Chip Lutz earned a fifth straight Senior Player of the Year title since turning the requisite age of 55. And though he isn’t calling it a career yet, a reflective Lutz sees the end of the road ahead. Already in possession of a Golf Association of Philadelphia Hall of Fame résumé, Lutz cited a pair of significant 2014 victories and being the proud grandparent of two young children as rea- sons alone to think about putting the clubs aside. “I’ve been really blessed to be able to get this far in this period of time,” said Lutz. “I’ve had a lot of emotions here at the end of the season. I had a great finish winning the Senior Amateur, which meant so much to me, and the Crump Cup, which filled another void. But it was kind of a real let down at the end of the year. I ac- complished what I did but I didn’t accomplish what I had hoped for. I’m turning 60 and maybe it’s time to go do something different. I’m still trying to sort it out. “It’s hard to walk away. But to play at the high- est levels you have to be committed to a practice and playing regiment. To be a top amateur you have to make a major commitment, from an ex- pense and time point of view. I don’t want to get into the situation to play for just the heck of it in terms of competitive golf. If I’m going to enter a tournament, I have to feel I can do well.” Before moving ahead, a look back at Lutz’s 2014 season is in order. In addition to his aforementioned victories, Lutz also earned second career titles in each of the following: the Brewer Cup, Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) and Pennsylvania Golf Association
Senior Amateur Match Play Championship. He
notched his first Senior Silver Cross Award and
tied for third in the Frank H. Chapman (Gross) and
Middle-Amateur Championship. He advanced
to the Round of 64 in the U.S. Senior Amateur
Championship and perhaps most impressively,
was the low Amateur in the R&A Senior Open
Championship for the third straight year. He even
saw a little air time on ESPN.
Lutz’s most significant performance, from
both a personal and Golf Association of Philadelphia standpoint, was his win in the Senior Amateur. With that, he completed a GAP lifecycle,
having won the Junior Boys’, Middle-Amateur
and Amateur championships prior. He is the first
player to have won a title at each age group.
“That eclipsed everything,” said Lutz, a mem-
ber at LedgeRock Golf Club. “It’s something I’ve
been thinking about for many years. To win all
four in Philadelphia is special. After winning the
Senior, I could take a step back and let out a few
sighs and reflect.”
Lutz’s prolific Golf Association of Philadelphia
career now consists of 12 victories. He’s won
four national championships, two R&A Senior’s
Open Amateurs and two Canadian Senior Ama-
teurs, and countless invitational titles.
His lone void, though, remains a U.S. Senior
Amateur Championship – an event he’s been
a semifinalist at three times in five years. It’s a
hurdle that weighs heavy.
“That’s all that’s pretty much left on the docket,”
said Lutz. “I’ve been to three semifinals and was
the medalist once. I’ve had some really good
runs in that tournament. But match play can be
a cruel format. I’ve had my degree of success,
but whether it’s been circumstances or timing, I
just haven’t gotten over the hump.”
Lutz fell in the first round this year to eventual
champion Pat Tallent.
Still nothing can detract from Lutz’s last five
seasons. He’s been the most dominant force in
all of Senior golf.
Lutz had a successful junior career and then
walked on at the University of Florida where
he competed just fine with a handful of eventual PGA Tour players. Focusing on education,
he stepped back from college golf. His Mid-Am.
days focused on business, children and the
occasional dabble into the tournament scene.
In 1998, he refocused on the game to see just
how good he could be.
“I figured at age 55 I may be in a better posi-
tion, time and place in life,” said Lutz of Reading,
Pa. “I knew I could be competitive and was in
good health to give it a run.”
And what a run it has been.
Recently, he learned of election into the
National Senior Amateur Hall of Fame. He’ll be
officially inducted in June at High Point Country
Club in High Point, N.C.
“It’s hard to compare year to year, but this
year was spectacular,” said Lutz. “To win the
Senior Amateur and get the Crump behind me.
To get into the Hall of Fame is quite an honor. I’m
so fortunate and thankful. Who knows what’s
to come next.” m
Player of the Year
Lutz makes it 5-for- 5
in Senior POY honors
BY MARTIN D. EMENO, JR. ________________