Golf Industry Leaders To Discuss Pace Of Play At USGA-Sponsored Symposium

slow playGroup seeks consensus and action on critical issue: How Do We Improve Pace of Play?

Editor’s Note:Hello Local Golfers!  Tell us what you think!  We welcome your comments and ideas on how to increase pace of play.  Please chime in on the subject through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and to info@localgolfer.com.  We will compile your ideas and report back with a special report.  Stay Tuned!!

 

Far Hills, N.J. (Oct. 31, 2013) Pace of play, an issue that has continually challenged golfers and facility operators, will be the subject of a day-long symposium hosted by the United States Golf Association (USGA).

“While We’re Young: Golf’s Pursuit of a New Paradigm for Pace of Play” will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J. The forum will feature some of golf’s most influential leaders in engaging discussions designed to bring new ideas and pace of play solutions to all levels of the game.

“This gathering represents an extraordinary group of individuals coming together at an important time in the game,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “We won’t solve pace of play over the course of a single day, but we will hopefully come away with a clearer path for our industry to collaborate and make progress on this important issue.”

Davis will open the day’s proceedings, which will include presentations, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities. Speakers and panelists will share insights and best practices that have improved the time it takes to play the game, and discuss how facilities and organizations can better serve today’s players and future generations of golfers through improved pace of play.

“It is important for the long-term health and growth of golf to take steps to make the game more enjoyable, and one of those steps is an improvement in pace of play,” said Tyler Dennis, the PGA Tour’s vice president of competition. “The USGA symposium will be an excellent opportunity for the golf industry to examine this long-standing issue and work toward pace of play solutions for both competitive and recreational golf.”

The symposium will be highlighted by presentations given by USGA Technical Director Matt Pringle and Green Section Education Director Jim Moore, who have undertaken a continuing study of pace of play based on real-world data. They will outline the fundamental causes of poor pace of play and offer concrete advice that course managers can employ to improve pace of play at their facilities. The USGA’s findings will present the case for accurate measurement of the factors that most influence pace of play, and will set a road map toward achieving the goal of effectively managing the duration of rounds at courses around the country.

In addition to representatives from the USGA, other leaders from across the golf industry participating in the symposium include:

  • Paul Cushing – GCSAA Class A Member and Assistant Deputy Director, City of San Diego’s Golf Division Operations and Maintenance
  • Heather Daly-Donofrio – Senior VP Tour Operations, LPGA
  • Tyler Dennis – VP of Competition, PGA Tour
  • Stephen Hamblin – Executive Director, American Junior Golf Association
  • Kevin Heaney – Executive Director, Southern California Golf Association
  • Mike O’Donnell – Senior Director of Player Development, The PGA of America
  • Lou Riccio – Senior Lecturer, Columbia University
  • Jerry Tarde – Editor-in-Chief, Golf Digest
  • Ryan Walls – Senior VP Operations, Troon Golf
  • Bill Yates – President, Pace Management Systems

“I’m thrilled to represent the LPGA and take part in the symposium,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, the LPGA’s senior vice president of tour operations. “This issue is a major slow play 2focus for our organization and I look forward to sharing our successes and also the challenges we face in working to improve in this area.  Events like this are a terrific way for the key organizations to learn from each other as we work collectively to build a stronger game.”

“With pace of play consistently being the core concern from our guests, we recently put our stake in the ground with Troon Values Your Time,” said Ryan Walls, senior vice president of operations for Troon Golf. “We needed to establish and maintain a viable program that will improve the enjoyment of the game for everyone and redefine the expectation on pace of play. Equally important, this symposium will allow industry leaders to come together to develop programs that work for all involved in changing the perception and reality of how long it takes to play a round of golf and ultimately overcoming a key concern for the growth of our game.”

The symposium is part of an ongoing, multi-year pace of play initiative introduced by the USGA in February, when the Association publicly identified pace of play as a significant threat to the game’s health. It caps nearly a year of measurable progress toward addressing one of golf’s long-standing challenges – one that impacts participation in, and enjoyment of, the game.

In 2013, the USGA – with input from a wide range of collaborators – identified and analyzed some of the key factors known to influence pace of play. In June, the Association unveiled a popular “While We’re Young” awareness and education campaign at the U.S. Open Championship at Merion Golf Club that included public service announcements featuring Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer and Butch Harmon. In July, as part of the USGA campaign, a series of educational videos was introduced to the pace of play resource center (www.usga.org/whilewereyoung) to highlight pace-of-play factors and solutions.

The USGA also focused on its own championships, adding new player notifications designed to raise awareness; adding on-course officials to help track and enforce pace-of-play guidelines; and experimenting with adjustments to course setup and spectator/player operations around the golf course to learn how such factors might influence pace of play.

A recap of the pace of play symposium, including the reporting of research findings, photos and video clips, will be available after Nov. 7 on www.usga.org.

About the USGA
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an 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.usga.org.  Content provided by the USGA.usga_templatelogo

 

McCoy Defeats Williamson To Win U.S. Mid-Amateur

33rd US Mid-Amateur Championship conducted by the United States Golf Association

www.usga.org

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Michael McCoy, 50, of West Des Moines, Iowa, took an early lead against Bill Williamson, 36, of Cincinnati, and went on to post an 8-and-6 victory Thursday and win the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, held at the par-71, 7,173-yard Country Club of Birmingham’s West Course.

McCoy, who won his first USGA championship in a career that spans more than 30 years, registered the third-highest win margin since the Mid-Amateur went to a 36-hole final in 2001

“I’m very thrilled to finally have won a championship,” said McCoy, the second-oldest Mid-Amateur champion behind Randal Lewis who was 54 in 2011. “I’ve been trying for a long time. I really chased the dream. And it kind of came true today.”

McCoy, who twice before advanced to the U.S. Mid-Amateur semifinals in 2005 and 2008, built a 5-up lead after the morning 18 holes and was in control throughout. He won the 23rd and 24th holes, the par-4 sixth and par-4 seventh, in the afternoon, to extend his lead to 8-up. McCoy made a pair of two-putt pars while Williamson’s mistakes led to consecutive bogeys.

“Mike did what he had to do,” said Williamson, who like McCoy was playing in his first USGA championship final. “He’s such a good player. I wish I would have played a little bit more of my game. I don’t know if I would have won, but it probably would have been more competitive.”

McCoy used his short game to stay out of the trouble. He got up and down from behind the 27th hole, the 321-yard, par-4 ninth, by pitching from heavy grass to within 4 feet to halve the hole. McCoy saved par on the following hole, the par-5 10th, by nearly making a 45-footer with his putter from a closely-mown area. He continued at the next hole when he made a sand save for par from a left greenside bunker.

“Putting is one of those things, some weeks you have it and some weeks you don’t,” said McCoy, who earned a 10-year exemption to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, a two-year exemption to the U.S. Amateur and a likely 2014 Masters Tournament invitation with the victory. “When I stepped foot on the property, everything seemed to feel pretty good, the speed, my hands were soft, and I felt the ball rolling off – coming off the putter nicely.”

He claimed the Robert T. Jones Jr. Memorial Trophy on the 30th hole of the match, the par-4 12th, when he spun a wedge to within 3 feet. He was conceded the birdie putt, his fourth of the day, when Williamson took three shots to get onto the green.

McCoy, the ninth seed in the match-play bracket following stroke-play qualifying, recovered from a triple-bogey 7 on the first hole of the morning round by winning three consecutive holes (Nos. 4, 5 and 6). His 4½-foot birdie putt fell in from the right side on the 547-yard, par-5 fourth before he made a 13-footer for a par on the fifth. McCoy took a 2-up advantage on the par-4 sixth with a downhill 6-foot birdie putt.

McCoy, who was playing in his 38th USGA championship, including 14 U.S. Mid-Amateurs, increased his lead at the drivable par-4 12th. He laid up off the tee and hit his approach shot to with 6 feet for his third birdie of the morning. Williamson found a mound on the left side of the green with his tee shot and pitched to 8 feet. But he missed his birdie attempt to the left.

Williamson, whose previous best Mid-Amateur performance was advancing to the Round of 16 in 2006, had to make par putts on Nos. 14 and 15 to stay close. Each player got into trouble with their second shots on the par-5 15th. McCoy saved par with a 15-footer from just off the back of the green. Williamson countered by getting up-and-down from the front left greenside bunker.

McCoy, who played in this year’s U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Amateur, won the last two holes of the morning to forge a commanding lead. After driving into the rough, Williamson missed the green to the left with his approach that left him in area just off the putting surface. His third shot did not make the green and resulted in a bogey. On the par-4 18th, McCoy nestled a 40-foot putt from the back fringe to tap-in range for a par, while Williamson missed a 10-footer to halve the hole.

“I was trying to get as many up as I could,” said McCoy, a 10-time Iowa player of the year who is No. 320 in World Amateur Golf Ranking. “You don’t know what’s going to happen in these matches. I’ve won matches where I’ve been four down. So I knew there was a lot of golf to be played.”

For Williamson, it was a bittersweet round. The championship’s third seed made 25 birdies in stroke play and match play prior to today but none in the final against McCoy.

“I didn’t play as well as I wanted,” said Williamson, a 2010 Ohio Amateur runner-up who found the rough on many occasions off the tee and had 10 bogeys and one double bogey in the final. “I didn’t putt as well as I wanted. The greens were tough and the pins were in tough spots. The ball just didn’t go in.”

The U.S. Mid-Amateur is one of 13 national championships conducted annually by the United States Golf Association, 10 of which are strictly for amateurs.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Result of Thursday’s championship round of match play at the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, played at the 7,173-yard, par-71 Country Club of Birmingham (West Course)

Championship Round (36 holes)

Michael McCoy, West Des Moines, Iowa (140) def. Bill Williamson, Cincinnati, Ohio (139), 8 and 6

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One Golfer’s Opinion:Fall and Winter Are Upon Us

Ahh, that first smell of fall and winter has arrived.  We all know the smell, that first smell of the really cold air and the faint smell of snow in the background. It’s not062 snowing – yet – but here comes fall and winter right around the corner.  For those of us who in the northern states, we’re already loading up our golf bags with stocking caps, winter golf gloves, and hand warmers.

However, don’t pack it in and put the clubs away for the year when it turns cold this season.  Fall and winter can be a great time of the year to enjoy golf even when the playing opportunities shrink down a bit.  There are always great things to enjoy during the fall and winter season of golf.

Great Deals130_crop

There are great deals to be had on courses throughout the country.  Check out deals on the internet, advertisements in magazines and newspapers, or cruise the state and region pages on LocalGolfer.com.

Fewer Golfers

The courses become less crowded and there is a lot more opportunity to practice and play your own game in quieter conditions and really enjoy your time on the course.

Practice Time

Fall and winter can also provide you an opportunity to tune-up your game using indoor launch monitors and indoor practice facilities.  You can become the best indoor putter on the planet if you setup your own indoor putting range or buy aCBRA1030-BLK june 2013 w clubs putting green or putting mat to practice on.  These putting greens and putting mats drop to some of their lowest prices of the season during this time of year. How cool would it be to emerge from the “off season” as a more sound and polished golfer with a better putting stroke and all-around game?

Equipment Check–OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGet your clubs, bag, and shoes in shape.

  • Take a good look at your clubs – do they need to be re-gripped, cleaned, or replaced?
  • Your golf bag – when is the last time you cleaned it out and waterproofed it with Camp Dry® or other same type product to protect it from the elements? Or, maybe even bought a new one?
  • Your shoes – is it time for new pair, throwing away an old pair(s), a good cleaning, new spikes, or adidas-porsche-golf-shoes-xlwaterproofing?

Catch Up On Your Reading

Learn about the game and its history.  Fall and winter provide a great time to review and learn about the game through golf magazines, publications, and books.  Some of my favorites include:

Down The Fairway, by Robert T. Jones, Jr. and O.B. Keeler

Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons, by Ben Hogan with Herbert Warren Wind

Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect, by Dr. Bob Rotella with Bob Cullen

And Then Jack Said to Arnie”, & “And then Arnie told Chi Chi”.  A series of books and a collection of true golf stories by Don Wade.

Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings From a Lifetime in Golf, by Harvey Penick with Bud Shrake

Golf By Design, By Robert Trent Jones III

Instead of putting those clubs up for the season, think about taking advantage of this year’s change in the weather and really enjoy the game of golf year round.

BIO: Keith Cook is a contributing editor for localgolfer.com. His career highlights include rounds in nearly every US state and numerous countries throughout the world. 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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