in the top 3. Great playing by a great group of guys. Leo has been chasing Terry Smerdel all year in an effort to retain his club trophy. But Mr. Smerdel’s play has relegated Leo to a possible runner up position. He should be happy to have another fine year. His playing partner Allison Yee has played well this year, while playing mostly from the men’s tee. I’ve played in her group and she has a fine game. With some work on her short game, she could also have a moving year. Hopefully, other lady golfers will join our club and enjoy the fun.

San Francisco Fire Golf Club once again has completed their golf schedule. On a spectacularly perfect day at Silverado C.C., we met with our club champion already decided Station 17’s Terry Smerdel holding an insurmountable lead. Playing on the South course, we had a horse race for the A flight title. Between 3 players having outstanding years. Jerry Hess of Station 2 held a slim 3-point lead over the steady play of John Won. He also had a 5 1/2 point lead over fellow Station 2 member and playing partner Arnie Lee.

Unfortunately, Jerry Hess was unable to attend this tournament. So it was up to John Won and Arnie Lee to over take the leader. On a day with the course in its best condition in years and perfect weather, we teed it up. Arnie Lee with solid play and a fine score of 86, finished in a tie for first place and a 10-point total. Arnie overtook the leader to win the A flight title on the final day. Along with the title he also got “Bragging Rights” in his foursome. Good job Arnie, your solid play over the year has paid off.

Also tied for first was one of our newer members, Mike Peterson, who shot a fine 84. Closely following were two of our old Battalion 10 players, Tom Lovely and Mike Ahumada. Both used to play all the time in our club, but have been so busy that they only played in several the last few years. We hope to see more of them at our events next year.

In the B flight, John O’Shea battled to a one shot victory for his first win this year. Rounding out our top 5, were Mark Johnson, Leo Tingin, Dave Thompson and Dave Britt. All these players play in most, if not all our events. So they are always in contention for our club title.

Absent from this group was Terry Smerdel. Terry played in his first full golf season and improved all year. He placed in the top 10 all year, and often in the top 3. Terry’s play had already won the B flight title and the overall championship, before we teed it up today. Great job to my good friend Terry.

In the upcoming year, we hope to have an exciting schedule for us to play. We already have both Silverado Courses booked, and hope to continue our affiliation with them. Another exciting booking is a 2-day trip to the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. We only have 40 spots for this trip, sign up and pay early!

We will be playing at Poppy Hills on Day 1 and the Bayonet Course at Ford Ord on Day 2. This trip is scheduled for April 10-11 and will include hotel accommodations.

Our NCGA single and two man qualifiers will be set to be played early in the year, so be prepared to play our early tournaments. Our awards banquet and first tournament will be taking place at Chardonnay Country Club.

Chardonnay is a beautiful and tough track that should challenge all of the members. Hopefully we can start our season with a good showing of golfers. We have 3 new courses that we hope will titillate our members.

First is a San Francisco course no one talks about, Presidio Golf Club. This is as fine a test as it’s better known brothers. It twists and winds amongst the trees in the Presidio. It has some greens so small that only one iron can be used to hold it.

Second on the list is my personal favorite, Boundary Oaks in Walnut Creek. Although I am partial, as it is my home course. If you haven’t played here, do yourself a favor and make this tournament. It has it all!! Long par 4’s, reachable par 5’s, elevation changes, slick greens...OK ..OK.. I’m getting carried away, but I love this course.

Last but definitely not least, is Poppy Ridge in Livermore. Not only do we get to play the tree-lined Poppy Hills, but also we get to see the one, (yes!) one tree on Poppy Ridge. If you can try this course, I think that you’ll find it fun and challenging.

We are also returning to an old favorite, Franklin Canyon in Martinez. So come out, tee it up and have some fun.


We know that many people believe that they don’t play very well, so are uninterested. However, our new club champion, Terry Smerdel, who started the year with a 40 handicap, finished the year with a 34 handicap. You too can do it.

So join the club, learn to play golf, get to know other firefighters and don’t worry about your scores.

Grab some friends, get together a foursome and have some fun.



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