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Sundays in the game of golf are synonymous with big moments. It’s often the final day of major events, and frequently, it’s a time that casual players set aside to get out on the links and play. This past Sunday, Jenny Ceppi had herself the sort of day that many golfers could only dream of.
Ceppi, 57, holds membership at two golf clubs: Salem Country Club in Peabody and Bass Rocks Golf Club in Gloucester. This past weekend, she became a club champion at both places. That accomplishment in itself is nothing new. Ceppi has been at Bass Rocks since 2003 and this club championship was her 13th overall. At Salem, she’s snagged two club championships in three years since joining.
However, what makes the achievement so special this time around is that Ceppi won the championships on the same day, just mere hours apart. She teed off at 7:30 a.m. in Salem, where she beat Diane Carter, 2&1, in match play. She then had about 20 minutes to shake hands, give her thanks, and pose with the trophy before taking off for the 21-mile trip up Route 128 to Gloucester.
After arriving at Bass Rocks a bit after 11:30 a.m., there was little time to gear up prior to her 12:20 p.m. tee time. This time around, Ceppi was competing in stroke play, and despite a combination of pouring rain and whipping winds, she shot an 84.
That brought her three-round stroke play total to 243, good for a comfortable win and her second club championship of the day. Despite being tired from a long day of competition, Ceppi again stuck around for some post-round celebration.
“This is a first for sure,” Ceppi said of her achievement. “I have won multiple club championships in one year, but to do it on the same day, I didn’t actually think that I could. I just figured why not given the opportunity and I was very lucky to be able to accomplish that.”
Ceppi was sure to give thanks to the ladies she competed with, as well as the golf professionals and staff at each club for making her accomplishment possible. Originally, the schedule was not supposed to be so jam-packed.
Rain interrupted the sequence of medal play at Bass Rocks, and Ceppi had to make some changes to align her schedule. She actually got approval from both her competitors and Salem Country Club to move her semifinal match up from Friday to Thursday, so she would know if she’d be competing in Sunday’s final.
Once she made it, she had to reach back out to Bass Rocks to notify them that she’d be in Salem’s final, and tee times were arranged to allow her to make it to both.
“Having the women be very flexible, they could have easily said no,” Ceppi said. “I’m really very grateful that they were accommodating and selfless about letting me play in both. It was nice. I definitely want to make sure that I thank the ladies and the pros at both clubs for being so accommodating. Without their support, I probably would never have been able to accomplish it.”
Ceppi has certainly found some serious success in the game of golf, and that’s also impressive considering she didn’t even start playing the game until she was 30.
“My husband and I just kind of decided to pick it up,” Ceppi said. “We were newly married and thought, let’s start playing and figure out if we really like this game. I was hooked from the very beginning. The first course I started playing at was Fresh Pond, and from there I started playing in Mass Golf event, and I was completely immersed in playing. I had no expectations.”
After a few years, Ceppi’s handicap was in the 18-20 range. Now, all these years later her handicap is down to a 6.8. While her game has steadily improved, golf has also brought Ceppi to places such as Hawaii, Bandon Dunes, and Ireland. She’s most grateful for those experiences and the relationships she’s developed over the years.
“For me, the beauty of golf is the people that I have met along the way,” she said. “Some of my best friends are people that I met on the golf course. I think those are the fun memories, besides winning club championships. It’s just the people I’ve met and the amazing golfers that I’ve been blessed to be able to play.”
She has a lot of great memories to share, but Sunday’s accomplishment might go down as the most unique golf feat in Ceppi’s career. It will undoubtedly make for a tremendous story for years to come.