Each season the WPGA tracks the statistics of collegiate golfers who grew up playing the courses of Western Pennsylvania. The spring session of the 2016-17 college golf season is under way, and student athletes from our area are making their mark. Now in its 16th year, the WPGA Frank Fuhrer III Collegiate Player of the Year Award is designated to recognize outstanding golf performance from a collegiate player hailing from Western Pennsylvania. Nine area players are recognized for their success thus far in the college golf season by being named to the Fuhrer Award Watch List. Three players on the list have been medalist in at least one college tournament this season, while three players have notched a runner-up finish. Two on the list have previously won WPGA Championships. The list’s nine players have combined for eleven Top 10 finishes in college competition this season. (more)
Nine named to Frank Fuhrer III Collegiate Player of the Year watch list
Oakmont’s champions in the West Penn Open
When Devin Gee won the West Penn Open last July at Longue Vue Club, he became the fourth Oakmont Country Club head golf professional to win the championship. Emil Loeffler won at Allegheny Country Club in 1920. Lew Worsham won the championship three times. Worsham won at Westmoreland Country Club in 1953, at Baldoc Hills Country Club in 1956, and at Oakmont in 1958. Bob Ford won in 1979 at Rolling Hills Country Club.
The champions list also includes seven Oakmont members. Willlam C. Fownes, Jr. won in 1904 at Oakmont and in 1921 Stanton Heights Country Club, John Birmingham at Green Oaks Country Club in 1964 and in 1972 at Westmoreland, Frank Fuhrer, III, at St. Clair Country Club in 1986, John Jones in 1993 at Westmoreland, and Bob Friend, a professional who played the PGA Tour, in 2006 at Totteridge Golf Club. Sam Parks won the 1940 title at Shannopin Country Club while head professional at South Hills and then became an Oakmont member in 1947. Also an Honorary Member, Arnold Palmer won at Fox Chapel Golf Club in 1957. (more)
USGA Tournament Management rollout to begin this month
The Western Pennsylvania Golf Association will start its rollout and support of the new USGA Tournament Management product to all interested Member Clubs beginning February 15. The two versions of the product available are USGA Tournament Management Club (TM-Club) and USGA Tournament Management Club Premium (TM-Club Premium).
The USGA Tournament Management product matrix shows the differences between the two products. Each Member Club will need to determine which version best suits the club’s needs. TM-Club will be provided at no charge. (more)
Rules modernization is ongoing
Last December, when the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced the Local Rule now in effect that eliminates most penalties for balls moved accidentally on the putting green, the decision was favorably received.
Many wrote “it’s about time!” in terms of changes that make sense, simplify Rules, or eliminate penalties. However, Rules are constantly reviewed, and changes take place every four-year cycle. The main point on the putting green change is that it’s a Local Rule between change years. The Rules we have now are in effect until December 31, 2019. If clubs or committees approve of the new Local Rule, it must be posted or communicated to be in effect.
The Rules of Golf Committee, a group of 15-20 from the R&A, USGA, and other key officials in the world of golf, meet quarterly and has for decades. Some Rules changes have taken decades, if not years, to implement. Here is a summary of key changes this century. (more)
Junior eligibility changes to start in 2017
At its fall meeting, the WPGA Junior Committee approved a change to the eligibility for the West Penn Junior Championship and C.R. Miller Memorial Match Play Invitational. Juniors age 18 and younger as of the start of the competition are now eligible to compete.
Prior to the change, juniors age 17 and younger were eligible to compete in both competitions. The change begins with the 2017 season.
The United States Golf Association has also changed eligibility to juniors 18 years of age and younger as of the start of the championship for both the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.
Eligibility for the Williamson Cup Matches has also been changed to include juniors age 18 and younger. (more)