Ha Wins 112th PNW Women’s Amateur; Markle Wins Third PNW Women’s Mid-Amateur

image001 (1)112th Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur Championship—
Wine Valley Golf Club—Walla Walla, WA

Final ResultsJennifer Ha, Calgary, Alberta (16) def. Caroline Inglis, Eugene, Ore. (7), 2 and 1

112th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship

Final Results—Kareen Markle, Meridian, Idaho (2) def. Amanda Jacobs, Seattle, Wash. (1), 1 up

Federal Way, Washington—Jennifer Ha of Calgary, Alberta defeated Caroline Inglis of Eugene, Ore. in the Final match to win the 112th Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur; and Kareen Markle of Meridian, Idaho won the 12th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur by defeating Amanda Jacobs of Seattle in their Final match.

The two championships were conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, and were held concurrently at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. For complete match play bracket results, please visit www.thepnga.org.

During their 36-hole match, Ha and Inglis changed leads several times. At one point Ha was 3-up during the morning round. Inglis closed the gap to just 1-up after the first 18 holes, and went on a tear early in the afternoon round, winning three consecutive holes to take a 2-up lead. Inglis was a three-time Oregon high school state champion, and just finished her freshman year at the University of Oregon. With a par on the 28th hole, she took a 1-up lead. The diminutive but big-hitting Ha then birdied holes 29 and 30 to regain the lead, and closed out the match, 2 and 1, with a par on the 35th hole.

Jennifer Ha-PNGA Women's Champ 2013
Jennifer Ha-PNGA Women’s Champ 2013

Ha is a member of Team Canada’s Development Squad. She will be a junior at Kent State University, and a few months ago had claimed medalist honors in the Mid-American Conference Championship, leading Kent State to their 15th consecutive conference title.

“It was really a close match with Caroline,” said Ha. “She’s really persistent. I had to make birdies down the stretch to finally build a lead.” When asked what it meant to her to win this championship, Ha said, “This (championship) has been going on for years and years, and it really means a lot to have my name on the same trophy as some of the other past champions.” What Ha’s interview here.

Markle defeated Jacobs, the No. 1 seed, 1-up in today’s 18-hole Final match in the 12th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Markle has now won the title for a third time, having won it in 2005 and 2007. She has also finished runner-up three times.

Kareen Markle PNGA Mid-Am Champion
Kareen Markle PNGA Mid-Am Champion

Markle nearly ran away with the Final match, jumping out to a 5-up lead after 10 holes, and was 4-up with four to play. “She chipped in from off the green on 15,” said Markle. “That got her going.” Needing to win every hole to stay in the match, Jacobs, who played her

collegiate golf at the University of Idaho, went birdie-par-birdie on holes 15 through 17, and standing on the 18th tee she was suddenly only 1-down. When Markle was struggling in the rough near the final green and could not save par, Jacobs had her chance to square the match and take it to extra holes, but she 3-putted for bogey.

“I love match play,” said Markle. “I love it. You’re never out of it. Anything is possible until the ball is in the hole.” Watch Markle’s interview here.

 First held in 1899, Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur Championship is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. Past champions include Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers who made up the Golden Age of female golfers in the Northwest such as Joanne Gunderson Carner, Jo Ann Washam, Pat Lesser Harbottle, Edean Ihlanfeldt, Violet Pooly Sweeney, Marcia Fisher, Betty Jean Hulteng, among others. Past champions also include many who would later go on to the LPGA Tour, such as Jimin Kang, Peggy Conley, Ruth Jessen and Shirley Englehorn.

Photos and information courtesy of PNGA.


“Hit the Green”Golf Fest–Best Outdoor Demo Day in Northwest

Hit the Green Demo Day banner

“Hit the Green” Golf Fest and Outdoor Demo Day presented by Northern Quest Resort & Casino is Sunday, July 28, 9am-5pm, at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane, WA.

Tickets are only $10 if you pre-purchase on-line at www.HittheGreen.com or purchase at one of the City courses (Esmeralda, Downriver, Qualchan and Indian Canyon).  Admission includes a beverage from Bud Light, Michelob Ultra or Pepsi, tickets for the interactive challenges and a coupon book worth $120 in discounts to Spokane City golf courses. A ticket is $15 at the gate on July 28.

At the NW’s largest outdoor demo day you’ll have the opportunity to try the latest gear from golfmanufacturers such as Henry-Griffitts, TaylorMade, Adidas, Bridgestone, Cobra, Nike, Titlest and Puma.  Reps from each company will be on hand for you to try their latest gear and offer you advice on what is best for your game.  If you find something you love, buy it and take it home! 

You are also invited to join the fun and play the interactive challenges like the TOYOTA Long Putt, NORTHERN QUEST “Bubba Shot” (similar to the Masters winning shot by Bubba Watson), WA Trust Closest to the Pin, Flop Shot, Putting Course and Long Drive for great prizes!  Visit an area Subway store for free entrance into the Subway Spokane City Par 3 Championship.

If you are in need of some instruction, the Spokane City Courses PGA Pro’s will be on hand to show you how it’s done.  You’ll have a chance to learn from Steve Conner of Downriver, Rex Schultz of Esmeralda, Gary Lindeblad of Indian Canyon, and Mark Gardner of The Creek at Qualchan and others. 

Bring the family, as First Tee of the Inland NW will be instructing in the beginner area – if you or your children want to learn how to golf this is the place for you!

The atmosphere on the course will be enhanced with live music (Brown Sugar & Crème, Super Crunch & Diminishing Faculties), a beer garden and exhibitors.  So come join us for an amazing day of golf and learn how golf is for everyone! 

Incline Village Championship Course: Course and Facilities Live Up to the Name

You’ll Be Inclined to Recline at Incline Village Resort    Jack Seybold


IMG_2270Reno-Lake Tahoe, Nevada: Maybe it was the most pristine day in the history of Incline Village’s Championship Course. Maybe the Sierra Nevada air had never been healthier or sportier, after a couple of breezy days with rain and drizzle. But on a cloudless morning in late June the sun shone bright and the greens rolled true, and I felt I had never played a finer course. Golf Magazine names the Championship Course in its top ten public courses in Nevada.

Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed a beauty in a setting where mountain pines and cedars stand in casual grandeur alongside wide, neat fairways. Of course, RTJ, true to his style of design, would place amoeba-shaped bunkers in strategic places that discourage cutting the corners of doglegs – and half of the holes are doglegged. Streams, cut across nine fairways, make a bracing music carrying a rush of snow runoff down to Lake Tahoe. A majority of holes have water in play.

I found each of the Par-3’s especially challenging. On three of them the tee and green are separated by a ravine with a creekIMG_2275 flowing through. On the fourth, a large picturesque pond lures short tee shots to a watery final resting place. Big hitters might have eagle chances on three of the par-5s. Only #13, at 621 yards, seems out of reach. So the Championship Course has its challenges.

IMG_2260It also has its majesty. Take the view from the tee on hole #7, for example. The tips of lofty pines in the distance form a jagged skyline with blue Lake Tahoe and gray, forested Sierra summits beyond. A similar glimpse of the lake materializes on the ninth fairway, this time as background for “the Chateau,” a stately building that comprises offices, banquet and meeting facilities, The Grille restaurant, and a spacious golf shop. Along a number of fairways are affluent homes perfectly suitable for the landscape, looking as comfortable and welcoming as those of Tolkien’s Hobbits. Only bigger.

The course opened for play in 1964, thanks to the efforts of Harold Tiller and Art Wood, the “fathers of the Championship Course,” who engaged course architect Jones. It is municipally owned, along with the nearby par-58 Mountain Course (designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.), three lakefront beaches, a large and well-equipped recreation center, and water treatment facilities.

Extensive renovation projects closed the course during 2003-4. Under the supervision of Kyle Phillips, Bryant Taylor and Incline Village’s grounds superintendent Jeff Clouthier, greens and fairways were rebuilt, stripped and re-seeded with the latest in grasses, irrigation systems and turf maintenance technologies. Now the grasses have matured and the course is at its best. Jeff ClouthieIMG_2269 r has a big job, putting the course “to bed” before the winter snows, assessing the course’s condition in the spring, and restoring the turf to playing condition in time for the May opening. He does excellent work. For my round in late June, I found the entire course in perfect playing shape. In 2010, the course received certification as an Audubon Society Cooperative Sanctuary golf course.

 The staff in the golf shop are friendly, eager and helpful. Head golf pro Mike McCloskey, an affable and photogenic young man, fits right into the scene. He emphasized the course’s effort to encourage an efficient pace of play. Several reminders along the cart paths reiterate “4:15”, and high-tech GPS screens in golf carts track whether you are on pace, as well as the length of your drive, the size and shape of fairways and greens, and the exact distance to the hole. Playing as a single with an early tee time, I had no difficulty maintaining the expected pace – I finished in three hours.

McCloskey says that although the Championship Course is a resort course, they strive to make it accessible and affordable for blue-collar folks to get into golf, to grow the game. Golf has declined somewhat in participation in recent years due to the economy and lifestyle choices – the game costs time as well as money. So Incline Village offers twilight fees, and even a super-twilight rate – $3 a hole, which in the long daylight of summer enables students, workers and others to play a full round at a reasonable cost.

Although it might be difficult to find practice facilities in the mountains, the Championship Course’s spacious 28-stall driving range, with five target greens, is recognized by Lake Tahoe Traveler Magazine as first rate. It is conveniently located near the clubhouse, as is the practice putting green.

IMG_2254The Chateau’s banquet and event facilities can accommodate more than 300 dinner guests. During my visit I saw a joyful wedding reception, with the beaming bride and groom posing for photos before scenic backdrops while their guests toasted on the deck overlooking the eighteenth green.

Tournaments and group golf events are a specialty at Incline Village. A full range of tournament services is provided, including complimentary range balls and $5 credit per player in the golf shop.

A number of properties offer stay-and-play opportunities with the golf courses at Incline Village, including the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, where the rates begin at $120/night with reduced green fees. A large selection of homes, condos and cabins are available from realty and vacation rental companies.

It can be difficult to adjust one’s game to an unfamiliar course, but I found the Championship Course so agreeable that I played, in spite of a catastrophe on a par-3, exactly on my handicap number. I look forward to a return engagement.

At a Glance:

Green fees at the Championship Course:

$179 during high season (June 15 – September 22)

$159 from opening (May) to June 14, and from September 23 to closing (October – Snow happens!)

Twilight: (3:00 – 4:20) $95

Super Twilight: $3 per hole

Cart rental: $25


Tee Time Reservations

 (866) 925-GOLF

 Golf Shop

 (775) 832-1146

 Stay and Play Opportunities:

• Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort and Spa(800) 553-3288


• Incline at Tahoe Realty (888) 686-5253http://www.inclineattahoe.com/

• Incline Vacation Rentals (800) 831-3304


• Goldfish Properties (800) 948-7311


• Vacation Station Incline Village (800) 841-7443


• Hyatt High Sierra Lodge, A Hyatt Vacation Club Resort (800) 926-4447