Combine the general itchiness of golfers to play, the popularity of the summertime Black Bear Golf Classics, and the renewed attempt to bring indoor golf to eastern Maine and you come up with the first annual Delta Indoor Golf Black Bear Classic.
It’s a scramble format event at Eastern Maine Indoor Golf Club on Outer Hammond Street in Bangor in the the Sebco Plumbing and Heating building.
The first round is scheduled for Sunday and Monday. The first 24 foursomes to sign up will get in. There are three possible playing times each day. Teams will be assigned to one of the four stations at the facility.
Two stations are Pebble Beach in California, one is Pinehurst in North Carolina, and the fourth is Quinta do Lago in Portugal.
Men and women will be able to compete as one of three tees can be selected to make the game more even. The maximum handicaps given are 18 for men and 24 for women.
Starting times are 4 p.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. each day. Each round takes approximately two hours.
The top four gross teams will return Feb. 28 for semifinal and final rounds.
Players must bring their own clubs and wear sneakers or rubber-soled shoes (no spikes allowed) and comfortable clothing. Balls will be provided.
Prizes are for first and second places in gross and net, and long drives for men and women. Each player also receives two tickets to the Maine-New Hampshire men’s basketball game March 3 at Orono.
The entry fee is $120 per team and only foursomes will be accepted. The fee includes the semifinal and final rounds.
Net proceeds will go to the Black Bear Athletic Scholarship Fund, and to help, owner Norm Prouty has donated the use of the facility.
Call Dave Ames at 581-1234 for more information.
Play is climbing steadily at Eastern Maine Indoor Golf Club, according to Prouty.
There are three leagues going, two for men and one for women.
With Pebble Beach and Pinehurst as two difficult courses, it was expected that Quinta do Lago would be the easiest of the four stations, but it has turned out to be just the opposite because of its tight, small greens, said Prouty.
The setup for each station is fairly simple. Seven hundred pictures are put together on a film strip set up under the golfer’s feet. A computer analyzes information from sensors that determine the flight path, trajectory, rotation, and speed of the ball.
After the computer figures out how far the ball was hit and the direction, it picks the frame which most closely approximates the lie it determined and advances the film strip. It then puts on a display board the distance the ball was hit and how far there is to go.
According to players practicing there recently, club yardages closely follow their outdoor play. Putting is done on the carpet in front of the screen. Bunkers are played from a plusher carpet in the tee area.
Prices are $16 per hour Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and $22 per hour for evenings and weekends. Since four experienced players who keep moving can play a round in two hours, according to Prouty, that works out to $8 a person.