Sterling Farms Hosts its Member Guest in Grand Style
The golfers of the Sterling Farms Men’s Club (SFMC), and their guests, kicked off the 2021 season officially today in a stunning show of luminaries from all over the region. It was a scorcher of a day, with the noon heat, topping about 90-degrees, but that didn’t stop anyone from having a stellar day in what SFMC president Jeff Mayfield accurately predicted would be a watershed outing: “We’ve had a tremendous sign-up for the Member-Guest”, Jeff had written in one of his official event announcements, adding: “This will be the largest tournament we’ve ever held…and it sold out in mere hours, with a waiting list to boot!”
Indeed this very prestigious event attracted even the likes of Stamford Golf Authority Executive Director Paul Grillo, Sterling’s CEO, to the first tee. This is a big milestone, as Paul refused to touch a golf club after the pandemic hit us last year, instead taking on just about every job in the house in order to protect his workers, and us, from harm! But today Paul had no problem championing the Sterling Farms links, and with help from his guest William Lombardo, the duo outpaced two-thirds of the 45 team field (in the gross score division)! Pretty darned good….
Too many fine golfers for me to possibly know or name comprised the field. Town heroes like two-time Stamford City Amateur champ Steve Leblanc laced the field, in addition to all of the club’s active golfers such as the great Irishman and owner of Soundview Engineering, Aidan McCann; Jake Ninan, Lenny Canora, so many others.
I had the good fortune of witnessing some of these greats of the game in action, thanks to a last-minute change of plans opening up a slot for myself, and a random single named Ryan Erskine, in of all things: one of the most-coveted pairings of the day: that of Mitchell Schepps, and his absolutely fabulous guest and partner, the monumentally stellar human being and golfer Terry O’Connell.
I can’t exactly say just how many golfers actually teed it up at Sterling Farms today, but after golf, I visited with Greg in the starter’s office and he supposed at least 180! Spectacular, and even better: the pace of play was pretty darned good, thanks to the great team at the Farm.
Carts were indeed being utilized to the max, and when I tried to snag one to grab some photos, Marco at the cart barn was hesitant about availability. “Just 10 minutes,” I lied as I sped off.
I grabbed some heat of the day shots of golfers on the back nine, where on hole No. 15, pros Kent Smith and Keith Handler switched off par 3 beat the pro duty. I saw both of them swing the club, and boy are these pros the bomb! I’d have to say it is a toss-up as to who is better! They are both brilliant.
The Sterling Farms Men’s Club has been around since the beginning of time. It’s significance to the culture and make-up of Sterling Farms is indisputable. MItchell, who was killing the ball dead straight all day, has been a member “ever since I moved here”, he told me, “about 35 years ago”, he recalled.
He, and his partner Terry, just made the day all the better. Talk about a pair of high calibre gents! They make the game worth playing, let me tall ya!
This year’s event was, as mentioned, a biggie. And It comes a week in the wake of a dismally cold, rainy, nasty Memorial Day weekend, but made up for that with flying colors. I don’t think a sole out there had a bad day, although a few who walked felt the heat!
And hot hot hot it was, not only in terms of the temperature, but also on the leaderboard, where SFMC superstar Jamie Russo joined partner Nick Handrinos in topping the gross division’s leaderboard with a scorching 3-under-par victory. In their wake, at even par were: Joseph McHugh, and his guest Joe Scarfi; and Stephen McGillicuddy, and his partner Jason Longo.
Squeezing in just one more victory before his handicap surely drops, was none other than SFMC board member Bill Ward, and his guest Harold Gantert, at 9-under. A shot back at -8 were Brian and Tony Cullinan, as well as the notable Jonathan Papp, and his guest Paul Spingola.
While the huge turnout of golfers consumed Sterling Farms, working steadfast were the whole family of employees at Sterling Farms Golf Course, as well as Sharon and Mayara at the Everyday Snack Bar and The Stillery. Michael Golden’s golf course set-up was classic Golden murder!
Holes were cut in very unique and devilish places, with subtle breaks testing the mettles of even the best of putters. We saw some really creative pin placements like on No. 7, where even SFMC veteran Schepps was caught off guard, the hole placed back and left.
The people of Stamford, and afar, were treated to a stellar day of golf. It unofficially ushered in the 2021 summer season with great fanfare. The Sterling Farms Men’s Club, the men and women who comprise the staff and network of employees and workers at the Farm, are all to be congratulated for a most welcome and memorable day.
From the desk of Paul grillo, executive director, Stamford Golf Authority
Welcome to Sterling Farms Golfer. Over the past five decades, Sterling Farms has evolved into one of the premiere golf destinations anywhere in the region. We continually strive to maintain, if not exceed, that distinction, and know we owe it all to our Stamford families, friends and neighbors, as well as our patrons like you. Now is the best time of the year to play our spectacular 18 hole championship golf course. Our Golf Course Superintendent, Mike Golden, and his whole team, are leaders in the world of greenkeeping, and we are very proud of the quality of their hard work. I think you'll find our putting greens, fairways, tees, roughs—and every landscape feature here—reflects their devotion and hard work. It is spectacular. Sterling Farms is home to the area's top driving range facility. You won't find a better value, or level of quality, anywhere! We take great pride and joy serving you, and our local community. On behalf of all of us here at Sterling Farms, welcome and thank you!