Around the Game

NORTON, Mass – On January 1, 2018 the merger between the Massachusetts Golf Association and Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts became official. The two organizations, which represent a combined 200 years of history, were united as one and will now be known as “Mass Golf”. Over the past year, the leadership groups from both organizations have worked closely to re-imagine its combined purpose, brand and identity in order to contemporize its values, services and benefits to engage membership and grow the game throughout Massachusetts.

“In other words, we want to do everything we can to position ourselves to better provide services to our Members Clubs and offer more opportunities to golfers so that everyone has a chance to enjoy this great game,” said Jesse Menachem, Mass Golf’s executive director. “By merging the two organizations, we felt that we were at an important point in golf history where we can join forces to streamline operations and make a real difference.”

The result is the introduction of a new logo, a new name and a completely new interactive and responsive communication platform highlighted by a web site at MassGolf.org. The organization also launched a revamped mobile app and new social sites on TwitterFacebookInstagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Mass Golf, a 501(c)3 organization, works directly with 360 member clubs which are primarily green-grass facilities with nearly 70 percent offering public play. In addition, the organization provides direct services to more than 87,000 golfers through the world’s largest handicap computation service (GHIN) as well as a wide-ranging golfer benefits program that includes elite championship competition, fun individual and team tournaments, a quarterly magazine, news feeds, personal online portals for all members, mobile app, and much more.

Golf has proven to be a big and important business in Massachusetts. The local golf industry is a $1.7 billion-dollar industry that supports more than 25,000 jobs in the Bay State.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN FOR THE 2019 DRIVE, CHIP AND PUTT CHAMPIONSHIP. AT DRIVECHIPANDPUTT.COM.

 AUGUSTA, Georgia – The USGA, Masters Tournament and the PGA of America have taken the first steps in launching their sixth year of Drive, Chip and Putt – their free golf development initiative aimed to help younger generations – by releasing the 2018 local and sub-regional schedule for the 2018-2019 qualifying season.

This year’s schedule includes local Drive, Chip and Putt qualifiers at five Mass Golf member clubs between June 28 and July 25, while both Renaissance and Pinehills will once again serve as sub-regional host sites during the month of August.

Of the 287 local qualifying host sites, participants will have the opportunity to advance from Cranberry Valley GC (June 28), Bay Club at Mattapoisett (July 10), The Ranch Golf Club (July 11), LeBaron Hills CC (July 17) and Granite Links GC (July 25), while three juniors will advance in each age and gender category from every venue. Participants who advance from local qualifying may compete at either Renaissance (August 12) or Pinehills GC (August 16) depending on local qualifying site.

Following the sub-regional round, in which two juniors will advance from each age and gender category at each of the 57 qualifying sites, competitors will look to advance to one of 10 regional sites across the country. From there, the top 80 performers, 40 boys and 40 girls – will earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National on Sunday, April 7, the eve of the 2019 Masters. drivechipandputt.com.

2018 Francis Ouimet Fund Banquet Honoring Jim Furyk

2018 Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk, will be the guest speaker and honored with the 21st Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s 67th Annual Banquet. The Banquet, which has become the largest annual golf dinner in America, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.  The Connolly Group – Morgan Stanley will again be the Presenting Sponsor.

 “Jim Furyk continues the tradition of tremendous Ouimet honorees. He has been one of the top players on the PGA TOUR for the past 24 years, has played on nine Ryder Cup teams including here in Boston in 1999, and is greatly respected for his charitable work. We are all looking forward to him leading the US Team in Paris in September,” said Jim Blue, Ouimet Fund President.

 The Ouimet Banquet has a great history and its awardees that have included the late Arnold Palmer, Former President George H.W. Bush, Peter Jacobsen, Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Annika Sorenstam and Nick Price. The 47-year old Ponte Vedre, FL resident is one of the game’s most recognizable stars, known for his distinctive swing and strolling the fairways with caddie Mike “Fluff” Cowan, a Maine native. IN 2010 Jim won the FEDEX Cup after purchasing a $39 putter at Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Shop in Easton, MA.

 Furyk grew up in Western Pennsylvania where his father was a golf professional. Mike Furyk has been Jim’s only teacher.  He and his wife are very active with their Jim and Tabitha Furyk Foundation which was created to help families and children in need and supports numerous projects in Northern Florida. In 2016, he was honored by the PGA TOUR with its prestigious Payne Stewart Award for his charitable efforts. www.ouimet.org

Tim Petrovic Inducted into Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame

Tim Petrovic is unique among the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame’s 90 inductees. He’s a lover of Van Halen, and Jim Morrison and The Doors. He plays guitar and performs trick shots on a pool table. He won on the PGA Tour after overcoming bankruptcy by selling cell phones, delivering newspapers and working with wife Julie at a Pizza Hut in Florida.

“I worked so hard for so long to get out on the PGA Tour and then stay out on Tour. I am grateful to have that work recognized.”

“It’s a huge honor to be included among so many golf greats,” said Petrovic, who lives in Austin, Texas, with Julie and their two daughters. “I just bought a picture and canceled check of Gene Sarazen’s because I’m a fan, and now we’re both in the Hall of Fame together? Crazy!”

Petrovic starred at Glastonbury, CT High School before becoming an All-American and four-time All-New England selection at the University of Hartford, where he played with two other future PGA Tour players, Jerry Kelly and Patrick Sheehan. He graduated in 1988 with a degree in communications and four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

As a rookie on the PGA Tour in 2002, he tied for second in the FedEx St. Jude Classic and had earned more than $1.1 million on three tours. He remained on golf’s biggest stage for more than a decade and earned nearly $12.2 million thanks in part to his younger brother Steve, who caddied for Tim off and on from 1989 to 2009, including during Tim’s only PGA Tour victory, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2005.

Now 51, Petrovic has added $343,171 in 20 starts since joining the Champions Tour in 2016. That includes playing in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Japan, the Japan Airlines Open, in September with youngest daughter Mackenzie, 16, caddying for him (Bayleigh is 18).

Travelers Championship Named 2017 “Tournament of the Year” By PGA Tour

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.-  The 2017 Travelers Championship was honored by the PGA TOUR with the prestigious “Tournament of the Year” award in December at Tour meetings. The Travelers Championship also won awards for “Most Fan-Friendly Event,” “Best Sales” and the inaugural “Players Choice.”

With record attendance, sales and fan engagement, the 2017 Travelers Championship raised the bar across the board through a strategic approach that focused on providing a first-class experience for fans, players, sponsors, volunteers and charity. This marks the first time that the Travelers Championship has been recognized as “Tournament of the Year.”

Travelers Championship

This year’s Travelers Championship was won in dramatic fashion by Jordan Spieth, who holed out from a greenside bunker on the 18th hole to beat Daniel Berger on the first playoff hole. At the heart and soul of the tournament is its volunteers and charity. With approximately 4,000 volunteers working over 80,000 hours, the 2017 event generated more than $1.7 million for 165 deserving charities. The 2018 Travelers Championship will be held June 18-24 at TPC River Highlands. 

Info at www.TravelersChampionship.com. 

Johanna Gavic

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (January 18, 2018) – The Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation has named Johanna Gavin as the Senior Director, Caddie Scholarship Funds effective January 22, 2018.

Gavin has served for the past six years as the Director of the New Jersey State Golf Association Caddie Scholarship Foundation, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. Her record of leadership, program development and Foundation growth in this position provides an ideal platform for her new role.

The Westchester Caddie Scholarship Fund and Long Island Caddie Scholarship Fund were established in 1956 and 1962, respectively. Beginning in January 2018, the MGA Foundation will provide administrative and operational services to both caddie scholarship funds. Gavin will oversee these CSF organizations, delivering individual plans and programs leveraging the unique history and legacy of each fund. The MGA Foundation will offer Gavin and her team with internal support and integrated resources in communications, technology, event management and other areas.

Gavin is a 2011 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross where she captained the NCAA Division I women’s golf team while earning scholastic honors. She was the recipient of a four-year scholarship from the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association. During her tenure at the NJSGA, initiatives in fundraising, digital and website communications, and alumni outreach generated new levels of success.