The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and golfing season is in full swing. Cape May County is home to breathtaking golden sunset views, but what about the green? This week, we’ve decided to profile a notable Cape May County golf figure. Francey Burke of Cape May Court House gave us a quick glimpse into her experiences with the game and what she loves about the chips and divots of CMC.
Francey was not introduced to golfing until later in life when she was forty years old. Yet she immediately discovered her affinity for the game and is currently a member of a team that represents Wildwood Golf Club in South Jersey Golf Association matches. “Although I started playing at a later age, I was able to pick the game up rather quickly. Through hard work and perseverance, I won both the Ladies Club Championship and The Presidents Cup (stroke play and match play formats respectively) in the same year (2007) which is a rare accomplishment. Just a week ago I was a competitor in the Ladies Club Championship and was the A-Flight winner and finished in 3rd place overall,” Francey tells us.
While her skill on the links is more than apparent, Francey also utilizes her love for the game “as a springboard for fundraising and charitable causes. I have organized first class golf tournaments for over 12 years which have raised many thousands of dollars. The event was named the Burke Motor Group Golf Classic (it is now replaced with another major event that I coordinate each year, “The Golfless Gala”). These funds have been utilized for college scholarships for our local students, funded a new children’s playground at our local sports complex in Goshen, and provided aid to local people with medical needs,” she states.
Francey polishes her game typically two to three times a week, she explains, “but I rarely ‘practice’ since I enjoy being out on the course with family and friends as opposed to being on a driving range.” As a Wildwood Golf Club member, Francey tends to play most of her local games there, but also likes to hit the links at Avalon Golf and Sand Barrens and is “fond” of the unique par-3 course at Laguna Oaks.
She is a major fan of the “older style course” of her home club Wildwood Golf. “The course has an interesting mix of ponds, bunkers and rough which requires both skill and careful thought. The course also has stunning meadow views and is meticulously maintained,” states Francey enthusiastically. “It also has a very friendly atmosphere that I find very appealing. They have an expert teaching staff and have a number of opportunities for junior golfers as well as men’s and women’s leagues.”
We also discussed how Francey’s perspective as a female golfer may differ from that of male counterparts. Ultimately, she feels that golf is unique in that both men and women can not only play together but can also experience equal opportunity to excel. “Golf is a special sport that permits people of both genders and all ages to play together. The handicap system also allows all abilities to be able to have enjoyable rounds together,” states Burke.
When she is not teeing up on the Wildwood Golf green, you can more than likely find Francey cycling through Cape May County streets. She has recently become an avid long distance cyclist and has logged over 12,000 miles on her bike in the past 18 months alone.
We salute this impressive local golfer and wish her the best of luck on the green and in the rough. Fore!
By Megan Kummer