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Gale force at MVCC

Jones Cup

Four-time men's champion retains strong game, despite increasing lack of time to practice.

June 21, 2013|By Barry Faulkner
  • Ryan Gayle, a four-time men's club champion at Mesa Verde Country Club, will play in the Jones Cup on Wednesday.
Ryan Gayle, a four-time men's club champion at Mesa… (KENT TREPTOW )

With the demands of two young children and running his own finance company, Ryan Gale said his golf clubs spend more and more time in his closet these days. But his diminished time on the course seems not to have hampered his game.

Even the 33-year-old's "Weekday Warrior" routine that includes competing in a Monday recreation softball league, as well as basketball leagues on Wednesdays and Fridays, hasn't appeared to soften the edge he holds over fellow members as a four-time men's Mesa Verde Country Club men's champion.

"My game is what it is," said Gale, who will represent his club in the 14th edition of the Jones Cup community golf tournament on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at Santa Ana Country Club. "I don't really practice."

But Gale does prioritize, somewhat, when it comes to the Jones Cup, which pits club professionals and the men's, women's and senior champions from five area clubs against one another in an 18-hole, two-low-gross-balls format, for a year's worth of bragging rights.

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"The Jones Cup is one of the best tournaments I play in," the Costa Mesa resident said. "The format is really cool. We all want to win, but it is still fun. I don't invite any of my friends to any other tournaments, but I ask them to come out and watch me in the Jones Cup."

Striving for both excellence and enjoyment seems to suit Gale to a tee when it comes to golf, which has always shared time within his personal sports spectrum.

"My grandfather introduced me to golf when I was 12, but I was too interested in playing other sports to get serious about it until my last two years of high school," said Gale, who played varsity basketball and baseball at Huntington Beach High before dropping the latter to play varsity golf as a senior.

"I played football growing up and I used to bowl and play Ping-Pong, too," Gale said. "But at my size [now 6-0], any career in the other sports wasn't going to last longer than it might in golf."

Gale walked onto the golf team at UC Santa Barbara, where he played four years and won some tournaments.

He won Mesa Verde men's titles in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013, the last two coming after his daughter (6) and son (4) had begun walking.

"I used to care a lot and I used to grind when it came to golf," Gale said. "I still want to win, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my time [to practice]. I'd rather coach my kids' soccer and baseball teams."

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