Florida's Golden Hills Club To Host 2009 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur
February 22, 2007
Far Hills, N.J. - Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club in Ocala, Fla., has been selected to host the 2009 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, the United States Golf Association has announced. The championship will be held from Oct. 3-8.
Golden Hills is tucked into the traditional rolling hills of "horse country" in north central Florida, home to more than 600 thoroughbred horse farms and six Kentucky Derby winners. The course features the highest elevation in Marion County, at 500 feet. Many of the fairways are tree lined, while the large majority of the greens are elevated and undulated. The course was opened in 1964. Rees Jones renovated the course in 2004-05.
"The natural ridges and valleys surrounded by mature oaks and pines provided a canvas to create a classic golf course that will test the abilities of every caliber player," said Jones. "Golden Hills had a great original design. What we did was update the greens, tees and bunkering to give it a modern links-type feel."
"I am thrilled to once again be working with the USGA and Rees Jones on a national championship," said Bernadette Castro, owner and chairperson of the championship. "The USGA is an incredible organization that puts into action its phrase "for the Good of the Game.
"As for Rees, I have known him since we were teenagers, but I hadn't seen him for decades until the USGA brought us together for the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park in New York, when I was commissioner of State Parks."
Florida last hosted a USGA championship in 2003, when the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links was played at Ocean Hammock Golf Club in Palm Coast.
Prior to 2009, the Women's Mid-Amateur will be played Sept. 29-Oct. 4, 2007, at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Ariz. In 2008, it will be held Sept. 6-11 at Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Established in 1987, the Women's Mid-Amateur is the youngest of the USGA's 13 national championships. It is open to women amateurs age 25 and older with a Handicap Index not higher than 9.4. Among the notable winners is Carol Semple Thompson, a career amateur who has won six other USGA titles and has qualified for 32 U.S. Women's Opens. Sarah LeBrun Ingram and Ellen Port each won back-to-back titles in the mid-1990s. They are also the only three-time champions. Meghan Bolger of Oxford, Miss., is the current champion.
Golden Hills is managed by WCI Communities, a builder and developer of luxury communities.