Local Knowledge

November 2020


GENERAL WORKSHOPS OVERVIEW: For the 2021 season, PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops will be held virtually during the traditional time of January through March. While in-person options were explored, it was ultimately determined that an all-virtual format was the best possible strategy for protecting the health and safety of everyone involved given the number of uncertainties surrounding COVID-19.

Additionally, two virtual workshop options will be offered in 2021. One will be a version of the traditional PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops, and the other will be a new introductory-level workshop. A brief description of each workshop is outlined below.

PGA/USGA Rules Workshops: The virtual PGA/USGA Workshops will include a reimagined workshop experience as well as the opportunity to take the 80 and/or 100 question exams. Among the planned components of the Rules Workshop include: access to the USGA Virtual Rules School and new “Night School,” which will be a series of live bi-weekly webinars covering the full breadth of a PGA/USGA Rules Workshop; and ability to take either the 80-question or 100-question exam at home via a virtual proctoring experience.

Introductory Workshops: Among the planned components of the virtual Introductory Workshop include: approximately 4 hours of on-demand Rules presentations; two 1-hour live webinars to ask Rules questions; dedicated email address to ask Rules questions during your active program week; and access to “Night School.”

Registration is now open for both the PGA/USGA Rules Workshops and Introductory Workshops. For more information, including a full listing of planned workshop components, schedules and FAQs, click here.


While most kids at Spring Creek Academy in The Woodlands are counting down the days to the start of Christmas break, Tillie Claggett is focused on the first week of December. That’s when the high school junior will tee it up against the world’s best in the LPGA’s 2020 Volunteers of America Classic, set for Dec. 3-6 at Old American Golf Club in The Colony.

Claggett in early September gained a spot in the starting field of one the tour’s biggest events by winning the Girls Match Play Championship, also held at Old American Golf Club.

This is the first year for the Girls Match Play Championship. It was created by the Texas Junior Golf Alliance (TJGA), a joint venture between the Legends Junior Tour, the Northern Texas PGA All-American Tour and the Southern Texas PGA Prestige Tour. Sixteen of the state’s top junior girls earned their way into the single-elimination, match play championship through their junior golf performances in TJGA events.

In order to make this unique event happen, the TJGA partnered with the LPGA, the Volunteers of America and Old American. The result was three days of spirited match play competition, which ended with Claggett punching her ticket into the 2020 VOA Classic.

Over the years, the TJGA has done an incredible job preparing their membership to play at the highest level. Many TJGA alumna have gone on to achieve considerable success in the professional and amateur ranks, including last year’s VOA Classic champion Cheyenne Knight of Aledo, 12-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis of The Woodlands and two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman of Austin.

For more information about this year’s Volunteers of America Classic, click here.


Through funding provided by the USGA, researchers at the University of Minnesota and Michigan State University have reached a key milestone in the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the environmental impact that golf courses have on their communities.

The Community Values of Golf Courses project quantified the environmental benefits of 135 golf courses in the Twin Cities metropolitan area as compared with five other land uses: natural areas, city parks, suburban residential zones, urban residential zones and industrial parks.

The researchers demonstrated that properly managed golf courses provide the greatest amount of cooling among land uses, are more supportive of pollinators than urban residential or industrial areas, and retain more nutrients from stormwater runoff than suburban or urban residential areas. In general, this demonstrates that golf courses enhance surrounding communities in much the same way as city parks or open green spaces.

Correspondingly, the conversion of golf courses to residential or industrial use would sacrifice associated environmental value afforded to communities and could result in reduced biodiversity and increased temperatures and nutrient transport to surface and ground water.

The work for the USGA will help golf courses – especially those owned or managed by municipalities, cities and counties – make decisions that account for the outdoor recreation they provide, the biodiversity and the habitats they offer for wildlife and food pollinators, and the environmental benefits they deliver, including stormwater runoff mitigation, urban cooling and carbon sequestration.

To read more about the Community Values of Golf Courses project, click here.


Member participation is being renewed by updated offerings, particularly those that can be enjoyed safely during the pandemic.

With everyone being affected by the pandemic, what do you add to the mix to excite current and future members?

In recent years, clubs have ramped up amenities to keep members happy and attract new ones. Prior to the pandemic, CMAA member-managed clubs said they planned to invest more than $7.6 billion in capital spending between 2019 and 2021.

The good news is that even despite the pandemic, such investments were not a waste of money. Outdoor dining, resort-style pools and fitness centers are still highly sought after. But COVID-19 has forced clubs to make some adjustments.

Even so, top managers are finding ways to keep amenities fresh, inviting and safe.

In a recent article for CMAA Magazine, author Jennifer McEntee looks at what some clubs have done to increase member participation in the COVID-19 era.

To read the CMAA article, click here.