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A marathon of golf for a great cause Tuesday at Elmridge GC

By Gavin Keefe

Publication: The Day

Published October 01. 2012 4:00AM

Chuck Slenker is preparing for a marathon.

Only he'll be wearing golf shoes instead of running shoes.

A teaching pro at Elmridge Golf Course in Pawcatuck, Slenker and three others will participate in a golf marathon for charity event on Tuesday, running from sunrise to sundown.

The foursome will be raising money for First Tee of Connecticut and the Connecticut Section PGA Golf Foundation.

"It's a really good thing going on," Slenker said. "We're really looking forward to it."

Elmridge is serving as the marathon host. The goal is to play 150 holes during 11 hours and 45 minutes of daylight.

Slenker and John Vitale, the professional at Hawk's Landing Country Club in Southington, will start playing at about 6:30 a.m. and then Mark Moriarty and Meghan Doherty will take over at 12:30 p.m. and complete the marathon.

Moriarty is the program director for First Tee of Connecticut and Doherty, a member at Elmridge, is the assistant program director.

Last year Moriarty and Vitale held a golf marathon at Hawk's Landing. The pair finished 126 holes and raised about $800.

There's no time to keep a scorecard.

"It is speed golf," Moriarty said. "You need to finish every hole…. There's a little bit of aiming and thinking about what you're doing. There is really no stopping other than to putt.

"It's a fun day. John and I had a good time."

With four golfers tackling the golf marathon this year, they should be able to easily surpass last year's hole total.

Slenker is looking to get the marathon team off to a good and productive start.

"We're going to try to get in as many holes as we can," Slenker said. "I'm sure we'll have a little bit of friendly competition going on. We're trying to get in 150 holes."

Donations will be accepted prior to and after the golf marathon. Elmridge members have responded so far, filling up a sign-up sheet for donations in the pro shop.

Donors have several different options. They can pledge by hole, by birdie, by eagle or just give a set amount.

For more information, stop by the Elmridge pro shop or call First Tee at (860) 882-1660 or email trice@the firstteect.org,

Elmridge has offered the First Tee of Connecticut program since last year.

Slenker is pleased with the program's progress. In the fall session, he has 18 golfers, ranging in age from seven to 16. They're taught everything from the fundamentals of the games and rules, to a program for physical exercise and First Tee values.

"It's awesome," Slenker said. "We've got a great group of kids really interested in learning the game… I'm really happy with the way they set it up. Every session has been growing and growing. It's been amazing. It's been really great for the kids."

Short putts

• Casey Roan of Shennecossett Golf Course and Kevin Shea of Great Neck Country Club in Waterford finished in the top 20 last week at the 81st Connecticut PGA Championship at Ellington Ridge Country Club.

Roan placed 11th, shooting an 11-over 227 (72-80-75), while Shea tied for 20th with a 231 (77-78-76). Tony Kelley of Wyckoff Country Club won his fifth Connecticut PGA Championship in a playoff.

• The women's Shoreline golf group season came to a close on Sept. 21, with the last match play tournament at Black Hall Club in Old Lyme. Teams from Black Hall, Clinton, Old Lyme, Great Neck, Stonington and Pequot competed this season.

Pequot Golf Club captured first place overall with 141.5 points and took home the trophy. Team members were: Kathy Arsenault, Ann Marie Fleming, Linda Hatch, Shirley McFadden, Ruth Parylak, Ginnie Ridinger, Holly Rood, Karen Schlosser, Bonnie Wright and captain Angie McClean.

Clinton (139.5) placed second and Stonington (138) third overall.

• Slenker and Shennecossett Golf Course pro shop Todd Goodhue helped raise $1875 in their first annual Wounded Warrior charity golf tournament last month.

"It was great and it really came out well," Slenker said. "Being a vet, that made me feel good."

Slenker already plans to hold the tournament again next year.

• Host Shennecossett took home the trophy in the annual Norwich-Shenny Challenge on Sept. 15. Each team had 40 golfers compete. Jeff Doerr, a former assistant at Shenny now working at Norwich, got to experience the event from the Norwich side this year. Shenny defeated Norwich, 35.5-24.5.

• Tournament season is winding down this month.

Black Hall Club is hosting the Connecticut Section PGA Pro-Am Championship today. Pro Andrew Campbell, Darren Falk, Phil Perry and Ron Soccoli Jr. will represent Black Hall. Bradley Lusenhop and Tom Cutone of Fox Hopyard also are in the field.

Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug is hosting the Pro-Am Series Team Championship on Oct. 11. The Lake of Isles PGA Pro-Scratch Invitational tees off Oct. 22.

Gavin Keefe is The Day's golf columnist

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