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100 years and counting in Ray Brook

Participants in Saturday’s tournament celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Saranac Lake Golf Club gather for a photo prior to tee off time. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

RAY BROOK — Saturday couldn’t have turned out to be a better day for an outdoors anniversary celebration.

The occasion was the 100th birthday party for the Saranac Lake Golf Club in Ray Brook. Under an early summer, sunny blue sky, 22 teams took part in a four-person scramble tournament at the historic course.

The field featured a whole slew of golfers who have been familiar faces there for many years. Players included the current and former Saranac Lake Club presidents, current club members, league players and many more golfers having a good time on a warm day. Even a golfer who caddied there 60 years ago was on one of the teams.

Doris Shatraw, who played on the Ray Brook layout decades ago, was a guest of honor at the tournament. Another golfer from years ago, Ann Cantwell, was also invited but was unable to attend, so instead, she sent a handwritten card honoring the club, which was read allowed before post-tournament dinner.

Cantwell, who owns the women’s 18-hole course record of 71, began her note saying “The Saranac Lake Golf Club has been a huge part of my life.” She concluded with the words “My wish is for all you guys and gals to keep it up. The golfing community needs us all to keep going!”

Larry Pickreign Jr, sends his tee shot down the middle of the first fairway to start Saturday’s tournament. (Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)

The competition included 18 holes, and the foursome of John Peria, Mitchell Cunningham, John Gagnon and Tanner Courcelle took top honors with an impressive 12-under par 58.

Dressed in red, white and blue golf outfits, Jim Strack, Derek Strack, Cody Eckert and Tom Niederbuhl finished four shots back as the runner-up team with a 62.

The last place team of Si Flores, Cathy and Marie Wisser and Walter McClure were also recognized for their effort.

Carol Baker won the women’s closest to the pin contest and Kyler Munn took the title for the men. Closest to the line for men went to Drew Brown and Eileen Stephenson won for the women.

Even an old toilet worked its way into the tournament, as participants attempted to chip golf balls into the bowl from about 50 feet away. Tucker Backus won that competition with the closest shot.

After the tournament, golfers enjoyed a roast pig barbecue at the club house.

The Saranac Lake Golf Club’ began with a preliminary meeting held on Aug. 29, 1919, when eight men gathered together to form the club. The nine-hole layout was spread across the Meadowbrook Farm, which was a working dairy farm. Much local golf history has taken place at the Ray Brook layout since that day, and hopes are, golfers will continue to enjoy playing the game there for decades to come.

All proceeds from the sold out tournament went back to the Saranac Lake Golf Club for operating expenses.

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