USGA accepts 1,592 entries for U.S. Women’s Open

LIBERTY CORNER, NJ - The United States Golf Association has accepted 1,592 entries for the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship scheduled May 31-June 3, 2018, at Shoal Creek in Alabama.
It will be the first U.S. Women’s Open contested in Alabama, and it’s just the third time in its history that the U.S. Women’s Open will be played before the U.S. Open.
This marks the fifth consecutive year the U.S. Women’s Open has received more than 1,500 entries. The 2015 championship at Lancaster (PA) Country Club holds the entry record with 1,873. Eleven U.S. Women’s Open champions are among the 93 players who are currently fully exempt into the championship.
“We are excited to see such a strong group of entrants from around the world for the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship,” said Shannon Rouillard, championship director. “To host Alabama’s first U.S. Women’s Open is a historic moment for the USGA and the state of Alabama, and to have such a strong field represented in the championship is fitting.”
The USGA accepted entries for this year's U.S. Women’s Open from golfers in 46 states, 11 entrants from Alabama among them, as well as the District of Columbia and a total of 54 countries.
To be eligible for the U.S. Women’s Open, a player must have a Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4, or be a professional. Sectional qualifying will be conducted over 36 holes between May 2-17. Qualifying will be held at 21 sites in the United States, as well as four international sites: one each in England, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.
Sung Hyun Park, of Korea, who won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., is one of 11 fully exempt U.S. Women’s Open champions. Park is joined by Brittany Lang (2016), In Gee Chun (2015), Michelle Wie (2014), Inbee Park (2013, 2008), Na Yeon Choi (2012), So Yeon Ryu (2011), Paula Creamer (2010), Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007) and Karrie Webb (2001, 2000).
This will be the third USGA championship conducted at Shoal Creek. In 1986, Stewart “Buddy” Alexander won the U.S. Amateur Championship, defeating Chris Kite, 5 and 3, in the final. In 2008, Cameron Peck captured the U.S. Junior Amateur, and his 10-and-8 victory over Evan Beck stands as the largest winning margin in Junior Amateur championship-match history.
The championship's youngest entrant is 11-year-old Avery Zweig, of McKinney, TX. She will attempt to qualify at the sectional qualifying site in Westminster, CO, on May 14. Laura Baugh is the championship's oldest entrant at age 62. She will attempt to qualify at the sectional qualifying site in New Smyrna Beach, FL, on May 4.
Catriona Matthew, a 48-year-old professional from Scotland, was the first to apply when entries opened on March 7. The final entry came from Tori Peers, a 22-year-old amateur, of Grand Island, NE, who filed 27 minutes before the 4 p.m. CDT deadline on April 25.
Players still have several opportunities to gain a full exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open. The winner of any LPGA co-sponsored events prior to the start of the U.S. Women’s Open, including this weekend’s inaugural LPGA Mediheal Championship in Daly City, CA, will earn exemptions into the championship field. Additionally, any player in the top 50 point leaders and ties from the Rolex Rankings as of May 27, not already exempt will be added to the field.
More information about the U.S. Women’s Open, including a variety of ticket options, is available at


Forest Hills Golf Course working on repair projects

IF, and WHEN, Coulee Region golf courses ever open for the season, players will see a couple of changes at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse.
Forest Hills general manager and PGA professional Keith Stoll says repair projects were required after the July 2017, downpour that dumped more than 7 inches of rain on the historic 18-hole course below Grandad Bluff. While other courses also suffered major damage, Forest Hills may have received the worst.
A waterway between the 12th and 15th fairways, created a washout about 3 feet deep. Springs beneath the ground already caused problems in the area, according to Stoll.
"It's primarily not a playable area, but an area where you might have to play a stray shot from," he said. "Springs were pushing water up before. We were working on fixing that area anyway, so this is expediting the project."
Stoll said work crews hope to place 1,000 feet of 4-inch drainage pipe and 100 feet of 8-inch drainage pipe in the area as soon as possible. The area will then be seeded and roped off as new grass grows in.
The old dike behind the tee on the 14th hole is also being repaired, according to Stoll.
"We needed some bigger equipment to do it," he said. "We had a contractor out there almost all winter."
Les Manske and Sons received the low bid of $38,000 for the projects, according to Stoll, adding that insurance money and funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover the costs.
Stoll said the contractor removed almost 7 feet of silt behind the dike where it broke and then rebuilt the dike creating a larger area for water to collect.
"The longterm fix will be really really good. We're doing stuff now to prevent something like that happening again in the future," Stoll said. "Hopefully, it will be a moot point by summer."
Stoll is hoping to have the project completed this spring once the snow melts and the course dries out. However, he was quick to add that it all depends on Mother Nature.

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Form your team for Forest Hills Monday Night Golf League

Get your team together for the Forest Hills Golf Course Monday Night 9-hole golf league.
Teams will be made up of 4 to 8 golfers. Four-person teams will play
weekly, but having a couple of alternates is always a good idea, according to course officials.
League fees are $100 per team, with 100 percent of all fees paid out in cash at the end of the season. The season will be broken up into 3 mini seasons.
Nine-hole league handicaps will be used for all scoring. Two score cards are required to have a handicap. Players have the option to turn in score cards before the start of the season to establish a handicap. After the season begins, only Monday night league play counts toward handicaps. Men play white tees, while women play red tees.
Weekly $10 team fees include skins game and a team game paid out. A different team game will be played each week.
The first 12 teams to enter and paid, fill the league.
The league season is May 14, through Aug. 27, with 6 p.m. shotgun starts each week for the 15-week season.
Team members can be added or changed anytime throughout the season.
Green fees with one-time $25 players club membership are 9 holes with cart $23, plus tax. Green fees without a players club membership are 9 holes with cart $29, plus tax. Carts are required for all players.
For more information, call 608-779-4653, or go to

Ryder Cup returns to Minnesota in 2028

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - The PGA of America announced today that Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN, will host the 47th Ryder Cup in 2028.
Hazeltine, site of the U.S. Ryder Cup Team’s 17-11 victory in 2016, will become the first American venue to host a second Ryder Cup.
Four English courses have hosted multiple Ryder Cups: The Belfry (1985, ’89, ‘93, 2002); Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club (1961, ‘77); Royal Birkdale Golf Club (1965, ’69) and Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club (1933, ’37).
Officials from the PGA of America and Hazeltine will gather on April 10, in Chaska to discuss the return of the Ryder Cup, which comes little more than 18 months after the completion of the 2016 event.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1962 and enhanced by his son, Rees Jones, in 2002 and 2005, Hazeltine National Golf Club takes its name from nearby Lake Hazeltine. The par-72 layout blends the rolling hills, lakes, mature woods and prairies of the Upper Midwest and is consistently ranked amongst America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.
Hazeltine began its tradition of hosting major championships more than 50 years ago. Beyond the most recent Ryder Cup, it has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open (1966, ’77), the U.S. Open (1970, ’91), the U.S. Senior Open (1983) and the PGA Championship (2002, ’09).
Hazeltine is also scheduled to host its third women’s major championship, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 18-23, 2019.
To learn more about the PGA of America, visit, follow @PGA on Twitter and find us on Facebook.
(as of Spring 2018)
2018 - Le Golf National, Paris, France
2020 - Whistling Straits (Straits Course), Kohler, WI
2022 - Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy
2024 - Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, NY
2028 - Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, MN
2032 - The Olympic Club, San Francisco, CA

SOURCE: PGA of America

Golf's modernized rules released

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J., USA, and ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND – The USGA and The R&A have unveiled the new Rules of Golf, to be implemented Jan. 1, 2019. The USGA and The R&A finalized golf’s new Rules this month after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community on the proposed changes.
Golfers can now access the official 2019 Rules of Golf by visiting or
The process to modernize the Rules began in 2012 and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers, and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers.  
While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated. The most significant adjustments made following review of the feedback received from golfers around the world include:
* Dropping procedure: When taking relief (from an abnormal course condition or penalty area, for example), golfers will now drop from knee height. This will ensure consistency and simplicity in the dropping process while also preserving the randomness of the drop. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested dropping from any height).
* Measuring in taking relief: The golfer’s relief area will be measured by using the longest club in his/her bag (other than a putter) to measure one club-length or two club-lengths, depending on the situation, providing a consistent process for golfers to establish his/her relief area. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 suggested a 20-inch or 80-inch standard measurement).
* Removing the penalty for a double hit: The penalty stroke for accidentally striking the ball more than once in the course of a stroke has been removed. Golfers will simply count the one stroke they made to strike the ball. (Key change: the proposed Rules released in 2017 retained the existing one-stroke penalty).
* Balls Lost or Out of Bounds: Alternative to Stroke and Distance: A new Local Rule will now be available in January 2019, permitting committees to allow golfers the option to drop the ball in the vicinity of where the ball is lost or out of bounds (including the nearest fairway area), under a two-stroke penalty. It addresses concerns raised at the club level about the negative impact on pace of play when a player is required to go back under stroke and distance. The Local Rule is not intended for higher levels of play, such as professional or elite level competitions. (Key change: this is a new addition to support pace of play).
“We’re thankful for the golfers, administrators and everyone in the game who took the time to provide us with great insight and thoughtful feedback,” said Thomas Pagel, USGA Senior Director of Rules & Amateur Status. “We couldn’t be more excited to introduce the new Rules ahead of the education process and their implementation.”
David Rickman, Executive Director – Governance at The R&A, said, “We are pleased to be introducing the new Rules of Golf after a collaborative and wide-ranging review process which has embraced the views of golfers, Rules experts and administrators worldwide. We believe that the new Rules are more in tune with what golfers would like and are easier to understand and apply for everyone who enjoys playing this great game.”Major proposals introduced in 2017 that have been incorporated into the modernized Rules include:
* Elimination or reduction of “ball moved” penalties: There will be no penalty for accidentally moving a ball on the putting green or in searching for a ball; and a player will not be responsible for causing a ball to move unless it is “virtually certain” that he or she did so.
* Relaxed putting green rules: There will be no penalty if a ball played from the putting green hits an unattended flagstick in the hole; players may putt without having the flagstick attended or removed. Players may repair spike marks and other damage made by shoes, animal damage and other damage on the putting green and there is no penalty for merely touching the line of putt.
* Relaxed rules for “penalty areas” (currently called “water hazards”): Red- and yellow-marked penalty areas may cover areas of desert, jungle, lava rock, etc., in addition to areas of water; expanded use of red penalty areas where lateral relief is allowed; and there will be no penalty for moving loose impediments or touching the ground or water in a penalty area.
* Relaxed bunker rules: There will be no penalty for moving loose impediments in a bunker or for generally touching the sand with a hand or club. A limited set of restrictions (such as not grounding the club right next to the ball) is kept to preserve the challenge of playing from the sand; however, an extra relief option is added for an unplayable ball in a bunker, allowing the ball to be played from outside the bunker with a two-stroke penalty.
* Relying on player integrity: A player’s “reasonable judgment” when estimating or measuring a spot, point, line, area or distance will be upheld, even if video evidence later shows it to be wrong; and elimination of announcement procedures when lifting a ball to identify it or to see if it is damaged.
* Pace-of-play support: Reduced time for searching for a lost ball (from five minutes to three); affirmative encouragement of “ready golf” in stroke play; recommending that players take no more than 40 seconds to play a stroke and other changes intended to help with pace of play.
Presented in digital, text-based form today, the new Rules will also now be translated into more than 30 languages and readied for final delivery via print and digital formats, including searchable Rules of Golf official apps developed by the USGA and The R&A.
Three important publications, to be distributed this fall, will help players as well as officials and provide interpretation and guidance in how the Rules are applied:  
* The Player’s Edition of the Rules of Golf: An abridged, user-friendly set of the Rules with shorter sentences, commonly used phrases, and diagrams. Written in the “second person,” The Player’s Edition is intended to be the primary publication for golfers.
* The Rules of Golf: The full edition of the Rules will be written in the third person and include illustrations. It is intended to be a more thorough version of the revised Rules.
* The Official Guide to the Rules of Golf: This “guidebook” replaces the Decisions book and will contain information to best support committees and officials. It includes interpretations of the Rules, committee procedures (available Local Rules and information on establishing the terms of the competition), and the Modified Rules of Golf for Players with Disabilities. It is a comprehensive resource document intended as a supplementary publication.
More than 30 “how-to-apply” videos and a summary of the principal changes are now available at Additional educational tools will be released in September.  
Players are reminded that the current edition of the Rules of Golf (2016) must be applied when playing, posting scores or competing for the remainder of 2018. The Rules of Amateur Status and the Rules of Equipment Standards were not part of this review process.