Archive for July, 2011

Posting online…

July 28, 2011

In my blogs, I try to answer questions that I am asked most often. Here’s another one for you…

I cannot find an out of state course when trying to post my score online. How do I post my score?

GSGA’s handicap vendor is GHIN. GHIN is provided through 71 State and Regional Golf Associations.

If a state golf association does not use the GHIN system, the course will not be available to select. When posting, select the manual option by rating/slope entry and then manually enter the rating/slope. If you need to look up the out of state rating, go to http://www.usga.org.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Michelle Loggins
Manager, Handicap Services

A memorable experience…

July 28, 2011

For as long as I can remember, my husband Chris has wanted to be at a club that was hosting a PGA tournament. Well, he is. I have the feeling that the old adage “be careful what you wish for” may apply this week. Chris is having (and therefore sharing) his love- hate relationship with the experience.

He and my son, who is a temporary employee with the PGA, discuss their day and who had it rougher. While my son comes home physically exhausted from doing manual labor in the sun, his father comes home mentally exhausted from making decisions and rethinking them as circumstances change. In their nightly discussions you can hear the awe, wonderment and pride of being involved in the whole process of a PGA Championship.

I firmly believe that in three or four weeks both will be able to remember their participation with the PGA Championship as an experience of their lifetime.

Holly Clark
Director, Finance and Operations

We almost won the grand slam…

July 21, 2011

I just returned from the 2011 Georgia/South Carolina Junior Challenge Matches at May River Golf Club in Bluffton, SC. This was the 36th playing of these matches, making it the longest, consecutive event of its kind in the country. This match started in 1976, at Houndslake Country Club in Aiken, SC, as the brainchild of Charlie Rountree, Jr., former Junior Golf Chairman of the South Carolina Golf Association, and Pete Cox, former Junior Golf Chairman of the GSGA.

We were lucky to pull out the win by a score of 10 to 6 in the match play format, but as I told Happ Lathrop of the SCGA, it is always a tie because it’s for the kids.

Team Georgia

The SCGA produced a pamphlet with all of the player’s names included from the 36 matches. This reads like a “who’s who” of golf in Georgia and South Carolina over the last 36 years. I can go back to 1976 when the Georgia team was represented by Bob Tway and Larry Mize, or 1980 by Davis Love, III. Obviously, I can’t name them all, but we have many GSGA, SCGA, USGA, and PGA Champions listed who represented their respective state.

This year we almost got the Grand Slam when Dustin Johnson finished runner-up at the Open Championship. He represented South Carolina in 1999 at Secession Golf Club. We already had the other 3 majors with Bob Tway and Davis Love, III, winning the PGA, Larry Mize winning the Masters and Lucas Glover (SC, 1994 and 1996) winning the US Open. We will get the Open Championship soon to claim our Grand Slam.

In addition to the players mentioned above, we have former Walker Cup members Brian Harman, Nick Cassini, Jonathan Byrd, D.J. Trahan and Matt Hendrix. Past participants Madden Hatcher, III, Jack Larkin, Charlie Rymer and Brian Harman are all former USGA Junior Championship winners. This is just a sampling of the caliber of players that these matches have produced.

When we are talking to these players at the team functions, we always emphasize their responsibility to “give back to the game which has been so good to you”. A couple of good examples of this are David Burke (Ga., 1992) who is now on the GSGA Board and works many championships, and Chris Cupit (Ga., 1995 and 1996) who was GSGA President in 2009 and 2010.

None of these players were selected for these matches. They all earned their way onto their respective team. The teams are comprised with the low 8 players from each state’s Junior Championship, so they played their way on. When we go to our Junior Championship, we know that making this team is one of the player’s major goals. What a worthwhile goal!

C. Layne Williams
Senior Director, Rules & Competitions

Thanks for the opportunity…

July 18, 2011

I recently joined the Georgia State Golf Association as the P.J. Boatwright, Jr., Intern for the next few months. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first couple of months here and have been able to travel all around Georgia working at many of the tournaments this summer, most recently the Amateur Championship at Cherokee Town & Country Club.

At the Champions Banquet the night before the Amateur Championship started, I was introduced as the P.J. Boatwright, Jr., Intern and started wondering if anyone knows why the internship has the name it does. For those who have no idea, here is a just a tiny bit of information on the man the internship is named after.

Mr. Boatwright was known as the best and most knowledgeable when it came to the rules of golf. He served for many years as the executive director of the USGA and was involved in the rewriting of the rules of golf in 1984. For many years he was also in charge of setting the playing conditions at the U.S. Open, which would include the green speeds, flag locations and tee positions.

Before his time with the USGA he was an excellent amateur golfer. A native of Augusta, Ga., he attended Wofford University in South Carolina where his game really began to develop. He qualified for the U.S. Amateur four times and twice won the Carolina Open.

Unfortunately Mr. Boatwright died in 1991 from bone cancer, but because of him and the USGA, the internship program was created in his name.

David Towles
P.J. Boatwright, Jr., Intern

And the winner is…

July 14, 2011

The 2011 ESPY Awards were on last night, so I thought it would be fun to review them here and share my thoughts on some of the big winners.

I am a fan of these annual awards and look forward to the show each year. To be honest, the only time I think about the ESPY Awards is about two weeks prior when ESPN starts to advertise the show and promote the voting process.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I am a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, so whenever a fellow Volunteer is nominated for one of these awards I get excited and hope they win. Last night was a big night for the Big Orange because former football star Arian Foster (he’s the guy who had close to 85,600 rushing yards for the Houston Texans a year ago) represented and took home the Castrol EDGE NFL Strongest Performance Award. Congrats to him.

In the golf categories, no surprise here as Rory McIlroy was voted ‘Best Male Golfer’. The reigning U.S. Open champion also took home the ‘Best Record-Breaking Performance Award’ for the amazing skills he showcased at Congressional Country Club a few weeks ago.

On the women’s side, Cristie Kerr was voted ‘Best Female Golfer’. Kerr has two wins, including one of last year’s majors (LPGA Championship), and has finished in the top-10 21 times the past year and a half. She is currently second in both the world rankings and the money list.

The Dallas Mavericks, again, no surprise here, swept the big awards as they were voted ‘Best Team’, Dirk Nowitzki won ‘Best Male Athlete’ and ‘Best NBA Player’ and Rick Carlisle won ‘Best Coach/Manager’.

Although I am a fan of the show, it seems that these awards are predictable in who is going to win. I would say that 98.6% of the time the team or player who wins its respective league championship brings home the ESPY hardware. No matter who may have won last night, at least all the NFL and NBA players were able to sit back and enjoy themselves. It’s not like they had anything else to do.

Until next time sports fans…

Jason Taylor
Coordinator, Marketing/Communications

Bits and Pieces from the 90th Georgia Amateur…

July 11, 2011

The 90th Georgia Amateur Championship wrapped up yesterday at Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta, and by everyone’s accounts it was a fabulous event.  Now that the staff has had most of Monday to catch their breath, here are a few behind-the-scenes notes and anecdotes that occurred last week…

  • The number 25 was a special number this year for two people involved with the Georgia Amateur Championship. Competitor Lee Dennis of Athens was competing in his 25th state amateur — Lee advanced to the weekend and finished 59th overall with scores of 75-71-75-79. Also, GSGA Senior Director of Rules and Competitions, Layne Williams, was the official in charge of the Georgia Amateur Championship for the 25th straight year.  Congratulations, Lee and Layne, on two impressive milestones!
  • While we did endure a one-hour rain delay late in the round on Thursday, we got a little reprieve during the second round.  There was a pretty significant weather cell headed straight our way, so those in  headquarters were bracing for another potential delay.  Well, that cell literally broke up just as it reached  the area around Cherokee Town and Country Club, passed over us with maybe a few raindrops here and there, then reformed into a cell on the other side of the club.  No kidding, several of us saw it do this on the radar.  Thank you, Mother Nature!
  • Local radio personality Brian Katrek hosted his weekday SiriusXM show from the Club on Friday morning.  As he was setting up, he told us that Annika Sorenstam was scheduled to phone in, but he wasn’t sure when.  So once the show started, we went ahead and set him up on site with Layne Williams.  Not long after Layne started his bit, Brian got word the Annika had cancelled.  Maybe she was listening and figured there was no way she could follow Layne’s performance!  (Which, by the way, he stayed on air for an hour-and-a-half of the two-hour show!)
  • Cherokee Town and Country Club members were able to enjoy a covered grandstand at the 18th green.  During Sunday’s final round, the stands were full and an announcer introduced each group of players as they approached the green.  It was a great atmosphere — I hope the golfers enjoyed it.  All week long, the GSGA and Cherokee staffs referred to the grandstand as “The Mongell Skybox,” in reference to Cherokee’s Director of Golf, Mark Mongell, who did a fantastic job organizing so many aspects of this Championship.  So we decided to temporarily alter the grandstand sign to honor our internal moniker (see photo).
  • Just a couple days prior to the start of the Amateur, the GSGA happened to receive an email from a gentleman named Rob Grady who was in possession of a trophy from the very first Georgia Amateur Championship, which was held in August 1916 at Capital City Country Club, now known as Capital City Club – Brookhaven Course.  The winner’s name engraved on this trophy was Henry W. Grady, Jr., who was Rob’s grandfather.  It is believed that he received this trophy for winning a flight during that inaugural Championship.  It is also believed that the other name on the trophy, J.D. Robinson, was one of several club members to have donated trophies to flight winners.  Rob was very kind and generous to allow us to display this beautiful trophy during the Amateur Champions dinner and throughout the Championship.  It is the only piece of hardware that we are aware of that exists from that first Championship, 95 years ago.
  • This one is for all you rules enthusiasts out there: An interesting situation occurred with the final pairing in the final round on hole No. 8. Anders Albertson’s second shot caught the top of a bunker and rolled back to the bottom of the bunker just a few inches away from where Lee Knox’s ball had come to rest.  Lee marked his ball and replaced it after Anders played his shot and raked the bunker.  Official Bob Fowler correctly applied three different rules in this situation.  First, he applied Rule 22-2 (Ball Interfering with Play); then Rule 20-1 (Lifting and Marking); and finally Rule 20-3b (Lie of Ball to Be Placed or Replaced Altered, specifically part (iii), which deals with this situation when it occurs in a bunker.  Applying these Rules, it was determined that Lee’s ball interfered with Anders’ play, so Lee was able to lift and mark his ball.  After taking his shot, Anders then raked the bunker to recreate Lee’s original lie “as nearly as possible.”  Unfortunately, Anders bogeyed the hole, but not because of any breach of the rules!

- Staff Compilation

I wonder what those players thought…

July 10, 2011

Another note from the U.S. Women’s Open with a definite Georgia connection… it has to do with the volunteer rules officials. Volunteers come from all over to serve as referees and forward observers. There is at least one official who walks with each group. Typically, these folks are active with a state or regional golf association like GSGA and they have developed their rules knowledge to a very high level. An invitation to work at this championship is not easy to come by! Usually, these folks have a day job doing something else – this rules work is a labor of love.

Usually the players are introduced to the rules officials at the first tee and, if it is a good day, that is the only conversation that takes place. It is probably hard to remember who that official was – there is a thank you at the end of the round but that is about it.

At this championship, however, there is a familiar name on the list of volunteers. She is a native Georgian and she serves on the USGA Junior Girls’ Committee. She is working as a forward observer here, which means that she goes in front of the group and watches where the ball goes, radioing back to the referee if there is likely to be a rules issue up ahead. Once the golf balls are safely located, she goes ahead again to be in position to be able to observe the next shots. A good observer can save shots and time, both valuable commodities in a national championship!

So, what does a young player think when she is introduced to this volunteer? The name should be very familiar… Hollis Stacy is a three-time U.S. Women’s Open Champion and her name is on this grand trophy… three times!!! Oh, and Hollis’s name is also on the U.S. Girls’ Junior Trophy – again, three times! A six-time USGA Champion, she is here like so many others, watching and following the next generation of great golfers. Just another reason why this game is so great!

Martha Kirouac
Senior Director, Course Ratings & Member Services

Lights…Camera…YouTube!

July 10, 2011

The GSGA recently added a new “channel” to its lineup of social networking sites.  Yes, we are now on YouTube!  While some of the staff are still getting  the hang of being videographers and editors, we’re trying to post as many videos as we can while the 90th Georgia Amateur is going on this week at Cherokee Town and Country Club.  Here are a couple to check out:

Interviews with 54-hole leader David Noll Jr. of Dalton and Anders Albertson of Woodstock, who trails Noll by a stroke going into Sunday’s final round…

Here is another with some various scenes from Round 2…

The final round of the Amateur gets underway at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.  Come out to Cherokee for some fantastic golf on a gorgeous golf course!  If you can’t make it out there, follow the live scoring here.

Joanna Capo
Director, Communications & Marketing

Rain, Rain Go Away…

July 9, 2011

The calendar says it is the end of day two at the U.S. Women’s Open, but the scoreboard certainly doesn’t confirm that message. In terms of scores, we are just barely thru day one. Everyone has completed 18 holes and just a few have posted scores for their second round, leaving about 60 players still on the course when darkness fell tonight. And that isn’t everyone… another 78 golfers have yet to tee off for round 2! Two 13+ hour days and we have played just a little over 18 holes of golf. Players and volunteers alike have had to take a very patient approach to this year’s national championship.

Players will resume their rounds at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning – we will finish round two and make the cut. There will probably be 60-70 golfers “for the weekend” – truth is almost everyone will play some weekend golf this championship!

Georgia’s Mariah Stackhouse was first off the tee on Thursday morning, shooting 79 and completing her round in time for lunch. She teed off for round 2 tonight at 7:50 p.m. That is not a typo – she waited some 32 hours between her first and second rounds! She completed just two holes before darkness stopped play… her round will resume at 7 a.m. tomorrow.

My day was again in scoring – we had a couple near-misses today. One player returned her card without signing it – fortunately the system of checks made it fairly easy to catch the error and prevent the player from being disqualified. The other was catching a hole-by-hole score that was not correct – again – the USGA has a great system that is in place to protect the player. I can tell you that a boring day in scoring is a good day in scoring.

We could use a good weather day tomorrow. With luck and 13-14 hours of golf we just might be able to complete this championship on Sunday. It is on TV – check it out!

Martha Kirouac
Senior Director, Course Rating & Member Services

A Stormy Day One at the Women’s Open…

July 8, 2011

Day # 1 of the U.S. Women’s Open should be in the books, but thanks to an afternoon chock full of lightening, it was a very short day for golf. Only 7 of 52 groups finished their rounds before the rains came and stayed. Not much water so the course should be fine, but we now are in major catch-up mode!

Georgia’s Mariah Stackhouse is one of the lucky ones – she was in the first group and was the first group to finish… she made a couple birdies but there were a few bogeys as well, so the final score was 79. Not what she wanted, but all in all, she should be proud of a solid round on a golf course that is very difficult… when all the scores are in I think she will see that for a 17-year-old playing in her first U.S. Women’s Open, there was a lot to be proud of in today’s effort. The bad news is that now she must wait. Due to today’s suspension, it is likely that she will not even start her second round until about 8 pm tomorrow night… and that assumes we don’t have any storms on Friday! So, Friday will be a long day for her!

Our other Georgian, Garrett Phillips, is off to a good start at 3 over for thirteen holes. She will resume play bright and early tomorrow morning. Another birdie or two and she will find herself among the leaders! Tomorrow will be a long day of golf. In fact, it will be a long weekend of golf in order to complete the championship on Sunday afternoon!

I am working in the scoring room. We had a few computer issues, but after four groups I think we have them worked out. I will look forward to reporting more good news following Friday’s play!

Martha Kirouac
Senior Director, Course Rating & Member Services


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