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‘Pogeybaiters’ Friday golf group does good things for local causes

By Staff | Dec 23, 2008

Last week, Skip Richard and Jack Roberts, golfing members at The Dunes Golf and Tennis Club and “Pogeybaiters” — the name of this very special golfing group which donated the money — presented June Patinkin and Beverly Lubetkin of Bat Yam Temple of the Islands a check for $750 for the Temple Tzedakh charitable fund, which will be distributed to several local charities.

That’s what makes the Pogeybaiters so special.

It used to be that on Fridays, guys who wanted to play golf at The Dunes would meet in early morning and put their golf ball in a hat and someone would pick out four balls — that would be one foursome. At some point in 2001, that effort began to lag for whatever reason, so individuals would set up their own foursome on Fridays. After several weeks, we had three foursomes and, as others returned for the season, they learned of the Friday group and asked to be included.

To keep us distinguishable from the Dunes Mens’ Golf Association (DMGA), Earl Sawin, our founder and a U.S. Marine, thought we should have a name on the colorful scorecards — created by Bob Kent, who wrote a computer program for scorecards and pairings — in the fall of 2002. In fact, we had a number of Marines involved. In Marine Boot Camp, after three weeks (and if your drill instructor was happy with his Marines’ progress) he would buy at the PX cigarettes, soda, ice cream and candy. Candy was known as “pogeybait.”

So, why should the Pogeybaiters be separate from the DMGA? Well, if you play with the Pogeybaiters, you get a “mulligan” on the first tee, roll them in the fairway and give putts within the leather, making it a fun game. We started putting $1 of the $5 entry fee aside for charity. In the last six and a half years, we have we have donated more than $6,000 to the following charitable causes: Brightest Horizons, F.I.S.H., needy kids at The Sanibel School, Harlem Heights kids, Quality Life Center of Fort Myers for their summer camp, wounded vets from Iraq, the Walter Reed Hospital and the Kent Crappell family of Morgan City, La. (Crappell was killed when the crane collapsed during the Sanibel bridge construction).

Richard, with the help of Roberts, now run the Pogeybaiters. We continue to use our computer fancy scorecards, etc. with a new cover every week and have a pool of about 65 members. We average 36 golfers on Fridays and have lunch following golf at The Dunes.