HATFIELD — After nine holes of play at Twin Woods Golf Course, the members of Bucks-Mont Golf League head to a picnic area for prize awards, social time and a meal.
"It's sort of a combination of golf and social for seniors and they seem to like it a lot," said Tom Engleman, a volunteer at Generations of Indian Valley in Souderton and the organizer of the league.
This is the first year for the league, which was initially planned to run from its May start until September, he said.
After the first few weeks, though, members asked if the league's time could be extended, he said.
"I said, 'well, sure,'" Engleman said, "and so we're gonna play until the weather turns bad, through October and, who knows, into November if we have good weather this year."
The league is open to men and women 55 and over, he said. The Bucks-Mont name was chosen because the golf course on Orvilla Road is close to the border between Bucks and Montgomery counties, but the league is open to people from other areas also, he said. Of about 15 current members, the ones who come the farthest are from North Wales and Collegeville, he said.
"Every golfer is assigned a handicap after playing one round, in order to give golfers with a variety of skill levels a good chance of winning prizes for a score better than their average," a release about the league said.
At the end of play, net scores, taking into account the handicap, are calculated, Engleman said.
That means the golfers aren't playing against the other golfers, he said.
"They're playing against their own scores," he said.
"They can have a high handicap and this week they have a really good score and they're gonna get a prize," he said. "Almost everybody has won a prize at one stage or another so far."
Before the start of play each week, Engleman said, he flips a tee to determine which of the golfers will play together. There is a shotgun start at various holes.
"Everybody starts at the same time and they finish at the same time," he said.
The league is held Monday afternoons. Play is from the forward tees.
"I'm an avid golfer and I play here a lot and when I heard about the league, I was just very excited about it because as my circumstances would have it, I don't really have a golf partner to play with and so the chance to play with other people, especially people my age and skill level, it's just great," league member Dick Hodgdon, of North Wales, said. "I look forward to Mondays every week."
Hodgdon said he's only missed one week of league play so far and that was when his wife was getting her hip replaced.
"I tried to come for that, but she wouldn't let me," he said.
"I like Twin Woods. It's friendly. It's family," Hodgdon said.
Improvements have been made to the course, he said.
"It's in better shape than I've seen it in years and years," he said.
"It's not too hard, but it's got some challenging holes," Hodgdon said. "Number three is a killer. I've never parred number three. Number one's a mile long."
A lot of husbands and wives play golf at the course and it's a good place for young people who are learning to golf, he said.
Bob Bartholomew, of Sellersville, another of the league members, said he started golfing in his 40s and continues it as he approaches 85.
"My doctor told me walk, walk, walk, so that's what I do," Bartholomew said. "When I'm not golfing. I'm walking somewhere else."
Dave Whelan, of North Wales, said he's been golfing for about six years.
He is a former college and semi-pro basketball player, he said, but can't play that sport anymore since having had a hip replacement.
"The doctor said swim or play golf. I said I'll play golf," he said. "It's fun and you meet a lot of nice people."
Information on the Bucks-Mont Senior Golf League is available at twinwoodsgolfcourse.com, by calling 215-822-9263, or at the course at 2924 East Orvilla Road, Hatfield.
The league is continuing to accept new members. There is a one-time $20 registration fee. The weekly green fee, which includes a pull cart, is $15. Riding carts may be rented for $8 per person. There is an optional $5 weekly prize fee. All prize money is awarded each week.
Generations of Indian Valley is a primary sponsor of the league and membership in Generations is encouraged, but it is not required in order to be a league member, a release about the league said.