WATERTOWN — A league that started as a simple golfing get-together for a few friends celebrated its 20th anniversary last week and will bring its milestone season to a close with Tuesday’s championship.
The Senior Men’s Golf League at Highland Meadows Golf Course, often called “the Dick Doe Over the Hill League,” finishes its 20th year with the final at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The team of Paul Gibbs and Jeff Parson will tee off against Fran Clark and Mike Espey to decide the league title.
It will put to close another year of 36 teams, featuring 72 golfers, as well as more than 50 others who serve as substitutes when needed. Most of the golfers are retired, yet play 18 holes for four-to-five hours every week.
The league remains competitive with some golfers holding single-digit handicaps, said league participant and current president Dan Brady, who with partner Pete Gaffney finished second to Clark and Espey in their division. Still, handicaps can climb to 40 for some golfers as the league emphasizes fun and sportsmanship over winning at all costs.
The late Dick Doe started the league in 1999 as an outlet for a few friends and grew from there. It’s become one of the largest leagues of its kind in the north country and still features some original members in Larry Thompson, Jim Doolittle, Lew Kibling and Budgo Alteri.
Members joined together last Tuesday to recognize the anniversary and also pay tribute to past members who have died. A photograph taken that day shows Glen Gough, 89, the league’s oldest member, cutting a cake with John Raby, the league’s youngest member.
This season’s league participants:
American League: Jack Raleigh-Bob Wilder, Bob Piatt-John Robinson, Gary Black-Rocco Crescenzi, Rod Weaver-Dave Vandermark, Lou Briant-Jerry Crowley, Jim Brance-Dick Webb, Jim Doolittle-Larry Pettit, Grover Moore-Geoffrey Irwin, Jim Munroe-Dan Munroe, Kurt Robbins-Steve Gould, Paul Simmons-Larry Burnett, Bill Hackett-Bill Niewieroski, Pete Queior-Mike St. Joseph, George Intschert-Mike Stofka, Paul Gibbs-Jeff Parson, Dick Stephens-Howard Phillips, Tom Bruno-Jim Lawler, Bill Perkins-Tom Perkins
National League: Bob Hassler-Larry Schmidt, Fran Clark-Mike Espey, Cliff Lashway-Jerry Burnett, Marc Rogers-Bob Saiff, Bill Schell-Randy Schell, Rick Serow-Larry Thompson, John Day-Paul Ochoa, Mike Schell-Roscoe Eisenhower, Ed Brown-Tim McAtee, Bob Lytle-Roger Tibbetts, Carl Gifford-Skip Maracle, Don Brady-Pete Gaffney, Dave Corey-Scott Lavere, Sef Alvarado-Phil Waite, Jim Todd-Dick Pound, Bob Spry-Dave Fleming, Lew Kibling-Glen Gough, Gordie Mattraw