Monthly Archives: March 2023

Spring Golf and the WHS – What Every Golfer Should Know

By: Terry Benjamin of USGA

As more than 30 states move from the “inactive” season to “active” between March 1 and April 15, golfers across these regions are likely to encounter wet weather, shorter days or course maintenance conditions unique to the season.

Here’s everything you need to know about spring golf and the World Handicap System™ to navigate your round:

1.  Struggling to finish your round due to the sun setting earlier? As long as you play 7 holes, you can still post a 9-hole score. If you get through 14 holes, an 18-hole score can be posted. The score for any unplayed holes is par plus any handicap strokes you receive based on your Course Handicap™.

2.  Playing in tough conditions? You may see the playing conditions calculation (PCC) come into play more often than you would during the summer. The PCC compares the actual scores made each day to the expected scores of the players who made them – and if the scores are significantly higher (or lower) than expected, an adjustment to each player’s Score Differential™ is automatically applied. Just remember, at least 8 scores must be posted at a particular course on the day of play for the PCC to be calculated – so encourage your friends to post their scores as soon as possible!

3.  Are preferred lies in effect due to wet and soggy conditions? Don’t worry, you can still post your score. The Handicap Committee at the club should make this determination each day, so check with the golf shop before teeing it up.

4.  Were the greens recently aerated? If so, unless the Handicap Committee decides to temporarily suspend score posting due to poor putting surfaces, putt it out. The use of an “automatic two-putt” is not acceptable for handicap purposes.

5.  Planning to start your season with a friendly match among friends? Match-play scores are acceptable for score posting. On the holes you don’t hole out, simply record your most likely score for the hole – keeping in mind your most likely score cannot exceed your net double bogey limit.

For more information or to learn more about the World Handicap System, visit

Two Future USGA Amateur Events Headed to Chambers Bay

By: Julia Pine of USGA

Chambers Bay, in University Place, Wash., has been selected by the USGA to host the 2027 U.S. Junior Amateur and 2033 U.S. Amateur Championships. These will be the fifth and sixth USGA championships hosted by the public golf course, which is owned by Pierce County and managed by KemperSports.

“There have been several memorable moments for us already in Chambers Bay’s short history, and the property remains a favorite for players and fans alike,” said Mark Hill, USGA managing director, championships. “We’re grateful for our continued partnership with Pierce County and look forward to bringing these two premier championships to such a special property.”

Chambers Bay, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, opened in 2007 and traverses a rugged landscape along Puget Sound. The 250-acre course, built on the site of a former sand-and-gravel mining operation, is the centerpiece of a 930-acre park owned by Pierce County.

Last year, Chambers Bay hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur, which saw Saki Baba, 17, of Japan, cruise to an impressive 11-and-9 victory over 21-year-old Canadian Monet Chun in the 36-hole championship match. Chambers Bay also hosted the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, won by Florida teenagers Kiko Francisco Coelho and Leopoldo Herrera III; the 2015 U.S. Open, won by Jordan Spieth; and the 2010 U.S. Amateur, won by Peter Uihlein. Chambers Bay is the only municipal course to have hosted the U.S. Amateur.

“We are delighted to welcome the USGA back to Chambers Bay and Pierce County,” said Bruce Dammeier, county executive. “Golfers from around the world have embraced the challenge and natural beauty of our championship venue, and we look forward to watching the best amateurs take it on.”

The 2027 U.S. Junior Amateur will be the 30th USGA championship held in the state of Washington. The Evergreen State will host the 2023 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at The Home Course in Dupont this May as well as the 2024 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Broadmoor Golf Club in Seattle. Washington has previously held two U.S. Junior Amateurs, including the 2011 championship won by Spieth, and two U.S. Amateurs, including the 2010 playing at Chambers Bay.

Established in 1948 by the USGA, the U.S. Junior Amateur is open to amateur golfers who have not reached their 19th birthday by the conclusion of the championship and who have a Handicap Index® not exceeding 4.4. The U.S. Junior Amateur champion earns an exemption into the following year’s U.S. Open Championship. Among the notable U.S. Junior Amateur champions are three-time winner Tiger Woods, two-time winner Jordan Spieth, Johnny Miller, David Duval, Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris.

One of the USGA’s three original championships, the U.S. Amateur is open to amateur golfers who have a Handicap Index not exceeding 2.4. A field of 312 golfers will play two 18-hole rounds of stroke play. The championship is decided by a 36-hole final, and the champion and runner-up are invited to the following year’s U.S. Open Championship.

A stroke-play companion course for both championships will be named later.

Female Firsts and the USGA

By: Victoria Nenno of USGA

1895: With the election of Morris County Golf Club as an associate member in June, the USGA grants the then all-women’s club full voting rights in matters of the Association. The same year, the USGA conducts the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur as one of the Association’s three original championships. It becomes the country’s first national championship for women.

1898: Beatrix Hoyt of Shinnecock Hills G.C. wins her third consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur championship and captures the attention of audiences and writers, becoming the country’s first female golf sensation.

1916: Following the 1916 U.S. Women’s Amateur, many contestants voiced a desire for greater input on selecting the courses that would host their national championship. Immediately supportive of the initiative, the USGA Executive Committee inaugurates the Women’s Tournament Committee, responsible for the U.S. Women’s Amateur course selection. The first committee is comprised of female representatives from five different regions.

1926: Expanding the role of the Women’s Tournament Committee, the committee is renamed the Women’s Committee of the United States Golf Association and assumes responsibility for facilitating every local aspect of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, including receiving entries, registration, making pairings and arranging for press, policing and the transportation and accommodation of the contestants.

The inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur marked the country’s first national championship for women. (USGA)

The inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur marked the country’s first national championship for women. (USGA)

1932: The USGA and the Ladies Golf Union (LGU) conduct the first official Curtis Cup Match to “stimulate friendly rivalry among the women golfers of many lands.” Competing in the Curtis Cup remains one of the most prestigious honors for female amateur golfers.

1949: As younger generations take to the game in increasing numbers, the USGA inaugurates the U.S. Girls’ Junior, providing a national championship for girls under the age of 18.

1953: The USGA conducts the U.S. Women’s Open for the first time. It was first conducted by the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA) in 1946, and operated by the newly formed Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) beginning in 1949 before the USGA was asked to conduct the championship in 1953.

1956: The Chicago Women’s Golf Club is elected a regular member of the USGA, making it the first all-African American club to join the Association. CWGC member Ann Gregory subsequently becomes the first African American woman to compete in a USGA championship at the 1956 U.S. Women’s Open.

Ann Gregory, the first Black woman to play in a USGA championship, had a career full of accolades on the golf course. (USGA Golf Museum)

Ann Gregory, the first Black woman to play in a USGA championship, had a career full of accolades on the golf course. (USGA Golf Museum)

1975: Dr. Fanny Fern Davis becomes the first female recipient of the USGA Green Section Award. Davis is recognized by the USGA for her significant contributions to the field of turfgrass, including her role in developing the landmark chemical 2, 4-D and her service as acting director of the Green Section from 1943 to 1945 while Director Dr. Monteith served in World War II.

1979: Hawaii’s Lori Castillo becomes the first woman to hold two USGA championship titles simultaneously, following her 1978 U.S. Girls’ Junior victory with consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links titles in 1979 and 1980. Castillo was the first WAPL champion to compete in a Curtis Cup Match in 1980.

1987: Judy Bell becomes the first woman elected to serve on the USGA Executive Committee. Bell compiled an outstanding record as a competitive golfer as well as a leader in women’s golf as chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee from 1981 to 1984.

Judy Bell’s presidential tenure was highlighted by the establishment of the “For the Good of the Game” grants program. (USGA/John Mummert)

Judy Bell’s presidential tenure was highlighted by the establishment of the “For the Good of the Game” grants program. (USGA/John Mummert)

1996: Judy Bell is elected to serve as the first female president of the USGA, leading the Executive Committee in directing the Association’s staff and 1,600 volunteers who serve on 30 committees.

2003: After seven years of supporting LPGA-USGA Girls Golf through grants, the LPGA and USGA announce they will partner to manage this extremely successful program that provides an opportunity for girls to learn to play golf, build lasting friendships and experience competition in a supportive environment.

2012: USGA Golf Museum dedicates The Mickey Wright Room, celebrating the four-time U.S. Women’s Open champion’s impressive competitive record and lifelong contributions to women’s golf.

The medal presented each year to the winner of the U.S. Women’s Open was renamed in Mickey Wright’s honor in 2020. (USGA/Jonathan Kolbe)

The medal presented each year to the winner of the U.S. Women’s Open was renamed in Mickey Wright’s honor in 2020. (USGA/Jonathan Kolbe)

2018: The USGA inaugurates the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, providing a national championship for professional female golfers over the age of 50.

2019: At the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open, the champion receives $1 million for the first time, and the purse, at $5.5 million, is the largest in women’s golf.

2022: The USGA nearly doubles the U.S. Women’s Open purse to $10 million, making it the highest in women’s golf and among the leaders in all of women’s sports.

The $1.8 million Minjee Lee netted for her 2022 U.S. Women’s Open victory was more than she had earned in any single season prior. (USGA/Darren Carroll)