It is no secret that due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry is facing one of the toughest economic times ever, especially in California. One day they are open for indoor dining, then only outdoor dining, then limited capacity inside, then take out and curbside only. It has been seven months since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and for many restaurant and bar owners in the Valley, it is getting tough to stay afloat.

The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery has been bringing authentic food and drinks, live music and happy hour specials to the valley for many years now. Famed for their fish and chips, dueling pianos, comedy and karaoke, owners Graham Judge and Paul Little have been getting creative with ways to bring in extra income, by getting members of the community together for some outdoor fun, while adhering to the regulations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local government officials.

Owners of the Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery, Paul Little, left, and Graham Judge, far right, kick off their inaugural “Paddyshack Golf Society” tournament with comedian Rocky Osborne, middle, and JP Raineri, sports editor for Valley News. Valley News/Courtesy photo

Cornhole became popular Sunday nights; before California went back into the purple tier, they had brought back comedy night, karaoke, trivia and put on their first ever golf tournament.

“Many of us love the game of golf, and of course, we have been to our fair share of tournaments,” Little said. “We wanted to do something different from what most Americans have seen. Who knows how long this pandemic is going to last, so we approached the owners at the Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta and asked how we could successfully pull off a tournament.”

Taking a spin off the popular 80s movie “Caddyshack,” Little and Judge hosted the inaugural “Paddyshack Golf Society” tournament Friday, Oct. 23, which featured a reverse shotgun start, along with a whole slew of interesting spins on the American approach to the game of golf. There was the Paddyshack Champion Golfer Individual Stableford Competition – handicap was required – and the Shamrock Craic two-man scramble team event, which was also a Stableford Competition. Craic, or crack, is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland. A putting contest, long drive holes, closest to the pin and smiles galore also filled the day, which saw the 19th hole shenanigans take place back at the Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery after the final golfers turned in their score sheets.

Golfer Mitchell Bailey takes part in the first-ever “Paddyshack Golf Society” tournament at the Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta Friday, Oct. 23. Valley News/JP Raineri photo

“Stableford is a scoring system in golf which, rather than counting the total number of strokes taken, involves scoring points based on the number of strokes taken at each hole,” Little said. “The objective in Stableford, therefore, is to have the highest score – unlike traditional scoring methods.”

For example, a score of 36 points would be classed as an excellent score as that would be the equivalent of 2 points on each hole. The reason this format works so well is that if you have a bad hole and score zero it is not a disaster and it can help speed up the play. In a two-person scramble, each person hits from the tee. The team chooses the best of the two drives and picks up the other ball and takes it out of play. The players move to the position of the better drive for the team’s next shot, and both players attempt a second shot. Continue using the same format for each shot.

As there are no handicaps required for the two-man event, it was the duty of one person from each team to record the score of the other team. In the Champion Golfer Stableford, each golfer will receive their full quota of strokes. For example, a 10-handicap player will receive shots on Strokeplay holes 1-10 according to the card.

Co-owner of the Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery in Murrieta, Paul Little, middle, is pictured with Jon Cantrell, owner of Take Pride Golf Supply, and local resident Thomas Powell. Valley News/JP Raineri photo

“It was a fun day all-around,” Little said. “There was a mixed batch of good golfers, and golfers there for fun. Musician Robert Rankin Walker and his wife could be heard laughing from across the course, and two golfers that frequent the pub a lot, Del and Clinton, well, they deserved the shoutout for the most fun for even giving the sport a try. The one thing I truly learned is that Americans can’t keep score for the life of them.”

At the end of the day, the tournament went off without a hitch and got members of the community excited about when the establishment will hold their next tournament. The results from each of the formats include:

Paddyshack Champion Individual Golfers (Facebook tagged):

1 – Ryan Benko – 44

2 – Adam Bouvet – 43

3 – Jake Blaze – 42

4 – Thomas Powell – 41

T5 – Chris Conte – 40

T5 – Sean O’Neil – 40

6 – John S. Wallace II – 39

T7 – Mitchell Bailey – 35

T7 – Ryan McCulloch – 35

T7 – Patrick Cronin – 35

8 – Rocky Allen Osborn – 34

T9 – Ben Sanders – 33

T9 – Erik Grover – 33

T9 – Mike Horan – 33

T10 – Jon Cantrell – 32

T10 – Erik McLeod – 32

11 – David Funston – 31

12 – Derek Miller – 30

13 – Jose Vallardez – 28

T14 – Jay Cantacessi – 27

T14 – Ryan M. Lane – 27

T15 – Nate Pearson – 23

T15 – Brett Downing – 21

 

Craic Team Results (Facebook tagged):

1 – Ty Jaglowski, Rick Thomas – 45

2 – Elman DaSilva, JP Saar – 43

3 – Barry Healy Adam Barker – 41

T4 – JP Raineri, Jeffrey DeLand – 33

T4 – Chuck Clingenpeel, John Harris – 33

5 – Boz SD, Chris Hill – 32

6 – John Ryti, Matt Foist – 32

T7 – Nate Duran, Jason Lee Kirby – 30

T7 – Jason Rowley, Ronnie Hill – 30

8 – Norrie Murray, David Hoey – 29

T9 – Jeff Southern, Joe Q – 28

T9 – Michael Fisher, Rob Doobovsky – 28

10 – Michael Lane, Sean Lane 24

11 – Brian Crain, Byron Warner – 23

12 – Neil Morrow, David Humphrey – 22

13 – Tim Ousley, Larry Clark – 22

14 – Brian Michael, Cara – 19

T15 – Eric Knowles, Joe Kirkwood – 18

T15 – Michael Lane Snr, Ted Corwin – 18

16 – Steven Frasso, Bill Strohm – 17

T17 – Bob Ingersoll, Kathleen Ingersoll – 13

T17 – Brandon T-Rex Laws, Sonny Creutzburg – 13

T17 – Robert Rankin Walker, Trina Rankin Walker – 13

T17 – James Mintz, Bryan Lynton – 13

T17 – Matt Heffernan, Eric Kols – 13

T17 – Del Downey, Clinton Popp – 13

The Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery hosts the 19th hole afterparty for the inaugural “Paddyshack Golf Society” tournament. Valley News/JP Raineri photo.

“Thank you to everyone for attending what was an amazing inaugural event,” Judge said. “We can confirm there will be a monster Paddyshack St. Patrick’s Day event Saturday, March 13, 2021. However, we are keen to do some smaller events and roll ups to keep the camaraderie going. We genuinely appreciate the community’s support of the pub and our golf society during these tough times.”

The Shamrock is open seven days a week from 4-10 p.m. Check out the Paddyshack Facebook Group Page which shows all the results and photographs from the course and the 19th hole. Become a member of the Paddyshack Group page by going to https://www.facebook.com/groups/308951983688082. To find out more about the Shamrock Irish Pub & Eatery visit them online at http://www.theshamrockirishpubandeatery.com. Also search them on Instagram @theshamrockirishpub and Twitter @TheShamily for their weekly specials or call 951-696-5252 for more information.

JP Raineri can be reached by email at sports@reedermedia.com.