Commander\'s Cup goes to SOCEUR for second year running
Special Operations Command Europe team members Lt. Col. Bennie Pokemire (from left) and Capt. John Simmons look on as their teammate, Sgt. Maj. Gregg Hayes, makes a putt during the Commander’s Cup Golf Tournament May 14 at the Stuttgart Golf Course. The SOCEUR team (which also include Robert Maldonado, contractor) won the tournament for the second year running with a net score of 58 on the par 73 course.

STUTTGART, Germany -- Despite the cool temperature and steady rainfall, 19 teams participated in the second annual Commander's Cup Golf Tournament at the Stuttgart Golf Course May 14.

Eighteen teams represented U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart tenant units and one German team represented the Neckartal golf course board.

All did their best to supplant last year's winner, but Special Operations Command Europe walked away with the cup for the second year running.

The SOCEUR team (Sgt. Maj. Gregg Hayes, Robert Maldonado, Capt. John Simmons and Lt. Col. Bennie Pokemire) achieved a net score of 58 (including handicaps) on the18-hole, par 73 course.

And, according to Maldonado, a contractor, they haven't even been practicing. "Does Wii golf count'" he asked.

Second place went to the Marine Forces Europe 1 team with a net score of 60, followed by Marine Forces Europe 2 with a net score of 61.

The tournament also included "longest drive" and "closest-to-the-pin" competitions at certain holes. Longest drive winners in the men's and women's categories were (respectively) Scott Tucker and Cathy Crilley.

Closest-to-the-pin winners included Ryan Stamp at hole 3; Ed McCargo at hole 6; Loni Hess at hole 11 and David D'Andrea at hole 14.

Regardless of the weather and final standings, however, each team spent a Friday out of the office and on the greens.

"The weather conditions are not the best, but we're having fun ... just getting out," said Col. Richard M. Pastore, garrison commander.

The event also gave some co-workers the chance to bond outside of the office.

"It's been a great team-building activity with DPTMS," said Dennis Dolan , Directorate for Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security plans and operations specialist.

In the scramble-style tournament, each team member took turns teeing off, but only the best shots counted towards the net score.

"When it's a team effort, it changes the format of the game to something a little more enjoyable," Dolan added. "There's not as much pressure; you get to know each other quite well.

"We had more good laughs than shots, and we had our fair share of good shots."

The good shots came in part because the 300 square meter course was well maintained, Dolan added.

"The greens were surprisingly fast, despite all the rain we have had," he said. "But the key point is, they were all fast, and that says a lot about how much work has gone into the course."

The tournament also offered players the chance to improve their golfing skills at the start of the season.

Command Sgt. Major Anthony M. Bryant, garrison command sergeant major and an admitted novice, said he took advantage of teammate Dale Greenberg's expertise.

"Since the first hole, I have improved, thanks to my man Dale here," Bryant said.

At the end of the tournament, teams had lunch inside the golf club, followed by the award ceremony. The top 10 teams received gift certificates to the club.

Not everyone walked away with a prize, but most felt the day well spent.

"I'm enjoying it," Dale Greenberg said. "It's a day off."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16