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A look ahead to the USGA tournaments of 2008
22 Jan 2008
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By Pete Wlodkowski, amateurgolf.com

CARLSBAD, Calif. (January 22, 2008) -- One of the great things about being part of the USGA Member program is the bag tag that comes each year. It’s just big enough to show off your support of the governing body of golf in the United States, and I’m proud to say that even my 7-year-old son sports one on his (we have a “Dual Champion” membership, a bargain at $65/year). On the back of the tag is the best part, the yearly schedule of USGA events. As I glanced at it during a round of golf the other day, a couple of courses stood out on the schedule, and I decided to do a brief preview of the USGA season ahead.

First of all, I hope you share my excitement about the US Open coming to San Diego’s Torrey Pines this June. With our headquarters in Carlsbad, just a “17 mile drive” from the 1st tee of the famed South Course, you can bet that amateurgolf.com will be covering amateur play. It would be awesome to see more than a few survive the 36-hole cut, and, who knows, maybe make a show of it. It wasn’t that long ago after all that Californian Spencer Levin stayed on the leaderboard all week at Shinnecock Hills (2004, he finished T13) and we would love to see something like that happen at Torrey Pines.

Even if no amateurs make the cut, we will all get to see if Mr. Woods was right when he said a 10 handicap couldn’t break 100 last year at Oakmont – 3 celebrities and 1 contest-winner will play the course in Open condition 2 weeks prior to the tournament. The event will be broadcast in a one hour special before the final round. See http://www.usga.org for entry details.

Another host course that stands out is Shady Oaks, the Ft. Worth, Texas club best known for its affiliation with founding member Ben Hogan. Hogan loved the club and course, and over the years he lunched at a regular table in the clubhouse and hit countless practice balls in a quiet spot on the course. Before he passed away, it was Shady Oaks where he hit his last golf shots. Hogan memorabilia, from magazine articles to golf clubs decorate the hallways and golf shop, while Hogan's very own locker is perfectly preserved just as he left it. Surely the Senior Amateurs who qualify will enjoy competing there while experiencing the club’s history.

A host of other fine courses will be visited by the USGA this year, with the world’s most important amateur tournament, the US Amateur, being contested in August at the famed Pinehurst No. 2. It was there that Californian Jason Gore won the heart of golfers everywhere with his gutsy performance in the 2005 US Open. Although he faded in the last round, Gore went on to win on tour shortly thereafter. It’s going to be interesting to see how the world’s best amateurs handle “No. 2” where the slightest short game miscue can result in a double bogey, or worse. But once the nerves of medal play qualifying are behind them, it’s going to be a great course for a match play finish.

Finally, the US Junior Girls will be played in my hometown, West Hartford, Connecticut at the wonderful Hartford Golf Club. I was never lucky enough to be a member there, but I did work there one summer as a starter, and took in my fair share of employee rounds.

A schedule of 2008 USGA events is listed below. Please note that a current amateurgolf.com membership (starting at $45 per year) is required to view tournament and course details.

2008 Schedule of the United States Golf Association (team events not listed):

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Jun 12-15

United States (USGA) Open Championship
Torrey Pines Golf Club - South Course -- La Jolla, CA

 

 

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Jun 16-21

United States (USGA) Women's Amateur Public Links
Erin Hills Golf Course -- Erin, WI

 

 

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Jun 26-29

United States (USGA) Women's Open
Interlachen Country Club -- Edina, MN

 

 

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Jul 14-19

United States (USGA) Amateur Public Links Championship
Murphy Creek Golf Course -- Aurora, CO

 

 

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Jul 21-26

United States (USGA) Girls Junior Championship
Hartford Golf Club -- West Hartford, CT

 

 

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Jul 21-26

United States (USGA) Junior Amateur Championship
Shoal Creek Country Club -- Birmingham, AL

 

 

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Jul 31-Aug 3

United States (USGA) Senior Open Championship
Broadmoor Golf Course - South Course -- Colorado Springs, CO

 

 

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Aug 4-10

United States (USGA) Women's Amateur
Eugene Country Club -- Eugene, OR

 

 

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Aug 18-24

United States (USGA) Amateur Championship
Pinehurst Resort and Country Club - Course 2 -- Pinehurst, NC

 

 

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Sep 6-11

United States (USGA) Mid-Amateur Championship
Milwaukee Country Club -- River Hills, WI

 

 

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Sep 6-11

United States (USGA) Women's Mid-Amateur
Barton Hills Country Club -- Ann Arbor, MI

 

 

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Sep 20-25

United States (USGA) Senior Amateur Championship
Shady Oaks Country Club – Ft. Worth, TX

 

 

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Sep 20-25

United States (USGA) Senior Women's Amateur
Tulsa Country Club -- Tulsa, OK

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