- Bob and Pam Tinker, both 63 and of Merrimack, won the men's and women's club championships at Buckmeadow Golf Club in Amherst this fall. It was the first time in club history that a husband and wife won the titles in the same year. Photo courtesy of Bob Tinker.
- Golf ball and two tees, one white, one orange. Isolated on white.
Merrimack couple wins men’s, women’s golf championships at Buckmeadow
AMHERST – Once regular members, Bob and Pam Tinker now get a different reception when they walk into the clubhouse at Buckmeadow Golf Club for their late-season rounds.
“We take a lot of ribbing whenever we show up,” Bob Tinker said. “People always say, ‘Uh-oh, the champions are here!’”
Bob and Pam, both 63 and Merrimack residents, became the first couple in club history to win the men’s and women’s member championships this fall.
It was the first time either of them had won the title, after more than a dozen years as on-and-off members.
Course Manager Ken Young said they each defeated several past champions in match play to win their respective titles.
“It’s an amazing thing for them,” Young said. “They meet after work and practice here, and they’ve become quite the golfers.”
Bob won his final, 36-hole match, 5-up with four holes to play, and Pam won hers, 4-up with three holes to play. The club championships were determined over a period of four weeks.
“I was really shocked to win,” Bob said. “Two people that I beat were previous champions, and some people I beat had a much lower handicap.”
Young said Bob is a 17 handicap, while Pam is a 30. The average handicap of members at Buckmeadow is about 20, he said. A golfer’s handicap is related to their playing ability based on previous scores. The lower the handicap, the better the golfer.
“They’ve been members for many years, but just recently brought their game to the level where, through hard practice, they can beat every golfer here,” Young said.
Tinker said he shot a one-over-par 34 in the first nine holes of the final match and built a lead, then managed to hold onto it through the final 27 holes.
“It seems like every year, I have a couple weeks where everything seems to work,” he said. “This year, it just happened right at the right time.”
Pam said she was matched up against a former runner-up in the final match and thought she had “no chance” to beat her.
“Most days, she’s probably a better golfer, but I had a couple good rounds, and that’s kind of what it was,” she said. “It’s golf. Any given day, you never know.”
The competition isn’t as intense when the two play together, Bob said.
“When we’re playing together, we compete more against the golf course,” he said. “It’s more about our conversation and being together, you can just walk up and putt or take a swing. In the tournament, it’s a totally different game and you’re more focused on what you’re doing.”
The Tinkers both receive a complimentary membership for next year – the prize for winning the club title.
They like the course and have been members for about a dozen years, although they also spent a few years in between as members of Derryfield Country Club in Manchester.
Bob said he likes Buckmeadow because it’s friendly and easy to walk, while Pam said she it’s a great place for women because it has few long holes.
The Merrimack couple will have to defend their titles next year, but for now, they can play as Buckmeadow champions.
Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Kittle (@Telegraph_CamK) on Twitter.