Frank Borowski is known as the Travel Golf League founder.
The league which started in 1979, had never golfed in the month of January - until this past Wednesday.
That's right, the Travel League got together and played at Pinehurst Golf Club on Jan. 11.
So when participant Butch Mackowiak called Borowski, who know resides in Florida and was celebrating his 90th birthday, he couldn't believe what he heard.
"He was really excited about it and we talked about old times," Mackowiak said. "Everyone got to say hi. He was laughing and having a grand old time. It was nice to talk to him."
The earliest the league has played in the past 15 years was St. Patrick's Day, according to Mackowiak. A handful of players had "cabin fever" and thought about playing in December. However, with several golfers out of town for the holidays, those plans never came to fruition.
John Waterman, another golfer, then sent out a mass e-mail to all the participants to inform them they were planning to hit the links Jan. 11 at Pinehurst Golf Club.
"I sent out the e-mail to 35-40 guys and said, 'This is not a joke,'" Waterman said. "I received a few e-mails back that said, 'Yes. This is a joke.'"
So on Jan. 11, with the sun out, temperatures in the high 20s and only frost on the ground, 17 golfers showed up with clubs in hand to the golf course on Route 20.
"The mood was fantastic," Waterman said. "Everyone was smiling and laughing. We were happy to be playing."
"It reminded me of old high school days," Mackowiak added. "We couldn't believe we were playing. It was fun to get out there."
And how were the scores?
"Horrible," Waterman laughed.
"Three guys broke 90. We played a par-74. There were no tee-boxes out. The winds picked up and it was cold."
The cold weather also proved to be beneficial for three golfers in Waterman's group.
See TRAVEL?LEAGUE, Page B3
"Three guys hit the pond on one of the holes, but the ball rolled over it because the pond was frozen," he said. "On a normal day we would have all been (in the pond).
"The greens were a lot better than expected," Waterman added about the condition of the course. "The ground was harder so the balls rolled really good for January."
And when everyone completed the round, they all met at Coughlin's in Fredonia to reflect on the day.
"We talked about what we just did," Mackowiak said. "The conversation went around. We all exchanged stories. The latest we ever played was Dec. 13 in Cassadaga. It was cool."
"I personally played once in my life in January," Waterman said. "It was 10 years ago. You don't get a chance to do it often. We will remember it and talk about it forever."
Listed below are the scores:
Last year's overall points leader and tour victories leader Ron Rys picked up right where he left off, as he posted the low round of 80. Ed Tofil finished second with 82. Other flight winners were Rudi Adamczak (B Flight), Pat Weaver (C Flight) and Rick Santiago (D Flight). Winner of the Commissioner's Award was Lee Titus.
Untied birdies were recorded by: A Flight - Jim Ferrick (No. 4), John Waterman (No. 9), Rys (No. 15) and Al Etzel (No. 16); B Flight - Butch Miller (No. 1) and Adamczak (No. 18); C Flight - Ron Szach (No. 7) and Dan Kaszuba (No. 10); D Flight - Titus (No. 4). Joe Michalski and Gary Richardson tied for most total birdies with two.
Closest to the pin were Ferrick (No. 4), Etzel (Nos. 7 and 13) and Titus (No. 15). Before golf, Bob Thompson won the long drive contest and Bob Welch won the Accuracy contest as the only golfer to hit the target. Top point winners were Etzel (32), Rys (16) and Ferrick and Titus (12 each).