Local golfers recognized
Two area golfers have upcoming competitions based on their play this season.
Mike VanSickle, Gibsonia, winner of the 2013 and 2015 West Penn Opens, has advanced to the final stage of the Web.Com qualifying. This is the second straight season VanSickle has advanced to the finals. He is scheduled to compete for full time status on the Web.Com Tour on December 10-13 at PGA National Champions GC, Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Nathan Smith, Pittsburgh, winner of four USGA Mid-Amateur Championships and 23 Association conducted competitions, was recently inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame. Smith was selected for next spring’s Concession Cup, a match of mid-amateurs and senior amateurs representing the USA vs. Great Britain & Ireland. The match is scheduled April 20-24 at The Concession Club, Bradenton, Florida. (more)
WPGA Green Operations Survey receives award
The Association’s 2015 Green Operations Survey was recognized by the International Association of Golf Administrators (IAGA) at its recently concluded Annual Conference. The publication received an IAGA Gold Tee Award in the Education and Player Development category for small associations.
The survey has been published for nearly twenty years. The WPGA was among the first state and regional golf associations to distribute such a publication. Among larger associations, Massachusetts Golf Association also received a Gold Tee Award for their green operations survey. The MGA was in contact with the WPGA as they developed theirs. (more)
Teasdale named Executive Director
The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association’s Executive Committee has named Handicap Director Terry Teasdale as the new WPGA Executive Director. He will replace retiring Executive Director Jeff Rivard on January 1.
“I am excited and humbled to be named Executive Director of this organization,” Teasdale said. “I have had the privilege of serving the game of golf in this region for nearly eighteen years and feel very fortunate for this opportunity. I very much look forward to working with our volunteers and committees as the Association moves forward.”
Teasdale began employment with the Association in 1997 in the newly created position of Handicap Director. He previously worked at Shannopin Country Club in Pittsburgh. Among his duties was working closely with the club’s handicap program. (more)
Rachel Rohanna secures LPGA Tour card for 2016
It’s been a stressful few months for Rachel Rohanna on the Symetra Tour. The top ten players on the tour’s money list receive LPGA Tour privileges for the upcoming season. Rohanna, a Wayneburg native, has been around #10 for most of this summer and fall. All was on the line in the Symetra Tour’s final competition, the Tour Championship, October 15-18, at the LPGA International’s Jones Course in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Rohanna’s 70-71-69-73--283 was t-24 in the Tour Championships for a check of just over $1500. Her finish resulted in a tenth place standing on the money list, qualifying her for the LPGA Tour next season. She birdied the final hole of the competition. She was $284 ahead of the #11 player on the money list with winnings of $53,867. (more)
Ron Moehler elected Association President
During the Association’s Annual Meeting at Wildwood Golf Club on October, 5, leadership changed hands as Ron Moehler, Chartiers, was elected President during the Delegates Meeting. He replaces the retiring Tim Fitzgerald, Oakmont. The remaining officers are Mark Caliendo, Montour Heights, Vice-President; Claudette Graham, Diamond Run, Secretary; and Tim Slavish, Pittsburgh Field Club, Treasurer.
Moehler, first elected to the WPGA Executive Committee in 2006, is a past president of Chartiers Country Club. He has been involved in Green Committee activities with his club, the Association, golf course superintendents’ organizations and the Pennsylvania Turfgrass Council. He is a senior staff member of The Pipitone Group, a Pittsburgh area marketing firm that specializes in graphic design and copywriting. A Johnstown native, Moehler is a graduate of Bishop McCourt High School in Johnstown and Penn State University. (more)
Oakmont prepares for U.S. Open, Hall of Fame dinner approaching: From the desk of Mike Dudurich
You may have heard that the U.S. Open will be held at Oakmont Country Club next June. It will no doubt be a torturous test for the 156 players who make the field.
With winter inexorably making its way toward us, the next several months will definitely be nervous times for the folks at Oakmont, who can't afford the kind of winter damage that attacked golf courses throughout Western Pennsylvania last winter.
Grounds superintendent John Zimmers told me on my radio show the plan is to go above and beyond in the area of protection this winter. Heavier green covers will be in use and wind fences will surround each green in an attempt to cut down Mother Nature's access to those diabolical putting surfaces.
Those measures will go into effect as the colder weather arrives. Zimmers said that most likely will start to take place toward the end of November.
Get those greens back to their historic selves, get the rest of the legendary layout hard and fast and the field will get a real test of golf after last year's "experiment" at Chambers Bay.
A special night on the West Penn Golf Association is on the near horizon.
The 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and WPGA Champions Dinner will take place on Oct. 14 at Chartiers Country Club.
A sparkling class of inductees - Eben Byers, Bobby Cruickshank, Judy Oliver, Sam Parks, Jr., Donald "Doc" Giffin, Sean Knapp and Nathan Smith - will enter the Hall and all 2015 WPGA champions and players of the year will be honored. (more)
- The WPGA championship season is now complete. Many thanks to all our Member Clubs that hosted our competitions, to all of the volunteers who helped to conduct them, and to all of the people who competed. We look forward to seeing you all next season.
- Player Information - WPGA Pace of Play Policy