Southers Marsh News

Closed for the Winter

The golf course is closed for the winter.
We decided years ago that we would rather have nice conditions when the weather is beautiful in May, rather than sacrifice just to squeeze a few rounds in when the weather is nasty. We appreciate your understanding, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone in the spring!

Summer Junior Golf Clinics

Run by Scotty Whitcomb

Contact to sign up: or call or text 781-789-8762

No clinic on Wednesday July 25
Wednesdays 4-5 PM - Ages 6 to 8
Wednesdays 5-6 PM - Ages 9 and older
$20 per child per session, pay as you go

Super Twilight Policy

Super Twilight rates are deeply discounted because you most likely will not finish all 18 holes. Carts must be returned to the clubhouse at a specified time which is approximately 10-15 minutes after official sunset or 8:00 PM, whichever is earlier (see the chart below for the precise times). Playing in the dark or past the cart return time is not an option, the golf course is closed for the night. We are open for 14 hours every day from May 15-September 1, so you can find a way to fit your golf in during that time.

Due to repeated problems with people not returning golf carts on time and the cost and annoyance of our staff, we have instituted a new policy, and have been testing it for the past 3 years. We are happy to report that it works great.
- When you check in you will be told what time the carts need to be in. There is no point in arguing, if you don't want to return the carts at that time, you do not need to play.
- When you check in, one person in your group must leave a credit card. Your group will be charged $1 per minute per person that you are late past the agreed upon time. For example, if a foursome is 5 minutes late, the charge is $20. (4 people x 5 minutes late)
- The rules are subject to change based on someone finding a loophole. That's the beauty of the system, we make the rules and there will be no loopholes for more than 1 night. We think that this policy is airtight, but then again our minds are not that devious. If we get burned, we will be changing the rules the next day. The bottom line is that we work a long day and we need to be in control of when we close.

Remarkably, in the first 2 weeks of the new system, not one golfer "lost track of time" or "needed to keep playing because they had the round of their life going." Truly amazing since these things used to happen on a nightly basis.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Super Twilight Rate
Friday, Saturday, Sunday , and Holidays

Because of the changing lengths of days, Twilight and Super Twilight start times and cart return times vary throughout the year.

Super Twilight
2 PM
4 PM
3 PM
5 PM
September 11-October
2 PM
4 PM
1 PM
2:30 PM

Cart Return Time
March 15
March 31
April 15
April 22
April 30-August 17
August 18
August 28
September 8
September 16
September 24
October 1
October 9
October 17
October 25
November 4

Cranberry Harvest Schedule

During Cranberry Harvest, the golf course is still open as usual. The only difference is that we will be working in the cranberry bogs to bring the berries in. If you haven't seen it in person before it is well worth the trip. Please keep in mind that these dates and times are tentative, and subject to change based on the weather, size of the crop, delivery truck mishaps, Big Will's mood, and Pru's back (and BAC).

To see what each of these activities entails check out these cranberry harvest photos.

Schedule Highlights
Sunday, Sept 25 - First Day of Harvest
Thursday, Sept 29 - Picking Bog closest to clubhouse
Sunday, Oct 2 - berry loading at 8:30 AM - Good viewing day!

If you are thinking of taking a ride down, please call the clubhouse at 508-830-3535 to double check that we are harvesting.
The cranberry harvest is truly beautiful. See some beauty shots from previous years.

Healthy Living - Chapter 3 - The Plan

By Big Will - self-proclaimed expert

I commend any of you who are still reading these blogs about taking care of yourself, especially when you consider who wrote them.

We've now reached a point where it's time to evaluate your current magnitude and design a plan for yourself.

Obviously there are tens of thousands of websites, books, magazines, etc. aimed at telling you the best way to lose weight. I can't even imagine how many people make their living off the fitness industry. I've read a countless number of articles and discussed this subject with many doctors, professional trainers, and fitness gurus. Everyone seems to have a solid opinion on the subject, including me.

From all my research, the best advice I could possibly offer you is simply to burn more calories daily than you consume. That's it. Game over. How to accomplish that is a matter of personal preference.

What follows here is what worked for me. I can offer you some tools that may help you come up with a plan that's not all that tough to stick with. As you read these, please keep in mind that my doctors had given me no other options but to lose a lot of weight. I'd already gotten two stents in December of '07 and a triple bypass in April of 2010.

Your plan should include a target weight you're after. I'm not a big fan of the charts created by the medical community that provide you with a target weight and target body mass index (BMI). According to height/weight chart, at 5'11" I should weigh less than 183 pounds. Wow. Since Labor Day of 2010, I've lost 33 pounds, bringing me to a rather stealth 208. So I still have 25 more to lose? I haven't weighed that since I was a sophomore in high school. Using those same criteria, Vince Wilfork, the Patriot's three time Pro Bowl player, at 6'2" should weigh 193 or less, instead of the 325 he currently tips the scales at. A BMI chart created by the American Heart Association recommends that everyone strive for a body mass index of fewer than 25 to be at minimal risk for coronary artery disease. According to that chart I'm at 29.4 so I'm still classified as "overweight, moderate risk". The great news, if you read the fine print, is that neither of these charts "takes into account if a person is very muscular". Well that's it. Obviously Vince and I are jacked so those charts don't apply to us. We're both technically "off the charts". Do I have a six-pack? I do believe I had one last night.

Another measuring tool is body fat percentage. That's a big deal if your goal is to become a professional body builder and need to achieve 5% or less in order to compete. Actually that percentage can lead to serious health risks depending upon your age and gender so don't concern yourself with this number.

Lastly, the American Heart Association recommends that the girth of your waist be no more than 90% of your hips (80% for women). If my waist size is ever going to be 10% less than my hips, monumental changes needed to take place. That ratio is recommended for slowing the production of plaque in your blood vessels and helping prevent coronary artery disease, which I obviously have. I'm working on that but it's going to take some significant time.

One more word about weight. I found it far better to concern myself with the notches on my belt than getting on the scales every week. As you progress, you'll be substituting fat with muscle so your actual weight isn't a good measure of how you're doing. In the beginning stages I bought a belt that was much too big for me. I didn't have to suck in my gut to buckle it and the extra length wrapped around my hip. Psychologically, it made me feel thinner, which, of course, I wasn't. Now I've reached a point where I have to make new holes in it once a month. Perfect.

You may think you're not at risk for any of these problems yet. Good luck with that idea. That's exactly what I thought about myself. As I said in Chapter Two, you're next event is coming and you may want to prepare yourself to withstand it. That's entirely up to you.

Big Will's Recommendations for Healthy Living

1. This is not at all about going on a diet. That ship has sailed over the horizon. This is totally about making lifestyle changes that are going to become part of your life.

2. You'll need to create a plan that includes a combination of diet and exercise. For me, doing either one or the other did nothing. I had to do both or all I did was maintain my current weight. What's your plan going to be? Some plans are better than others but there is no right or wrong answer here. Obviously, if you're at the gym, or walking or doing something, you're not sitting on your couch eating a bowl of saturated fat you'll be wearing tomorrow. Choose whatever works for you.

3. One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories so if you eat 500 fewer calories a day, you'll lose a pound in a week. Or eat 250 less and walk off 250. Can of corn. Or eat 600 less and burn 600 daily at the gym and watch the weight really come off. I really don't count calories but I am very aware of what I shouldn't eat and I stay away from that stuff.

4. Don't make your plan so aggressive that you're torturing yourself and are left feeling deprived. You should be happy about these changes and that'll make it easier for you stick with your plan. For example, I love mayonnaise and can eat it with nothing, right out of the jar. I overcame that by giving up sandwiches. No sandwich, no need for mayo, and no feeling of deprivation. Also without the sandwich, there's no need for chips. Even better.

5. Change your attitude about food. I'm sure you've heard the saying, "Food is my enemy". I don't really feel that way but I have managed to restructure my feelings about looking forward to eating. I don't and that attitude has helped me big time. I now feel like I could take it or leave it, it's just not a priority in my life. I know I have to because calories supply energy and we all need that. I have substantially reduced the amount of food I eat and occasionally skip meals. I've evaluated the whole skipping meals theory that may put your body into starvation mode that slows your metabolism and slows weight loss. It may also cause you to get headaches, feel dizzy, make you cranky, etc. Yes, it does. It also leads to bi-monthly half hour stomach cramps that I think may be caused by the size of my gut shrinking. Whatever the case, I did it because it worked. Ask an anorexic; they'll tell you it works.

6. If you don't put it in your mouth, you don't have to worry about burning it off. I tend to measure food by the length of time I'd have to spend on the elliptical machine to get rid of it. When I'm on it, I burn approximately ten calories per minute. So the 1.74 ounce bags of peanut M&Ms we sell in the Pro Shop contain 250 calories or 25 minutes of huffing and puffing just to break even. Since I'm only allotted 1861 calories daily, I'd much rather spend those 250 calories on alcohol at cocktail hour.

Editor's Note: In case you couldn't figure this out for yourself, much of this is tongue-in-cheek, and Big Will's advice may or may not be good for you.

Healthy Living - Chapter 2 - The Transition

By Big Will - self-proclaimed expert

The transition is all about developing a mindset. It's about deciding if you'd like to help yourself live longer or just do nothing and take your chances at your next "event". The next "event" (or the "first event" for some of you) is inevitable; trust me, it's coming. The only unknown is exactly when it will occur and how severe it will be. God willing, you'll live through it and have the opportunity to make some changes. If you decide to be proactive and make lifestyle changes now, you can increase your chances significantly, even though you've behaved badly, like me, for so many years. All things considered, that's a pretty sweet deal.

I had my first such event on December 13, 2007, when I was 58. Former SMGC clubhouse manager Chrissy McGillveary had gotten her snowmobile stuck on the driving range, I lifted it back onto the track, she took off, and I stood there wavering, lighted headed and nauseous. I spent the next three hours online, hoping to find a website that gave me a way out, like it was indigestion or bad heartburn. Wasn't happening, the antacids weren't getting it done. I guess it's a guy thing to deny all the warning signs and resist going to the hospital and inconveniencing anyone. Number one son Willie caught me bouncing around the internet and turned me in.

The next thing I know I'm lying on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance headed for Boston with all kinds of tubes coming out of my arm and I'm scared big time. I remember asking the young female paramedic sitting next to me if she thought I'd still be alive at 5:00. She took a moment to access the situation and then replied, "probably". Trust me, that was not the answer I was looking for. I wanted her to reassure me with a lie if necessary. Whatever. Whether I lived or died, I was never going to see her again. If I had kicked the bucket, I'm pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to track her down and ask for an apology.

At any rate, the staff at Boston Medical Center were awesome. They put a couple of stents in my heart and sent me to my room (bad boy). One of the surgeons came up to see how I was doing and he delivered a verbal ass kicking I'll never forget. Normally I'd tune out people who wanted to lecture me on the evils of smoking but since the dude had just saved my life I figured I better listen. Basically, he talked to me about the relationship between cigarettes and suicide. Did I not enjoy my life or something? Why was I so willing to send myself to a premature death? The challenge of quitting the butts was not insurmountable and I'd better get to work on it or my next "event" might be my last. Unfortunately, I don't remember the doctor's name but he was equally adept at motivational speaking as well as heart surgery.

A couple of days later I was released from Boston Medical and everyone was telling me how lucky I was. I was still so terrorized from the whole experience that quitting smoking wasn't an issue. Was I surprised that this "event" had occurred? Based on the fact that I was overweight, out of shape, smoked, had a history of heart disease in my family, drank more than I probably should have, didn't exercise, and ate a lousy diet may have been a factors. In fact, if you answered yes to any two of the aforementioned, you might want to at least consider your chances of surviving your next event. As I just said, it's coming. Still, I was obviously very disappointed. This stuff supposed to happen to other people, not me.

Actually, as it turned out, I was later able to understand that I had been very lucky. I was doing so many things badly that I had opportunities to make positive changes on multiple fronts. To me, it's like failing a high school English exam on the Illiad. If I had actually read the book, or poem, whatever, I probably could have passed that test. But I hadn't, so I'm really not alarmed. It would have been far worse to have actually studied and then failed. Damn, what would you do then? You'd have to face the fact that you might possibly be stupid which would make your life quite difficult to live out. So with this new situation, even though it was medical, I'm thinking, yes, I just flunked the test but there are lots of things I could have done differently, so really, I'll be just fine. I just need to do the stuff that my teacher, now my doctor, suggested I do the first time around. Cause and effect: if A, then B. I remember, barely, the night I ran over my own mailbox. Well, if I hadn't been hammered, that never would have happened. So there's room for improvement and it's up to me to take advantage of it.

So, unless you were born with a heart condition that you can't do anything about, you have options that can really make a difference: don't smoke, drink less, lose weight, exercise, and eat better. As hard as it may be for some of you to believe, none of these are meant to be torturous nor will you suffer if you choose to participate. In fact, you will feel much better almost immediately.

Healthy Living - Chapter 1 - The Beginning

By Big Will

As a master of unhealthy living for about 35 years, I feel very well qualified to hand out advice on healthy living, approximately 6 months worth.

First and foremost you need some motivation. How about somebody you don't know that well telling you you're fat? Probably not enough. Far better is your cardiologist asking you if you're trying to kill yourself by packing on the pounds. Or a friend asking you if you don't care about watching your grandchildren grow up. How about an ambulance ride to Boston for open heart surgery? That might get your attention. Those ambulances used to pass me on Route 3 North going a buck thirty and I'd be saying, "That guy's screwed." Then all of a sudden, it's your butt in that ambulance.

What ever causes you to have what Samuel L. Jackson referred to in Pulp Fiction as an alcoholic's "moment of clarity", you may decide that you need to make some lifestyle changes before you cash in your chips. If you're anything like me, you enjoy life to the fullest. Every day when I wake up, I'm instantly fired up and looking forward to the day. I know it's going to be packed with fun, laughs, and camaraderie. My philosophy: if one of them is good, twelve of them must be great. Lets have at it!

This thought process can be a tad challenging when you suddenly awake in a hospital room with multiple tubes from bags hanging over your head and tubes draining fluids from your organs. That experience kind of takes the wind out of your sails. Sort of lets you know you won't be playing 18 that day or any day soon. Suddenly you realize that the stuff that happens to the "other people" just happened to you. Then you start telling God that you'll do this, that, and the other thing if he gets you out of this situation. People are telling you how lucky you are to be lying there. Actually I was thinking I was screwed.

So last April I got a triple, not on the baseball field, but at Boston Medical Center. I left there with the strength of a 100 year old on depends. After gradually gaining strength and weight over the summer, I met with Eric Johnson, my cardiologist, who is the one who more or less asked me if I was suicidal. That, along with Billy Pioppi's fat comment in the dining room of the clubhouse on Labor Day weekend, was my moment of clarity.

So I started on my quest; a mission from God if you will, to shed the pounds. I was never one to do what people told me to do but I knew this time it was serious. Loving family, friends, and life the way I do, changes had to be made. I was half-way through the cardiac rehab program at Jordan Hospital in September so I switched from two days a week to three. I changed my diet and stopped drinking alcohol. WHAT, giving up the booze? Oh I don't think so. If that was part of the program, I wasn't involved.

Michael Carbone Shoots a Course Record 53

On Tuesday, July 27, professional golfer Mike Carbone made 8 birdies and no bogeys to establish a new course record, bettering Josh Hillman's previous record by 3 strokes. This record may stand for a long time.

During the crew lunch on the day in question, Assistant Superintendent JD Marks asked, "Who's that guy playing with Doug Blank and Jim Damiano? I think he's pretty good. I saw him birdie 14 and then he almost got a hole in one on 15 [a 320 yard par 4]." You were right JD.

Mike was a standout junior golfer on the Cape and went on to star for URI. Among his other accomplishments, he won the Rhode Island Open in 2009, played in the Turning Stone Resort Championship last October on the PGA tour, and is headed to Q-school this fall. Good luck, Mike and nice shooting!

Willie Stearns Interviewed on WATD

On Sunday, July 25, course owner and superintendent Willie Stearns was interviewed live on the radio by Liza Churchill on WATD. Despite the pressure of being on live radio, Willie was able to battle through and talk about the history of Southers Marsh Golf Club and what it takes to run a golf course.

Fast forward to the 10 minute mark to hear the interview.

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