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Cedar Crest Golf Course First of Six Courses Hosting U.S. Adaptive Open Qualifier

Addison – Cedar Crest Golf Course in Dallas, Texas is set to host their first U.S. Adaptive Open Qualifier. The qualifier will be one of only six sites across the United States between April 16 to May 7.  

In 2017, the USGA followed through with a pledge to establish a “championship for the adaptive golf community”. The U.S. Adaptive Open is the 15th and newest USGA Championship for men and women amateur golfers. The tournament is split into eight groups based on the player’s disability and features the widest age range of players with eligible players ranging from 16-80 years old. Modifications in the Rules of Golf were added by the USGA in 2023, permitting players to “compete using on-course aides, loosened club-anchoring rules, and adjusted drops” to accommodate carts. The players compete for two trophies that are given to the lowest-scoring players in the women’s and men’s divisions while copper medals are awarded to the lowest scorers in each of the divisions in the tournament.  

Blazing a path for the future of adaptive golf, you can say that more than a trophy is what is on the line for these players. This is a golf event unlike any other with an opportunity to grow the adaptive golf community year-by-year going into the future. Every golfer wants to uphold this great game and keep improving it and these players are no different. Some of the players shared with the USGA after last year’s event that they wouldn’t even think they could play a full 18 holes and now they are playing as part of a USGA championship.  

With the first two tournaments taking place at Pinehurst Country Club & Resort, this is the first year the tournament will head to a new site. That is not the only new part of the 3rd U.S. Adaptive Open with this year’s event featuring a cut for the first time. Starting April 16, Adaptive players across the country will play in qualifiers to try and punch their ticket to Sand Creek Station.  

The Texas Golf Association is one of six AGAs (Allied Golf Associations) hosting a qualifier with Cedar Crest Golf Course hosting the first U.S Adaptive Open qualifier in the Lonestar State.  

“We are very excited to be a part of this growing initiative for adaptive golf. Cedar Crest is a great and historic course, and we couldn’t think of a better place for a USGA qualifier site,” said Managing Director of TGA Foundation/Outreach Kelly Kilgo “To be a part of six other AGAs hosting a qualifier is something special. We can’t wait to meet these players and not only see them play some great golf but also hear some of their incredible stories.” 

Cedar Crest Golf Course has a rich history of golf and is a favorite amongst metroplex golfers. Designed by A.W Tillinghast, the course held the 1927 PGA Championship, 1926 Dallas Open, 1954 USGA Negro National Open and USGA’s Public Links Championship. The country club was turned public in 1946 after the City of Dallas purchased it. In 2001 the club built a new clubhouse and renovated the course. 

“It means a great deal to Cedar Crest and our team to be able to host an event like this,” shared Cedar Crest’s PGA Professional Ira Molayo. “This provides an opportunity to promote golf in an inclusive way.”  

The Texas Golf Association will be working with the Texas Adaptive Golf Association and hosting its 3rd Texas Adaptive Golf Championship later this fall at Indian Creek Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas on October 7-9.  The TGA has supported the Texas Adaptive Golf Association to help with staff, volunteers, and rules officials for the tournament and this year the TGA will be more involved with the event. Based in Fort Worth, TAGA was founded by Bobby Bell, Randy Shack, and Josh Tankersley to bring the game of adaptive golf to Texas.  

For more information on the 3rd U.S. Adaptive Open, click here. For more information on the Texas Golf Association Adaptive Open, click here.  

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Volunteer for USGA Championship at Oak Hills C.C. in San Antonio

Historic Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio is set to host the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball from May 11-15. The ninth edition of the national championship will showcase a starting field of 64 sides (128 players) of the best female amateur golfers competing in 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying May 11-12 to determine the 32 sides that will advance to the match-play portion of the championship May 13-15.

The club is thrilled to welcome this prestigious event and is looking to recruit volunteers to serve on various committees to help ensure a successful championship and that players enjoy their time in the Alamo City. It is a wonderful opportunity to support golf in Texas, and Oak Hills is looking forward to providing its volunteers with a fun and rewarding experience.

If you would like to learn more, please look over the information in the volunteer program below, and contact the championship office with any questions – [email protected].

> 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Volunteer Program

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World Handicap System™: 3 Key Changes for 2024

Introduced in January 2020, the World Handicap System (WHS) was based upon three key principles: be inclusive, provide a consistent measure of ability, and remain modern. Four years later, with the first revision to the WHS set for this January, those same principles apply to the main changes going into effect, namely:

1)  A lower minimum length for a golf course to obtain a Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™

Under the current system, an 18-hole course must be at least 3,000 yards to receive a Course Rating and Slope Rating (or 1,500 yards for 9 holes). Starting in 2024, the yardage requirements will be cut in half, to 1,500 and 750 yards, respectively. This is good news for golfers who regularly play par-3 and shorter-length courses and have wanted those scores to count toward their Handicap Index®.

 2)  A new treatment of 9-hole scores

Today, 9-hole scores are combined in the order posted to create an 18-hole Score Differential™. This means that a 9-hole score shot today could be combined with a 9-hole score from days, weeks, or even months before – which can lead to volatile results.

Beginning in 2024, when a player posts a 9-hole score, it will be combined with their expected Score Differential over 9 holes to create an 18-hole Score Differential for immediate use – with expected score based on the player’s Handicap Index at the time the round is played as well as a course of standard difficulty.

 3)  An updated approach for holes not played

At present when a hole isn’t played (due to darkness, for example), the score recorded is a net par. When the 2024 revision goes into effect, when 10-17 holes are played, an 18-hole Score Differential will be determined by adding the player’s Score Differential from the holes played to an expected Score Differential for the number of holes not played. Since a player’s expected score is not specific to a course or reliant upon the course’s stroke index allocation (as net par is today), this will lead to more consistency.

To learn more about the revisions coming to the WHS in 2024, click here.

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WHS™ 2024 Treatment of 9-Hole Scores

How is the treatment of 9-hole scores changing under the WHS™ in 2024?

Currently, one 9-hole score must be combined with another to create an 18-hole Score Differential™ before it can be counted for handicap purposes.

Beginning in 2024, when a player posts a 9-hole score, the WHS will automatically calculate an 18-hole Score Differential for the round, based on the player’s 9-hole Score Differential and expected Score Differential based on their current Handicap Index®, allowing the 9-hole round to be considered in the player’s Handicap Index calculation right away.

As part of this change, golfers will be required to play and post all 9 holes with a valid 9-hole Course Rating™ and Slope Rating™ instead of the previous minimum of 7 holes.

For more information on how 9-hole scores will be treated for handicap purposes under the 2024 update to the World Handicap System, click here.

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WHS™ 2024 Treatment of Hole(s) Not Played

What is changing about the way 10–17-hole scores are treated in 2024?

Currently, when 10 to 13 holes are played, scores made on holes 10 through 13 are disregarded and a 9-hole score is posted. When 14-17 holes are played, net par is used for the remaining holes to allow an 18-hole score to be posted.

Beginning in 2024, when a player with a Handicap Index plays 10-17 holes, a Score Differential will be created based on the holes played, and the player’s expected Score Differential for the number of remaining holes not played will be added to that value to produce an 18-hole Score Differential.

To facilitate this change, when a player plays between 10-17 holes, they will be required to post their scores hole-by-hole so the appropriate Score Differential can be calculated from the holes that were played to combine with the expected score for the holes not played.

For more information on how 10–17-hole scores will be treated for handicap purposes under the 2024 update to the World Handicap System, click here.

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WHS™ 2024: Reduced Minimum Course Length

What will the new minimum length requirement be for a course and/or set of tees to be issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating?

The World Handicap System has approved a low-end limit for courses to be issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating of 1,500 yards for 18-holes or 750 yards for 9-holes. This is a reduction from the current minimums of 3,000 yards for 18-holes and 1,500 yards for 9-holes.

As a result, more than 600 additional golf courses (mostly par-3 courses) will qualify for a Course Rating and Slope Rating if desired.

For more information on the new minimum length requirement for a course and/or set of tees to be issued a Course Rating and Slope Rating under the 2024 update to the World Handicap System, click here.

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Leslie Henry Nominated to Serve on USGA Executive Committee

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Dec. 7, 2022) – Leslie Henry of Houston, Texas; Bryan Lewis of South Haven, Mich.; Michael McCarthy of San Francisco, Calif.; and Jeff Sluman of Hinsdale, Ill.; have each been nominated to serve a three-year term on the USGA Executive Committee, highlighting the USGA Nominating Committee’s 2023 slate.

In addition, Courtney Myhrum of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been nominated to serve a second three-year term on the USGA Executive Committee, a volunteer group of 15 people that provides strategic and financial oversight as the Association’s policy-making and governance board.

“I look forward to welcoming these talented, respected and passionate leaders to our Executive Committee,” said USGA CEO Mike Whan. “Along with all my USGA teammates, I am excited to begin working together with them to strengthen and advance our great game.”

Henry is the immediate past president of the Texas Golf Association (TGA), the first female to hold that role. She became a member of the Women’s Texas Golf Association (WTGA) board of directors in 2012 and played an integral role in the process of merging the WTGA with the TGA in 2014. She joined the TGA Board of Directors that year and was elected as the TGA’s first female officer in 2016. She played tennis collegiately at Louisiana State University and earned her law degree from the South Texas College of Law. Henry took up golf at the age of 35 and has since won the Greater Houston Women’s Senior City Championship four times and has played on the Texas Cup South Team seven times. She has also qualified for the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur and the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, and recently competed in the World Amateur Golfers Championship in Malaysia after winning the Nationals in Orlando, Fla.

A litigator of more than 25 years, Henry divides her time between the Houston and New Orleans offices of Adams and Reese, LLP. She formerly served on Adams and Reese’s Executive Committee, which oversees the firm’s strategic operations across its 21 markets. She currently serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Henry also works closely with young attorneys through Adams and Reese’s mentorship program.

Lewis has been a USGA committee member since 1998 and is a recipient of the association’s Ike Grainger Award, which recognizes 25 years of volunteer service. He has served on the Rules Committee for 84 USGA championships, four Masters Tournaments and the 2021 Walker Cup Match. He has served on the USGA Rules of Golf Committee since 2017 and has been an instructor at USGA/PGA Rules Workshops since 2019. Lewis played in the 1980 U.S. Junior Amateur and was a member of the Western Michigan University varsity golf team. He also served for four years on the Golf Association of Michigan Board of Governors.

Professionally, Lewis spent 32 years at Whirlpool Corporation before retiring in 2017 as an information security manager. He was a nationally recognized expert in identity and access management. His governance experience includes 22 years on the South Haven (Mich.) Public Schools Board of Education, eight of those as board president.

McCarthy is a lifelong golfer, competing at an early age in Northern California junior events. He earned his B.A. in history from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a member of the 1988 golf team that won a national championship. McCarthy currently serves on the board of his hometown San Francisco Golf Club, and he was a longtime board member of the First Tee of San Francisco, where he helped start the program in conjunction with the restoration of Harding Park Golf Club. Still competitive, McCarthy qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship in 2010 and has won 12 club championships.

McCarthy, whose career at Franklin Templeton Investments spans more than 30 years, currently serves as executive vice president and chief investment officer for the Franklin Equity Group. He has oversight of the San Mateo (Calif.) and New York-based investment teams who manage Franklin’s equity and hybrid strategies, along with Franklin Equity Group’s research team. He is also the lead portfolio manager for the Franklin Small Cap Growth strategy. McCarthy is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.

Sluman, who played in the 1980 U.S. Open as an amateur and turned professional later that year, joined the PGA Tour in 1983 and PGA Tour Champions in 2007. He has 18 professional victories, including the 1988 PGA Championship. Sluman has four top-10 finishes in the U.S. Open, including runner-up in 1992 at Pebble Beach. In 2019, Sluman became the 21st player in history to play more than 1,000 events on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions, and has recorded six victories on each tour. He was a two-time PGA Tour Policy Board member and two-time Champions Tour Policy Board member and served as an assistant captain for three U.S. Presidents Cup and two U.S. Ryder Cup teams.

Sluman, who played at Florida State University, is a member of his alma mater’s Hall of Fame, as well as the New York State Golf Association Hall of Fame in recognition of his stellar amateur career in his home state, punctuated by a victory at the 1978 New York State Amateur.

Current USGA Executive Committee members include Myhrum; Tony Anderson of Chicago, Ill.; Chuck Brymer of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Sinclair Eaddy Jr., of Baltimore, Md.; Cathy Engelbert of Berkeley Heights, N.J.; Kendra Graham of Winter Park, Fla.; Kevin Hammer of Boynton Beach, Fla.; Deborah Platt Majoras of Cincinnati, Ohio; Tony Petitti of Irvington, N.Y.; Sharon Ritchey of Longboat Key, Fla.; and Fred Perpall of Dallas, Texas, who was previously nominated to become the USGA’s 67th president.

Per the bylaws of the association, Henry, Lewis, McCarthy and Sluman will each serve a three-year term beginning in 2023, with the potential to be elected for a second and final three-year term in 2026.

If elected, the new four members will assume seats vacated by retiring members Thomas Barkin of Atlanta, Ga.; Paul Brown of Brookeville, Md.; Nick Price of Hobe Sound, Fla.; and Stu Francis of Hillsborough, Calif., who is concluding his three-year term as USGA president.

The USGA Annual Meeting will take place Feb. 25, 2023 in Napa, Calif.

About the USGA 
The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.

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San Antonio’s Oak Hills C.C. Awarded Two USGA Amateur Championships

The United States Golf Association has recently announced that Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio will host the 2024 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship and 2028 U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be contested from May 11-15, 2024, and the U.S. Senior Amateur will take place from Aug. 26-31, 2028.

“The USGA is thrilled to make our return to Oak Hills Country Club in both 2024 and 2028,” said Mark Hill, USGA senior managing director, Championships. “We know the course will be a true test for the best amateur golfers in the world. This will absolutely be showcased during the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and the U.S. Senior Amateur.”

Oak Hills Country Club is one of the oldest private member-owned country clubs in the country. Originally founded in 1922 as the Alamo Country Club, Oak Hills was designed by premier architect A.W. Tillinghast, whose vision of beauty and challenging play is enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. Alamo Country Club ceased operations during World War II and the course reopened as Oak Hills Country Club in 1946.

“The Oak Hills membership and the larger community of San Antonio are looking forward to welcoming both the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball and U.S. Senior Amateur to our club,” said Cary Collins, director of golf at Oak Hills Country Club. “We look forward to hosting tremendous amateur golfers and having the opportunity to share our golf course on a national stage. It’s an incredible opportunity for all of us at the club and we are looking forward to working with the USGA closely over the next several years.”

Oak Hills previously hosted the 2001 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, when Henry Liaw defeated Richard Scott, 2 and 1, in the final match. The club has also hosted 24 Texas Open Championships won by several legends of the game, including Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin and Lee Trevino. The PGA Tour Champions’ AT&T Championship was also hosted at the club from 2002-2010, with Craig Stadler, Jay Haas, Fred Funk and John Cook among those to hoist the trophy. Oak Hills also hosted the 1987 debut of the Tour Championship, which was then known as the Nabisco Championship and was won by Tom Watson.

The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball is open to female amateur golfers of all ages. Each member of the side must have a USGA Handicap Index® of 14.4 or lower. The 2023 championship will be held at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., from May 13-17. Additional future sites include Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C., from May 2-6, 2026, and Bandon Dunes (Ore.) Golf Resort in 2037.

In April, Georgia residents Thienna Huynh and Sara Im outlasted Kaitlyn Schroeder and Bailey Shoemaker, 1 up, at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Puerto Rico to win the 7th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. This installment of the championship made history as the first USGA championship to be contested outside the mainland in a U.S. territory.

The U.S. Senior Amateur is open to any golfer who is 55 years of age or older and whose Handicap Index does not exceed 7.4. The 2022 championship is currently taking place at The Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass., through Sept. 1, while Martis Camp Club in Truckee, Calif. will host the 2023 edition from Aug. 26-31. The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., will host the 2024 championship from Aug. 24-29, and Biltmore Forest Country Club in Asheville, N.C., will host in 2025.

About the USGA

The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Presented by ProMedica. With The R&A, we govern the sport via a global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Association’s Research and Test Center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit usga.org.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Suhey

Steve Suhey’s father introduced him to the game of golf when he was 6 years old in 1956. They spent Sunday evenings looping the nearby course in central Pennsylvania. Today, Suhey continues to create lasting memories on golf courses more than 1,500 miles away from where he grew up and learned to play.

“I love the challenge of golf throughout your lifetime,” Suhey said. “It’s a game you can play your whole life, and as you grow older you face new challenges. I’ve really enjoyed that.”

In 1982, Suhey and his wife, Louise, moved to Texas. The avid amateur golfer played in competitive events across the state, including championships conducted by the Texas Golf Association. He’d always loved and appreciated the Rules of Golf, but it wasn’t until met Marty Javors that he began to get involved as a Rules official.

“In the late 1980s, I met Marty, who had been a TGA and USGA Rules official for many years,” Suhey said. “He encouraged me to get involved with the Rules, but because of my businesses and travel schedule, I could never do it. I promised Marty that when I retired I would turn my attention to the Rules and get involved as a Rules official.”

In 2016, Suhey delivered on his promise. Following his retirement as an insurance broker, he attended his first USGA/PGA Rules of Golf Workshop, took his first Rules of Golf exam and volunteered with the TGA.

“When he finally pulled the trigger he didn’t hold back at all,” Javors said. “He’s a very smart guy and learned the Rules very quickly. He loves the game and he’s been a huge help to the golf community in Texas.”

Over the years, Suhey has become one of the most dedicated TGA volunteers. In 2020, he officiated over 40 days at local and statewide men’s, women’s and junior championships.

“As a volunteer, my goal is to help the competitors play by the Rules,” Suhey said. “In order to do that, you have to ask a lot of questions to find out the exact situation and make sure the player knows what his options are.”

Suhey values the interactions he has with players, working with TGA staff and building relationships with other volunteers. His “team-first” mentality has not gone unrecognized by the TGA.

“Steve’s presence makes our championships better and our job as a staff easier,” TGA Tournament Director Ian Davis said. “It doesn’t matter what his assignment is for the day, he is the first one on site and he is the last to leave. Steve is a staunch individual and you can always count on him. He’s always available to stick around for a playoff or help with packing up the equipment when we finish.”

Golf is an ever-evolving game. It teaches lessons on and off the golf course, and Suhey has been a part of unique lessons for so many amateur golfers across the state. Sixty-four years since he touched his first club, Suhey continues to grow from the lessons of golf.

“Because of what golf has given me over the years, this is my way of giving back,” Suhey said. “I learn something at every tournament I officiate and every meeting I attend. And like the game of golf itself, you keep learning and learning and learning and it never stops throughout your life.”

The TGA extends its sincere appreciation to Steve for his efforts in making our championships a success. The work and dedication from all our volunteers allows the TGA to grow and continue to support the game we all love.

To learn more about the TGA Volunteer Program, click here.