Competition Highlights, Champions & Kudos
Golf for Youth... Golf for All
ON MARCH 29, 2003, at the MGA’s
life-enhancing values such as honCentennial of Massachusetts Golf
esty, integrity and sportsmanship.
Gala, a link with the most renowned
The local/national partnership
national youth golf organization —
has proven to be a match made in
The First Tee — was announced by
golf heaven. Since 2003, The First
the MGA. Then, on April 2, the
Tee of Massachusetts has expanded
MGA completed its purchase of an
to become a state-wide effort that
18-hole, par-3 facility a few miles
offers programming at MGA Links
down the road from Golf House in
and at satellite sites in Lynnfield,
Norton; christened with the moniker
Springfield and Hyannis. Further,
of MGA Links at Mamantapett,
by working with nearly 35 youth
the facility became the home base
agencies in more than 50 cities and
for The First Tee of Massachusetts.
towns, The First Tee has reached
This new partnership with The
more than 25,000 Bay State youth,
First Tee revitalized and expanded
thanks in large measure to the help
the MGA’s long and distinguished
of more than 100 golf professionals
The MGA looked back... and forward.
commitment to youth: in 1914, the
and countless other volunteers.
inaugural MGA State Junior Championship was one
In 2006, the MGA Junior Golf Fund (see pages 5
of the first junior golf events in the country; in 1949,
and 9) was launched to ensure the future growth and
the MGA founded what is now known as the Francis
success of the MGA’s youth programs.
Ouimet Scholarship Fund which provides college
While youth golf programs have been a key initiascholarships to youth involved in the golf business;
tive, the MGA has concurrently championed golf
in 1992, the MGA — with the able assistance of one
accessibility to all segments of the population, espe16-year-old Tiger Woods — conducted its first junior cially to those who may have previously viewed the
golf clinic at Franklin Park Golf Course in Boston;
game as a rather restrictive pastime. Among a myriad
and, in the following year, the first MGA ForeKids
of other MGA efforts during the 2000s have been
program — a five-day ‘inner-city golf camp’ — was
regular programs with students of the Perkins School
attended by some 400 youth at Franklin Park.
for the Blind, outreach to women’s ‘inner clubs’ and
On a somewhat parallel path on the national level,
touting programs for adults who have had limited or
The First Tee had been founded in 1997 to provide
no experience with the game.
young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to
Each of these efforts have one thing in common...
develop — through golf and character education —
the collective vision of numerous local golf patrons.
The future of Bay State golf
was enhanced with the
growth of The First Tee of
Massachusetts and a
commitment to make golf
accessible to all.
M e MGA Links!
Ahead of the
20,000 urba Kids Program t of it
ing the mos
e are mak s to stay
a giant step
MGA Lin tt
M A S S G O L F E R e Winter 2009-10
TWO MALE GOLFERS AND WOMEN GOLFERS GROUP: BRIAN SMITH
2004 Vana Very Victorious
2006 Welch Wins Women’s
Frank Vana, Jr. captured his ninth MGA
championship crown with his first-ever
MGA Amateur win at Taconic GC; the
2003 finalist holed a 32-foot putt on the
31st hole to defeat Mike Cole, 5 & 4.
In the WGAM Amateur, Briana Vega
burst out of the starting gate on a roll at
Vana earned his first
Concord CC, winning the first five holes
MGA Amateur crown.
— including two birdies and an eagle —
on her way to defeating 1996 champion Mary Gale, 6 & 4.
At Pleasant Valley CC, Geoff Sisk won the MGA Open for
the fourth time; in his 2-shot margin of victory, he was the only
player with three sub-70 rounds (7-under par 69-68-69—206).
The U.S. Women’s Open was contested at The Orchards GC
where Meg Mallon — who was born in Natick — won the event
for the second time; she closed with a final round 65 which
marked the best-ever final round in Women’s Open history.
Michael Welch (6-under par 274) successfully
defended his New England Amateur title with a one-stroke
margin of victory at Race Brook CC (CT) over Kevin Quinn (T2)
... Jon Curran advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Junior
Amateur at The Olympic Club (CA)... for the first time since
1997, Team Massachusetts won the Tri-State Matches, defeating Rhode Island and Connecticut at Carneghie Abbey GC (RI).
In the WGAM Amateur at Brae Burn CC,
Tracy Welch rolled in a downhill, 11-foot
birdie putt on the 18th hole to defeat
Lisa Anderson, 1 up. It was the second
title for Welch who also won in 1998.
Advancing to the final match of the
MGA Amateur for the second straight
Welch (top right)
year, 22-year-old Ben Spitz managed a
on a 2000 cover.
better fate this time at Worcester CC as
he defeated 23-year-old Burgess Houston, 5 & 4.
Geoff Sisk cruised to the MGA Open title with a 3-shot
margin of victory at Charles River CC. In racking up his fifth
Open triumph, he was the only player in the field to shoot
under par for the event (3-under par 71-67-69—207) while his
second day score of 67 was the low round of the week.
Peter Uihlein finished second at the AJGA/Rolex
Tournament of Champions... Kimberly Donovan advanced to
the round of 32 at the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Carmel CC (NC)...
Juli Wightman advanced to the round of 16 in the U.S.
Women’s Amateur Public Links at Walking Stick GC (CO),
defeating Lala Anai in the round of 32... Team Massachusetts
won the Tri-State Matches for the third straight year, this time
at The International GC... in reality TV news, Briana Vega won
The Golf Channel's Big Break VI: Trump National series.
2005 Über Uno Uihlein
2007 Sisk’s Sixth Sense
Peter Uihlein won the 2005 AJGA/Rolex
Junior Player of the Year Award; he and
Kimberly Donovan were also First Team
Junior All-Americans on the respective
AJGA/Rolex boys and girls junior teams.
At Essex County Club, Frank Vana, Jr.
defended his MGA Amateur title with a
Uihlein and Donovan
6 & 5 victory over Ben Spitz, the 2000
MGA Junior champion. Vana became the
ninth player to successfully defend his crown; he also recorded the 14th win over his previous 15 MGA Amateur matches.
In the WGAM Amateur at Winchester CC, 18-year-old
Chelsea Curtis stayed on a hot streak — just two weeks prior,
she won the WGAM Junior — by winning the first five holes on
her way to defeating 1997 champion Karen Richardson, 4 & 3.
In the 100th edition of the MGA Open, contested at Vesper
CC, Eric Egloff of Maryland birdied the 6th playoff hole to
secure the win over Jim Salinetti; both shot 1-under par 71 in
the final round to finish regulation play at 7-under par 209.
Jim Renner won the New England Amateur in a
playoff with Andy Drohen at Valley CC (RI); both players had
shot 6-under par 278 in regulation play... in the U.S. Junior
Amateur at Longmeadow CC, Kevin Tway defeated Bradley
Johnson, 5 & 3... Team Massachusetts successfully defended
its Tri-State Matches crown at Ellington Ridge CC (CT).
At Kernwood CC, Geoff Sisk joined
Alex Ross as the only players to capture
six MGA Open titles. Establishing a new
Open scoring record with three sub-70
rounds (10-under par 68-64-68—200),
Sisk earned a 4-shot margin of victory
over host professional Frank Dully II.
Sisk (bottom left,
Paired together on the second day,
with dad) in 1997.
both Sisk and Dully established a
new Kernwood competitive course record of 6-under par 64.
After losing in the final match of the MGA Amateur the
previous year, Burgess Houston rolled in a four-foot putt on
the 36th hole at Concord CC to defeat Frank Vana, Jr., 1 up.
In the WGAM Amateur at The Country Club, TCC’s reigning
19-year-old ladies’ club champion Claire Sheldon defeated
2003 WGAM Amateur champion Tara Joy Connelly, 2 up.
Kudos Peter Uihlein earned his second AJGA/Rolex
Junior Player of the Year Award... Taylor Fontaine advanced
to the round of 64 in the U.S. Junior Amateur at Valley GC (MO)
... Brittany Altomare advanced to the round of 32 at the
U.S. Girls’ Junior at Tacoma C&GC (WA)... Alison Walshe won
the North & South Women’s Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2 (NC)
... Team Massachusetts captured its fourth straight Tri-State
Matches at Point Judith CC (RI)... both the MGA and WGAM
teams finished T11 at the USGA State Team Championships.
Winter 2009-10 e M A S S G O L F E R
Competition Highlights, Champions & Kudos
Golf Community Champions
Below are some of the many
THE LEAD STORY during the first
notables who have had significant
decade of 21st century Bay State
leadership roles in the national and
golf was the vision displayed from
international golf community:
the Bay State’s golf leaders... leaders
Serving in a leadership capacity
who would collaborate as never
with the USGA were Jeanne-Marie
before to make golf a better game
Boylan (the first-ever Bay State
for all, locally as well as nationally.
woman to serve on the USGA
While it is regretably not possible
Executive Committee) and Roberta
to thank all of the thousands of
Bolduc (chairman of the USGA
committed volunteers and patrons
of the game, below are some of
Serving in a leadership capacity
the notables who had a significant
for other national golf organizations
impact in the local golf community:
Serving as the MGA’s president
were Walter Lankau (NGCOA
were Cary Jubinville, Michael Reilly,
president), Jim Fitzroy (GCSAA
Jay Tracy, Dick Osborn, George
vice president), David Chag
#1 tradition... giving back to the game.
Pendergast and Jack Dezieck;
(National Club Association chairman)
serving as the MGA’s executive director were
and Leigh Bader (Golf 20/20 Executive Committee).
Receiving significant nationl honors for lifetime
Tom Landry and Joe Sprague.
Serving as the WGAM’s president were Sally
golf achievement were Dick Haskell — the 2000
Foehl, Susan Dean, Judy Norton, Pam Green, Anne
International Association of Golf Adminstrators
Farrington and Terry Wappel; serving as the WGAM’s
Distinguished Service Award, Wally Uihlein —
executive director were Janet Vance and Marie Tucker. the 2005 PGA Distinguished Service Award (the
Representing the significant corporate support
PGA’s highest honor) and Harry McCracken — the
for major MGA and AMGO initiatives — including
2007 USGA Joe Dey Award (for lifetime meritorious
the building of Massachusetts Golf House — were
service as a volunteer).
Serving as captains of top international golf events
William Connell (Connell Limited Partnership),
were Pat Bradley — the 2000 Solheim Cup Team
Wally Uihlein (Titleist and FootJoy Worldwide),
USA and Noreen Friel Mohler — the 2010 Curtis
Peter Manning (FleetBoston), Bill Van Faasen
Cup Team USA at Essex County Club.
(Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts),
Chris Bramley (TD Bank), Gary Gregg (Liberty
Thanks to the thousands more who support the
Mutual) and Seth Waugh (Deutsche Bank).
game... here’s to a booming 2010s for Bay State golf.
The 1st Annual MGA Junior Fund Golf
Tournament was contested at TPC of
Boston in Norton on October 15. With the
assistance of major sponsorship support
from Wal-Mart, golfers of all ages and skill
enjoyed a great day on a great course
(see next page). Another major sponsor
was TPC of Boston — the TPC Network
has always enjoyed a strong relationship
with The First Tee national office, and the
i A generous check donated by Wal-Mart to
the MGA Junior Golf Fund Golf is received by
youngsters who participated in The First Tee
of Massachusetts program at MGA Links at
Mamantapett this past summer. Joe McCabe
(left), director of the ForeKids Program, and
Pete Walsh (right), professional at MGA Links
at Mamantapett, welcomed (from McCabe’s left)
Wal-Mart’s Kevin Kilker, Chris Buchanan, Scott
Laviano, Donald Wallis, Christopher O’Quinn
and David Deane to the MGA Junior Golf
Tournament at TPC of Boston. Two days earlier,
the nine youth pictured above were among the
12 in all who completed a total of 341 holes in a
golf marathon which raised more than $1,200
for the MGA Junior Golf Fund.
Norton course welcomed the MGA event
with open arms, donating cart and greens
fees and providing a discount on all food
and beverages. More than 25,000 children
from all sections of the state have been
reached by The First Tee of Massachusetts
and Forekids Golf Programs.
Winter 2007-08 e M A S S G O L F E R
2008 Hadges Hoists Honor
2009 Drohen Duo Delivers
Featuring the hot hand wire-to-wire in
the 100th edition of the MGA Amateur,
47-year old John Hadges began his week as
on-site medalist with an even par 142
at The Kittansett Club; advancing to the
final match, he won the 35th hole by
chipping in from 50 feet and then parred
Hadges took the
the 36th to defeat Matt Parziale, 1 up.
100th MGA Amateur.
In the WGAM Amateur at Salem CC,
Pam Kuong — who made her competitive golf debut just the
year before at age 46 — defeated 1987 winner and 1992 U.S.
Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Marion McInerney, 3 & 2.
In the MGA Open at Stockbridge GC, Jim Renner — a 2001
MGA Amateur finalist before he later turned professional —
shot a sizzling 5-under par 65 in the final round on his way
to a 4-shot margin of victory (6-under par 70-69-65—204).
Kudos Chelsea Curtis, the 2005 WGAM Amateur champion,
was a finalist at the North & South Women’s Amateur at
Pinehurst No. 2 (NC)... three MGA players — Alistair Catto,
Joe Keller and Paul Murphy — advanced to the match play
field of 64 in the U.S. Senior Amateur at Shady Oak CC (TX);
Murphy further advanced to the round of 16 while Keller further
advanced to the quarterfinals... Team Massachusetts won
its 5th straight Tri-State Matches at CC of Fairfield (CT).
In the MGA Amateur at The Country Club,
Bill Drohen defeated Frank Vana, Jr., 4 & 3.
In 2003, Drohen’s brother Andy won the
Amateur, also defeating Vana at TCC.
The second pair of brothers to win the
Amateur, the Drohens also teamed up
to win the 2004 MGA Four-Ball.
Bill Drohen did a
Seven years after winning the 2002
brotherly deja vu.
MGA Amateur and turning professional
shortly thereafter, Rob Oppenheim captured the MGA Open
at Belmont CC with a 4-shot margin of victory (5-under par
71-65-72—208); his second round 65 set a Belmont modern
course record. Matt Parziale’s finish (T2) was the decade’s
best for an amateur; he turned professional later in the year.
In the WGAM Amateur contested at Vesper CC, 21-yearold Mary Chamberlain rolled in a 10-foot par putt on the
18th hole to defeat 2003 champion Tara Joy Connelly, 1 up.
Kudos Parziale won the New England Amateur at
Portsmouth CC (NH) by a 3-stroke margin (5-under par 283)...
in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at Red Tail GC,
Brittany Altomare advanced to the round of 16 where she
was defeated by the eventual champion Jennifer Song, 1 up...
at CC of New Seabury, Chelsea Curtis won the NEWGA
Amateur by a 4-shot margin of victory (6-over par 219).
Booming... or Boomerang?
State’s golf industry generated a total
THE NOTION THAT GOLF is booming
economic impact of $2.8 billion and
in the Bay State — or anywhere — is
accounted for 29,630 jobs in the state.
open to debate. How can the game be
“The golf industry in Massachusetts
said to be in boom times in the wake
extends far beyond the 375 golf coursof reports about foreclosed golf propes,” notes Bader. “The state is the
erties, reduced rounds played and high
home to some of the world’s top golf
resignation rates from private clubs?
manufacturers as well as one of
Any analysis of the term ‘booming’
the biggest PGA TOUR events, the
requires a little context.
Deutsche Bank Championship, and the
“The golf industry as a whole congame brings visitors to the state, drives
tinues to be a major economic force
new residential construction, generates
in Massachusetts,” says Leigh Bader,
retail sales and creates demand for a
an owner of multiple golf-related
How will golf fare in the ’10s? myriad of goods and services.”
businesses in Massachusetts and a
On a micro level, there are currently almost 90,000
member of the board of directors for Golf 20/20.
MGA Member Golfers while hundreds of thousands
“Not only does this industry infuse solid spending in
of other Bay Staters without an official MGA/GHIN
the state's economy, it continues to create thousands
handicap also enjoy participating in the game.
of jobs that generate more than $850 million annually
The numbers appear to be healthy indicators, yet
in wages in Massachusetts.”
the ultimate analysis on what constitutes ‘booming’ —
According to the most-recent study, the AMGOin any industry — is in the eye of the beholder.
commissioned report entitled The Massachusetts
—Becky Blaeser e
Golf Economy, the 2006 calendar year for the Bay
Golf Go Now?
From left: Jim Fitzroy,
Joe Sprague, Walter
Lankau, Leigh Bader
and Kevin Osgood.
In early February, the MGA invited four Bay State
golf industry leaders (see page 6 for affiliations)
to a roundtable discussion at MGA Golf House.
Joe Sprague, MGA executive director, moderated
Among the many long-term Mass. golf pillars
are (from left) Wally Uihlein, Jeanne-Marie Boylan,
the Deutsche Bank Classic, Roberta Bolduc and
M A S S G O L F E R e Winter 2009-10
UIHLEIN; TITLEIST AND FOOTJOY WORLDWIDE;
BOYLAN , BOLDUC AND MCCRACKEN: BRIAN SMITH
the discussion which focused on some of the
key issues the game faces, especially in
light of an international economic crisis.
What follows is an edited transcript.
Photos by Brian Smith
HADGES AND DROHEN: DAVID COLT
M A S S G O L F E R e Spring 2009
Winter 2009-10 e M A S S G O L F E R