With the sun shining down on Long Island on Tuesday, July 27, it was a beautiful day for a round of golf at the Stonebridge Golf Links & Country Club. Organizing the day was the New York Islanders Sales Team who brushed off their clubs for a day in the sun with some loyal fans.
“We’ve got a lot of our prospects [Islanders fans] out on the course having a good time, sharing a little bit of sun and golf, mostly some really bad golf with our sales team here, but we’re really enjoying it and having a blast,” Islanders Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships, Justin Johnson said.
The day began with a complimentary breakfast and a shot gun start taking place at 11 a.m. Each of the 17 foursomes stopped along the way for a relaxing BBQ-style lunch on the club’s veranda. After all the groups completed their 18 holes, the teams met back at the Club House for a dinner and an awards banquet.
Islanders defenseman Jack Hillen spent the day golfing with one of the foursomes after making an appearance at the Brookhaven Country Day Camp earlier in the day. “I caught up with my foursome about 8 holes late, but I’ve been having fun playing so far,” Hillen said.
Mike Diamond of Long Beach joined his daughter Antoinette and her friends out on the course for a little day of fun. He is the father of Joey Diamond, one of the Long Island natives that skated in the Islanders Mini Camp earlier this month.
“Joey played a lot of hockey since he was a kid, USA team and stuff like that, but coming from Long Island and seeing him wearing the Islanders jersey was pretty cool,” Diamond said of his son Joey. “It was touching. It was very nice for me and my family.”
Watching his son skate onto the ice at the Nassau Coliseum was a great experience and a moment of pride, but spending the day out on the green with the Islanders Sales Team proved to be another fun experience.
“Today has been fantastic. The weather has been great, but a little hot,” Diamond said. “It’s my first time on the [Stonebridge Golf Links] course. It is absolutely gorgeous and I want to thank the Islanders organization for inviting my entire family out here today.”
Despite the gorgeous day and great course conditions, it seemed to get the best of Diamond on several holes.
“I did fairly well on the straightest drive, but on the other ones, the course beat me up a little bit,” Diamond said. “My daughter and her friends have been tearing me up a little bit, but it’s been a great, great day.”
Diamond wasn’t the only golfer who enjoyed the different activities at each hole. A group of old college friends, including Dave Dobbins of Long Beach, joined each other for a fun day of golf with the Islanders Sales Team.
“The day has been great. I like the fact that they have something on every hole, which makes it more like an event. It has been very cool,” Dobbins said. “We played in a tournament yesterday and there was only a long drive and closest to the pin and that was it. On this course it’s great because there’s closest to the line, long drive, closest to the pin and approach shot. It’s nice.”
Even though most of the different games at each hole were pretty straight forward, there were a few that were a bit unorthodox. Those out of the box games included aiming into a hockey net down the green, a guessing game of count the pucks inside of a bin and the most notorious for the day was the longest drive with the opposite hand.
“I just tried the opposite hand and I didn’t do very well,” Hillen said. “Even though I play hockey left handed, I play golf right handed and I thought it would translate a little better but it didn’t. I probably hit it about 75 yards off the tee, which isn’t great.
But Hillen wasn’t the only golfer with fun stories about the hole with the opposite drive competition. Some golfers hit trees; homes along the fairway and others jumped fairways to other holes.
“Well we’ve had a few people try it [the opposite hand drive] and let’s just say there’s a dog off to the left about 20 yards away that has been lying down every time someone has come to the tee box. So I think the dog understands what’s going on here. No one has hit it straight whatsoever, but we’re having a great time,” Johnson said.
While the event was filled with fun and different types of games, many golfers and members of the Sales Team implemented their fair share of pranks.
“We’ve got a few people in our foursome who just decided they could bring out the air horn whenever they feel like it, which is real nice,” Johnson said sarcastically. “I have this nice new set of irons and someone undid my bag so when we drove away, the bag fell, I’m going to say 15 to 20 feet causing some nice little scuff marks on the irons. So we’ve got some retribution ahead for my friend.”
Walter Gallocher of Bayport hadn’t run into the pranksters, but he was sure hoping he would get his chance.
“I haven’t been pranked unfortunately, I heard the pranks work though,” Gallocher said. “When they blow the air horn people hit better so I hope people would pull a prank on me. It might help my game.”
Overall, the day was a success. The Islanders Sales Team and the participants enjoyed themselves.
“We’re having a great time out here,” Milford native, Jamie Anderson said. “The course is in excellent condition. The food is fantastic. The staff is great. I couldn’t ask for a better day.”