The 6th hole at Bedford Springs Resort, host of the 2016 West Penn Amateur Champiponship
As the WPGA prepares for the start of the 2016 season, the Championship Committee and staff have the following to share with contestants. The Association recorded the largest number of championship entries ever received this past year. 2016 will be an exciting year for competition golf in Pennsylvania. In addition to top regional competitions conducted by the WPGA in 2016, four national championships will be hosted in our home state. The U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will be played at WPGA member clubs, Oakmont and the Kahkwa Club respectively, while the U.S. Mid-Am will be played at Stonewall near Reading and the U.S. Women’s Amateur will be played at Rolling Green near Philadelphia.
Renewal of a Handicap Index as soon as possible is encouraged. Delay in renewal may result in eligibility issues, specifically with regard to entry into USGA qualifying rounds. Early renewal is specifically important if you maintain your handicap index at a club that does not automatically renew indexes. Players devoid of an active handicap index may be subject to being placed on a wait list for WPGA competitions that have over-subscribed fields.
Starting fields will not be finalized until entries have closed for 2016 WPGA competitions. Post registration email confirmations are a receipt of a processed payment and do not guarantee acceptance into the field. Procedures for oversubscribed competitions can be found on the Association’s website.
The 2016 Jamison Cup Inter-Club championship has been changed from a five player, count four scores format to a four player, count three scores format. This should assist us in accommodating more clubs into the competition and make it easier to assemble teams. Additionally, a deposit of $400 will be required upon request for entry of a club into the Jamison Cup.
A third U.S. Open Local Qualifying Round has been added to the schedule due the championship being conducted at Oakmont.
Changes to the Rules of Golf take effect January 1. The changes can be found on the USGA website. Visuals and examples of what is permissible, and what constitutes a violation, in the change to Rule 14- 1b, Understanding Anchored Strokes, are listed. Additionally, players should be aware of Rules of Amateur Status as it pertains to Playing for Prize Money.
The WPGA’s definition of unbecoming conduct has been expanded. The Association does not issue penalty strokes for behavior related issues. The policy is to first warn the player, and then either remove the player from the competition or to suspend the player from upcoming competitions.
The WPGA has received several communications from contestants regarding violations of the Rules of Golf after competitions have closed. It is the responsibility of the marker and fellow competitors to report potential violations to the Committee promptly. Doubt should be resolved on the golf course or in the scoring area. If a competitor knows a Rule has been violated by another competitor and ignores this violation, the competitor who overlooks the violation, whether or not in agreement with the player who has proceeded improperly, has exhibited unbecoming conduct for which the committee may act. Suggesting a competitor play a second ball in accordance with the Rules of Golf for a doubtful situation is the least intrusive approach.
The WPGA will host its second Junior Golf Night at Oakmont Country Club on Wednesday, March 9th. Featured speakers include four-time U.S. Mid-Am champ, Nathan Smith and LPGA Tour Professional, Rachel Rohanna. Junior golfers ages 12-17 are encouraged to attend. Registration for the event will open in late January.
Points for the 2016 WPGA Palmer Cup Team will include the points earned from 2015 U.S. Mid-Am & Amateur Four-Ball qualifying, 2015 WPGA Mid-Am & Four-Ball Championships and the 2015 PA Mid-Am Championship as well as the points earned from competing in 2016 competitions.
Thank you for your attention and we look forward to 2016 being filled with great golf competition in the area.