Friday, October 31, 2014

It's November. Yikes.

Is it just us, or did the 2014 golf season fly by?! In just 15 days, the 'active' season here in Massachusetts will come to an end. But that doesn't mean you stop golfing! That simply means that no rounds played in Massachusetts during the inactive season (November 15 - March 31) can be counted toward your Handicap Index.
Already looking toward
next year!

How about a little season recap in just a few words...

February: Holy's time for online registration to open!
March: Wait...did every Member Day site just sell out in 6 minutes??
April: The active season begins...start posting those scores!
May: It's Championship time, baby!
June: Wait, slow seriously slow down!
July: Did this month exist? We can't seem to remember.
August: No biggie, we still have about a billion events to get through...
September: #septemberisthenewjuly
October: We made it! Time to relax...kinda

Of course, we're being facetious here - while the season is a total grind, it's also a heck of a lot of fun. There's something about having to squeeze a ton of golf into a relatively short period of time that makes it feel more exciting. Since we're not blessed with year-round warmth like our friends at say, the Arizona Golf Association, we hit the ground running in March and don't slow down until...well, now!

A big thank you is due to our 360+ Member Clubs. We couldn't do it without your support! And thank you to all our Member Golfers, from the Championship players to the guys and gals that go out and hack around on the weekends and everyone in between. Thank you for preserving and promoting this great game in our great state!

But there is still plenty of golf to be played! So get out there!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A great day for a great cause

Click to donate to The First Tee of MA!

We ordered up some great weather this morning for one of our favorite events of the year - the annual MGA Junior Golf Fund Tournament. This event, which benefits The First Tee of Massachusetts, is now in its eighth year and raises crucial funds for The First Tee's youth development programming across the state.

This year is an exciting one, as we have joined the Liberty Mutual Invitational Series, which is the #1 charity event in golf. Thanks to this partnership, we were able to provide all sorts of swag to this year's participants, and we have some great prizes too! And best of all, the winning foursome will receive an invitation to play in the LMI National Finals at TPC Sawgrass! Not bad!

This event is such an important one for The First Tee, as not only does it serve as an important fundraising opportunity, it also brings together our supporters from across the region. Additionally, we are lucky enough to have representation from our great Patrons - Titleist and Liberty Mutual. Without their support as well as the enthusiasm and support of all our golfers today, we wouldn't be able to do what we do for children across the Bay State. A great deal of thanks is also due to Walmart, which, as title sponsor of the Junior Golf Fund Tournament, has been a constant presence at the event since its inception in 2006.

The First Tee of Massachusetts uses a proven youth development program to bring the game of golf and its inherent values to thousands of children across the state. Think about how many times you've had to exercise patience, perseverance, honesty and respect while on the golf course - the game of golf is an incredible vehicle to help children develop into wonderful, responsible individuals. 

We currently operate in four locations in Massachusetts - Springfield, Lynnfield, Norton, and Hyannis. We also impact thousands of elementary school children through The First Tee National School Program, which utilizes physical education classes to teach kids the game of golf. The National School Program is now offered in 54 elementary schools in Massachusetts.

The support of the local golf community through this event has allowed so many The First Tee participants to take part in national opportunities like The First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy, The Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, and The First Tee Future Leaders Forum, among countless others.

So we have a beautiful day, an amazing golf course - TPC Boston - a very worthy cause, and some fun...not bad for a Monday!

Click here to view photos from the event

If you'd like to get involved with The First Tee of Massachusetts, we'd love to have you! Please feel free to contact Joe McCabe to inquire about how you can help out, whether it's by donating some old golf clubs and golf balls, volunteering at an event or clinic, or hosting an outing at your club to benefit The First Tee of MA.

So let's offer a big THANKS again to all our golfers today and especially to the countless volunteers and supporters who make our programming possible throughout the year. Looking forward to another great year of Junior Golf in 2015!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Coming back down to earth

Well you may have noticed that we haven't posted in a hot minute - ya know, we were just planning a nice little gala, no biggie.

In all seriousness, though, we couldn't be happier with how the first ever Mass Golf Hall of Fame Gala turned out. And a lot of its success is thanks to YOU! That's right, without the support of the golf community here in Massachusetts, we couldn't have done it. So many MGA Member Clubs stepped up to support the Hall of Fame, either through purchasing a table at the event, donating to the Hall of Fame, or helping promote the event.

There were ten groups that signed on as Ring of Honor level event sponsors and we cannot say enough about their support and preservation of the game of golf and its rich history here in the Commonwealth. Thanks to these sponsors, and the countless other clubs and individuals who have supported the Hall of Fame thus far, we have set the foundation for many years to come.

And the event! The event was just fantastic. We had the privilege of inviting family members of all inductees (both the original class of 2002, and this year's class) to Blue Hill to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our golf greats. It was a powerful, emotional, and enjoyable night for all. We had the incredible good fortune of meeting Bob Toski, Joanne Goodwin, and Pat Bradley, all of whom had wonderful stories to share.

Paul Harney's son Tim mentioned something during his acceptance speech that resonated with everyone in attendance - golf brings good people together. When he said that, we looked around the room and realized that that simple statement was spot on. The golf community here in Massachusetts is full of warm, generous, and interesting people that we are so grateful to be able to work with every day! Thank you everyone for all the support, and more importantly, for preserving this great game.

Check out the video that was shown at the beginning of the Gala last Thursday:

We also have to thank Cramer Productions for helping our vision come to life. Cramer, based in Norwood, is class all the way, from the video production to the event audio/visual. The company is a great friend to the golf community in the Bay State.

The proud Harney Family with Paul's HOF plaque
And although the Gala was just one night, there is a lasting piece of it that will be preserved in the Massachusetts Golf Museum here at TPC Boston. Thanks to the incredible work of Allison Abreu at Swallows Nest Custom Framing in Norton, we had beautiful frames made for each inductee. One was given to a family member of each honoree (see right), and one will stay here at the Museum to commemorate our Hall of Fame classes for years to come.

And the biggest, most emphatic thank you goes to our host, Blue Hill Country Club. The staff of the club calmly rolled with it as the event grew bigger and bigger, and didn't bat an eye to any challenges that arose during the event planning process. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating, and we couldn't be more thrilled with the way everything turned out. From the food and beverage, to the event space itself, to the staff, Blue Hill was a wonderful host for the first ever Mass Golf Hall of Fame Gala.

What a night it was. Read more event highlights here.  Can't wait for the next one!