First time golf tournament is designed for left-handed players

Oct. 9, 2019 | Danielle Eaton

SPRINGFIELD– A unique golf tournament brought left-handed players to the Veterans Memorial Golf Course in Springfield.

East Longmeadow resident, Gary DeStephano, who works at the golf course, told Reminder Publishing that since he began his job as a starter, he’s “noticed the dominant number of right-handed golfers.” He said one day he realized that three hours had passed and no left-handed golfers had passed through the course.

It was after that, DeStephano said, he came up with the idea to organize a golf tournament specifically for left-handed golfers. He then contacted a friend, who informed him that there were no tournaments in the area, or even in Massachusetts, for left-handed golfers.

DeStephano said, “So then it just intrigued me even more.”                              

While he said he was hoping to have the tournament earlier in September, but the Sept. 24 date worked out as it was “an absolutely perfect weather day.”

While 22 players had signed up, unfortunately only 11 were able to make it out the day of the tournament. DeStephano said he hopes he can “build on that next year” and wants to have “20 to 30” left-handed golfers participate in the tournament in 2020.

Participants enjoyed a day of golf, lunch, and some even won prizes for being closest to the pin.

The golfers varied in age from old to young, with the youngest being a 13-year-old boy. DeStephano said the boy’s father allowed him to leave school after half the day and participate in the tournament.

He said Ed Polumba, course assistant and Pro Shop manager at the Veterans Memorial Golf Course was the driving force behind the tournament and even ran it.          

All in all, he said, “Everyone had a great time, everyone enjoyed the day.” He continued, I wanted left handed players to have their day, and we did.”

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