Amateur golf in 2014
02 Jan 2014
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com

As we say goodbye to 2013 and everything it brought in the world of amateur golf, we look forward to 2014 with excitement and readiness.

Bring it, ‘14, for we have plenty to look forward to.

The major amateur schedule gets an early kickoff this year as the New Year’s Invitational gets underway from St. Petersburg Country Club.

For followers of the elite amateur game, it’s a fitting sendoff into the new year as the schedule ramps up quite quickly.

Before the 2014 season even starts for much of the country, the game’s top amateurs will already be competing at the Jones Cup, Azalea Invitational and more.

While there won’t be a Walker Cup to look forward to in 2014, we’ll surely be following the early play of the 2015 U.S. team contenders. Which players will be making waves as Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Michael Kim --- and others --- did in 2013? Also, which mid-amateurs will be taking aim at the two spots reserved for them in 2015?

The USGA, of course, has another impressive destination list this year. And it’s all capped off by June’s double feature at Pinehurst No. 2. The men’s and women’s U.S. Opens will take over Pinehurst in successive weeks and amateurs all across the country have already begun preparations for qualifying. As we saw last year at Merion, amateurs sure can play a part in the final outcome. Here’s to a terrific showing from Matthew Fitzpatrick, Oliver Goss and the other amateurs that reach the 2014 U.S. Opens.

This year, of course, will also see the final playing of the U.S. Amateur Public-Links Championships. With the men scheduled to play at Sand Creek Station in Kansas and women at The Home Course in Washington, July 14-19 will be the final events as the Pub-Links will give way to the newly-formed and highly-anticipated national Four-Ball Championships. The qualifying process for the Four-Ball events will begin as early as August, so be on the lookout for plenty of coverage and information as this exciting new format is added to the competition schedule.

The U.S. Amateur and Women’s Amateur Championship will play a big part in the amateur golf landscape, once again. The men’s event will be played at Atlanta Athletic Club while the women head Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, NY. After last year’s terrific international showing at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., can an American re-take the Havemeyer Trophy?

We’re also excited to see the continuing trend of advanced club and equipment technologies. In 2013, almost all major club manufacturers hit the market with at least one innovative product. We’re looking forward to our annual trek to the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando to examine the latest trends and products.

What are you looking forward to in 2014? Chime in below and have a great year!
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