An International Albatross for longtime Mass Golf Member - MASSGOLF

An International Albatross for longtime Mass Golf Member

For Immediate Release: June 27, 2019

NORTON, Massachusetts – For Del Kinney, a longtime Mass Golf volunteer and a former Executive Director for the Connecticut State Golf Association, this current golf season wasn’t guaranteed. In the middle of March this past year while out walking his dog, Del slipped on a patch of ice and broke his left humerus – the long bone between the elbow joint and the shoulder, a key component to overall movement and essential to the swinging of a golf club.

After surgery in the days that followed, Del’s surgeon, a golfer himself, gave Del a timeline that allowed him to take off his sling by the end of April, with light chipping and putting to follow. Del remained positive, as he did not want to waste nearly half his golf season, or miss out on an early June trip to Scotland, a trip that included play at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

“I guess I was just being an optimist and I assumed I’d be able to progress quickly,” said Kinney. “I was really motivated to go.”

Kinney was able to play only two rounds of golf prior to his trip, but nevertheless, persisted and boarded his red eye flight to Scotland ready to play. Landing in Scotland on Tuesday, June 11th around noon, Kinney settled himself in, waiting for his 6 p.m. tee time later that day. Kinney’s group consisted of seven guys who participated in the trip, but he teed it up with R & A member Tom Graham, and his longtime friend, Maury Povich, the host of the well-known tabloid talk show, “The Maury Show.”

Kinney, who himself said he was playing relatively well in the beginning of the round, found himself on the ninth tee of the Old Course with the wind behind him. Povich, who hit before Kinney, roped a drive down the middle and was able to find the green with his first shot for an eagle chance. Kinney followed suit with his own perfect drive, and off they went to the ninth green.

As they neared the green of the par-4, which plays consistently around 350 yards from the tee, the duo saw only one ball on the green and Kinney, a resident of Great Barrington, was sure that he drove the ball over the green. After a quick search, Povich’s caddy motioned to Kinney to come over to the cup and retrieve his ball – much to Kinney’s surprise.

“As I approached it, the ball must have just gotten into the hole,” said Kinney. “I looked over the hole and the Titleist and the number four were looking right up at me. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would make an albatross.”

Povich, not to be completely outdone, stepped up and knocked his very own 25-foot eagle putt – an impressive accomplishment nonetheless for the 80-year old who has had his famed show on the air for more than two decades.

While the feat marked Kinney’s first career albatross, this was his sixth career hole-in-one. His first own came back in 1964, on the 13th hole at Wethersfield Country Club in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

Povich and Kinney have been friends for the last 12 years, and each belong to Mass Golf member clubs, with Povich playing his golf at Old Sandwich Golf Club in Plymouth and Kinney playing his at Wyantenuck Country Club in Great Barrington.

While this trip to one of the world’s most famous golf clubs will be remembered by all attendees, friends Povich and Kinney will have even more reason to remember the trip they took in June 2019.

As a member of Mass Golf, Kinney is eligible to receive a Hole-In-One certificate and an accompanying antiqued brass colored bag tag that includes details about the historic accomplishment – something that only a small percentage of all golfers can say they achieved. To learn more about the Mass Golf Hole-In-One program, visit the Golfer Benefits section on MassGolf.org.