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VP Trish: History of Golf Clubs (and Tournament Update!)

As of this morning, there are close to 50 golfers registered for our upcoming event. This is exciting! I appreciate the honesty of those registering regarding their league handicap or their typical golf score. This will make the tournament fair as well as tons of fun!

Erie is perfect! This is the fourth time for Nest 610 to host, and the 18th time for a District IX Nest.

Scenic Heights Golf Course is a family-owned business by the Afton’s that was built on farmland and opened in 1995 as a nine-hole course. It expanded to a full par 72 challenging 18 holes in the early 2000’s and is well known for its beautiful scenery (especially the fall foliage), living up to its name “Scenic Heights.” The course is currently home to 15 weekday leagues and over 35 fundraising outings during the snow melt to snowfall season (usually from April into November). The 100-seat picnic pavilion was added in 2018 to accommodate the ever growing number of outings.

The other course being used is Downing Golf Course. More about that one next time!

If you have any questions, please let me know!


History of Golf Clubs

In the pastime played by the Scottish that later became the game of golf, small pebbles were hit around the sand dunes using wooden sticks.

Early Clubs

For hundreds of years, golf clubs were made out of wood, and it was not until late last century that the wooden shaft was replaced by other materials. Players initially carved their own clubs and balls from wood, though they soon turned to skilled craftsmen to produce competitive equipment.

Club Names

Using numbers to signify the different clubs is a relatively new thing. For a long time different clubs were known by a variety of names, such as:

  • Longnoses – for driving
  • Bulgers – like today’s woods as they have a bulbous head.
  • Fairway clubs (or grassed drivers) – for medium range shots
  • Spoons – for short range shots
  • Niblicks – like a wedge
  • Cleek – for putting

Woods

The shafts of the early clubs were made out of local European woods like ash or hazel. Club heads were made from tough wood such as beech, holly, pear and apple. The heads of the wooden clubs were long and thin, resulting in them being known as “long-nose woods.” Wooden-headed clubs were usually hand made by the local golf professionals until the early 1900s, when the growth in popularity of the game made factory produced clubs profitable.

Irons

Even as metal clubs became available, they were used sparingly as they could easily damage the early ‘feathery’ golf balls. As early as 1750 some club-makers used forged metal heads for niblicks (wedges). A metal-headed club may have just been saved for getting the ball out of the rough or from cart tracks. The early iron clubs, made by blacksmiths until about the 1870s, were quite crudely made, making them heavy to wield and difficult to control. The advent of drop forging technique in the late 1800s resulted in lighter and better made clubs that could be mass produced in factories.

The early 1900s was a period of experimental golf club designs, with many not proving the test of time. One of the most important changes was the move in around 1908 from smooth faces on the irons to the grooves that are used today. The grooves enabled more backspin on a ball, resulting in more distance.

Shafts

The shafts of the early clubs were made out of local European woods like Ash. The introduction of golf into America in the early 1800s lead to hickory wood being used in the shafts, which was found to be far more durable than other woods. Hickory became the standard material for golf club shafts until steel shafts were introduced in about 1925 in the US, and became standard everywhere from the mid-1930s. They had the advantage as they did not break like the hickory shafts and could be produced reliably with uniform feel in matched sets. The graphite shaft, which is lighter and stronger than steel, was introduced in 1973.

Today

Today’s sets of woods and irons are developed using computer technology to provide durability, weight distribution, hitting distance and accuracy. They are also made using advanced materials such as titanium, graphite and zirconia.

Czolem!

VP Trish: National Golf Survey

Thank you to those of you who took the time to fill out the golf survey. Your input is needed and appreciated. The results are very encouraging! The upcoming National Golf Tournament should be another great time full of fun, sunshine and camaraderie!

The Tournament is being hosted by Nest 610, Erie, Pa. on August 12 & 13. Those of you who prefer a Friday/Saturday as opposed to a Thursday/Friday, we hear you and we understand. This is something that will depend on the host. If the Tournament was being held in my area, there would be no problem. However, that is not the case everywhere. But we hear you and we are trying. The golf courses are only willing to be so accommodating.

There were comments regarding the format of the event. Again, I hear you. At this time, the two-person scramble and the one-day individual tournament pleases most; it seems like a good compromise. As a golfer, I do not enjoy a scramble and think they take more time (There is a meeting on every shot!). Some golfers do enjoy them so we have a scramble on one day. There are other golfers who share my opinion and are not interested in changing to a scramble both days. What might be interesting is a “bloodsome scramble” which is rarely used!

I am meeting with the Members of Nest 610 early next week. Following our meeting, the information regarding the Tournament will be given to Courtney (which she obviously will post). The hotels, courses, cost, evening festivities and other information will be available. More details about the Hammer will also be shared. (I will be sure to ask the Nest 610 Committee if they need help with a DJ!)

Seasoned golfers as well as a few rookies will be participating this year! I am looking forward to seeing all of you! If you have any questions, please contact me vptrish@polishfalcons.org.

Keep safe; wash those hands; get your vaccine!

Czolem!

Trish Del Busse
National Golf Commissioner

PFA Monthly Hangout!

Missing your PFA pals? I know I am! So we thought, why not get together via Zoom and have some fun?!

We are planning a variety of activities – cultural, crafting, baking, gardening and more – for all to enjoy! The activities will be simple, easy things to make or do, and you can bring your snack/beverage of choice and say hello to your friends at the same time! We are calling it the “PFA Monthly Hangout!”

Please join Druhna Chris Puskar for our first session on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. eastern. Be sure to invite your friends to join too!

For February’s activity, Druhna Chris will lead us in making our own clothespin wreath. A stress-free craft, all you need to do is bring your supplies and your favorite snack/beverage.

To receive the Zoom link, please send an email to Druhna Chris at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org.


Clothespin Wreath Supplies

Click here for printable supplies list.

Most of these items are available at the Dollar Store or Walmart.

  • 36 – 40 clothespins

  • Craft paint and paint brushes – You can make the wreath all one color or two colors, and coordinate with your ribbon choice.

  • Ribbon – 1 piece 14 inches long, one piece 12 inches long (wired ribbon works best but non-wired will work too)

  • Cardboard circle – 6 ½ inches in diameter on the outside of the circle and 6 inches on the inside. I use foamboard, but even a cardboard amazon-type box will work.

  • Wire – 10 – 12 inches long or you can use several twist ties. This will be used to hang your wreath.

  • Paper or plastic tablecloth to cover your workspace

  • Plastic gloves so you do not get paint all over your hands.

  • Paper plates to use as a palette for your paint

PFAFL Virtual Youth Game Night!

Do you miss seeing your Falcon friends? Do you have some friends that you would like to get involved in the Polish Falcons? If you are between the ages of 12 and 20, here is your chance to get together and have some fun virtually with PFA! Join us for a Jeopardy-style Virtual Youth Game Night on Thursday, October 8th at 7 p.m. est. To participate, simply send your email address and age to cpuskar@polishfalcons.org prior to Game Night. You will receive an invitation to join the Zoom call. Once you click the invitation link, you’ll be entered into the game!

2020 PFA Virtual Golf Tournament

It’s time to tee it up! Polish Falcons of America is hosting its first-ever Virtual Golf Tournament: Falcons, Eagles & Birdies – Oh, My! The Tournament will take place August 22 through September 30 and is open to both Members and Non-Members. Learn more and sign up by clicking here.

Druhna Chris: PFA Beginnings

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the cancellation of PFA events, and with history being an important part of the Falcons, I would like you to share your experiences as a Member with us. I am interested in how you became a Member; was it through your parents or grandparents? What activities have you been involved in, or are still involved in today? What is your favorite memory? How have your friendships in the PFA flourished? What are some of the things that you have learned as a Member? These are all things that interest me.

I know that I became involved in the PFA through my Ciocia, Betty Bubacz. She was the Instructress for Nest 118 in Pittsburgh. She always stopped at our house on the way to gym class with my cousins. One summer evening, she saw how bored I was and decided I should go with them to gym class. So, I went. That night Druhna Leona Kozloski was there to teach Polish dancing. I had so much fun that I continued to go to gym class and have been active pretty much since then. I did have a bit of a break during college. I got involved again when our National First Vice President Trish talked me into attending a Nest meeting. She has been one of those lifelong friends who helps me with everything. As soon as my children were able to attend events, they became actively involved. They both, too, have made many lifelong friends in the PFA. My husband took a little longer to get involved, but has been my back-up and behind the scenes helper with everything I do in my job as the National Physical Education Director. My cousin Barbara Chervenak was, for a while, my helper at all the Youth Events as Secretary, and a general helper with everything. Now, my cousin Patty Capozoli helps me with all those events. We always manage to have a great time with each other and the youth participants. After my pause for college, I have been active in my Nest and District and with the National Office. The Puskar’s are a Polish Falcons family. All of my closest friends are Polish Falcons people. I am very grateful to my Ciocia Betty for taking me with her to gym class that day. Polish Falcons is a huge part of my life, and I love every minute of it.

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear the stories of how you became involved in the PFA. I know that there are many, many families that have similar stories to tell. Now that we are all mostly at home practicing our “social distancing,” you might have the time to write down your story and send it to me. Maybe we will get enough stories together to put them into a book. I love photos too. Maybe you can send one or two with your story?

There is no age limit to who can send their stories. All ages can tell us about their favorite parts of the PFA. I am looking forward to hearing from you! Email your story to cpuskar@polishfalcons.org.

Czolem!

#GivingTuesdayNow: Support your Nest!

05/12/2020 Update: Contributions now being accepted through May 31, 2020.

Support your Nest!

#GivingTuesdayNow (May 5) is a global day of generosity and unity, a day to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, no matter who or where we are.

If able in this difficult time, PFA National Headquarters is asking Polish Falcons Members to make a contribution to support their Nests.

Our Nests have been closed for five weeks or longer. There is little or no income and bills still need to be paid. How much would you have spent at your Nest over the course of five weeks? Are you able to donate that amount or a portion of it?

Today through May 12, let us come together as Falcons for our Nests. This is your chance to show support for your Nest and make a donation to help the Nest get through these challenging times. No amount is too small. Thank you for giving.

Click here to make your contribution.

Past National Bowling Tournaments

We are missing our bowlers this year! As we await the time we can gather together once again, check out this list of past PFA National Bowling Tournaments compiled by Janet Knauber and Trish Del Busse.

VP Trish: Reminiscing on the National Bowling Tournament

My first National Bowling Tournament was in 1981 hosted by Nest 52, Rochester, N.Y. At the time, Nest 52 still had their Club, which included a small bowling alley next to their bar. I had just moved and was not in a good frame of mind (I get very emotional!), and I simply did not know what to expect. I was quite surprised and not in a pleasant way. I went home and told my Mother that I thought the event was awful! Her response – “Well, there is something wrong with you!”

That fall, we attended the District IV Bowling Tournament and had a blast. A few folks asked us if we were going to South Bend (Nest 80) in the spring. At that time, there were two weekends and most of the Pittsburgh Membership went the second weekend. Well, my Mom went the second weekend; so we decided to go on the first weekend (There were other factors within our team that made the decision.). In a better frame of mind and expectations slightly different, off to South Bend we went! Five of us jammed into one car and all of us slept in one room! Obviously, I understood my Mother’s comment!

So much has changed since then! Think about how much the world has changed since 1982!

  • There were no computers so all entries were sent in on a paper application. There were quite a few bowlers so if you wanted to get your preferred day and time, you had to get your application in early. Geography played a role in these assignments. The Nest Financial Secretary had to sign off and you had to get it signed by the (at the time for the ladies) WIBC. The application was usually mailed a few times before it arrived at the National Bowling Commissioner’s home.
  • There were two divisions – men and women, no mixed. The teams were five person and one had to have a sanction card to participate. We even bowled two male teams on a pair, then two female teams on a pair. It took a while before we were bowling together.
  • Your doubles partner had to be the same gender. If you bowled singles, you had to bowl doubles.
  • Teams dressed alike; we used to have so much fun coming up with outfits!
  • There were no computers at the lanes so the Host Nest had to have enough volunteers to keep score. This was quite a task but again, tons of fun! Then, the Host Nest had to tabulate all of those results by hand. Every team, every person, every series, imagine that!
  • The tournament moved from the east to the west alternating years. West was of course, in the South Bend area. East was Erie and east. Nests would bid on the tournament, often giving away items or hosting a hospitality room, and also each team member received a goodie bag from the Host Nest.
  • Results were posted in the Sokol; we couldn’t wait to receive the Sokol so that we could see the final results!
  • Each Nest still receives a souvenir to put in their Club.

But, the common denominator at the tournament all those years ago was the camaraderie. And that remains the same! Bowling is simply an excuse to get together with life-long friends! The Camaraderie!

I have missed very few tournaments since I began going. I could fill several issues of the Sokol Polski with stories, with lots of giggling. Conversations in the van or in the car or on the plane or on the train! Silliness and just plain fun! Mom’s apple pie, Humphrey, vacuum cleaners, glass elevators, serenades in the van, comedy routine, National Drill, Denny’s restaurant, casino on the boat, playing pool, holding Kathy’s belt loop, a Chevette, Barbie’s pool party, pushing a Cadillac, playing cards, driving a Corvette, homemade dinners at the Club, rubber legs, limo rides, sunbathing, that girl, tailgating, Asti, let’s dance, bus rides, McDonald’s in the bus, shotskis, 50/50, paint sticks, costumes, elevator floors, hotel lobbies, late night conversations, take me home country roads, shoe shopping…

And, I met my John at a National Bowling Tournament all those years ago!

See all of you next year in St. Louis!

Keep healthy and safe! Czolem!