Birdie At Pebble Upstages 2 Titles For Palm-Aire Country Club Champ


By Mark Cardon

Jim Pfrogner is a good left-handed golfer, but he needs to get his priorities straight.

In the past six weeks, the six-time Palm-Aire Country Club champ won his fourth National Association Left-handed Golfers (NALG) title in Monterey, Calif.

He followed that by winning the masters division of the World Association of Left-Handed Golfers (WALG) in Dundee, Scotland.

While he was in Scotland, Pfrogner, a retired track and field coach from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, received a hand made left-handed hickory putter made by St. Andrews Golf Company. Plus, he took the opportunity to play outstanding courses such as Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Jubilee at St. Andrews.

That would be a lifetime of accomplishments and conversation for most golfers but not for Jim. All he wanted to talk about was playing Pebble Beach during his trip to California for the national lefty tournament.

“I birdied number 18 at Pebble Beach,” he said. “It was the best birdie off my life.”

He kept repeating it. He sent out e-mails to his friends, documenting his feat. Give him credit. Number 18 at Pebble is the third most difficult hole on the scenic and historic course. And for a lefty, if he fades his tee ball or second shot, it ends up in the menacing Pacific Ocean that borders the 18th fairway.

The tee box on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach seems to sit all along, floating above the ocean. This cape hole finish runs along water and rocks its entire length. This is one of the most famous closing holes in golf. The hole played 525 yards for his round, and Pfrogner hit driver, 3-wood and a 6-iron from 140 yards to within 10 feet.

Watching it roll in the cup had to be a great feeling for a 70-year-old 4-handicapper. Better than capturing the NALG by nine strokes and the WALG by 16 strokes while his wife (Ann) pulled the trolley for three rounds? More than likely.

“I birdied number 18 at Pebble Beach. It was the best birdie of my life,” he said, sounding like a pre-recorded phone message.


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