Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What a day!

A group of enthusiastic junior golfers participated in a day full of fun at the Deutsche Bank Championship Kids Day at MGA Links this afternoon.

The golfers participated in The First Tee Skills Challenge, which included chipping and putting stations as well as the Go Long Challenge, which was sponsored by Cobra/PUMA. Prior to the skills challenge a group of MGA Links junior members had the opportunity to play in a tournament with Cobra/PUMA employees. Thanks to Erin Hennessey and Bridget Rymanowski from PUMA for making the day a huge success!!

The celebration was punctuated by an annual tradition of a PGA Tour pro coming to speak to the kids about golf and put on a hitting demonstration. This year’s featured player was Shawn Stefani, who has two top-5 finishes this year including a second-place finish at the Quicken Loans National Championship earlier this season.

Shawn Stefani capturing the crowd's attention!

Shawn was such a good sport – the kids loved being able to yell out ‘hit your driver!’ or ‘hit your 9-iron’ and see how a PGA Tour pro hits the ball. Everyone had a great time!

Some new PUMA swag!!
Setting up for the Cobra Go Long Challenge

An MGA Linkster - sporting her brand new PUMA hat - at the chipping station
Hit the bulls-eye!

Later that day a few MGA Linksters went over to TPC for something pretty neat - they helped PGA Tour player Graham DeLaet complete his Ice Bucket Challenge! It was a big hit on social media!

We have to extend a HUGE thank you to the Deutsche Bank Championship for helping us put on another great DBC Kids Day at MGA Links. We also thank Cobra/PUMA for coming to help out and giving out some swag that the kids all loved! And of course, thank you to our volunteers who give so much to junior golf here in Massachusetts. Awesome day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Command Central

It is teeming with activity here at Golf House this week. Deutsche Bank Championship week is in full swing! Since Golf House is located on the grounds of TPC Boston, we get a front row seat to this marvel of championship administration that the DBC folks put on each labor day weekend.

We also get to partake in some of the fun - each year DBC Kids Day is held down the street at MGA Links at Mamantapett. This is a really fun opportunity for local junior golfers to feel like they are part of all the excitement around the championship through The First Tee Skills Challenge and the PGA TOUR pro clinic - last year we had fan favorites Freddie Jacobson and Erik Compton join the kids at The Links. This event will be tomorrow starting at 1:30 - it's a can't miss!! There is no charge to attend, and clubs will be available for anyone that needs them. Cobra/PUMA will be on-site as well with their Go Long Challenge.

Last year we had a perfect day for DBC Kids Day - looking forward to another one tomorrow!!

Freddie Jacobson and an MGA Links Junior Member at last year's DBC Kids Day

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An evening full of TBT

Have you been enjoying all our recent TBT photos on Facebook and Instagram? I love looking at these old photos - and we have a lot of them right now because we are putting together materials and videos for the first ever Mass Golf Hall of Fame Gala, which will take place in October. We can't wait for this event - it's going to be fantastic.

We are working with Cramer Productions to put together some great tribute videos to each Hall of Fame inductee, and the support we've received from MGA Member Clubs has been overwhelming! So many clubs have jumped at the opportunity to purchase a table for the event, which, to me, reflects the excitement and reverence that so many people feel about the game of golf in the state of Massachusetts. We are blessed with such a rich golf history in this state, and the Hall of Fame Committee is thrilled to honor it with a celebration! Plus, who doesn't love to throw a party?!

Our own Fred Corcoran, considered the 'Godfather of Golf Administration'
We're going to have LPGA legend Pat Bradley give a special welcome address at the event. Pat was inducted into the original Mass Golf Hall of Fame class, along with Fred Corcoran, Francis Ouimet, and Donald Ross - but we never had the chance to properly celebrate this class. So we will be honoring them as well at the event, and will have representatives from the Corcoran, Ouimet, and Ross families in attendance. 

We're so excited to pick up where the MGA Centennial Committee left off in 2003 and keep this great tradition alive and thriving. October 16 is just 7 weeks away and will be here before we can bat an eye! See you at Blue Hill for an incredible evening. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Events on Events

We sure do pack a lot of events into a relatively short season here in Massachusetts! It's not just MGA Championships and Member Days we're talking about - there are hundreds of regional golf events that take place throughout the season. 

These events are great opportunities for players across the state to engage in some friendly competition and also serve as a nice showcase for the MGA Member Clubs that host. Some of these events have been around for years and years, like the Hornblower Memorial and Norfolk County Classic. Another tournament that has been around for more than 50 years and is underway right now is the Attleboro Area Golf Association Open. This is a pretty neat event - four days, four courses, and some pretty big names as past champions - Jim Renner, Dave Adamonis, Ryan Riley, Chris Congdon...this is just one example of all the great regional events that are peppered throughout our season.

A lot of these events aren't just for bragging rights - many of them factor into the MGA Player of the Year points standings and are a great opportunity to rack up those points! There are still many tournaments left to be played - the schedule continues well into the fall - and isn't fall golf the best?!

Check out the full listing of regional events

In addition to these highly competitive tournaments, there are also hundreds of charity golf events that take place throughout the golf season, and a special tip of the cap goes out to both the people that organize these important fundraising events, and the MGA Member Clubs that host them! Just this past week, the Ouimet Golf Marathon at Stow Acres CC raised a quarter of a million dollars! Just one example of how impactful golf can be when everyone comes together for a cause.

Check out the full listing of local charity golf events

Monday, August 11, 2014

Greetings from Atlanta!

Just kidding...I wish we were in Atlanta for the U.S. Amateur...although it probably couldn't top last year's experience at The Country Club. But we have SIX MGA Member golfers who will take their shot at the Championship starting today: Ryan Riley, Matt Naumec, Peter French, Ryan Harris, Patrick Frodigh, and Alex Jeffers. The crown is up for grabs, as 2013 champion Matthew Fitzpatrick recently turned pro. Good luck to everyone! Keep track of the leaderboard here

L-R: Riley, French, Harris, Naumec, Frodigh

And just last week two Massachusetts golfers competed in the U.S. Women's Amateur on Long Island. Megan Khang advanced to Match Play by posting a T4 even par 140 during stroke play qualifying. I have a feeling we'll be seeing quite a bit of Megan in some national championships over the coming years. Also competing was Scituate's Mary Mulcahy, who is now gearing up to defend her MGA Father & Daughter Championship this Thursday with her dad, John.

Another MGA Member Golfer who recently posted an impressive finish in a national event was our defending Senior Amateur Champion, Keith Smith. He was down at Pinehurst for the North-South Senior Amateur Championship and posted a T6 finish. Even more impressive is that he bounced back from a round 1 score of 80, coming back on days two and three with scores of 72 and 71. We'll be seeing Keith next month at Oyster Harbors as he tries to defend his title.

Speaking of national events, we have officially named our three players that will be representing Massachusetts at the U.S. State Team Championship this fall - Herbie Aikens, Doug Clapp, and Matt Parziale will try and bring the championship to Massachusetts for the first time ever. The championship will be held at French Lick Resort from September 30 - October 2.

We also have U.S. Senior Amateur qualifying coming up at Framingham CC, and qualifying for the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championships begins this fall.

Big things!

Friday, August 8, 2014

August? How did that happen?

Boy is this golf season flying by! Back to school ads are already on TV, people are making plans for Labor Day weekend, and we're already thinking ahead to our big events in September and October...I guess time flies when you're having fun!

But before we get ahead of ourselves, lets do a little recap - this past week we had our 33rd Amateur Public Links Championship. You probably know that the USGA is retiring the national Public Links Championship, but ours is here to stay - it's definitely a favorite event not only for MGA Member golfers across the state, but for our staff as well. And this year gave us a pretty exciting finish, with Herbie Aikens capturing the title with an 18th hole birdie!

The Pub Links is a great reflection on how golf in the Bay State really is a game for all - nearly two-thirds of MGA Member Clubs are public-access facilities - read more about the robust daily fee golfer presence in Massachusetts.

NESN was on-site at Cranberry Valley during the Pub Links to film for an upcoming feature on Golf Destinations - the show will air this fall.

We were also on-site this week helping out the NEPGA at the Drive, Chip & Putt regional qualifier at Pinehills this past week, where a few very lucky (and talented) young golfers took their next step toward Augusta! The DCP is a pretty neat event and it's great to see the kids get excited about golf.

The Girls 7-9 division at Granite Links last week

Make sure to play some golf this weekend - it's going to be beautiful out! Onward and upward...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Just testing the course out for the DBC

Today, the golf staff at TPC Boston teed it up in their annual Golf Marathon to support The First Tee of Massachusetts. These guys are playing more than 100 holes today! Additionally, a generous member of TPC has agreed to donate $5 per birdie and $10 per eagle to The First Tee! You can follow their progress on Twitter! And there's still time to donate - click here!

And this October, TPC Boston will again help support The First Tee of Massachusetts by hosting the 8th annual MGA Junior Golf Fund Tournament. This event will take place on Monday, October 27th and all proceeds will benefit the important work that TFT is doing across the state. The First Tee is headquartered at MGA Links in Norton, and operates in satellite facilities in Springfield, Lynnfield, and Hyannis. The First Tee runs a proven youth development program that brings the game of golf and its inherent values like courtesy, respect, perseverance, and responsibility to children who might otherwise not have access to the game.

We're still firming up the Junior Golf Fund Tournament event details, so stay tuned! It's a great opportunity to play on one of New England's premiere courses and support a great cause!