Photo by Scott Dougherty
On August 10th and 11th over 300 of the world's best amateur golfers played their practice rounds in Denver, Colorado to begin their quest for 64 matches in this year's United States Amateur Championship held at the Cherry Hills Country Club. Both the Common Grounds Golf Course and Cherry Hills Country Club hosted rounds to qualify for 64 matches. As you can see from the above photo, Steven Fox took the prize. What a homecoming he must have had returning to Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Cherry Hills Country Club
CLICK HERE for some Cherry Hills CC photos.
So why the headline, "MOVE OVER ARNOLD, THE KIDS ARE HERE"? At the first tee box there is a bronze plaque commorating Arnold Palmer's 1960 U.S. Open win, which included driving this 389 yard four par hole. The news is that many, if not most, of these twenty something players have no problem doing so today. In fact, on the 37th play-off hole, Michael Weaver, of Fresno, California drove past it. I witnessed one contestant place his drive within three feet of the pin. I believe He was from Portugal. His opponent conceded the hole. Proving we are all human, the guy missed the three foot putt twice after the putt was given.
I had the pleasure of serving as an area captain for holes 6, 11, 12 and 13 with Ric Carlson, a fellow golfing friend. Our area experienced two hole-in-ones during practice rounds on holes six (165 yards) and 12 (220 yeards). I also witnessed an almost one less than a half inch from the hole on number six, and jokingly asked the kid why he just did not put it in the hole. He smiled and told me he misjudged the trajectory. These guys were all friendly and enjoying their practice and seating rounds.
In addition to the players, the gallery was the most cooperative and best behaved I have ever worked with. This probably holds true for all amateur tournaments. The crowd built larger and larger as the finals approached. One reason might be because, unlike professional tournaments, the gallery is allowed to walk on the course in the fairways behind the players.
There were thousands of volunteers to help with this Championship Tournament. Most of the marshals appeared to be first-timers. The Marshal leadership team was experienced with many years of work with both the U.S. Golf Association and the Professional Golf Association where play is mostly medal, and not match, play. This event was a first time experience with match play for them too. I am happy to report that all went well and at the award ceremony both the U.S.G.A. president and the winner, Steven Fox, commended their contribution of time and talent.
US Amateur Trophy
CLICK HERE to see some photos of the tournament.
The Marshal leadership team consisted of John Gart, Executive Committee Marshall Group, Rick Carman Marshal Chairman, Doug Campbell, Bill Rezek and Larry Idol Marshal Co-Chairman, Area One Captains Jim Tierney and Walt Bastron, Area Two Lee Lownsberry and Rick Roach, Area Three Scott Dougherty and Bob Green, Area Four John Darling and Ric Carlson, Area Five was he 19th Hole with Reserves captained by Mike Maestes.
CLICK HERE to see these guys. They have the blue shirts.
Hole Captains have perhaps the most important job in gallery control and usually represent golf clubs and courses around the state. They are as follows: Hole 2 Red Rock C.C. with John O'Reily, Hole 3 Colorado G.C. Buddy Biggers, Hole 17 The International Craid Perkins, Hole 18 Cherry Hills C.C. Bob Albin, Hole 1 Cherry Hills C.C. Matt Stava, Hole 4 Sean Daly, Fred LaRoche, Sherm Adkins, Dennis Lyon, Holes 9 and 10 Colorado Golf Association, Colorado Women's Golf Association, and Common Grounds G.C. captained by Briena Goldsmith, Hole 16 The Club at Pradera, David Churchill, Hole 5 Rolling Hills C.C. and Cherry Creek C.C. Norm Winterworld, Wendy Wagner, Hole 7 Glenmoor C.C. Jeff Richard, Debra Ricard, Hole 8 Denver Country Club, Bob Campbell, Hole 14 Country Club of Castle Pines, Bince Adler, Bo Boykin, Hole 15 Fox Hill C.C. David Fischer, Hole 6 Lakewood C.C. Dick Payne and Milo Tedstrom, Hole 11 Pinehurst C.C. Mike Greunke and Bob Dremann, Hole 12 Pine Creek G.C. Roy Gibson and Jim Martindale, Hole 13 Hiwan G.C. lMike McGinnis and Val McGinnis, Hole 19, Clubhouse, Advance Walking and Reserves Bob Weight, Mary Jo D'Orizio, David Dawson, Carol Harmon, Fred Aring, Samuel Gillette, and Richard Compton.
CLICK HERE to see some of the marshal volunteers. They have the red shirts.
All volunteers were treated to a certificate for a free round of golf at the official Colorado Golf Association and Colorado Women's Golf Association home course, Common Grounds G.C. in Denver. They were provided with a continental breakfast and lunch in the volunteer tent before after their shifts. Each paid $125 to volunteer which covered the required uniforms. They now have a commorative golf shirt, cap or viser, and a windbreaker. Additionally they were allowed discounts on merchandise in the Cherry Hill Country Club pro shop.
Volunteer registration fees are common for all USGA and PGA tournaments. All provide training and many, if not most, volunteers do not even play golf but wish to support their communities and charitable organizations benefitting from the golf events. You may be surprised to learn that golf provides more charitable contributions than any other sportů.in excess of two billion dollars.
Some of the personal highlights I experienced this week included shaking hands with Jack Nicklas who was supporting his amateur son Gary, meeting and chatting with Roger Maltbie who was commentating for the Golf Channel and NBC television coverage, and being a house guest for many nights with a fellow area captain Jim Tierney and his wife, Mary Jo, and dog Riley Sue. Even with all this, the most dramatic moment came the week after the tournament when the marshal leadership team was rewarded with a round of golf at Cherry Hills. I took a header into the creek bordering hole 15. I survived.
In closing I encourage anyone taking the time to read this article to volunteer for the Denver area's next professional tournament, The 2013 Solheim Cup. This is the LPGA version of the Ryder Cup, which will be held at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago this September. The Solheim Cup tournament will be held at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado.
Click Here to some holes you would see when playing Cherry Hills.
CLICK HERE some holes you would see when playing Cherry Hills.
For anyone who knows of any non-profit or charity organizations considering using a golf tournament as a fund raising vehicle, I recommend a fantastic book available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. This book will eliminate much of the learning curve for start-up tournaments and provide some new ideas for existing golf events. The author is John K. Darling.