Five-Time USGA Champion and St. Louis Native to Lead USA Team at St. Louis Country Club

The United States Golf Association (USGA) announced that five-time USGA champion Ellen Port, of St. Louis, Mo., has been selected as captain of the 2014 Curtis Cup Team. The 38th Match will be conducted in Port’s hometown at St. Louis Country Club from June 6-8.

The Curtis Cup is a biennial competition between female amateur teams from the USA and Great Britain and Ireland, first played in 1932 at Wentworth Golf Club in England. Port was a member of the 1994 and 1996 USA Curtis Cup Teams.

“Ellen is one of the great USGA amateur champions of the modern era,” said Dot Paluck, chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee. “She has well represented the United States in past Curtis Cup Matches, and we are proud to have her as captain of the 2014 Team.”

“It’s an honor and privilege to serve the USGA, my future players and the game that I’ve grown to love as the captain of the 2014 USA Curtis Cup Team,” said Port. “It’s an added bonus to have the venue in my hometown, at a club that is so rich in golf history and tradition.”

Port won the 1995, 1996, 2000 and 2011 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateurs and the 2012 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur. She is one of two women to win both championships, joining renowned career amateur and two-time USA Curtis Cup Captain Carol Semple Thompson, and the 11-year span between her third and fourth Women’s Mid-Amateur victories is a championship record. She was runner-up at the 2002 Women’s Mid-Amateur, and is a record four-time Women’s Mid-Amateur stroke-play medalist (2000, 2001, 2002, 2010). Port has 58 Women’s Mid-Amateur match victories, the most in championship history, and has also competed in the U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and USGA Women’s State Team championships.

In addition to her USGA titles, Port is an eight-time Missouri Women’s Amateur champion, most recently in 2012, the most in championship history. She is a 12-time St. Louis Metropolitan champion, most recently in 2010, and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Port also won the 1994 Women’s TRANS National Golf Association Amateur Championship.

Port began playing golf at age 24 and is a 1983 graduate of the University of Missouri. Since 1986, she has served on the staff of the John Burroughs School in St. Louis, where she teaches physical education and coaches the boys and girls golf teams. She is married to Andy Port and has two teenage children, Drew and Katie.

Great Britain and Ireland won the most recent playing of the Curtis Cup Match, capturing five Sunday singles matches to take a 10.5 to 9.5 victory in 2012 at The Nairn Golf Club in Nairn, Scotland. It was GB&I’s first title since 1996 and seventh in Match history. The USA now holds an overall 27-7-3 record.

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. 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 working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its
territoriusga_templatelogoes and Mexico.

Photo courtesy of USGA

Gold Mountain: A high value on quality

Gold Mountain, Olympic Course - Bremerton, WABREMERTON, Wash. –

Potter mug shot-1

Let’s open the argument with a grand claim:

In the greater world of municipal golf courses in the Great Pacific Northwest, the greatest value of all lies in deeply wooded foothills in the southern reaches of the Olympic Mountains of Washington state.

A case could be made for the city courses in Portland, Ore., or the county-and city-run layouts in Spokane, Wash., or the breadth of public golf in Bellingham, Wash.

It’s an argument without a loser.

Each region is worthy of golf exploration in the cause of quantity, quality and affordability. But it’s in the Navy city of Bremerton that the art of Northwest muni-golf assumes its highest form in the two courses of the Gold Mountain Golf Complex.

The Olympic Course at Gold Mountain, home to two USGA national championships in the past seven years, would by itself be reason enough to pay Gold Mountain a visit.

Add in the Cascade Course, which suffers only by proximity to the Olympic, and you have a muni-golf two-fer on this blessed site that holds its head up in awfully good company.

(Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open, is operated by Pierce County, Wash., and is thus a municipal course, but it can’t match Gold Mountain in value, i.e., affordability.)

Daryl Matheny, Gold Mountain’s general manager, said the world is in on the secret of the Olympic Course after the club hosted the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 2006 and the U.S. Junior Amateur in 2011.

“Around our area we knew how good the Olympic Course was,” Matheny said. “The Publinx was the first event that put us on the map, and not just the national map …the international map. We had kids playing from all over the world.”Gold Mountain Golf Club - Bremerton, WA

Feedback from the USGA after the Publinx was phenomenal, Matheny said.

“When we had the Junior,” he said, “that just put an exclamation point on it.”

A player taking on the Olympic Course for the first time will encounter user-friendly fairways off the tee, offering ample landing areas with no sacrifice of challenge.

Elevation changGold Mountain Golf Club - Bremerton, WAes come into play on nearly every hole on the Olympic. The John Harbottle III layout is compact on its acreage in the sense that one green is close by the following teebox, but the dramatic ups and downs guarantee you’ll notice the workout when you’re finished with a walking round.

The rugged layout also ensures you’ll have genuine double-take moments when you arrive at a tee, any tee. Don’t forget to reward yourself with an occasional look backward from the green to the tee you just left … if you can see it. The Olympic is rich with blind tee shots – either because the flag is out of sight above you, or behind a broad hill you have to climb before descending, or some gnarly variation thereof.

The Olympic’s back nine boasts two holes that could arguably be called its signature holes. The par-3 16th, 157 yards from the blue tees, requires a carry over water to a large-ish green and backdrop that loses nothing through the lens of a camera.

No. 18 is a memorable finishing hole. At 271 yards from the blue tees, 255 from the whites, it calls out to a big hitter to take dead aim at a green thoroughly blockaded by a half-dozen bunkers. More realistic players, or the faint of heart, depending on your mind-set, can play to a substantial bail-out area to the left and then hope to put some air under a wedge to land on the green.

Other holes, too, will stay in your mind. No. 6 is a birdie-ableGold Mountain Golf Club - Bremerton, WA par-5, thanks to the potential for serious roll-out down the other side of the hill. No. 15, a 335-yard par-4, also calls for a tee ball to the crest of a hill, then a second shot to a pin below tucked behind and to the right of the pond that comes into play on 16.

No. 17, a 439-yard par-4, offers plenty of landing room to the right after a precipitous drop, but play too far that way and you limit your options into the elevated green. Trouble lurks tight left in a steep, heavily grassed hillside sloping inward just off the tee. The whole effect is stunning, better experienced than described.

The Cascade Course, opened in 1971, is a more traditional layout, with nothing like the hills and cliffs of its younger brother. Its fairways are even broader, and its greens are bigger; a ball hit into the mature trees can be found more easily here and punched back into play.

“Before the Olympic,” Matheny said of the Cascade, “it was one of the best public courses in the Northwest.”

Value, challenge, bountiful scenery: A visit to Bremerton is rewarding for any kind of golfer. For those tuned to the special vibrations of muni golf, Gold Mountain is the peak of the art.

Bart Potter loves to play the golf courses of the Pacific Northwest. He has won awards for news reporting, arts and entertainment writing and sports writing, most recently for a weekly golf column he wrote for The Olympian newspaper from 2008 to 2011. He has taught journalism at South Puget Sound Community College and Saint Martin’s University. He writes about golf and oversees his Website, Grey Goatee Golf and Travel, from his home in Olympia, Wash.

Photos by Rob Perry–courtesy of Gold Mountain Golf Complex


The 2013 Spokane Golf Show: More is Better!!!

www.spokanegolfshow.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpokane, WA–The 15th Annual Spokane Golf & Travel Show sponsored by Toyota, Washington Trust Bank, Northern Quest Resort & Casino & the Spokesman Review will be held on February 16th and 17th in the Spokane Convention Center.

Every adult paid admission will receive a two free rounds of golf, one free round of golf from Spokane’s Fairways Golf Course and another round from a variety of courses including, Priest Lake, Columbia Point, Bryden Canyon, Redstone, Cascade, Chewelah, The Links, Harrington and Colfax.

The theme this year is More, More of Everything!  More manufacturers, more exhibitors, more vacation ideas and MORE SPACE!  The show has grown from 20,000 square feet of exhibit space in 2011 to 35,000 in 2012 to over 45,000 square feet of golf goodies to explore OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Traditional favorites continue.  Great clearance and close out clothing and equipment offered by over 13 area golf courses will be in the PGA clearance area.  Regional golf retailers will be there, along with the EWU Toyota $20,000 long putt, long drive contests, and plenty of interactive fun for all ages.

The Golf Universe Demo Zone has doubled in size to over 14 golf manufacturers. Ping, Wilson Staff, Volvik, Bridgestone ball fitting, Adams Golf, Adidas, ClicGear, Henry Griffitts, Cleveland Golf, Callaway Golf, Cobra, TaylorMade, Nike Golf, and Puma Golf will all be present at the show.  Each manufacturer will have the latest models from the big PGA show in Orlando on a 14 station hitting net.  Try and buy the latest in golf technology!

For the Kids1stTee

The American Family Insurance Kids Zone appears for the first time featuring free golf clubs from the PGA Clubs for Kids program provided by Henry Griffitts (first 1,000) while supplies last.  Introducing your child or grandchildren to golf has never been easier!  Representatives from the First Tee of the Inland Northwest and Gift of Golf will be on hand with lesson ideas and fun interactive games for kids!  All children 12 and under are free to attend the show, courtesy of American Family Insurance!


Learn from the best with seminars and the PGA quick tip net headlined by NW PGA teacher of the year, Kathy Jensen.  The seminar stage will also feature golf professionals Gary Lindeblad (Indian Canyon) and Steve Prugh (Manito CC) discussing junior golf and how to get your children involved.  The Inland Empire PGA Chapter will be providing FREE instructional tips at two hitting nets in the show.  This will be staffed by varying area golf professionals with a schedule to be posted as it goes final the week of the show.

 Plan Your Next Trip

Area courses and golf vacations ideas from throughout the Northwest (Washington, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Canada) will be presented during the show.  For the first time, Hawaii and Mesquite golf have joined the show.

The Spokane Golf Show will feature plenty of vacation prizes, fun, activities and bargains for all ages.  Get you golf season started right.  Don’t miss out!

At a Glance

Hours: Saturday 9 – 5  Sunday 10 – 4

Admission:  $12, children twelve and under are FREE.

Tickets:  Available at all TicketsWest Outlets or the golf show web site.

Web site: www.SpokaneGolfShow.com

Or call 509.621.0125.

photos courtesy of Spokane Golf Show