March is a fine time to be on golf course


John Gulla and his wife, Jackie, are popular members of the Viera East Golf Club.


Finally, the beautiful golfing weather has returned! If it could only stay this way year round.

The final round of the Viera East Men’s Golf Association’s Ryder Cup recently was held in weather near the freezing mark, not including the wind-chill factor. It was a challenging round of golf.

The Red Team came from behind to prevail and all the golfers thawed out at Divots, Viera East’s restaurant, after play concluded.

In VEMA’s next event, John McComas, Sam Speziale, Kevin Maloney and Greg Kurr finished first in the net best-ball format.

The team of Mike Piccininni, Dennis Lamb, Tony Hines and David Horst tied the team of Guy Sullivan, Robert Damron, Mike Pope and Gary Baxter for second place.

Bruce Schwanda on No. 4, Tom Bergeron on No. 7, Bob David on No. 13 and Roger Harvie on No. 16 were closest-to-the-pin.

More than 50 players played in VEMA’s Feb. 1 event as the weather warmed to comfortable temperatures. It was an individual flighted tournament with four flights.

The top two winners from each flight were Jim Robinson and Tom Bergeron in Flight A; Dennis Lamb and Freddie Baltazar in Flight B; David Hill and Duck Milne in Flight C; and Frank Westwell and Mike Hachee in Flight D.

John Perino on No. 4, Dennis Lamb on No. 7, Sullivan on No. 13 and Bob Graham on No. 16 were closest-to-the-pin.

Lamb’s shot on No. 7 was a hole-in-one.

The top 12 golfers from the VEMA men’s group with low gross scores qualified to play in the Club Championship. After the opening round, the final four competitors will play the second round to determine the winner.

The final four golfers are Bergeron, Tim Brown, Sullivan and Robinson.

Lt. Col. John Gulla, a 1960 West Point graduate, is the featured player this month.

Gulla served 20 years during his distinguished career with two tours in Vietnam and a tour in Germany. He commanded artillery and missile batteries.

He and his wife Jackie have two children and three grandchildren.

Gulla has a massive golf ball collection of more than 525 different golf balls. He has served on the VEMA board of directors as board secretary, where he started the Inside the Ropes column. In 2014, he served as the VEMA president.

The personable Gulla is a competitive golfer with two career holes-in-one. He also does a fine job of helping with prizes donated from local businesses. VV