Four-Ball Championships added
to 2015 roster
The USGA added two new events to its roster: the
U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the
U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
Both will be played annually between mid-March
and late May, with the inaugural events scheduled
Eligibility will be limited to amateurs, with no age
restrictions. Team partners will not be required to
be from the same club, state or country, and substi-
tution of partners will be permitted until the close
of entries. Entry is limited to individuals with a
handicap index not to exceed 5. 4 for men and
14. 4 for women. The USGA’s national amateur
four-ball championships will begin with sectional
qualifying at dozens of sites across the nation.
The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Women’s
Amateur Four-Ball will consist of 128 and 64
two-player teams respectively, each playing their
own ball throughout the round. Each team’s score
will be determined using their better-ball score for
each hole. After 36 holes of stroke-play competi-
tion, the field will be reduced to the low 32 teams
for the match-play portion of the championship.
Both national amateur four-ball championships
are the first to be added to the USGA roster in
more than 25 years.
Public Links events to be retired
In conjunction with the four-ball introductions,
the USGA announced the retirement of the U.S.
Amateur Public Links (APL) and U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links (WAPL) championships,
following the completion of the 2014 competitions.
The decision follows an internal review which determined that the APL and WAPL championships
no longer serve their original mission because of
the widespread accessibility public-course golfers
today enjoy in USGA championships.
Inaugurated in 1922, the U.S. Amateur Public
Links is the fourth-oldest championship conducted by the USGA. The APL was established
to provide public golfers with access to a national
championship because, at that time, the U.S.
Amateur Championship was restricted to players
from USGA Member Clubs. The U.S. Women’s
Amateur Public Links was established in 1977 for
the same reason.
The APL came to the Philadelphia region twice:
in 1928 at Cobb’s Creek and 2003 at Blue Heron
Pines Golf Club. Center Square Golf Club in Norristown, Pa. hosted the 1980 Women’s Amateur
Walker Cup team to feature two
The USGA announced that a minimum of two
Middle-Amateurs (players age 25 and above)
will be part of the 10-member 2013 USA Walker
Cup Team that will compete against a team from
Great Britain and Ireland. This year’s Walker Cup
Match will be contested Sept. 7-8 at the National
Golf Links of America in Southampton, N. Y.
Hidden Creek to host 2015 USGA
Hidden Creek Golf Club will host the 2015 USGA
Senior Amateur Championship, set for Sept. 26-
Oct. 1. It will be the first USGA championship
contested at the Egg Harbor Township, N.J. venue,
which opened in 2002. Hidden Creek served as a
local qualifying site for the 2011 U.S. Open and as
a sectional qualifying site for both the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open in 2004. It also
hosted the Mason-Dixon Matches in 2007.
New Member Club
Great Bear Golf Club
Great Bear Golf Club, formerly Great Bear Golf & Country Club, rejoined the Golf Association of Philadelphia following a two-year hiatus. “GAP is the leading as- sociation in the Eastern
Pennsylvania region for amateur
and open golf tournaments, handicap administration and computer
assistance, and the promotion of
golf and its history,” Matt McKeon,
the club’s head professional, said. Now under new
ownership (the Kirkwood family, also owners of The
Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort), Great Bear will celebrate a rebirth of sorts in 2013. “We are trying something unique for the ‘re-grand opening,’” McKeon
said. “We are having a Member-Guest on April 6.
We feel out of the 130 members who have signed up
for membership — some past members and some
new — we will have a nice field and we can show
off the new product. The experience at Great Bear
will be second to none.” Jack Nicklaus designed the
East Stroudsburg, Pa. course, which opened in 1997.