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Retirees get back to work, win Coastie golf outing

Duncan MacLean • Jul 31, 2018 at 11:19 PM

GRAND HAVEN TWP. — It was a long time coming for Tuesday's winning foursome at the Coast Guard Festival Golf Tournament at Grand Haven Golf Club.

Dave Eagin, Kent Fisher, Dave Karpin and Bob Niemic have been playing in the tournament as a foursome for "many years" according to their clock. Their start on the 18th hole yielded their best result yet, as they carded an impressive 59 strokes for 13 under par to take the title.

"The retirees took the young guys to school today," Karpin said.

It took a group effort for the top score of the day, including pinpoint putting, strong iron play and an expert long ball.

"When you are playing a scramble, its called ham'n'egging," Fisher said. "One guy is not apt to sustain his entire team. Somebody has to step up on each hole if you are going to shoot 13 under par.

"Most often, it was Bob."

"But, (Kent) had the longest drive all day," Niemic added.

"I had an advantage," Fisher said. "I'm 72 years old, so I get to hit from the forward tees, and the strength of my game is probably off the tee, anyway. What can I say, it worked out, and I'm not giving this back."

After a stint stationed in Muskegon from 1984-87, Fisher has made an effort to visit the Coast Guard Festival's most fun round of golf as often as he can.

"I've been playing this event since I was stationed here," he said. "I had to miss a few while I was on active duty, but since retirement, I went to work for the festival committee and haven't missed it.

"We've been playing as a foursome for many years. This is our first victory."

While the keg service, luncheon and premier golf setting provided by the Grand Haven Golf Club is a major draw for the Coasties, Fisher said that the tournament embodies the spirit of the festival, giving servicemen both young and old the chance to engage, share stories and bond over their common experience.

"Getting together and playing golf with a bunch of Coasties, telling them how pretty the girls were, how high the seas were and how hard the wind blew back in the day, that is fun for us retirees," he said.

"There is nothing better than being around a bunch of people in the business," Fisher added. "We have that in common and that is the commonality that matters."

The rest of the week is back to work for the winning retired foursome, however, as each of the four has accepted administrative responsibilities throughout the festival.

Fisher will emcee multiple festival events over the next few days, Niemic serves as the chairperson for the retirees' dinner tonight, Karpin heads up the memorial service, and Eagin organizes and runs the softball tournament.

"This is the end of our fun," Karpin joked. "Back to work for us!"

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