Winnipeger Wins Masters Division Crown In Israel

Ron Solomon pulled off on what he calls an “unexpected” victory in the Master’s Division of the Israel Open, held recently at the Gaash Golf Club.

Solomon, who made aliyah some 2-1/2 years ago, won in the over-50 age group, where he competed against 40 other participants.

“It felt great winning the tournament,” Solomon said in an e-mail interview. “Before the tournament, there was a website set up with predictions on how players might finish, and my name wasn’t even mentioned, as not many people knew me. Now I’m getting phone calls from people asking me to join them for a game. It seems I’ve earned some respect in golf circles.

“Although there are some other tournaments [in Israel] throughout the year, this was the big one,” Solomon added.

As a result of his victory, Solomon, 57, is currently “playing golf two or three times a week, which is considerably more than before I won the Israeli Open.” The Gaash Golf Club is located on Kibbutz Gaash, about 15 kilometres north of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea.

While working as an elementary and high school teacher in Winnipeg, Solomon enjoyed golf as a hobby and tried to learn whatever he could about the game. Shortly after moving to Israel, he landed a job teaching the sport to children, ages eight to 17, at the Caesarea Golf & Country Club. (Israel’s only other golf club)

“I haven’t really played in many tournaments before, and this was my first one in Israel. The only other tournament I ever won was the club championship at Winnipeg’s Glendale Golf and Country Club, but that was back in 1989,” he said.

Solomon said he hopes to play for Israel’s golf team in the master’s division in the Maccabiah Games in July.

“Winning this tournament gives me a good chance to make the team. There are three qualifying rounds to make the team. One was in January, another in February and the third in March or April. These qualifying rounds don’t have as much merit in making the Maccabiah team, since the Israel Open was the main qualifying tournament. But I’ll practice two or three times a week prior to these qualifying games,” Solomon said. Continue reading