Saturday, August 31, 2013

Golfing Highlights Column 8-30-13

Hot Temperatures Equal Night Golf

  Many local golfers have had the opportunity  at one time or another to play night golf tournaments using the "Glow In The Dark" lighted golf balls but recently I took the night golf approach to another level by viewing the Panama City Beach Florida Holiday Golf Club nine-hole Par 3 lighted golf course. 
  The 90 degree plus daytime temperatures during early July do not encourage golf during daylight hours so why not see what a fully lighted golf course has to offer. 
  The Director of Golf at the Holiday Golf Club facilities is Jim Carlisle who has worked at the club for over 16 years. Jim was very helpful in providing me with information about the par 3 course. 
  Jim, a Class A PGA Professional,  certainly makes you feel comfortable and his knowledge of golf is easily visible. 
  Carlisle is very proud of both the Par 3 lighted course (which is Bay County's only lighted 9-hole par 3 course) and the 18-hole championship course which he says is great for every level of golfer. 
  The par 3 nine-hole course plays to a par 27 and will certainly help golfers master their short game and  most nine-hole courses can be played in about 60 minutes.
  This cute 1,003 yard course provides an 85-yard hole 1, a 58-yard hole 2, a 145-yard hole 3, a 138-yard hole 4, a 108-yard hole 5, a 100-yard hole 6, a 132 yard hole 7, a 102 yard hole 8 and a 135-yard hole 9. 
  A course that will test your short irons and putting. 
  The closest par 3 lighted course in New York State that we are aware of is in Greene County and offers holes ranging from 60 to 162 yards.

                                           Ed's Outlook 

  Discussing the game of golf with a local professional the other day and he brought up an interesting topic.
  One of his regular golfers (who wishes to remain anonymous) while playing in a league decided to cut the corner on a dogleg left and tried to play a draw shot but the ball struck a tree.
  Usually it is a 50/50 on if the ball will bounce into the fairway or stay on the ground under the tree.
  In this case is was appeared the ball stuck in the tree.
  OK you know the game?
  Here are this golfers obtions.
  1. Play the ball as it lies. Climb the tree, take a club, identify that it his ball and take a swing at it.
  2. Declare a lost ball. If the golfer can't shake the ball lose to identify it as his ball he must declare a lost ball. Penalty is stroke and distance.
  3. If the golfer can verify the ball in the tree is his ball he could declare the ball unplayable and take a one stroke penalty.
  4. Verifying that the ball is his the golfer can declare the ball unplayable, take a one stroke penalty and play his next ball as nearly as possible to the spot from which the original ball was last played. 
  5. Identifying that the ball is his he could declare the ball unplayable, take a one stroke penalty, drop the ball behind the point directly under where the ball was in the tree....keeping that point directly between the hole and the spot on which the ball is dropped.....with no limit on how far behind that point  the ball may be dropped. 
  What the correct golf procedure here? Amateur golfers only can respond.

  Ed Townsend is a PR consultant to the sport of golf. Ed writes and compiles the information for this column. If you have league and tournament information, shoot a hole-in-one or even shoot your age, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, by email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and all of Ed's pictures at  We are also on Facebook. 

                                             The Golf Tip
                                          By Robert Menges
  The mental game is important. Make a commitment to improve, and do not make excuses.
  Before you make an attempt to improve your game, be sure you are ready to commit to the time and work required........otherwise, you may set yourself up for failure or give in to convenient excuses.
  For example, make sure that you have the necessary time and resources available.....that other duties and distractions are taken care of and that you aren't depending on anyone else (a teaching pro, mental coach, playing companion) who can't be counted on to follow though with their part in your plan for improvement.
  The commitment and the planning must be such that if you don't succeed, you have no one to blame but yourself. 
  Indeed, it would be better to wait until you are absolutely ready than to make a half-hearted commitment to the challenge before you.
  Robert Menges is the head Golf Professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club on Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached at 845-292-0323 or via email at 

                                           The Putting Tip
                                          By Joe Bermel

  Speed Of The Putt
  When putting you "feel the speed" with your eyes, your mind and your hands.
  It is imperative that you look at the distance between the ball and the hole at least 6 times.
  A signal is sent to your mind, your mind send a signal to the muscles in the fingers of your right hand as to the acceleration for the distance you want the ball to travel.
  It's three words to get the speed right......look, look, look at the distance.
  Joe Bermel is available for private lessons, group, corporate, organization and golf shows-tournaments. He has two special edition DVD's titled "How To Putt Well" and they are available by calling 631-589-1384, at his Web site or by email at 


Here & There Column 8-27-13

 Harvest Festivals Start  September 1

   One of the greatest additions to fun in the early Fall months here in Sullivan County are the Harvest Festivals at Bethel Woods.  
   It's difficult at times to believe that his year marks the fifteenth  anniversary of the Harvest Festival, an annual event celebrating the bounty, talent, and beauty of Sullivan County and surrounding areas. Over the years, the festival has grown from a small farmer's market with a handful of vendors and a few guest musicians, to a full festival featuring close to 100 vendors each week as part of the farmer's market, craft village and festival food areas.  The Festival also presents artist demos, corn & hay mazes, pony rides, art and education programs, "gathering of the scarecrows" and more. 
    A sense of community is reflected throughout the Harvest Festival. The corn and hay mazes are operated by volunteer organizations that are able to benefit from this fund raising opportunity.
    The Festival occurs  Sunday's and some Saturday's  11am - 4pm, September 1 through October 12, rain or shine. 
    Admission is FREE and Parking is $2.00 per car. A $2.00 per car parking fee has been implemented to help offset costs to operate the Festival, and permits Bethel Woods to continue to present this important community event quality event.
  The events scheduled this year includes Sunday September 1 the Rosehaven Alpaca Festival, Sunday September the Sullivan County Heritage Faire, Sunday September 15 the World Celebration Festival, Sunday September 22 the Earth Day in Autumn and the Live Well, Be Well Event, Sunday September 29 the Rustic For The Home Event, Saturday October 5 the Wine Festival at Bethel Woods at the Market Sheds and Saturday October 12 the Bethel Woods Craft Beer Festival & Annual Chili Coot-Off at the Market Sheds.
  Additional information on the festivals can be obtained at 
  Get out and enjoy all of these special Sullivan County fall events.......winter is not far behind.


Golfing Highlights Column 8-23-13

The Power In A Golf Swing  

   Earlier this year we met National Long Drive Champion Brian Pavlet  and watched in awe as he wowed the audience at the Somerset New Jersey Golf  Show as he drove a golf ball through a one-half inch plywood board.
  This columnist along with golfers from the tri-state area who attend yearly this outstanding consumer golf show watched as he teed up the ball, placed the plywood board some 8 to 10 feet from the tee and launched a tee shot that took the ball all the way through the plywood.
  We captured this shot which shows the ball through the plywood and the pieces of wood chips flying in the air. 
  Is that crazy, or what?
  Brian's swing speed is 145 mph and his ball speed is 208 miles an hour, that's approximately .27 mach.......more than one-fourth the speed of sound.
  Officially the longest drive he ever hit was 462 yards and the longest unofficially drive was 520 yards to the back of a green on a par five....unfortunately is was downhill.
  Brian proudly lets golfers know what his Sunday set of golf clubs  can do, his drivers averages 350-yards, 3 mtl 310, 3 iron 255, 4 iron 240, 5 iron 225, 6 iron 210, 7 iron 195, 8 iron 185, 9 iron 175, PW 165, 52 Gap Wedge 150, 56 Sand Wedge 135, and 60 Flop Wedge 120.  Brian came to golf in a roundabout way as he spent his youth playing baseball well enough to earn a scholarship to the University of Nevada (UNR) at Reno. He arrived at UNR expecting to play catcher and outfielder. 
  That changed when his coaches discovered that Brian had one kidney instead of the usual two.  The University's athletic program considered his lack of two kidney's a potential insurance liability so they wouldn't let him bat and made him a pitcher. He threw in the 90's until he wrecked his arm ending all baseball hopes. Pavlett noted that "I was wild, anyway."
  At 22 he began to play golf and immediately amazed people with his quick hands, power and distance. It took him only three years to win the 1993 National Long Drive Championship.
  Brian has performed in over 1,200 shows worldwide and has entertained the troops in Iraq with the USO.
  His engaging personality and performance make him one of golf's premier showmen.
  I immediately went to a nearby photo shop next door and had several 8 x 10's made up and went back to the show to present Brian with one of the photos. He was amazed at how I had captured the ball going through the board and he was more than happy to sign his autograph to my picture which I now proudly hang on the wall in my office. 
  I signed a release and a contract with him so that he could use my photo in his advertising promotions.

 Ed's Outlook  

  Over $1,000 was raised for the scholarship fund at the recently held Twin Village Golf Club (TVGC) Memorial Tournament.
  TVGC annually awards scholarship funds to graduates from  the Roscoe Central School district. 
  Over $1,200 in golf certificate outings and prizes were awarded to tournament participants.
  Tournament director Chuck Husson gave special thanks to golfers, hole sponsors and to  merchants and golf courses who donated prizes and golf outings.
  Special thanks was offered to Tom and Marea Roseo of The Rockland House for another great happy hour and buffet dinner. 
  Tournament champions included in the Men's Division Tyler Schmidt and Collin Tallman, Ladies Division Jean Knickerbocker and Mary Austin, Mixed Division Becky Ackerly and Poppy, Men's Senior Division Watson George and Jim Gokie, Ladies Senior Division Sally Shea and Mary Day and Mixed Senior Division Anne Jarema and Cliff Albertson.

  Ed Townsend is a PR consultant to the sport of golf. Ed writes and compiles the information for this column. If you have league and tournament information, shoot a hole-in-one or even shoot your age, let Ed know at 845-439-8177,  email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and all of Ed's pictures at We are also on Facebook.

 Golf Tip
 By Robert Menges

  Prepare Our Mind For A Better Game
  We all have different ways of doing thing things on the golf course, which is why one technique or strategy might work for one person but not another.
  For example, some of us will visualize the shot we want to hit in our mind, because it helps us execute the shot. For others, they have to experience the shot. 
  With that said (or written in this case) it never hurts to try something new.
  So here are several "pep talks" you can create to help build your confidence for the next round.
  After each round of golf, take 60 seconds to sit quietly and replay three best shots of the round. Visualize them in slow motion and lock every detail into your memory. They'll come back to cheer you on in the future.
  Tell someone about your best shot of the day, but never talk about your worst shots. Professionals can usually remember every shot during a tlournament, but there is one shot they "just don't recall".....its their worst shot. Let the bad shots go, and never ever talk about them.
  After every shot, remember to say, "great shot" and mean it when you say it.....the results may not be exactly what you wanted, but the ball went where you hit it. So go do it again.
  Breathe before every shot or putt, remember to breathe deeply and softly. It will relax your body and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
  Make it a part of your pre-shot routine to consciously expect a great shot. As you pull the club from your bag, smile. As you look down the fairway or line up your putt, smile. As you stand over the ball, smile. Expect the best.
  Finally, but perhaps most importantly, have fun our there. Golf is a game. Yes, it can be very challenging and frustrating at times, but it is intended to be a form of enjoyment. Enjoy the day, the weather and the time with friends. Chances are, you'll enjoy the wonderful game of golf as well.
  Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached at 845-292-0323 or via email at 

The Putting Tip
By Joe Bermel 

  Your opportunities will come for a 'green light', a realistic 1 putt attempt.
  Meanwhile, stay calm and patient, be reasonable, steady, conservative, get your solid 2 putts, and then when the time is right, the distance, the undulation manageable, you feel comfortable and most positive.
  Then you strike, like a cat on the prowl, stalking her pray while lurking in the shadows for that opportunity.
  For that opportunity that you knew was coming and you begin sinking those one putt shots. 
  Joe Bermel is available for private lessons, group, corporate, organization and golf shows-tournaments. He has two special edition DVD's, "How To Putt Well" and they are available by calling 631-589-1384, at his Web site or by email at 


Here & There Column 8-20-13

Protests Should Give Alternatives

  The most intriguing aspect of a study about protests is that what matters most was not the number of protest participants but the amount of media coverage the event received.
  A protest is simply an expression of objection by words or by actions to particular events, polities or situations.     
  Government always seem to crop-up as a popular vehicle for protesters as was the case recently at the CVI Building in Ferndale when a visit by Republican U.S.House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner  to a campaign event for Republican Congressman Chris Gibson sparked a protest on August 6.
  The event, said to be hosted by Alan and Sandra Gerry, was a fund-raising event for Gibson.
  Some media appeared to editorialize in their coverage of this event  by saying protesting speakers addressed various issues, many of which impacted people who were not invited to the event and could not afford the price of admission.
  The truth of the matter is these type of fund raising events by all politicians are pretty much attended by those who financially choose to support this candidate or that candidate and they are not designed to be affordable for everyone. 
  A healthy protest is good for everyone but there are far to many protesters who make statements that this candidate or politician is out of touch with what's happening here in the Hudson Valley.
  What protesters need to do is not just produce negative statements but come forth with constructive suggestions on how to exactly fix problems .
  One thing we can positively agree upon is that extreme Washington politics are dividing this country.
  Let's hope that any future protests produce concrete solutions to the problems facing all of us. 


Friday, August 16, 2013

Golfing Highlights Column 8-16-13

9th Annual Simpson Memorial Sept. 8

  The 9th Annual Trevor Simpson Memorial Golf Tournament has a new venue this year and will be held Sunday September 8 at the Tennanah Lake Golf Club. 
  Tournament director Tom Ellison in talking about the location change for this tournament said "we wanted to get closer to the Town of Rockland as this is where we have the tournament awards dinner."   
  "We offer a debt of gratitude to the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club for the many years they hosted the tournament and did such a great job," Ellison noted.   This tournament has grown in size and popularity through the years with proceeds benefiting the Trevor Simpson scholarship fund awarded annually to Livingston Manor Central School graduates. "Thousands of dollars in scholarships have been awarded over the eight years we have held this event," Ellison said. 
  Ellison pointed out that due to the popularity of this tournament "preference is given to returning players but that there are still a few openings."
  The tournament  format is scramble best ball for men and women with any combination of players. Registration takes place at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Lunch will be served at the turn and a buffet awards dinner takes place following the tournament at the Rockland House.
  Entry fee of $75 per golfer includes green fees, carts, gifts, prizes, the lunch, and the buffet dinner with a DJ and dancing. 
  The fee for anyone wanting to just attend the dinner is $15.
  There are hole-in-one prizes including a car from the M & M dealership in Liberty and vacation trips.
  Ellison said hole sponsorship's and donation of prizes are being accepted and anyone wishing to make a donation to offset tournament costs may do so by contacting him at 845-439-3544 or at his email at 
  Checks should be made out to the Trevor Simpson Memorial Golf Tournament and mailed to Tom Ellison, 239 Little Ireland Road, Livingston Manor, NY 12758. 

Ed's Outlook
  State funds totaling some $2.6 million will soon be flowing from the states coffers for upgrades on four state-owned golf courses as part of the "I Love NY Golf" program.
  Two  golf course get $1.2 million. They include the James Baird State Park that will receive $1 million to improve the irrigation system. This course opened in 1948 on 590 acres in Pleasant Valley.
  The Rockland Lake State Park in Congers will get $200,000 to design a new irrigation system.
  Some $1.25 million will go to the Sunken Meadow State Park Golf Course on Long Island and the Soaring Eagles Golf Course at Mark Twain State Park in the Southern Tier will be receiving $140,000.

  Ed Townsend is a PR consultant to the sport of golf. Ed writes and compiles the information for this column. If you have league and tournament information, shoot a hole in one or even shoot your age, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and all of Ed's pictures at We are also on Facebook.

Golf Tip
By Robert Menges

  Lacking Strength In My Hands
  Let's take a look at the lack of strength in golfers' hands. What's an easy exercise that will help to build up strength?
  Your hands and forearms play a big role in releasing the club head through the ball. And the faster you can do this while staying in control, the farther and straighter you'll hit the ball.
  Here's a simple exercise that will help to improve the strength in your hands. Grab your sand wedge and hold it with one outstretched hand at the very top of the grip.
  Now try to work the club up through your hand with your fingers and thumb. And make sure your arm is outstretched all the time when doing this.
  This sounds easy, but once you try it you'll discover how difficult it can be. Keep doing this exercise regularly until you can raise and lower the club through you fingers five times. And after that keep doing it often to retain your newly found strength.
  If you do this exercise regularly, then you will hit the ball longer.
  Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club on Mt. Hope Road in Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached by telephone at 845-292-0323 or via email at

  Putting Tip
  By Joe Bermel

  Putting: A Pragmatic Approach
  How important is putting to the entire game of golf? We can not understate it. On average  43% of the total score is putting  For a golfer to tangibly raise the skill level of their putting game, they must understand, and be committed to apply all of the Keys To Good Consistent Putting.
  Number one is organization of your mind. What are we going to do and how are we going to go about doing it. A clear organized mind is paramount.
  Number two is a specific, exacting, methodical Pre-Putt Routine (PPR). A great PPR is always airtight.
  Number three is your eyes see the distance between the ball and the hole. A signal is sent to your mind. Your mind sends a signal to the muscles in your fingers for the amount of acceleration for the desired distance you want the ball to travel.
  The key.......remember your Eyes, Mind and Hands.
  Joe Bermel is available for private lessons, group, corporate, organization and golf shows-tournaments. He has two special editions DVD's on "How To Putt Well. They are available by calling 631-589-1384 at his Web site, or by email at


Sunday, August 11, 2013



  "A lot of faith," is how Pastor Bob Kersten, the new Liberty United Methodist Church (UMC) pastor answered the question on how one pastor serves two churches in neighboring communities.
  Pastor Bob, as he likes to be called, was assigned in May to serve both the Liberty and Monticello United Methodist Churches. 
  This is nothing new to Pastor Kersten as he just completed serving both the Grahamsville and Sundown United Methodist Churches. 
  Comparing present church attendance he compared Liberty to Sundown and Monticello to Grahamsville.
  The Churches New York Annual Conference assigns pastors to churches according to church budgets with Monticello assigned 70% of his ministry and Liberty 30%.
  At Grahamsville Pastor Bob and his wife, Paster Sue, became well known for their "Journey For The Needy" distribution of bread in several communities. 
  He is also well known for playing the wash-tub base.
  Prior to serving Grahamsville and Sundown he was pastor at the Stamford and Harpersfield UMC, also served as pastor at the Otego UMC and during seminary was pastor of the Pine Plains UMC.
  He became a licensed local pastor in July of 1999 and served the UMCs of Stuart, Menlo and Jefferson Center, Iowa. 
  The new sixty-one year-old Liberty UMC pastor's education history includes a B.S. from Dakota State University in 1975 and he enrolled in a course of study at St. Paul's School of Theology at Kansas City, Mo. in 2000. He received his Masters in Divinity from Drew Theological School in 2007.
  Other professional experiences include being an elementary school teacher and wrestling coach, insurance executive with Farm Bureau Companies and Houseparent at Henderson Settlement, Red Bird Missionary Conference. 
  "I am a true Iowa farm boy with a deep love for the land and all of God's creation," Pastor Bob noted. 
  His leadership experience includes being Chairman of the New York Annual Conference Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns and has helped lead the New York Conference volunteers in mission trips to Ecuador in 2012 and 2013. 
  Pastor Bob first met his wife Sue while both were serving as missionaries in Kentucky in 1979  and together, "we enjoy cooking good food, feeding people, making good music, engaging in mission, national and international traveling and spending time at our cabin on Burr Pond in Vermont where we cook all of our meals over the campfire."
  Pastor Sue is a licensed local pastor serving the UMC churches in Hurleyville and Woodridge.
  Pastor Bob noted that on August 18 the UMC of  Monticello has invited Liberty, Hurleyville and Woodridge to worship together at 11 a.m. at DeHoyos Park and to share a meal that follows.
  "This is the first time Sue and I have ever had the opportunity to lead worship together for this kind of a gathering," Pastor Bob said. 
  The Liberty UMC church celebrates its Sunday morning service at 9 a.m.  and the pastor can be reached at 845-292-6243 or on his cell at 845-798-7781.
                                                      PHOTO IDENTIFICATION

Liberty United Methodist Church Pastor Bob Kersten standing next to a recently installed new church sign. 


  LIBERTY--Nationally acclaimed Liberty South Carolina high school valedictorian Roy B. Costner IV received strong appreciative applause August 3 when he addressed the Liberty To The Captives Gospel Music Festival held at LaPolt Park Town of Liberty Main Street Stage.
  Costner, 2013 valedictorian of his Liberty High School in Liberty, SC, gained celebrity status and has appeared on Fox News and other networks that carried the story of his defiance of a school "no prayer" policy  when he tore up his valedictorian speech and recited the Lord's Prayer. 
  He told the Liberty NY gathering that "several months before our graduation a group known as the Freedom From Religion Organization sent a letter to our school board demanding that we remove student led prayer from our school board meetings."
  Costner noted that "hundreds showed up at the meeting for the school board to vote and yet they still voted to go to a non-sectarian prayer or rather a moment of silence."
  "Because of this letter the school board became fearful of all of the activities across Pickens County SC so they began to change the policies in every aspect of our schools," which basically prohibited "no prayer," the school valedictorian said. 
  After learning of his class ranking he spoke with pastors from several different churches and "I immediately knew what I wanted to do," and his dad, Roy Costner III, youth pastor at his local church, "supported me and asked me if I was doing this to get back at the school or for political reasons or if I was doing this because God is an important part of who I am and because I feel led to do this," the 18-year-old graduate said. 
  The Liberty SC high school valedictorian noted that he was "excited and nervous the morning of the graduation but I knew that God was going to do something amazing......and he did."
  "When I tore up the speech and began to speak from a new one that I had hid in my robe, I could feel the apprehension in the auditorium," and "I talked about how we are all the sum of our experiences and that we are shaped and molded by everyone into who we are today," he added.
  Costner then said to the graduation audience, "so I know you will understand when I say, 'Our Father who art in Heaven' and continued with the entire Lord's Prayer."
  This high school valedictorian pointed out, "what happened next moved me to tears.....I could barely finish the prayer......the  auditorium exploded with applause and nearly drowned out The Lord's Prayer....then I noticed that nearly everyone in my class was saying the prayer with me and when I got to the end and we all said Amen the crowd was on their feet and the applause was thunderous." Costner added that "It wasn't for was for God."
  Following a family get together he was off with friends to senior week at the beach and one of his friends uploaded the graduation speech to you-tube.
  "The video went viral and four days later I was headed out with my dad by car and plane to do over 30 interviews in 48 hours.....I was on the set at CNN doing radio interviews with stations across the country then talks with Megan Kelly on Fox News, then Sean Hannity for his radio program and the next thing I knew I am doing a SKYPE interview with KABC in Los Angeles," Costner said.
   Having become a nationally acclaimed speaker he is continually on the road or flying to all parts of our country. 
  The local Gospel Festival crowd enjoyed sharing time and conversation with the Costner family and also listened to singing and praise from the Albany based Teen  Challenge, Pastor Roberto Villafuete, Pastor Gary Wilcox, Pastor Rich Hewitt, Pastors Rich and Kathy Ienuso, Pastor Bill Banuchi, Don Nichol and Evangelist Joe Chamberlin.
  The event was organized and directed by Lighthouse Ministries Pastors Rich and Kathy Ienuso. 


 Liberty South Carolina high school valedictorian Roy B. Costner IV speaking before the audience attending the Liberty To The Captives Gospel Music Festival August 3 at LaPolt Park. 


Here & There Column 8-13-13

Thank You Teen Challenge

  Is today's society shocked when they hear about the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and other life-controlling problems?
  The true stories about this abuse was told August 3 at the Liberty To The Captives Gospel Music Festival held at LaPolt Park in Liberty by the Albany NY Teen Challenge.
  Recently appointed Program Director Victor D. Harris spoke and told of a life of despair and dysfunction under the control of many types of drugs. He pointed out that he lived a life of drugs, destruction and devastation.
  Men of the Teen Challenge group attending this Festival explained their drug and alcohol additions and how some of them almost died as a result of overdose and their need to live on drugs. 
  Teen challenge outlined the connection of drug and alcohol abuse with teenagers and teenage gang members. 
  Teen Challenge was established 54 years ago and is one of the largest drug and alcohol programs in the world with the program being in 90 countries with 1,051 centers and still growing.
  Helping those who have life-controlling issues and substance abuse problems  the mission is a 14 month residential program for hurting men women and married couples 17-years and older who are caught in the vicious cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and other life-controlling problems.
  Their mission statement is to help people become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well and spiritually alive.
  Teen Challenge members at the Liberty Festival stressed the point that "our philosophy is that God can provide the total cure for the whole person and that this program has given Teen Challenge its international credibility and a 75% cure rate since 1958."
  Team Challenge was part of the Festival organized by Pastors Rich and Kathie Ienuso of the Liberty Lighthouse Ministries.
  Truly an outstanding organization, Teen Challenge is a non-profit organization and an approved member of the Better Business Bureau. Donations to maintain their mission can be made at 518-694-0455 or at and 


Albany NY Teen Challenge members at the August 3 Liberty To The Captives 
Gospel Music Festival. 


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Golfing Highlights Column 8-9-13

Golf Just Doesn't Get Any Better

  At this point in time our world of golf just cannot get much better.
  Let's first take a look at the resurgence of Tiger and his five victories this well as first time major winners Adam Scott, Justin Rose and the success of fan favorite Phil Mickelson. 
  Many story lines cross our desk but when we can talk about the happenings in the sport of golf it just doesn't get any better.
  Yes, Tiger has definitely come back and there has been excitement at every major to see if he will end his "major drought".
  Many in the game have picked him at the beginning of the year to win two majors and although he has certainly been a contender on Saturday's, he hasn't really been there on Sunday like we would expect.
  And then there is Mickelson and a little drama comes in to play here as Phil is one step closer to the grand slam and at his age he may be playing some of the best golf of his career.
  Phil's teacher Butch Harman said that he has never seen Phil hit it as well as he did at the U.S. Open.......and for Phil to follow that with the Scottish and the British certainly says a lot for what he may still have in the tank.
  Justin Rose, who is certainly one of the best on tour, has finally won a major, and Adam Scott, who many have been rooting for, has proven that he can win and will continue to be around in  majors for the future.
  Golf fans are waiting to see Rory McIlroy come back while we all wonder what has caused his downfall.
  Lee Westwood has been playing well but has yet to win that major.
  And what about Inbee Park, the South Korean golfer who so far this year has won three major championships.
  It will be interesting to see what Golf brings us from this point on.

 Ed's Outlook

   It's always interesting to watch fellow golfers play their bunker or trap shots.
  For instance I like using by lob wedge out of the sand trap and always remember the lesson taught to me so many years ago from Grossinger golf professional Joe Turnesa to strike the sand some two to three inches in back of the ball and follow though with the shot.
  He always told me that as bunker play improved, so does your driving performance with the connection being the rhythm.
  Many golfers do not realize that 90% of bunker shots are within 10 yards.
  When we come to recognize that we then understand why the pros practice 10-yard bunker shots to a three-foot circle. 
  Can just never forget the term works.

  Ed Townsend is a PR consultant to the sport of golf. Ed writes and compiles the information for this column. If you have league and tournament information, shoot a hole-in-one or even shoot your age, let Ed know at 845-439-8177, email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and all of Ed's pictures at We are also on Facebook.

The Golf Tip                         
By Robert Menges

  Choosing A Putter
  When you finish a round of golf and are sitting down having a drink with your buddies, try to think for a moment about how many putts you had during the day.
  Most of the time, golfers will have close to half their shots on the green. When you set out to buy a putter, think long and hard about what kind of wand you want in your hands to save you strokes.   
  Putters come in all different shapes and sizes, just as the gamete of players do. When choosing a putter, it is now only important that it is pleasing to your eye, but also, that it is comfortable in your hands. 
  The hottest, most expensive and coolest looking putter will do nothing if it does not feel comfortable and ultimately will cost you strokes. In order for you to become a good putter, you must first conquer the mental side of putting.
  Purchasing a $150.00 putter will do little for that mental side if you cannot stroke the ball well. Not to mention the resentment you will endure each time you look in the bag.
  If you want to improve your game by buying a new putter, take your time and look at all of your options. 
  The most important thing to remember is to make sure the putter you buy is the right fit for you.
  The two main factors in making putts is to have the right speed and the right line or aim. If you focus on these two things you will improve your putting. When you are practicing your putting, try to focus on distance control, beause if you miss the putt off line, you should have a short putt to finish up with if you have the right speed.
  Good luck to all searching for the right tool to improve your game.
  Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached at 845-292-0323 or via email at

Putting Tip
By Joe Bermel

  Improve your skills on breaking putts.
  I want to talk today about controlling the speed of your putts.
  That's the only way you can make putts when they're breaking a lot.
  On any given putt, the shower you roll it, the more it's going to break on its way to the hole and the faster you roll it, the less it will break.
  So speed is everything.
  When you read a putt, it will only go in the hole on your intended line if the speed at which you hit the putt reaches the amount of break you're playing.  
  Simple at that.......practice these skills weekly and watch your score go down.
  Joe Bermel is available for private lessons, group, corporate, organization and golf shows-tournaments. His special edition DVD's "How To Putt Well" are available by calling 631-589-1384, at his Web site, or by email at 


Here & There Column 8-6-13

State Writers Honors 3 Local Players

  Two Senior graduates and a Junior pitcher from the Tri-Valley Central School varsity baseball team have been named to the New York State Sports Writers Association All-State Class C baseball teams for the 2013 season.
  Named to the 4th all-state team was Senior short stop/pitcher Rodner Jester III.
  Receiving 7th all-state team honors were Senior infielder Michael Foster and Junior pitcher/infielder Alex Brown.
  Jester received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the school's spring sports assembly while Brown received the Outstanding Pitcher award and Foster the Outstanding Offensive Player award.
  Coach John Rusin in naming Jester the MVP told those in attendance at the sports award assembly that, "Rodney had the type of season most players dream of and most coaches pray for. He had three wins pitching and was our only senior pitcher. Defensively, I have to be honest with you, he's the best glove  I have ever coached. He's a wizard out there, he's a pleasure to watch. He makes it look so easy and at times seems so nonchalant but he has great ability and has done a great job. He's an outstanding glove man. At the plate this year his stats are absolutely staggering. He had only one game this year that he did not get a hit....the second game of the year. One game out of 22 games he did not get a hit. The last 20 games of the year he hit....that means he had a 20-game hitting streak which is unbelievable  He batted 526, he had an on base percentage of 563. He had a 934 contact percentage of putting the ball in can't get better than that. He stole 15 bases, he had 40 hits in 22 games, he scored 26 runs and drove in 28 runs. He's a young man who loves baseball and will be playing next year in college, I'll miss him very much."
  Both Jester and Brown played Senior American Legion travel baseball this summer with the Ellenville American Legion Post.       Jester closed out his summer travel league play with the Sullivan County Spartans collegiate team and will play this fall and next spring with the Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3) NJCAA Mid-State Athletic Conference Panthers.



Tri-Valley Varsity baseball players receiving state honors include, from the left,  MVP Rodney T. Jester, third from the left Outstanding Offensive Player Michael Foster and fourth from the left Outstanding Pitcher Alex Brown. Andrew Exner, second from the left received Tri-Valley's Most Improved Player for the 2013 season.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Golfing Highlights Column 8-2-13

Unique Par 3 Tournament Aug. 17

  One of the most unique par 3 golf tournaments in the tri-state area will take place Saturday, August 17 at the Roscoe Twin Village Golf Course.
  The unique part of this tournament is where this regular 9-hole course is transformed into an 18-hole par three layout which will test any golfers short game. 
  The 1:30 p.m. shotgun start will feature two-person teams (any makeup will be acceptable) and the tournament will be played with a best-ball format. 
  Organizer of this event Ralph Kirchner advises golfers that the event will need 40 golfers (20 twosomes) by August 10.
  Entry fee for the tournament is $20 per person with all proceeds going to benefit the Twin Village Golf Club.
  The entry fee includes the golf fee, drinks and snacks during play at the Courtyard Restaurant which is adjacent to the second hole tee and fairway, food after play at the Courtyard (with a cash bar).
  A small fee will be charged for use of golf carts. 
  Kirchner reminds golfers to bring some extra coins for betting extras, a 50/50 and that mulligans can be purchased prior to the start of the tournament. 
  A signup sheet is available in the Twin Village Golf Clubhouse and information may be obtained from Kirchner at 845-498-5555.
  This is a fun challenging event so polish up on your short game and get your reservations in early. 

Ed's Outlook

  Are you ever faced with not having a lot of time before a round of golf and you want to to get in a few warm-up shots with you mid-irons before going to the golf course.
 I have found that this is all possible with my new Rope It which shows me more ball flight than a golf net or those foam and plastic whiffle balls. 
  The Rope It is designed to be a simple alternative to hitting a golf ball into  net and  more convenient than the driving range. 
  John Girifalco, the inventor of this magnificent golf aid, perfected his invention's performance and durability after meticulously testing materials and settled upon a 20-foot long bungee and nylon cord attached to the golf ball using a zinc plated hook eye.
  The Backyard Practice Range was finalized in 2002 and has not changed much to this day.
  The Rope It is designed for irons use only (mid-irons six, seven and eight) and is held to the ground by any 5-pound weighted object and the attached golf ball feels like a common two piece golf ball. Do not use is with Hybrids or woods.
  The ball will come half way back to you if struck well and as long as you use it and set it up according to the instructions the Rope It is very safe. The Rope It has been specially calibrated, with two different types of rope, so that no matter how far you hit it, it cannot come back and hit you.
  John strongly points out that the Rope It is not a replacement for the driving range as there is no substitute for seeing the complete ball flight but the 20-yard shot from use of the Rope It will show you if you have struck a straight flight path with pure contact with the ball and a quick snap of the rope.
  I have found that the Rope It is designed to show a poor swing that will feel heavy off of the club face, sound harsh and the shot will curve off to the left or right.
  It's best to use the weight as a target line to aim your shot and determine direction.
  Have fun and help your game....hit real golf balls in your backyard and see 20-yards of flight.
  For information call Louis or Marc Reda at 302-897-8149, email at 

  Ed Townsend is a PR consultant to the sport of golf. Ed writes and compiles the information for this column. If you have league and tournament information, shoot a hole-in-one or even shoot your age, led Ed know at 845-439-8177, email at or fax at 845-205-4474. View this column and all of Ed's pictures at We are also on facebook.

Golf Tip
By Robert Menges

  Sometimes you hit a great drive right down the middle of the fairway and think you have an easy shot to the green, only when you get to your ball you find it sitting in the middle of a divot that someone didn't replace.
  Unfortunately due to a rule called rub of the green, you must play the ball where it lies and hit the ball out of the divot.
  If you make a few adjustments this shot is quite easy.
  First use one more club than you would normally use from that yardage. After you select the club, grip down or choke down on the club.
  When you aim, try to aim more left than usual (this is for right-handed golfers), as the ball will have a tendency to curve to the right after impact.
  Try to play the ball more towards the back of the stance, this should make the ball fly lower than normal and put more spin on it.
  When you make your swing be sure to hit down on the ball and drive through it with some acceleration. A full follow though is not necessary, keep your arms and hand low through impact and hit more of a punch shot.
  The key to this show is to make contact with the ball first and then drive the club through the shot keeping your head still.
  Robert Menges is the head golf professional at the Swan Lake Golf & Country Club, Mt. Hope Road, Swan Lake. He is available for private lessons and if you have a question or subject you would like covered, he can be reached by phone at 845-292-0323 or via email at

The Putting Doctor
By Joe Bermel

  Most important barometer for building putting skills is MOTIVATION.
  The student golfers I have taught over the years that improve the most are those that are motivated the most.
  Practicing diligently what they learn.
  Performing the putting drills every practice session.
  Building better putting skills is an ongoing process. Try EVERY week.
  Joe Bermel is available for private lessons, group, corporate, organization and golf shows-tournaments. His special edition DVD "How To Putt Well" is available by calling 631-589-1384, at his Web site, or by email at  


Louis Girifalco, left, and Marc Reda. partners in the development and marketing of their Rope It golf aid.




Here & There Column 7-30-13

Festival Features Freedom From Drugs

  A gospel music festival with special emphasis on improving the quality of life and saving individuals from the clutches of addition will be a major part of the Liberty To The Captives program Saturday, August 3 at LaPolt Park on North Main Street in the Village of Liberty. 
  This community event is being sponsored and directed by Pastors Rich and Cathy Ienuso of Lighthouse Ministries of Liberty, a non-denominational Christian ministry and will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  Pastor Rich in organizing this event noted that "the festival will bring nationally known personalities to our area to celebrate Liberty's proud heritage of Faith and Freedom  with several churches and organizations participating in a unity of spirit too rarely seen." 
  Featured guests include Roy B. Costner from Liberty, S.C. who led his fellow graduates in the Lord's Prayer during his valedictorian speech at his high s school graduation, Teen Challenge from Albany will share real stories of being set free from the bondage of addiction, Christa Jan Ryan from Pittsfield, Mass. will share her story depicted in the movie, 'Silent Screams from the Hamptons , Rev. Bill Banuchi, executive director of the New York Faith & Freedom Coalition and Evangelist Joe Chamberlin, an old-fashioned Pentecostal preacher who will also minister at Lighthouse Ministries on Sunday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. nightly. 
  Also taking part will be Pastors Trevor & Lorraine Harvey from Yonkers and Rev. Don & Marge NIchol from Gideon's Bible International who will be giving out free Bibles. 
  Liberty To The Captives will also feature activities for the kids and free food.
  Additional information can be obtained by calling 845-985-7026 or at the Web site