Southeastern Deaf Golfers Association Open wraps up 49th edition
Dan Hall didn't get a chance to play at Totteridge golf course this week in the 49th annual Southeastern Deaf Golfers Association Open.
Back surgery prevented him from playing for the 21st time.
But Hall still was at the course watching his 93 friends compete and heckling them with hand signs.
The tournament is open to golfers who are deaf or hearing impaired.
A cellphone ringing loudly, a fan from the crowd yelling, “It's In the Hole” or the roar of a gallery doesn't faze them.
A thumbs up for a good shot brings a smile and a nod.
“Camaraderie is what brings the golfers to the tournament,” Hall said. “Most of the golfers don't care about their scores, they just want to be with friends and get away for a while.
“There are a few guys that want to win and shoot well. Most just love to play.”
Hall was following closely the match between Tim Dapp of The Villages in Florida and Michael Mabashov of Frederick, Md. They were tied with nine holes left before Mabashov pulled away for the win.
Dapp, 59, could be playing in the senior division, Hall said.
“Tim likes a challenge, that's why he plays in the open division.”
Those two and James Kim of Las Vegas, Nev. were playing in the final group. The trio will represent the U.S. team in the World Deaf Golf Championship in Ireland in July.
Dapp has won the Southeastern Deaf Golfers Association Open four times, and Mabashov has won four of the last five years.
Scott Davidson, who lives in North Carolina, won the senior division Thursday. Davidson recorded a rare double-eagle during Wednesday's second round on the 425-yard par-5 fifteenth hole.
“That's an impressive feat for any golfer,” Totteridge head golf professional Rick Gay said. “This has been different, trying to communicate with everyone. It's all signing between them.
“We left out a lot of pens and notepads. It's been difficult to explain things about the course.”
Gay said he was impressed with how the guys played.
“There are a lot of guys trying to get their names on the trophy,” Gay said. “This is good publicity for Totteridge. We're always looking to make it a good experience for the golfers.”