The weather may suggest otherwise, but the golf season is right around the corner! The NJSGA is gearing up for the 2009 Championships season, posting the full season schedule and opening online registration on the web site for most events. Please click on the scoreboard icon to the right to access the schedule and begin the registration process.
The 2009 Championships season is another busy one highlighted by a number of prestigious events and fantastic venues. The season kicks off as usual with the Mid-Amateur Championship on May 4-6, played this year at Trump National G.C. in Colts Neck. Formerly known as Shadow Isle, the Jerry Pate-designed course is hosting its first-ever NJSGA event. There are two qualifiers in April: one at Pine Barrens G.C. on April 16 and the other at Forsgate C.C. on April 20. The Mid-Am is a match play event open to eligible amateurs over the age of 30. Michael Stamberger of Plainfield C.C. is the defending champion.
Following quickly on the heels of the Mid-Am is the 108th Amateur Championship at Fairmount C.C. on June 2-4. Fairmount, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, has hosted over a dozen regional championships in its short history, including the State Amateur once before, the State Open, the State Mid-Amateur and the William Y. Dear Junior and Boys’ Championships. At the State Open in 2005, Brian Komline became only the seventh amateur to win this Championship; he has since won it for a second time. Allan Small, who is the only player in the history of the NJSGA to win the Mid-Amateur, Amateur and Senior Amateur, is relishing his home course advantage at Fairmount this year. Tom Gramigna of Tavistock C.C. is the defending champion.
The NJSGA’s premier event, the 89th Open Championship, sponsored by Lincoln-Mercury and Prudential, will be played at Rock Spring Club on July 14-16. This Charles Banks design has undergone significant changes since the last State Open was held there in 2000. A major bunker renovation program relocated many fairway bunkers and recontoured greenside bunkers, and tees have been added and expanded. The course received rave reviews during last year’s NJSGA/NJPGA Senior Open. Mark McCormick of Suburban will defend his title this year and home pro Baker Maddera, no stranger to championship competition and the 2002 State Open champ, is sure to be a factor.
Other highlights of the schedule include four team competitions: the Father and Son Championship on July 20 at Sea Oaks C.C.; the Four Ball Championship, considered the NJSGA’s fourth major, at Metedeconk National G.C. on August 10-12; the Senior Four Ball Championship at Green Brook C.C. on September 24; and the Best Ball of Four Championship at North Jersey C.C. on October 6.
For the second year, the NJSGA and its Women’s Committee will conduct the women’s and mixed events. These include the Women’s Public Links Championship at Colts Neck G.C. in late June; the Junior Girls’ Championship at Beacon Hill C.C. in early July; the Women’s Amateur Championship at Neshanic Valley G.C. in late July; and the Women’s Senior Amateur Championship at Spring Lake G.C. in late September. The NJSGA’s lone mixed event, the Mixed Pinehurst Championship, will be held somewhat earlier this year on June 18 at Twin Brooks C.C.
Younger golfers can demonstrate their skills at Essex Fells C.C., which will host the William Y. Dear Junior and Boys Championships on July 27-29. Golfers under the age of eighteen are eligible to play in New Jersey’s premier junior championship.
The Men’s Public Links Championship will move west this year to Heron Glen G.C., a great new public facility in Hunterdon County, on July 23. Two prestigious events for our seniors will be played in late summer: the Senior and Pre-Senior Championships at the historic Rumson C.C. in August and the NJSGA/NJPGA Senior Open Championship at Shackamaxon G. & C.C. in September. Be sure to enter these events early as they fill up quickly.
Finally, to close out the season, club champions from around the State will gather to determine “the best of the best” at the Men’s and Women’s Tournament of Club Champions, hosted this year by Upper Montclair C.C. on October 15.
Find your event and sign up! The NJSGA wishes you a successful and prosperous golf season in 2009.