2019 Barbara Bolton July 4th Pinehurst Golf Tournament

A July 4th summer sizzler!

The 2019 Barbara Bolton July 4th Pinehurst Golf Tournament was the month’s main event at Sterling Farms Golf Course. Participants were treated to 18 holes in the sizzling sun before a delicious luncheon was served under the tent on the green. It was a day of fun in the sun, as well as one to cherish our country and each other, and to think of others, too.

Most of us think of a golf tournament as a test of our skill, but while the golf is always important, sometimes there are reasons to participate that transcend even our all-important games! Sometimes we just get out there for a good cause, or even two good causes—which is what golfers celebrated this 4th of July, and what you might want to bookmark for yours next year!

“A lot of people don’t see what is going on behind the scenes at these things,” Sterling Farms’ LPGA Director of Golf Angela Aulenti told me, a little winded as she darted from one table to the other, helping to prepare for the auction and tending to the fine details.

Indeed, this is a special event, as it celebrates our country’s independence, while at the same time reminds the Stamford community to never forget the late, beloved hero here at Sterling Farms: teaching pro Barbara Bolton, LPGA. “Barbara meant so much to everyone here,” Angela explained. “We miss her dearly, and this event is named in her honor.”

Golfers were feeling the heat. Marie, Lili, and I went out onto the course and caught up with a number of groups, who were moving along very well and reaching for their water bottles to cool themselves. Myra and Helen, the lively Scottish sisters who manage the Sterling Farms pro shop, were among the many familiar faces playing.

Barbara Bolton, LPGA

Barbara Bolton, LPGA, age 61 of Lake Worth, FL passed away on February 10, 2013 from complications due to double pneumonia. Barbara was born in Jacksonville, FL. At an early age Barbara learned the game of golf from her Uncle who was the manager at Lake Worth Golf Course. This began her love for the game of golf and later her career as a Golf Professional teaching so many of all ages and abilities with great patience and perseverance. Barbara truly grew the game through her love of teaching, intense work ethic, and caring for her students. She was Director of Instruction for LPGA Director of Golf, Angela Aulenti, at Sterling Farms for 18 years, and was a lifetime member of the LPGA. The void at Sterling Farms will be great and she will be missed by her many coworkers, students, and friends. Barbara was a humble, quiet, and thoughtful person. A consummate professional whose love for the game of golf was infectious. She was a dedicated teacher, a loyal friend, and an overall great person who will never be forgotten. This 2019 4th of July Pinehurst Golf Tournament was named in her honor.

Each golf cart had the stars and stripes proudly displayed, and flags were draped along the walkways, outside the pro shop, and everywhere under and around the tent on the green where the auction and festivities took place.

A lot of attention to detail goes into these things, and while Angela and her team jousted with such matters, the bottom line is that the people of Stamford were out there in force, having fun, seeing old (and meeting new) friends, and (as importantly) doing their share for the greater good.

One example was their honoring the memory of another Sterling Farms golfer, Eileen Russo, by hauling in bags upon bags of foodstuffs, emptying their pantries to help our local food bank!

An avid golfer, political activist, lawyer, amazing mommy to Dax, daughter, sister, cousin, and friend, Eileen had brought a smile to anybody who had the pleasure of knowing her. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Her take on it displayed her ever-present humor: “I couldn’t get regular ovarian cancer. Nooooo, I had to get the rarest form of it.” 

It was her sarcasm, wit, and most of all, her unbelievable strength that had her beat the prognosis of two years by “beating cancer’s ass for six.” When she got the diagnosis, Eileen said, “It’s okay… I’ll beat this.” And for a while she did. At the two-year mark, she beat cancer so badly she won her second Stamford Amateur Golf Championship.  

Every Thursday, Sterling Farms hosts an event of some kind, just like this, and all of them offer a day away from the office, a chance to mingle with others, press flesh with clients, card a birdie or hole a few putts, and for a couple of extra bucks, make a difference. Good stuff!

I watched as Angela handed a charitable donation—money raised from the entry fees for this event—to a humbled Regina Trimble, who is a volunteer whose only mission is to help the less-fortunate. The cause—Challenged People in Motion—is one of love and generosity that was started in 2002 by the late Mary Jane (“MJ”) Hagan. It involves people, including MJ’s twin sister, Peggy, Regina, and 40 other golfers and coaches giving their time to conduct a golf program at Sterling Farms for mentally and physically challenged children and adults. 

“We meet on Wednesday evenings, starting in July, and conclude the program in September. We teach participants the basic skills of golf: putting, chipping, pitching, iron play, and wood play. In addition to the basic skills, participants learn the rules of golf, golf etiquette, and the proper care of the golf course. We purchase equipment for the golfers. (Each participant is provided a golf bag, set of clubs, glove, practice balls, and regular balls.) At the conclusion of the program, we hold a golf dinner for the golfers and coaches and their families at the Knights of Columbus in Stamford. Athletes and coaches receive awards, Challenged People In Motion shirts and hats, and a surprise gift.”

They have their own golf tournament next month, on Thursday, August 8, 2019, at 1:45 pm. It’s a shotgun best ball format, and the $150.00 entry fee is cheap, considering you are giving to a good cause and get two (not one, but two!) meals (lunch and dinner), golf, cart fee, and contests! Pretty good, and all while helping someone less-fortunate get a leg up. Talk about a win/win! C’mon! Step it up! There is still time to enter. Here is their entry form.

It was hot hot hot by the time the event rolled off the golf course and into the tent on the green for music, food, and a lot of banter. There were wine, cold beer, and many other libations, while a set of Ping irons was auctioned off. It was an interesting spectacle, as Myra Macmillan (Sterling Farms’ Golf Pro Shop Director of Retail) emceed the auction. Bidders were savvy about the real value of the Ping irons, but that wasn’t the point… and everyone knew it. “Fifty more dollars… c’mon,” Myra cajoled. “C’mon…. just $50 more…who’s got the most testosterone in the tank?” Without delay, a quiet man, way in the back, raised his hand. “Nice,” she said. Several hundred dollars further along, a winner was declared, and with an imaginative gavel’s gesture, she declared: “Sold!” 

Another participant would later, silently, match the final bid with a donation, neither receiving nor asking for any golf clubs, or recognition for the unexpected show of benevolence. 

If you haven’t made it out to a golf event at Sterling Farms Golf Course so far this year, give it a whirl. They are a lot of fun, and you are doing good things for others.

The 2019 Barbara Bolton 4th of July Pinehurst was a “Sterling” example of the camaraderie, the types of people you’ll find on any given Thursday’s golf event at Sterling Farms, and the hearts people have within our community. 

It’s never too late, and every week another great event is on the calendar. Bookmark a spot, and make your (and someone else’s) day a better one.

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!
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