Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Maine State Golf Association has another busy tournament schedule for 2013, and it all gets started this Friday and Saturday with the first of 35 weekly tournaments. Dunegrass Country Club in Orchard Beach hosts the season opener. The following weekend the event will be at Biddeford-Saco Country Club.
They'll be held every weekend through the first weekend in November.
Many of the golfers in these tournaments have been regulars for years. They have the same tee time they've had for 30 years.
As usual, the MSGA will run senior and junior tournaments, championship events like the Maine Amateur and Maine Open, and mid-week tournaments at some of Maine's best courses.
The Senior Tour has 18 tournaments on tap. The first one is April 30 at Toddy Brook GC in North Yarmouth. As golfers from the baby boom generation are either in retirement or approaching it, these tournaments have become quite popular. The Senior Tour schedule has grown steadily over the past three years.
Mid-week tournaments are also popular, and fill up fast.
"Golfers will play in a (mid-week) tournament on a nice course," said Randy Hodsdon of the MSGA. "We can't get these courses on the weekends."
There are eight mid-week tournaments, with the first set for May 7 at the Portland Country Club in Falmouth. The next one will be at the Purpoodock Club on May 14. Other mid-week tournaments: Samoset Resort (May 23), The Woodlands (June 4), Waterville (Aug. 13), Prouts Neck (Sept. 26), Portland CC (Oct. 8) and Cape Arundel (Oct.15).
It costs $40 a tournament to play in the weekly and mid-week tournaments, and $35 to play in the senior tournaments. For an extra $5, golfers are entered in closest to the pin and skins (lowest score, gross or net on a hole). All players must have an MSGA membership card. A membership costs $30 at the first tournament or can be purchased for $25 online or at the MSGA office at Val Halla GC in Cumberland.
There are 14 junior tournaments on the schedule. The season starts with three consecutive tournaments -- June 24 at Sanford, June 25 at Belgrade Lakes and June 26 at The Woodlands.
The junior season ends with the Maine Junior Amateur Championship Aug. 6-7 at Val Halla GC in Cumberland.
The first championship event is the Club Team Championship May 19 at Belgrade Lakes GC. Teams have to be composed of players from the same course or club.
The Father and Son Championship is June 9 at Natanis GC in Vassalboro.
The Senior Two-Man Championship has been moved from August to June. It will be played June 18 at its usual place, Poland Spring GC.
Augusta CC will host both the Maine Amateur and for the second year in a row, the Charlie's Maine Open. The men's state amateur will be played July 9-11 while the state open will be July 29-30. The Charlie's Maine Open and the Greater Bangor Open (July 25-27) are back-to-back, which will allow out-of-state pros to play in both if their schedule allows.
For players looking at the Maine Amateur, there will be three qualifying tournaments. The first is June 20 at Biddeford-Saco CC, then June 25 at Martindale CC and finally June 27 at Penobscot Valley CC.
Other championship events of note: the Maine Senior Amateur at Dunegrass, Aug. 27-28; the Two-Man Championship, Sept. 24-25, at Brunswick Golf Club; and the Mid-Amateur Championship, Sept. 28-29 at Old Marsh CC in Wells.
Defending champion Maine will host the Tri-State Matches Sept. 20-22 at Martindale CC in Auburn. Maine knocked off defending champion New Hampshire in the tournament held in Vermont last year.
TEE TO GREEN: According to Jane Blalock, owner of the Jane Blalock Company, which runs The Legends Tour, the official Legends Tour of the LPGA, an event will not be played in late June at the Falmouth CC as the inaugural one was last year. Hannaford dropped sponsorship of the tournament as the company is going through restructuring.
Blalock is still hopeful that a Legends Tour tournament can be held at Falmouth.
"All the players really enjoyed being in Falmouth and Portland last year," said Blalock.
Dan Steege, a 2005 graduate of Bonny Eagle High, is an assistant golf pro at the Long Bay Golf Club, near Myrtle Beach, S.C. Steege recently passed his PGA Playing Ability Test by shooting 75-71-146. He birdied the last three holes. Steege is in the PGA Professional Golf Management Program, working toward his teaching pro credentials. Steege played on the golf team at Bonny Eagle.
The 49th annual Paul Bunyan Tournament will be played June 1 and 2 at Penobscot Valley CC in Orono and the Kebo Valley Club in Bar Harbor. Entry fee is $99 with a May 8 deadline.
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: