Great Course, Great Golf, Great Match…

April 10, 2014 by

On April 2, I was fortunate to work the 17th Georgia Cup Match. This is a “one of a kind” happening in golf where the reigning US Amateur Champion plays the British Amateur Champion in an 18 hole match at the Golf Club of Georgia. These two players were here to prepare for The Masters this week as both received an invitation to The Masters for winning their respective championships. The Golf Club of Georgia is a wonderful place for them to prepare for Augusta with the speed of the putting greens, the topography of the property, and the proximity of Atlanta to Augusta. Over the years, the champions have enjoyed their week there to get ready for one of the most important weeks of their lives.

Matt Fitzpatrick of Sheffield, England is the current US Amateur Champion which he won last summer at The Country Club of Brookline outside of Boston. Garrick Porteous of Morpeth, Northumberland, England is the current British Amateur Champion which he won at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal, England, becoming the first English winner of the British Amateur since 2003. Marietta’s own Hall of Fame Golfer Larry Nelson was the Honorary Captain of the Match and it was great to see him there to contribute.

We were greeted with a beautiful day, on a fantastic golf course, with two great players. Greg Butterfield, Past President of the GSGA, served as the match referee and at 1:05 pm the Match got under way. Mr. Porteous played some great golf as did Mr. Fitzpatrick, but the British Amateur Champion had his day winning the Match 3&2, being 4 under par at the conclusion.

I thank the Golf Club of Georgia, The Georgia Cup Committee, and all who contributed to make the Georgia Cup a success and hope that we will be able to elevate this Match even more in the future. This will be a wonderful day for spectators to come out and see some great golf on a great golf course. At the same time we are able to help support two tremendous charities, the Georgia State Golf Association Foundation and the Folds of Honor Foundation. I hope to see many of you at the Georgia Cup in the years to come.

Layne Williams
Senior Director, Rules & Competitions

USGA Course Rating Calibration Seminar

April 1, 2014 by

The Georgia State Golf Association participated in the USGA Eastern Calibration Seminar for Course Rating the past two days at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.  It was a great learning experience for myself as a newbie to the Course Rating Program here in Georgia, but fortunately, I had seven seasoned captains from around the state making sure I looked like I knew what I was doing!

Jim Coleman, Mike Downes, Dave Turner and I comprised our Men’s Team while Nancy Henning, Linda Lee, Karen Sellick and Claire Thompson served as our Women’s Team.  Both teams scored very well on the individual quiz as well as the on-course rating portion of the seminar.  We didn’t have much room for error though as our GSGA Executive Director and USGA Course Rating Committee Chair Martha Kirouac seemed to be keeping a watchful eye over all those in attendance – especially our crew.

The USGA Technical Director, Dr. Matthew Pringle, gave us a very informative and interesting presentation on all that goes on with the USGA Pace of Play initiative.  It goes way beyond the clever commercial spots of “While We’re Young”, and pretty soon, you will be hearing more regarding their research.  Pretty soon, we will all be talking about our cycle times and tee intervals at the courses that we play.

There are some exciting new opportunities coming up for course raters and golf associations to test out!  Keep an eye out for future blogs and hopefully we here at the GSGA can give you the inside scoop on all the latest course rating news.  Thank you to the USGA and Carmel Country Club for putting on a great Calibration Seminar, as well as the GSGA volunteers for joining me on the trip and allowing me to return back to our office with almost perfect course rating scores!

Tripp Pendergast
Director, Course Rating

“Trending” Upward!

February 25, 2014 by

We’re almost to one of my favorite times of the year.  Spring is right around the corner, and that means the Masters, March Madness and the GSGA Competitions season are nearly here.  It’s been an especially harsh winter in Georgia, so I’m even more excited than usual to get back out on the course this year.

With that in mind, we’re always working hard to be as accessible as possible to our members.  One way we do that is through our social media outlets.  In trying to “go social”, we’ve created hashtags for each of our competitions.  We’ll use these hashtags referencing specific tournaments on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we encourage you to do the same with any questions or comments you have.

Four-Ball Tournament - #GSGA4BallT

Super Senior Championship – #GSGASuperSenior

Four-Ball Championship – #GSGA4BallC

Senior Match Play Championship – #GSGASeniorMP

Mid-Amateur Championship – #GSGAMidAm

Senior Women’s Match Play Championship – #GSGA­SeniorWMP

Women’s Match Play Championship – #GSGAWomensMP

Junior Championship – #GSGAJunior

Girls’ Championship – #GSGAGirls

Top 60 Women’s Classic – #GSGATop60

Amateur Championship – #GeorgiaAmateur

GA-SC Junior Challenge Match – #GASCjunior

GA-SC Girls’ Junior Challenge Match - #GASCgirls

Junior Sectional Challenge Match – #GSGAJrSectional

Women’s Southeastern Challenge Match – #WSEChallengeMatch

Senior Women’s Championship – #GSGASeniorWomen

Senior Championship – #GSGASenior

Public Links Championship – #GSGAPubLinks

Women’s Team Championship – #GSGAWomensTeam

Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship – #GSGAaamp

Parent-Child Championship – #GSGAparentchild

Billy Peters Cup Matches – #BillyPetersCup

Team Championship – #GSGATeam

Senior Four-Ball Championship – #GSGASenior4Ball

So, if you use Facebook and Twitter, “like” and “follow” us to stay informed on all things #GSGA!

Richard Adams
Manager, Rules and Competitions

Something to make the winter blues go away…

February 20, 2014 by

After a couple of serious wallops from the winter weather gods, we finally have some weather this week that will encourage us to get back on the golf course!  We are still watching a lot of snow and ice on TV with the Winter Olympics, but even there the white stuff is melting and the temperatures are more moderate than I expected they would be.

So, just for fun, let’s fast forward to the Summer Olympics in 2016.  Golf will be a part of the fun and it is only a matter of time before thoughts turn to picking Team USA!  Any thoughts on how that team will be picked?? After all the suspense, do you think it will be announced on Morning Drive??

The answer appears to be NO – our team, like those from all other countries, will be picked based on the Official World Golf Rankings.  If our team were picked as of February 10th, it would potentially be Tiger, Phil, Zach and Matt wearing the Stars and Stripes for the U.S.A.  Below is a link to an article that includes an explanation of the selection process – and who is in the running as of today for a long list of countries. Some countries will have 2 team members, others as many as four.

As we look forward to green grass, warmer weather and the return of the Masters – this makes for some fun reading!

Martha Kirouac
Executive Director

GSGAF Scholarship Applications Now Available Online!

February 6, 2014 by

The GSGA Foundation has a new and improved website! One of the new features is that the GSGAF now offers online scholarship applications for both the Yates and Moncrief programs.

The deadline for the 2014-2015 school year is 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014. All information must be received on or before the deadline to be considered for the full scholarship amount.

Click here to visit the GSGA Foundation website for more information on the scholarship programs as well as the links below.

Click here for the Yates Scholarship application.

Click here for the Moncrief Scholarship application.

First time users will need to set up a profile before they can fill out an application. Simply click on First time login on home page. Please contact me at or 678-324-5962 if you have any questions.

Kim Cox
Director, GSGA Foundation & Georgia Golf Hall of Fame

Paddle boarding, rollerblade hockey, sand volleyball, snowboarding, windsurfing…

January 23, 2014 by

What do these all have in common? They are variations  of a traditional sport… The speaker at our recent Annual Meeting did have some interesting points about the current status of the game of golf in the United States, and emphasized some points that we already knew. Primarily, today’s recreational golfer desires a quicker pace and less expensive version of the current game of golf.

What he did not mention was that a new variation of golf could really drive the masses to the game, much as it has with the activities mentioned above. I just haven’t been able to brainstorm a combination that works – croquet golf or ice golf just don’t have the necessary flair to be a future Olympic event. I am open to suggestions and am willing to share a percentage of equipment sales.

Holly Clark
Director, Finance & Operations

Club Handicap Chairman

January 21, 2014 by

Happy New Year!  Once again we are in the process of updating the Handicap Chairmen at each of our member clubs.  An essential element of the USGA Handicap System is the requirement that each golf club appoints a Handicap Chairman and committee in order to remain in compliance with the system.  To determine if a golf club is complying with the USGA Handicap System (section 8-2m) use the following checklist.


  1. Meet the USGA definition of a golf club?
  2. Have a Handicap Committee composed mostly of members and chaired by a member?  (Section 8-1)
  3. Make it possible for a player to record the correct USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating with each posted score from every set of tees?  (Sections 5-2, 8-2b, and 8-4c)
  4. Require the posting of all scores made at home and away?  (Section 5-1)
  5. Require use of USGA procedures to adjust hole scores before posting?  (Section 4)
  6. Require that nine-hole scores be posted?  (Section 5-2c and 5-2d)
  7. Insist that the principles of the Rules of Golf be followed?  (Section 5-1d)
  8. Follow the National Revision Schedule and posting season of the authorized golf association having jurisdiction in the region?  (Section 8-3a and 8-3b)
  9. Ensure that all acceptable scores are entered correctly?  (Section 5-2)
  10. Perform computations and adjustments in accordance with the USGA Handicap Formula?  (Sections 8-4 and 10)
  11. Make current scoring records and a Handicap Index listing of all members readily available for inspection by others?  (Section 6-3)
  12. Reduce or increase a Handicap Index of any player whose Handicap Index does not reflect the player’s potential ability?  (Section 8-4c)
  13. Notify an authorized golf association when permanent changes have been made to the golf course so that the association can issue a new USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating? (Section 14-5b)
  14. Include the letter “L” after local handicaps, which exceed the USGA maximum limits of 36.4 for men and 40.4 for women?  (Section 3-4)
  15. Utilize the current USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating issued by an authorized golf association?  (Section 14)
  16. Have a representative from the golf club participate in a USGA Handicap System Seminar (whether conducted by the USGA or an authorized golf association) including passing a test exhibiting knowledge about the System?
  17. Have a signed license agreement in place with a local authorized golf association or USGA prior to issuing a Handicap Index?


Michelle S. Loggins
Manager, Handicap Services

Back on Board!

January 16, 2014 by

For the second time in the past eight and a half months, I am known as the “new guy” around the Georgia State Golf Association office.  After completing my six-month USGA PJ Boatwright, Jr. Internship in November, I started in my new role here as the Director of Course Rating for the GSGA.

I definitely have some big shoes to fill after Martha and Jerri let me take on this new role!  But fortunately for me, they are just down the stairs from my new office, so I know they will be hearing plenty of questions coming from my direction.  I also know the course rating captains and volunteers around the state will be a huge help as I make this transition.

We are finalizing our course rating schedule as we speak and have lined up our training sites across the state.  Soon you might see a team of raters out on your home course taking all sorts of yardage measurements ensuring that the club is properly rated to the USGA’s standards.  Hopefully you will see me out there as well working away with our rating teams!

It will be an exciting 2014 in the course rating department and in the GSGA as a whole.  There are some great host clubs for this year’s GSGA Competitions and Championships.  Some of my personal favorites are hosting events including Cartersville Country Club, Cuscowilla on Lake Oconee, Ansley Golf Club – Settindown Creek, Rivermont Golf and Country Club, and Druid Hills among others.

There is also the debut of the Parent-Child Championship in October, so keep an eye out for those details down the road.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete with an 11-month old by that point, but maybe in the 2023 Parent-Child Championship you will see us out there!

Tripp Pendergast
Director, Course Rating

Junior Sectional Program News and Notes…

January 15, 2014 by

2013 was a great year for the Junior Sectional Program, and we are looking forward to another fun summer in 2014. We are currently finalizing the schedule and will post the event dates and sites soon.

Here are a few Junior Sectional news items to make note of for 2014:

  • The Landings Club in Savannah will host the Junior Sectional Challenge Match on July 27-28.  The Landings is an excellent venue, and they will do a fantastic job hosting the Challenge Match.
  • The East Section won the 2013 Challenge Match at The Georgia Club in Statham.  They will look to repeat as champions for the first time since the Southeast Section did it in 2002 and 2003 at Milledgeville CC and Dublin CC, respectively.
  • New in 2014, players will be able to participate in ANY Junior Sectional event, regardless of which section they reside.  Players will still only be able to earn points and prizes in their own section’s events, but this change will allow junior golfers to play in as many events as they want, not just the 4-5 in their section.
  • Last year, 18 year old competitors were eligible to participate in Junior Sectional events as long as they were not already enrolled in college.  This will continue in 2014, so if you are 18 and looking for a tournament to play in over the summer, sign up for a Junior Sectional event.
  • The Boys 14-15 age group will not play from the same yardage as the Boys 16-18 age group beginning this year.  There will now be a separate, shorter set of tees for the 14-15 boys to ensure better pace of play and hopefully more birdies!

We hope to see you at (at least) one Junior Sectional event this summer!

Richard Adams
Manager, Rules & Competitions

Hello 2014!

January 9, 2014 by

Greetings and happy new year! Where has the time gone? No, really, what happened to 2013? It seems like we were just preparing for the 2013 season yesterday. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I guess so!

I’m biased, but I believe 2014 is shaping up to be a great year for the GSGA. Our yearly day of fun – Annual Meeting/Players of the Year Luncheon/Georgia Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is quickly approaching – t-minus 9 days! There is a lot of prep work/behind-the-scenes work that is involved in pulling this day off, and we here in the friendly confines of GSGA Headquarters are making sure all the details are covered and everyone can enjoy themselves.

I admit, this isn’t the longest blog post in the history of blog posts, but I’d just like to say how much I’m looking forward to this new year. As usual, we can’t accomplish the things we want to accomplish without our wonderful contingent of volunteers, member clubs and members.

Here’s to a fantastic 2014…


Jason Taylor
Director, Communications & Marketing


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