The Maine golf season hopefully will have a great fall to wrap up what has been a banner season weatherwise. The best playing conditions are usually this time of the year. Die-hard golfers will play through Thanksgiving and even longer if conditions warrant.

The Maine Golf Hall of Fame’s annual banquet also puts an exclamation mark on the season by honoring the tournament winners while inducting those who have made lasting contributions to Maine golf through their play or service.

The organization’s banquet/tournament was held Sept. 10 at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland.

The highlight of the evening is always the induction of the individuals. This year, Laurie Hyndman of Cumberland, Frank Bartasius of Poland and the late Bessie Fenn joined the Hall of Fame ranks.

Hyndman has won six Southern Maine Women’s Golf Association championships and eight club championships at The Woodlands Club. She has served on regional United States Golf Association committees and has represented the state as a player on several USGA state team championships.

Bartasius is the longtime owner-operator of Fairlawn Golf Club in Poland. He is a lifetime member of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Bartasius has kept golf affordable to all through his course ownership.

Fenn, who died in 1963, is the daughter of Arthur Fenn, a Hall of Fame inductee in 1993. She became the first woman golf professional to be in charge of a club in America when she took over for her father, both at Poland Spring and Palm Beach GC in Florida. Fenn was also a strong player, having won the South Florida Championship in 1919. She competed on the national level for several years.

Honored as champions of Maine State Golf Association tournaments were Maine Amateur winner Ryan Gay, who won his second state title in three seasons; junior champions Robbie Watson of Fort Fairfield in the 12-and-under division; Reese McFarlane of Cape Elizabeth in the 13-and-14 division; Joe Walp of Portland in the 15-to-17 division and girls’ champion Karli Soracco of Turner.

Last fall’s high school state champions were honored. This year’s tournament is in October. Last year’s champions were Brian Angis, Thornton Academy, in Class A; Aaron Bailey, York, in Class B; Tim Millett, North Yarmouth Academy, in Class C; and Laura Grant, Greely, the girls’ state champion.

Jim Quinn of Augusta Country Club was honored for his Maine Seniors championship last year. Dustin Cone of Burlington, Vt., was recognized for winning the Maine/Portland Open. Travis Curtis of Searsmont was honored as the Al Biondi Special Olympics golf winner.

For women’s golf, honorees were Kristin Kannegeiser of Martindale as the state champion; Debbie Gardner of Waterville as the WMSGA senior champion; Leslie Guenther of Norway as the Southern Maine Golf Association champion and Bernice Vadnais of Biddeford-Saco as the SMWGA’s senior champion.

Jeff Seavey of Rockport was honored for his win in the State of Maine Championship while Shawn Warren of Windham was recognized for his win in the Maine Chapter NEPGA Championship. The Maine Golf Course Superintendent’s Association distinguished service award went to Jeff Hevey of Dutch Elm in Arundel.

“We had about 138 people at the banquet,” said Executive Director Gary Rees. “I thought it went really well. Val Halla is a good location to have it.”

Nominations for 2011 inductees are being taken now until Jan. 10. Forms are available at

MIKE DOUCETTE of Westbrook had the round of a lifetime on Saturday, Sept. 18, when he shot a course-record 62 at Dunegrass Country Club in Old Orchard Beach, where he is a member. He broke the previous course record of 64 set by pro Shawn Warren.

Doucette had 10 birdies, no bogeys. He birdied every odd hole and No. 16. Did he get nervous as the round went along, thinking he was getting out of his comfort zone? Not a bit, said Doucette, 54.

“I was just thinking how weird this was,” said Doucette, who shot a 64 at Nonesuch River four years ago when he was a member there.

“I didn’t really get nervous. I wasn’t thinking about my score. I was just thinking about the number of birdies. I was knocking down the pins. I had no really long putts. Everything was going into the middle of the cup.”

The only knee knocker, Doucette said, was a 2-foot sidehill putt on the par-3 13th. Doucette finished with birdies on 15,16 and 17 and then left a 10-footer for birdie on the lip on 18.

Doucette was playing in a two-day club tournament. He shot 73 on Sunday.

“It was a great day to do it,” he said. “Everyone was around the club. The timing was perfect.”

Doucette’s playing partners were Glenn Labrecque, Charlie Largay and Mike Caswell. Shooting such a low round is sort of like a pitcher in the midst of a no-hitter.

“One of the guys started to say something, but another guy in the group pulled him aside and told him to stay quiet and just enjoy what was happening. The guys did a good job of keeping me calm,” said Doucette.

Doucette has a 1.0 USGA handicap index and plays two to three times a week. Doucette was a captain of the Westbrook High golf team in the 1970s, but said he hasn’t played a lot of competitive golf since high school. Although he hasn’t played much in state tournaments over the years, Doucette pointed out: “I started playing better golfer after the age of 50.”

TEE TO GREEN: The Ted Volger scramble was held Friday at Val Halla. Eighty-five golfers played in the tournament, with another 35 attending the buffet and silent auction.

Volger is a longtime youth baseball coach in the North Deering section of Portland. He has been battling cancer since Thanksgiving 2007. Volger has kept his hand in coaching and enjoys watching his son, Nick, play football, basketball and baseball for Portland. His friends have plans to build a Ted Volger Youth Center in North Deering in recognition of everything Ted has done for the youth in the area. Proceeds from the tournament will go toward the youth center and to help with his medical expenses. Donations are still welcome after the tournament. Checks should be payable and mailed to Randy Kempton, a tournament organizer, at P.O. Box 87, Portland, ME 04112.

The final major Maine State Golf Association tournament is the men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at Old Marsh Country Club Oct. 2-3.

The Maine team of Seth Sweet, Matt Greenleaf and Ricky Jones tied for 29th in the USGA state team championship in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Sept. 14-16.

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]