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Kansas Golf Associaition

Kansas Golf Wire

Spring is coming – but in the meantime….

No doubt we are all tired of the record cold temperatures that make it impossible to play golf snowy Wichita Country Clubin Kansas right now.  Sometimes we can get in that rare January or February round of golf, but not too often so far this year.  Regardless of the cold there are still some interesting items on the Kansas golf scene to report:

Don Cox, former KGA champion and player-of-the-year who lives at Lake Quivira, sent the following link to the KGO earlier this month.  Bald Eagles who nest and spend much of their days over at the nearby Kansas River have discovered some fun and intriguing round white objects on the ice at the lake.   Take a look here!

Steve Groom, the 2013 Kansas Senior Amateur champion, is keeping his golf skills in good shape this winter.   He travelled to Naples, Florida in January and won the Society of Seniors 54-hole event at Gateway Golf and Country Club.  His 72-74-74—220 score was three strokes better than runner-up Jack Bracken.   Congratulations, Steve!

Topeka native and part-time Lawrence resident Gary Woodland is having a great start to his fourth year on the PGA Tour.   With the reorganized schedule that began last fall, Gary is already over the one million dollar mark in earnings for this season, which puts him comfortably in the top 15 on the overall money ranking.   Kansas fans followed his final round of the Farmers Insurance event at Torrey Pines in January.   It was looking like it would be his third career PGA Tour win until the 17th hole where an errant three wood from the tee found the lateral hazard to the left.  The resulting double bogey was too much for the win, but Gary still had a great payday and the week on the tough track had to be a confidence booster.   Don’t be surprised to see Gary knock on the door of another win this season!

Cory Proehl is now in place as the head golf professional at Topeka Country Club.  Cory comes from Colorado Springs where he was the head golf professional at Kissing Camels at Garden of the Gods.  He is an Peoria, Illinois native and a graduate of Bradley University.   Blake Graham makes a career move from Hallbrook Country Club where he was an assistant golf pro to Manhattan Country Club where he will bring his playing/teaching expertise and customer service skills as the new head golf professional.   Neighboring public golf course Stagg Hill Golf Course has a new golf pro as well.  He is Brian Lorenz.

“You Don’t Need New Clubs”

The KGA board of directors has determined that it is not necessary for KGA events to adopt the new groove limitations that are applicable to USGA championships.   The impact of this decision is that KGA competitors of all ages and abilities will NOT be required to purchase new irons (wedges) in 2014 in order to play in KGA events.  However, those golfers that enter USGA championships will now need to have conforming clubs in order to participate in the USGA qualifiers (open or amateur) in 2014.  As a general statement, all new clubs are now manufactured in conformity with the new groove specifications.  For a complete explanation of the new groove requirements, go to www.usga.org.

Volunteers Still Needed!

Volunteers are still needed for the two major amateur events coming to Kansas in 2014.  The NCAA Men’s Golf National Championship will be played over a week in late May at Prairie Dunes Country Club and the final US Men's Amateur Public Links Championship will be at Sand Creek Station Golf Course (Newton) the third week of July.  If you have the time and would like to see some outstanding amateur players (many future PGA Tour players), this is a great way to “give back to the game”. 

2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship
Prairie Dunes Country Club, Hutchinson – May 22-28, 2014

Historic Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson will play host to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship in May.  This event will feature some of the best collegiate golfers in the world.  Many players that participate in this championship will soon be stars on the PGA Tour!  Additionally, this is the first year that this event will be televised live on TV via the Golf Channel.  Prairie Dunes is seeking volunteers to assist in the administration of the championship in the following roles: Security, Hospitality, Ecology, Scoring, Standard Bearers, Hole Marshals, Parking, TV Assist and Driving Range.

Food & beverage and apparel will be provided to all volunteers.  If you are interested in assisting in the championship, please go to the following link to signup: www.prairiedunes.com/2014-ncaa-mens-golf-championship-volunteer-form or go to www.prairiedunes.com and click on the “NCAA Volunteer” tab on upper right of the website.

2014 USGA Men’s Amateur Public Links National Championship
Sand Creek Station
Golf Course, Newton – July 14-19, 2014

The United States Golf Association will be hosting the final Men’s Amateur Public Links National Championship at Sand Creek Station Golf Course in Newton.  The USGA will be retiring the Amateur Public Links events following the 2014 season.  This event annually attracts some of the best amateur golfers from all over the world.  Past champions include two Kansans: Topeka’s Bill McDonald won the championship 1964 and Wichita’s Monty Kaser was victorious in 1966.  Many PGA Tour stars also are past winners including: Billy Mayfair, Tim Clark, Trevor Immelman, Hunter Haas, Ryan Moore and Brandt Snedeker.  Sand Creek Station is seeking volunteers to assist in the administration of the championship in the following roles: Concierge, Player Registration, Transportation, Parking, Volunteer Headquarters, Forecaddies, Hole Marshals, Scoring (several roles) and Standard Bearers.

Food & beverage and apparel will be provided to all volunteers.  If you are interested in assisting in the championship, please go to the Sand Creek Station website, www.sandcreekgolfclub.com and scroll down to the USGA APL volunteer button in the middle of the page to sign up to assist.