The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C., has been selected by the United States Golf Association as the host site for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The championship is scheduled for May 27-31, 2017. The inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be contested this May at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
“The Dunes Golf and Beach Club has a comprehensive and distinguished history of hosting amateur and professional championships,” said Daniel B. Burton, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “The USGA is pleased to return to this site after four decades, and we know the course will showcase this new championship and what will prove to be a popular event for competitors and spectators.”
Designed in 1948 by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course features a sandy, rolling terrain along the Atlantic Ocean where trees frame the fairways. The 13th hole, known as “Waterloo,” is considered one of the premier holes in the United States. The course has been renovated three times this century. In 2013, Rees Jones, the architect’s son, converted the greens from bentgrass to bermudagrass and modified tees and bunkers.
The Dunes will be hosting its third USGA championship. In 1962, Murle Lindstrom (Breer) won the U.S. Women’s Open, defeating Ruth Jessen and JoAnn Prentice by two strokes. Lindstrom overcame a five-stroke deficit and rainy conditions in the final round to earn her first professional victory. Jessen held at least a share of the lead following each of the first three rounds. Dorothy Porter claimed the first of her four U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championships in 1977. Porter edged Alice Dye by one stroke when she birdied the par-5 18th. Porter, who won five USGA titles, became the first U.S. Women’s Amateur champion to capture the Senior Women’s Amateur.
“The Dunes Golf and Beach Club is delighted to have been chosen to host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship and we are excited to welcome the USGA back to Myrtle Beach along South Carolina’s coast,” said Roger Grigg, club president. “Our extraordinary Robert Trent Jones-designed course has produced many notable champions. The Four-Ball competitors will have an opportunity to earn their place among some of the great names in USGA history and compete on one of the country’s greatest but fairest tests of championship golf.”
The club was the site for the Senior Tour Championship (now Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship) for a six-year period in the 1990s. U.S. Open champions Raymond Floyd and Hale Irwin won the tournament in 1994 and 1998, respectively. Jay Sigel, a five-time USGA champion, captured the trophy in 1996. Other winners were Jim Colbert (1995), Gil Morgan (1997) and Gary McCord (1999).
The Dunes Golf and Beach Club has also hosted the 1973 PGA Tour Qualifying School (won by Ben Crenshaw), the 2005 Southern Amateur (won by 2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson) and the 2011 Carolinas Amateur (won by 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Scott Harvey). In 2014, the club co-hosted the PGA Club Professional National Championship. Carolyn Cudone, a five-time USGA champion and Curtis Cup captain and competitor, was a club member and long-time resident of Myrtle Beach until her death in 2009.
The 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be the 17th USGA championship contested in South Carolina. The Palmetto State will host the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur at Colleton River Plantation Club (Pete Dye Course), in Bluffton.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is open to teams (or sides) of female amateurs with an individual Handicap Index® not exceeding 14.4. Partners comprising teams or sides will not have age restrictions or be required to be from the same club, state or country.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball begins with 18-hole sectional qualifying conducted by state and regional golf associations. At the national championship, 64 two-player teams will each play their own ball throughout the round. Each team’s score will be determined by using the lower score of the partners for each hole. After 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, the field will be reduced to the low 32 teams for the championship’s match-play bracket, from which the eventual champion will be determined.
The 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be contested May 9-13 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. The 2016 championship is scheduled for May 19-25 at Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Fla.