USGA PARTNERS WITH LPGA TO IMPROVE GOLF PACE OF PLAY

usga_templatelogoslow golfers
Efforts help reduce average round time by 14 minutes

FAR HILLS, N.J. (Nov.12, 2014) – Employing science-driven solutions to support a healthier game, the United States Golf Association and the LPGA have announced initial results from a joint partnership to improve competitive pace of play.

Based on USGA analysis of data and with the support of officials and players, the LPGA reduced its average round time by 14 minutes during the 2014 season. Aggressive control of the lead group’s pace and wider tee time intervals contributed significantly to the reduction in average time per round.

“We actively participated in the USGA’s Pace of Play Symposium last year, and took their recommendations to heart,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s chief Tour operations officer. “We were easily able to implement solutions that delivered immediate and positive results. We’re proud of the progress and will continue to push for improvement.”

Based on test programs conducted at several tournaments throughout the 2014 season, the LPGA crafted a new pace of play policy, and communicated regularly with players and officials during its implementation.

Per its policy, a time par sheet is created for each tournament, representing the time allotted for lead groups to finish each hole during a round. While the lead groups are bound by the time par, every other group in the field is responsible solely for maintaining its position on the course in relation to the group preceding it.

If a group falls out of position, that group may be warned or timed. The policy allows officials to warn or time the lead group, even if it is under its time par, if it is holding up the group behind.

“We all have a role to play in affecting pace,” said Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, LPGA player president. “The players and staff have worked in a true spirit of collaboration to learn and introduce new concepts, and it’s gratifying to see results.”

The USGA monitors pace at all of its national championships, with notable improvement seen in the U.S. Women’s Open. In the 2012 championship at Blackwolf Run, the average playing time for groups of three for the first two rounds was more than 5 hours and 40 minutes. The average time at Pinehurst No. 2 for the first two rounds of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open was nearly 30 minutes less.

Using a data-based approach, the USGA has been working with numerous organizations including the LPGA to improve playing times of competitive and recreational rounds around the country.

“At last year’s Pace of Play Symposium, we discussed the importance of starting-time intervals as well as setting aggressive requirements for the pace of the lead group,” said USGA Technical Director Matt Pringle, Ph.D. “We were happy that the LPGA focused on these areas to improve flow during their tournaments, and set a policy that can serve as a model for the industry.”

Pringle and Daly-Donofrio will present the results of the LPGA’s pace improvements during the USGA’s second Pace of Play Symposium on Nov. 12. The gathering draws industry leaders from both competitive and recreational circles to encourage data-driven solutions and best practices to improve the time it takes to play a round of golf.

Other featured speakers during the two-day gathering are Bill Yates, the founder of Pace Manager Systems; Kevin Barker of The R&A; Gregg Grost of the Golf Coaches Association of America; Jeanne Sutherland, the head coach of the Southern Methodist University women’s golf team; Pete Rouillard, who oversees golf operations for Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail; and course architects Bruce Charlton and Lester George.

For more information about the symposium and the USGA’s pace of play initiative, go to usga.org/paceofplay.

About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national 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 course 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 www.uBandon Crossingssga.org.
Media Contact:
Jeff Altstadter, Manager of Media Relations
908-326-1880; jaltstadter@usga.org

 

Golf Tournament Benefits High School Basket Ball Teams

North Medford hoops pic

LocalGolfer.com takes part in tournament to benefit high school basket ball program.

North Medford High School in Southern Oregon put on a golf tournament to benefit the North Medford basket ball teams.  Proceeds went toDSCF6274_crop DSCF6273_cropboth boys’ and girls’ programs.  The tournament was held at Centennial Golf Club, a John Fought design.  Rated by LocalGolfer.com as one of the “Top 10 Golf Courses in Oregon,” teams came from all of Southern Oregon to compete in the event.  And, it’s all for a good cause.

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LocalGolfer.com. L to R–John Fountain, Kenny McGowan, Brian Edwards, Dave Rush.
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North Medford basket ball coaches: L to R Thad Pauck, Rich Faust, Tim Karrick, Scott Plankenhorn, Antonio Carter

Local boosters of North Medford High School’s basket ball program and the community turned out en masse to support the boy’s and girl’s basketball programs. The tournament was a huge success. Golfers didn’t let a torrential down pour get in the way of playing, either. “At one point the rain was going sideways,” says Dave Rush, member of the team sponsored by LocalGolfer.com. The forecast was for clouds and rain possible, and in the beginning before the tournament, there was sun and a beautiful rainbow to inaugurate the players. “To my knowledge,” says Head Coach, Tim Karrick, “only three teams dropped out of the tournament because of the weather.  That’s a testament to the dedication and grit that exemplifies all Medford High School athletes.”

The goal of the tournament was to raise funds for scholarships and travel expenses to summer basketball tournaments.  “Our teams will definitely benefit from the experiences DSCF6300_cropgained by traveling outside the Rogue Valley to play upper level teams,” says Karrick.  “We were pleased with the turnout of golfers who came to compete with some of the top golfers in the valley and to support the programs. We really appreciate all the sponsors as well.  Hopefully, next year we’ll have a little better weather,” he added with a grin.
“The LocalGolfer.com team placed 4th Gross in the tournament,” stated Brian Edwards of the LG Team.  “Our team is well rounded, and we look forward to participating in tournaments that are good for the community and help fund worthy causes like the North Medford basketball teams.”

Vince Domenzain, General Manager of Centennial Golf Club, said, “It’s nice to be able to provide a venue to help the local sports programs in the valley. Helping out the students is especially rewarding because they are our future, and that’s a good investment.”DSCF6304_crop

 

Final Results1st Gross

Greg Jacobs
Jeff Barry
Brent Barry
Jim Barry

1st Net

John Fichtner
Bob Collins
Jeff Jones
Rich Adams

2nd Gross

Scott Covey
Scott Saxon
Chuck Grytness
Phil Cardin

2nd Net

Nick Leonardo
Lanse Leonardo
Andrew Larson
Tyson Nelson

3rd Gross

Kevin Dixon
Todd Dixon
Ron Dixon
Brady Shipley

3rd Net

Gilbert Birdinground
Jarret Pugliano
James Lewis
Brian Paulson

4th Gross

John Fountain
Dave Rush
Kenny McGowan
Brian Edwards
Special Events
# 2 Straightest Drive – Kristeen Weiss
# 6 Closest To Pin – Brent Barry
# 14 Closest To Pin – John Fichtner
Longest Drive
# 16 Men 0-11 – Jeff Barry / 11 + – Ben Griffis

#16 Ladies -Johanna Nealy / Seniors – Tom Mustard

Weekend Wrap-Up In Golf (9 Nov 2014)

4-Tour LogosGolf Writer, Keith Cook, provides the Weekend’s Wrap-up of the Winners, Losers, and Other News from the LPGA, PGA, Champions, and European Tours!

PGA TOUR & EUROPEAN TOUR

Bubba Watson, 2014 WGC-HSBC Champion Photo: Associated Press
Bubba Watson, 2014 WGC-HSBC Champion
Photo: Associated Press

WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS

SHANGHAI, China /// From one of the most exclusive golf courses in Asia, Sheshan International Golf Club, comes a champion – well, who may not fit that model. However, if Bubba Watson is good enough for Augusta National, I’m sure he’ll do for Sheshan.

Bubba Watson’s victory, the seventh in his career, came on the first hole of a two-man playoff against South African, Tim Clark, when Watson sank a 20-foot birdie putt for the win. As cool as the winning birdie putt was for Watson, the shot of the tournament didn’t occur in the playoff, it occurred minutes earlier when Watson holed out from a bunker on the 18th hole for eagle. The eagle finished off a tumultuous, up and down round of -2 under/70 for Watson who recorded six birdies, four bogeys, a double bogey, and the closing eagle in his final round.

Watson’s victory in Shanghai is his first-ever win outside of the United States and may speak to the growth in his game, most notably in his maturity, in dealing with crowds and conditions not as pristine as they can be stateside. Watson’s shaky temperament, always the number one point of criticism when it comes to Watson’s golf game, was more controlled, but still on display throughout the week . . . and even showed itself right before his miraculous bunker shot on 18, where he stopped his swing at the top, because of a camera click from the hospitality suite (some 50-yards away).

However, give Bubba credit (for great hearing and skill) because his impatience paid off and quickly turned to joy when he watched his bunker shot come out perfect and roll dead center into the cup for eagle.

”You always joke about holing it,” Watson said. ”And then it actually went in. I didn’t know how to react and so I just kind of screamed, and I lost my voice a little bit. It was one of those shots, a one-in-a-lifetime kind of shot.”

With his win, Bubba Watson earns 550 FedExCup points and moves to Number 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings, making him the highest ranked American Golfer. The first place winner’s check of $1,400,000 dollars is probably a nice bonus as well.

The WGC-HSBC is co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour Event and the second of four tournaments in ”The Final Series”, which will wrap up the European Tour 2014 season and determine the winner to the Race to Dubai.

RACE TO DUBAI (Current Standings):

Image: EuropeanTour.com
Image: EuropeanTour.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LPGA TOUR

MIZUNO CLASSIC

Mi Hyang Lee, 2014 Mizuno Classic Champion Photo: Associated Press
Mi Hyang Lee, 2014 Mizuno Classic Champion
Photo: Associated Press

SHIMA, Japan /// First-time winners are becoming a trend during the 2014 LPGA season and South Korea’s Mi Hyang Lee is happy to add her name to the list. Lee birdied the fifth hole of the three-way playoff to defeat fellow South Korean Il Hee Lee and Japan’s Kotono Kozuma. Lee’s final round of -3 under/69 brought her into the clubhouse at -11 under par/205 for the tournament and tied with Il Hee Lee (70) and Kozuma (69).

Mi Hyang Lee’s short putt on the fifth playoff hole secured the victory, the first place prize of $180,000 dollars, and also makes Lee the seventh first-time winner this season. The victory is important step for Lee, who turned pro in 2011, because with it comes greater opportunities for starts in the 2015 season.

 

RaceToCMEGlobeThe Race to the CME Globe is a season-long points competition in which LPGA Members accumulate points in every Official LPGA Tournament. At the end of the season, the winning player will be named the “Race to the CME Globe Champion” and will be awarded the $1 Million Dollar season ending bonus.

Current Standings:

Image: LPGA.com
Image: LPGA.com

 

PGA TOUR

SANDERSON FARMS CHAMPIONSHIP

Nick Taylor, 2014 Sanderson Farms Classic Champion Photo: PGATour.com
Nick Taylor, 2014 Sanderson Farms Champion
Photo: PGATour.com

JACKSON, Mississippi /// Canadian, and PGA Tour Rookie, Nick Taylor took advantage of great scoring conditions to vault up the leaderboard, firing a -6 under/66 to win the 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Mississippi. Taylor’s tournament total of -16 under par was two clear of tour veterans, Boo Weekly and Jason Bohn, both finishing at -14 and in a two-way tie for second.

Overnight leader, John Rollins started the day with a two shot lead, but was never able to get it going during the final round, shooting a +1 over par/73 and finishing in a tie for fourth with two others.

With the victory, Nick Taylor becomes the third first-time winner during this short PGA season, earns 500 points in the season-long FedExCup standings, and pockets the winner’s check of $720,000 dollars.

 

 

CHAMPIONS TOUR

Champions Tour LogoHUALALAI, Hawaii /// The 2014 Champions Tour schedule is complete. The 2015 Tournament Schedule begins January 23-25 in Hawaii at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii.

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BIO: Keith Cook is a Writer and Contributing Editor for localgolfer.com. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumnus living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer

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