Competitive golf has been a foundation of the USGA since 1894, with the first national championships being the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, and U.S. Women’s Amateur. The USGA now conducts more than 13 national championships each year, but the Florida region has had relatively few national championships. To have two championships in one year, though, is indeed remarkable. In the last ten years we have played host to just five events, including 2010. Florida has many excellent golf courses that can test the best players in the world. However, our weather is unpredictable and sometimes unbearable in summer, when championships are conducted. With more than 60 inches of rainfall annually, and concerns with hurricanes, it makes it difficult to schedule a week-long golf event in our region.
The Men’s Senior Amateur was conducted at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando October 2 – 7, and the Women’s Senior Amateur was conducted at Fiddlesticks Country Club, in Fort Myers, the following week. Both championships went off without a hitch and tested the skills of each competitor.
Championships not only provide a break from routine tasks, but they allow interaction with USGA staff from other departments. Representatives from championships, handicapping, Rules, and even information technology come from Golf House in Far Hills, NJ to provide an excellent experience for the competitors. The Green Section provides agronomic advice for each golf course on several occasions prior to the championship, and then assists with golf course maintenance during the event.
No championships are on the immediate horizon for Florida, but I am hopeful that more will be held here in the future. If your club would like to host an event, contact the United States Golf Association.
Source: Todd Lowe, email@example.com or 941-828-2625.