Category: USGA

Four move on from U.S. Open Local Qualifer at Spirit Hollow GC

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Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington certainly provided a U.S. Open-like test on Monday, May 15, for the 64 competitors who teed it up at the local qualifier.

In the end, four players advanced to the sectional stage. Michael Wuertz, a professional from Davenport, was the medalist with a two under-par 70. Next was amateur Andrew O’Brien and professional Michael Roters, who fashioned even-par 72. The fourth and final qualifying spot went to Lamoni’s Matt Mickelson (pro), who won a three-way playoff ­– after almost ending the playoff on the first hole (#1) by hitting it to within inches for a tap-in birdie.

Wuertz (pcitured) admitted he had a few first tee jitters when teeing it up this morning.

“I was pretty nervous on the first tee,” Wuertz said. “This was my first competitive round in a few months.”

Even with nerves battling him before the round, Wuertz got off to a nice start in the first three holes.

I birdied #10 and #12,” Wuertz said. “But then bogies three of my next four. I just tried to hang in there and turn it around. It was a solid round. You just have to keep your head down and limit your mistakes. I had four bogies, but also had six birdies. Moving forward is important when playing in tough conditions like this.””

First and second alternates, who joined Mickelson in the playoff for the final qualifying spot, went to Trent Lindenman (New Sharon) and J.D. Anderson (Johnston), respectively.  Lindeman was eliminated after Mickelson made birdie on the third play off hole (both players parred the second play off hole, #18), while Anderson’s par on the first sent him back to the clubhouse.

Competitors faced a golf course that stretched over 7,300 yards with thick Bluegrass rough, which presented difficult recovery shots for those who didn’t find the fairway.

“It was tough out there,” Wuertz said of the course. “I thought 70 was a safe number no matter what and not have to worry at all. I am glad I didn’t have to sweat it out. I was able to get up and down most of the day when I did miss a green. I even used the same all day long.”

 

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USGA Deepens Commitment to PLAY9 Program – Harvest Point GC in Oskaloosa is a pilot course

For the June PLAY9 Day Harvest Point GC will offer 2 for 1 green fees for 9 holes. They will offer this promotion from June 5-9. Be sure to mention the PLAY9 promotion when checking in to receive the discount!

FAR HILLS, N.J. (May 11, 2017) – With a broader focus on golf at the local level, the USGA rolled out plans today in support of the PLAY9™ program.

Launched in 2014, PLAY9 has been educating and rallying golfers and non-golfers around the nine-hole round as an important, yet simple solution that addresses busy lifestyles, often cited as a barrier to the game’s participation.

In 2017, the USGA will be working closely with state and regional golf associations and courses throughout the United States that will host and promote local PLAY9 Days between May and October.

The USGA has also created online and printed toolkits for golf courses and facilities that are interested in hosting events. The toolkits offer posters, flyers and social media suggestions to raise awareness. Ideas for innovative themes and playing formats are also included.

“We are very excited to be one of the SRGAs that are working with the USGA to promote the PLAY9 Program,” said Iowa Golf Association Executive Director Chad Pitts. “While we are encouraging golfers all over the state to play at their local clubs and courses, we have set up Edmundson/Harvest Point GC in Oskaloosa as a pilot club to promote specific PLAY9 opportunities throughout the 2017 golf season. You will see more about those opportunities at our website, iowagolf.org.”

Beginning in 2015, the USGA began to measure perceptions among both golfers and golf courses regarding the nine-hole round and the PLAY9 program.

A 2016 study showed:

  • As reported by golfers, nine-hole rounds comprised one-third of rounds played in 2016, Women, casual players and golfers under age 55 appear to be driving the increase in nine-hole rounds.
  • Nine-hole scores made up between 8-9 percent of all scores posted to the USGA’s GHIN system over the past three years (2014-2016), an increase from an average of 6 percent from 2010-2013.
  • Perception of the nine-hole round as a simple, effective and time-friendly option to play the game increased from 46 percent in 2015 to 54 percent in 2016.
  • The perception that nine-hole rounds are encouraging people to play the game is particularly strong with women and private club members, with 78 percent of both groups indicating that it is strongly positive.
  • As reported by golf facilities, the mean percentage of facility revenue generated by nine-hole rounds increased from 22 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2016.
  • Facilities have reported that the mean percentage of nine-hole starts increased from 19 percent in 2015 to 23 percent in 2016.
  • Forty percent of facilities saw a year-over-year increase in the number of nine-hole rounds played in 2016.

In support of the program, the USGA will utilize usga.org/play9 as the hub for all PLAY9 content. The site features a course finder that identifies nine-hole facilities as well as 18-hole golf courses that offer nine-hole playing options.

“The USGA is proud to support PLAY9 and encourage everyone from newcomers to lapsed golfers to go out and play the game,” said Mike Davis, USGA executive director/CEO. ”We are thrilled to see that participation for nine-hole golf is on the rise and we remain committed to programs focused on allowing golfers to play in less time and fit golf into their busy schedules.”

More information and the course finder can be found at www.usga.org/play9.

 

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 annual amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf facility management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

For more information about the USGA, visit usga.org.

USGA Media Contact
Jeff Altstadter
Communications
908.326.1880 [email protected]

www.usga.org/media.htm

CRCC to host 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship

The Iowa Golf Association is proud to announce that Cedar Rapids Country Club as the host site for the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) 58th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. Scheduled for Aug. 24-29, 2019, this will be the first USGA championship hosted in Cedar Rapids and the third in Iowa.

The 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur will be the first USGA championship to be hosted in the Hawkeye State since the 1999 U.S. Senior Open Championship, won by Dave Eichelberger, at Des Moines Golf & Country Club. Prior to that, Deane Beman defeated Richard H. Sikes, 2 and 1, in the 1963 U.S. Amateur Championship final at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines.

“​It is a thrill for our state and the IGA that the USGA will be bringing a third national championship to Iowa,” stated Chad Pitts, IGA Executive Director.  “We are also extremely excited for Cedar Rapids Country Club as they have done a terrific job with recent renovations that will showcase the state’s only Donald Ross-designed course. We are certain the players are going to love it.”

Founded in 1904 and opened for play in 1915, Cedar Rapids remains the only course in Iowa designed by renowned architect Ross. In 2011, the course began a restoration project led by Ron Prichard that returned signature Ross design elements that had been lost or obscured over time. The restoration, which concluded in the spring of 2016, included the reclamation of open vistas, reestablishment of original lines of play, delivery of watershed-driven infrastructure, and green complex improvements featuring the expansion and re-contouring of 12 greens and the complete redesign of three greens.

“On behalf of all the members and staff at Cedar Rapids Country Club, I would like to thank the United States Golf Association for accepting our invitation to host the 2019 U. S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship,” said Anne Parmley, club president. “We are honored to host this championship, and excited to share our recently restored Donald Ross golf course, club and friendly community with the world’s best senior female amateur golfers.”

In July, Cedar Rapids ​CC will host the 2017 Iowa Amateur Championship. The club has also hosted several qualifying events, including local qualifiers for the 2016 U.S. Open Championship and 2014 Drive, Chip & Putt Championship.

USGA announces retirement of State Team Championships

The Club at Las Campanas, in Santa Fe, N.M., will host the final Women’s State Team in September

FAR HILLS, N.J. (March 30, 2017) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced the retirement of the Men’s State Team Championship and Women’s State Team Championship, following the completion of the 2017 competitions calendar.

“The USGA continually evaluates its championships and the way in which they are conducted,” said Stuart Francis, USGA Championship Committee chairman. “The decision to discontinue the State Team Championships follows a thorough review and analysis, including consultation with representatives from state and regional golf associations.”

The USGA State Team Championships were first conducted in 1995 as part of the Association’s centennial celebration and were originally intended to be one-time only events. The championships, in which each state was represented by non-collegiate, amateur golfers, helped cap the USGA’s year-long festivities.

State and regional golf associations sent three-player male and female teams to compete in a stroke-play format similar to the World Amateur Team Championship, in which the best two scores of each state’s three competitors counted on each of the three days of competition. Due to its initial success, the championship continued on a biennial basis and eventually all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia competed.

The Club at Las Campanas (Sunset Course), in Santa Fe, N.M., will host the final Women’s State Team on Sept. 26-28, 2017. In 2015, Georgia rallied past second-round leader Florida to post a three-stroke victory and claim the Judy Bell Trophy. The Men’s State Team was conducted for the last time in 2016 at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.), where Michigan won the championship by three strokes over Arizona and North Carolina. Each championship will have been contested a total of 12 times.

The retirement of the State Team Championships, coupled with the addition of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, to be held on July 12-15 at Chicago Golf Club, in Wheaton, Ill., transforms the USGA championship model starting in 2018.

“The USGA expresses its gratitude to all the champions and competitors of the USGA State Team Championships, as well as the host clubs and the hundreds of volunteers who contributed their time and efforts,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director, Championships and Governance. “In our reviews and discussions, it became quite clear that the conditions of competition had evolved, and there were significant differences in the respective team selection processes. After considering the matter for more than a year, the review supported increased focus toward other areas of USGA competition, both present and future, including the continued enhancement of the local and sectional qualifying experience for players across all USGA championships.”

Both championships boast a list of impressive performances over their histories. John Harris, the 1993 U.S. Amateur champion and four-time USA Walker Cup Team member, led Minnesota to Men’s State Team victories in 1997 and 2001. The 2003 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, Brandt Snedeker, who has won eight PGA Tour titles, and Tim Jackson, who won a pair of U.S. Mid-Amateurs, helped Tennessee win the 2003 crown. Nathan Smith, a four-time U.S. Mid-Amateur champion and a member of three USA Walker Cup Teams, helped Pennsylvania to the 2009 championship. Texas captured a record four Men’s State Teams, including 2007 when Trip Kuehne, who won that year’s Mid-Amateur, was a key figure.

The Women’s State Team has also attracted an array of the game’s top players. Carol Semple Thompson, who has won seven USGA championships, including the 1973 U.S. Women’s Amateur, helped Pennsylvania garner the inaugural Women’s State Team in 1995. Virginia Derby Grimes, the 2018 USA Curtis Cup captain and 1998 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur winner, led Alabama to its lone title in 1997. Mariah Stackhouse, who became the first African American player to compete for the USA Curtis Cup Team in 2014 and led Stanford to the NCAA title the following year, helped Georgia to the second of its four State Team titles in 2009, while Margaret Shirley-Starosto, the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, contributed to the Peach State’s record fourth championship in 2015. Laura Coble, the 2009 Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up, was part of Georgia’s first three winning entries.

With the addition of the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and discontinuation of the USGA State Team Championships, the USGA will conduct 14 championships in 2018.

2018 USGA Championships (14)

  • U.S. Open Championship, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y., June 14-17
  • U.S. Women’s Open Championship, Shoal Creek (Ala.), May 31-June 3
  • U.S. Senior Open Championship, The Broadmoor Golf Club, Colorado Springs, Colo., June 28-July 1
  • U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill., July 12-15
  • U.S. Amateur Championship, Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, Aug. 13-19
  • U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, The Golf Club of Tennessee, Kingston Springs, Tenn., Aug. 6-12
  • U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach, Calif., July 16-21
  • U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J., July 16-21
  • U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club, Sept. 22-27
  • U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Norwood Hills Country Club, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 22-27
  • U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, Eugene (Ore.) Country Club, Aug. 25-30
  • U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club, Vero Beach, Fla., Oct. 6-11
  • U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, Jupiter Hills Club, Tequesta, Fla., May 19-23
  • U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana, Calif., April 28-May 2

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 annual amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches, attracting players and fans from more than 160 countries. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, equipment standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s reach is global with a working jurisdiction in the United States, its territories and Mexico, serving more than 25 million golfers and actively engaging 150 golf associations.

The USGA is one of the world’s foremost authorities on research, development and support of sustainable golf facility management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and invests in the development of the game through the delivery of its services and its ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.

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