Aces

Scott Beers (right) is congratulated by 2011 British Open champ Darren Clarke after a hole in one on the fifth hole at Willowbend.

For most, getting asked to play the next day with one of the most prolific European golfers of the last few decades might lead to a sleepless night and nerves on the tee box. For Mashpee resident Scott Beers, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

Beers, who teed off Wednesday at his home course of Willowbend in the first round of the Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship, has been playing with—and against—the biggest-name pros for decades. Playing a round with Darren Clarke, the 2011 British Open champion and 2016 Ryder Cup captain, was certainly thrilling and fun for Beers, but it wasn’t by any means intimidating.

Just how cool and calm was Beers? Well, he hopped in a five iron from 195 yards away on Willowbend’s fifth hole a few weeks back. The hole in one was the eighth of Beers’s playing career.

Clarke, who hails from Northern Ireland but lives in The Bahamas, is a member at one of Willowbend’s sister clubs down on that island. He came up to the Cape for a few weeks to play and practice, and he was looking for some playing partners. He teamed with Willowbend pro Mike Vidal, and Beers joined up with his friend, Frank Donato—who also lives in Mashpee—and they played a match.

“We lost three-and-two; we didn’t get any shots or anything,” Beers said. “We’re kind of pleased.”

The reason that Beers finds himself at such ease with a star like Clarke is that most of his adult life had him working with and around high-profile athletes as the founder of The Switch, a communications company that provided transmissions for the PGA Tour and Major League Baseball. Over the years he got to know the players, especially the golfers, well and became friendly with them. A round with a 21-time PGA tour winner was fun, but not necessarily something to get worked up about.

“I’ve played with a lot of tour players over the years. I’ve had a private lesson with Tiger Woods, I’ve played with (Phil) Mickelson, I’ve played with Bubba Watson. I played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am,” Beers explained. “I didn’t really have enough time to think about it, they just came up to me and said, ‘You want to play? Sure,’ and I don’t think I even knew I was playing with Darren until I got there.”

Now retired from the company he founded, Beers spends most of his time doing what he loves the most, playing golf. The member at Willowbend said he plays “probably 200 rounds” a year, although he takes Mondays off. He hoped to finish in the top 10 at the senior amateur at his home course and thought it was a doable goal if he played well. He was happy that his tee time for the first round had been scheduled for the afternoon on Wednesday and not earlier in the day when the weather was horrid. With his tee time pushed back an hour to 2 PM and the sun beginning to make its first appearance of the day, he was buoyed by his good fortune. “I wouldn’t have wanted to be one of those guys that played this morning. I’m sure that wasn’t much fun,” he said with a smile.

You can’t help that get the feeling that even if Beers had been unlucky with the earlier tee time, he still would have enjoyed himself.

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