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A BARREL OF INK

Years ago my Mom urged me not to argue with someone who bought ink by the barrel, but I must respond to East Aurora Country Club (EACC) member/News sportswriter Bob DiCesare who took me and the BDGA to task last week.

Our position was a simple one. EACC was hosting our Champion of Champions event. The BDGA had set the entry requirements for our member clubs. EACC wanted to exclude some of our member clubs. When no accommodations could be reached, we revoked our sanction and cancelled points awarded for this year.

The story began to unravel when we were accused of an "angry" reaction. Our reaction was first, one of disbelief, then of measured resoluteness in insisting on the original agreement. I spoke with Frank Broderick on Aug. 21, then Paul Bigelow on Aug. 22. They both reiterated that EACC's position was inflexible. I haven't spoken with either of them since.

For the writer to say that Frank Broderick and I had a conversation in which it was stated that EACC would agree to our position and that I rejected it, is an untruth. In fact, Frank Broderick has been a member of our BDGA Board for three years and had indicated he would attend the Aug. 29 BDGA Board meeting at which this was discussed. If EACC wanted to reserve their position, that meeting was the time to do it. Frank Broderick never showed at that meeting.

Let me touch on the writer's "wish list." You do not have to spend $1,000 to make the points list. The current 10th place player spent around $100 and No.s 8, 9 and 11 spent less than $200 so I don't buy this claim of having to spend $1,000 to make the points list.

The handicap maximum is bogus. All my non-real estate clubs have players with single digit handicaps. My Olean club has 10 guys below four handicap. Why would someone think that a player couldn't be a good player unless he played at one course?

I especially resent the race card. My quote to the writer, which I urged him to use was, "I do not believe there is a single racist at EACC." No one, tacitly or otherwise, accused the good people of EACC of being racist. Two of my five non-real estate clubs got into the event. The other three wanted to but weren't able to secure invitations. One would have sent an alternate but the application said that no alternates could be sent. The News reported EACC sent an alternate to represent them. So much for the rules.

The writer also draws a scenario where a minimum of players get together to manipulate a "championship" where a person who shoots 120 wins. His quarrel has to be with the USGA which has endorsed these non-real estate clubs for over 10 years. We do their work here so we welcome those clubs also. We don't have that situation and would react to if it happened. We appreciate that EACC volunteered to host the event for the first three years. We know the members gave up the course for 30-40 players each year. We also hope they appreciate the $13,600 the BDGA has spent on scholarships for EACC member's children over the past 20 years. We like to think that we worked together in that and we want to work with EACC in the future.

WHITNEY NICHOLS
Executive Director
Buffalo District Golf Association
Cheektowaga

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