Golfing News & Blog Articles

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Youth on Course Awards 20 Members With Scholarships

Youth on Course Awards 20 Members With Scholarships

May 11, 2021

Youth on Course – the non-profit organization dedicated to opening doors, supporting dreams and transforming the lives of young people – has announced its 2021 scholarship awards granting $296,000 to 20 deserving high school graduates, continuing its commitment to providing youth with access to life-changing opportunities on and off the course.

Since the inception of the scholarship program in 2008, nearly 300 Youth on Course members have been awarded with financial support totaling $2 million. The graduation rate among all alumni and current recipients is 93 percent.

The class of 2021 will be attending the country’s most prestigious universities including Dartmouth College, University of California – Berkeley and the United States Naval Academy, among others. The average GPA of this year’s winners is 4.39 and six of the recipients will be playing college golf with five others possibly joining their collegiate team.

“Pursuing higher education, much like the game of golf, shouldn’t hinge on the financial burdens it places on young people,” says Michael Lowe, vice president of programs for Youth on Course. “These 20 students are among the brightest in the country and we, along with our scholarship donors, are proud to help them continue to work towards their dreams on and off the golf course.”


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The Spectrum of NCGA Clubs: Happy 25th to Fore Women Golf Association!

The Spectrum of NCGA Clubs: Happy 25th to Fore Women Golf Association!

May 10, 2021

Founded in 1996, the Fore Women Golf Association is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year!

Started 25 years ago, the mission of the FWGA is to provide an opportunity for women to have fun and engage in quality experiences.  They provide three casual playdates a week, set up several clinics throughout the summer and have an average of seven tournaments a year as well as a Club Championship series for low gross and low net champions.  The club has, at present, 108 members. They have weekday play, weekend play, Friday play, and 9 hole experiences.

As 2021 President Jen Shaull noted, “Some of our members began as new golfers.  I can think of a few of our long-time members who only took up the game only after retirement,  These women have continued to develop their game and continue to make lifelong friendships.  Many of these women now take their annual golf vacations together!  We also have a place for the women who belong to other course clubs but enjoy the opportunity to play on different days and variety of courses.  Our motto is “Play More Golf!”  and we strive to provide quality experiences.”

Shaull invites you to check out the club’s website at forewomengolf.org  You can aso view the club’s recent “General Meeting Videocast”  It’s a great place to learn about the club’s history and plans.


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Welcome to the Neighborhood!

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

May 6, 2021

By Dianna Stein 

Longtime NCGA/WGANC Rules official KC Cote assumed she was always going to live in her town of Novato, although she does have an adventurous streak, having served our country during the Vietnam War as an Air Force Nurse and becoming a Lieutenant Colonel.

On a less adventurous note, but as a revered volunteer, KC became a passionate golfer and helped found the WGANC Rules Committee in 1997, and has long served as a Rules official for NCGA, USGA and other countless tournaments.



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Course Records Shot at Blue Rock Springs

Course Records Shot at Blue Rock Springs

May 5, 2021

Vallejo resident Jared Stone closed out 2020 with a couple of bangs. Within a time frame of six weeks, the St. Patrick High alum, who’s now a junior at University of Redlands, set the scoring record for both courses at Blue Rock Springs GC in Vallejo.

On Nov. 13,, 2020 Stone, who once worked at Blue Rock Springs, posted an 11-under 60 on the 5,987-yard, par-71 West Course. The previous record had been a 67, shot by former University of Oregon standout Kathleen Scavo.

Later, on Dec. 28, 2020, Stone shot a 9-under 61 on the par 70, 6,121-yard East Course. The previous best there had been a 62 by Ron Parsons.
–NCGA Staff

 


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NCGA Mourns the Loss of Past President Russ Bigelow

NCGA Mourns the Loss of Past President Russ Bigelow

May 3, 2021

The NCGA mourns the loss of past president Russell T Bigelow, who passed away on March 11, three days after his 90th birthday due to complications from stroke and dementia.

Born and raised in San Francisco, the second son of William and Edwina Bigelow, he was a lifelong 49ers fan. He graduated from Washington High in 1949 where he played baseball, basketball, and golf, the latter thanks to his brother, Bill who shared the game with him when he was 14 and it became a lifetime passion.

He attended the University of California, playing three years on the golf team and graduated in 1953 with a degree in accounting. While at Cal he met his future wife, C. Jean Dealey, on a blind date at Sather Gate. After college he and Jean married on Nov. 18 and they were married for over 55 years until her death in 2009.

Upon graduation from Cal he joined the Navy, using his accounting skills as the Disbursement Officer on the USS John Hancock, an aircraft carrier helping to develop the new catapult launch system for jet fighters. After his tour of active duty ended in 1955 he returned to San Francisco and was hired by the “Big 8” Accounting firm Peat, Marwick & Mitchell (today known as KPMG) where he worked for 32 years, becoming a partner. During this time dad and mom had three sons, Russell Jr. (Todd) in 1958, Craig in 1960, and Scott in 1963. He continued in the Naval Reserves and retired at the rank of Commander in 1991. He accepted a two-year transfer to the New York office of Peat, Marwick in 1967, and quickly returned when that was up, settling in Moraga in 1969 where he lived the rest of his life.



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Nancy Lopez: Overcoming Obstacles

Nancy Lopez: Overcoming Obstacles

May 3, 2021

Nancy Lopez, who grew up in Roswell, New Mexico, began playing golf at the age of eight, with her father, Domingo Lopez, an avid golfer, as her coach.

Four years later, when she was 12, she won the New Mexico Women’s Amateur tournament. Lopez later told Richard Lemon in People Weekly, “I was so scared I always threw up. I carried a trash can with me. My dad told me, ‘If you’re going to play golf, you’ve got to get over being sick.’ I didn’t want to quit, so I decided to get over it.”

Lopez also faced other obstacles to her progress. Because her family was of Mexican descent, her parents were not allowed to join the Roswell Country Club and she had to play in Albuquerque, 200 miles away. A writer for Latino Sports Legends commented that her intense competitive drive and “the fact that she was a Mexican-American winning so many tournaments did not sit well with others, but that didn’t discourage her.”



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Rule of the Month: Making a Stroke

Rule of the Month: Making a Stroke

May 1, 2021

Topic Overview:

To help encourage prompt pace of play, the Rules now suggest making a stroke in no more than 40 seconds, and even quicker than that for most shots. In making a stroke, it must be free flowing, not anchored, and the ball must be struck with the head of the club. You may use a distance-measuring device to measure distance only, but it must not measure slope or other conditions that may assist you.

During a round, you must not ask for or give advice to anyone (except for your partner or caddie). You are also allowed to listen to music but should be considerate of other players on the course.

FAQs:

Can I anchor my putter to my body while making a stroke?May I play music?How long do I have to hit my shot?

 


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The Spectrum of NCGA Membership–Sacramento Chinese Women’s Golf Club

The Spectrum of NCGA Membership–Sacramento Chinese Women’s Golf Club

April 29, 2021

The Sacramento Chinese Golf Club was established in 1952 at the opening of the Bing Maloney Golf Course in Sacramento.  While the Sacramento Chinese GC was a Co-Ed club and women were actively engaged in the events and tournaments, the women decided they’d like to form their own autonomous club.  So, in 1989 they began the process of formalizing the club.  Initially, they had some problems having their club recognized, but with support from Ken Morton Sr. of Haggin Oaks GC, they received their charter and formed the Sacramento Chinese WGC.  Learn more about that here.

 

Ken continues to be an avid supporter of this club and still receives a special invitation to the Christmas luncheon each year.  The newly formed club joined the Pacific Women’s Golf Association, so members could play and compete with other women throughout the region. The Sacramento Chinese WGC members continue to rack up awards and recognition in Play Days and Tournaments.





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Ernie Pieper Santa Clara County Championship

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U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying–Half Moon Bay GL

U.S. Women’s Open Qualifying–Half Moon Bay GL

April 27, 2021

Former University of Oregon standout Kathleen Scavo, former NCGA Women’s Player of the Year Lucy Li and Canadian Kelly Tan all punched their tickets to the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open after advancing through a 36-hole Sectional qualifier held Monday on the par-71 Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Now a member of the Symetra Tour, Scavo was medalist with a score of 1-over 143 after rounds of 71-72. A former two-time winner of the California Junior Girls’ State Championship, Scavo posted six birdies on the day.

Li, who also made her rookie debut on the Symetra Tour in 2020, moved on with a third-place score of 3-over 145 (73-72). Still only 18, in 2014 Li became the youngest (age 11) to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open, surpassing a mark that had been set by Lexi Thompson at the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open.


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NCGA Opposition to AB 672

NCGA Opposition to AB 672

April 23, 2021

The NCGA recently filed an electonic letter in opposition of proposed California Assembly Bill 672

To Read the Letter, Please Click Here 

 

 

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1.3 : 1 Or It’s Tough To Grow A Game Without Places To Grow It

1.3 : 1 Or It’s Tough To Grow A Game Without Places To Grow It

April 19, 2021

Article provided by Craig Kesser, SCGA

One and one-third human beings is what a maxed-out golf course puts on one acre of open space under current COVID restrictions, a 1.3 to 1 ratio that has been the game’s ticket to spectacular success during the pandemic.  It’s the unshakable fact about the game that persuaded public policy makers that golf is among the safest forms of outdoor recreation; indeed, the safest when one considers that unlike other outdoor recreational activities, the business model of golf involves strict control over ingress and egress.

To be 100% accurate, golf doesn’t place 1.3 persons all by themselves on that 1 acre.  Four persons share a hole, which does put them in proximity on tees and greens, but if there is an easier place to guarantee 6 feet of separation than a tee or a green, we’d like to know.


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Limited Number of Fans For U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club

Limited Number of Fans For U.S. Women’s Open at The Olympic Club

April 19, 2021

The USGA announced today that the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Open Championships will be played with a limited number of fans in attendance. The 76th U.S. Women’s Open will be held at The Olympic Club (Lake Course) in San Francisco from June 3-6, and the 121st U.S. Open will be held at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course), in San Diego from June 17-20.

“Last year, we missed the energy that fans bring to our U.S. Open championships,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We are grateful to our local and state health and safety officials in California to be in a position to welcome some fans back this year to witness the greatest players in the world contending for these prestigious championships, while working to maintain the health and safety of all involved.”

Those who have already purchased tickets to the U.S. Open will receive a direct communication from the USGA with additional details.

Information on tickets for each championship is available on uswomensopen.com and usopen.com.


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Steph Curry and Lee Elder Look to Inspire Future Minority Golfers

 

Steph Curry and Lee Elder Look to Inspire Future Minority Golfers

April 14, 2021

Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry has already made efforts to bring golf more to the Black community, including supporting the re-establishment of the Howard men’s and women’s golf programs in Washington, D.C..

Back in 1975, Lee Elder became the first Black player to compete in the Masters. In recognizing Elder, at this year’s recent Masters he’d join Hall of Famers Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player as an honorary starter for the championship.

Now, Curry and Elder are teaming up as part of a national outreach to minorities to hopefully get them more involved with the game.

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Remembering Ida Pieracci

Remembering Ida Pieracci

April 14, 2021

As we begin heading into the heart of the 2021 golf season, we thought we’d pause and look back at the inspirational story of the late Ida Pieracci.

Pieracci, who died in 2018 at the age of 107, was an icon at San Jose Country Club. Even at the age of 102, she still had played regularly four to five times a week. Coincidentally, she also held the record for most hole-in-ones at SJCC with an amazing 11.

In 2015, filmmaker Dustin Cohen caught up with Pieracci for a feature. The result was the short film, Golfing With Ida (below).

The film quickly won accolades from around the world and the golf world. To date more than nearly 2 million views have been registered.

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Hideki Matsuyama’s Win for Golf

Hideki Matsuyama’s Win for Golf

April 14, 2021

It was a huge win for his country. But it was also a momentous victory for golf.

At this year’s Masters, Hideki Matsuyama, thanks to rounds of 69-71-65-73, became the first Masters champion from Japan.

“I’m really happy,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “Hopefully I’ll be a pioneer with this win and many other Japanese will follow. I’m glad to be able to open the floodgates hopefully, and many more will follow me. It is thrilling so many youngsters in Japan are watching. Hopefully in five years they will be competing on a world stage. Hopefully youngsters who don’t play golf see this and think it’s cool. I am the first major champion and it is possible if they set their mind to it. Hopefully now others will be inspired for what happened here today and follow in my footsteps.”

The timing of Matsuyama’s win was impeccable. Only eight days prior, Japan celebrated the victory of 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. This summer, Japan will host the Olympic Games, where golf is expected to be among the most popular events.

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NCGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster Registers for U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier

NCGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster Registers for U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier

April 14, 2021

It’s just too close to home. On Wednesday, Golfweek reported that Northern California legend Juli Inkster had registered for a 36-hole U.S. Women’s Open qualifier to be held April 26 at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

“I’m probably an idiot for trying,” the 60-year-old Inkster told Golfweek, “but I think I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t because it’s so close to home.”

Inkster, and NCGA Hall of Famer, resides about 45 minutes from San Francisco’s Olympic Club and has played the course roughly 50 times. When entries close for U.S. Women’s Open qualifying on April 14, at least one LPGA Hall of Famer will be in the mix.

The 76th U.S. Women’s Open will be held June 3-6 at Olympic Club’s Lake Course. It will mark the first U.S. Women’s Open to be held there.

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Lee Elder: A Man of Firsts

Lee Elder: A Man of Firsts

April 2, 2021

The USGA contributed to this report

 

In 2019, during the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the USGA honored Lee Elder with its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award.

Elder was the first African-American to receive the prestigious award, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates the spirit, personal character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones, winner of nine USGA championships.


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Rule of the Month: Order of Play/Ready Golf

Rule of the Month: Order of Play/Ready Golf

April 1, 2021

When starting a hole, generally the player with the lowest score on the previous hole plays first. After starting a hole, the ball farthest from the hole is usually played first. However, the Rules encourage “ready golf” to help improve pace of play as long as it is done in a safe and responsible manner.

In four-ball play, you and your partner can play in whatever order you think is best when it is your side’s turn to play.

FAQs:

Can I play out of turn to save time?Can my partner and I play in whatever order we choose?

Related Resources:

Video – Encouraging Prompt Pace of Play

Read the Rules:

Rule 5.6 – Unreasonable Delay; Prompt Pace of PlayRule 6.4 – Order of Play When Playing Hole

 

The post Rule of the Month: Order of Play/Ready Golf appeared first on Northern California Golf Association.

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Faces of the NCGA: The Power of a ‘Hello’

Faces of the NCGA: The Power of a ‘Hello’

March 30, 2021

By Pat Zimmerman

 

At a recent WGANC Open Day at Butte Creek Country Club, all golfers were out on the course. I was sitting on their patio having a cup of coffee and watching the progress on Golf Genius.

A very nice, older lady walk by and I said, “Good morning”. The woman, an NCGA member named Marilyn Brownfield, proceeded to stop for a chat and told me stories of her 80 something years. Her stories were very interesting and entertaining. She had volunteered to spot on a hole on the back nine for the tournament. After about an hour and a half of visiting, Marilyn bid me farewell and went out to her volunteer position.



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