SVGC, SMGA registration, my biggest news of ’12
The Sonoma Valley Golf Club is still looking for members, and for those of you that have had no luck contacting Jack Powers, it’s because the wrong email address has been included in my prior announcements.
Jack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SVGC fees are $55 for a regular or returning NCGA member; $30 for an associate member (also a member of another club); and $60 for a brand new member.
This year’s schedule includes 20 events at the club’s home course, Eagle Vine Golf Club in Napa, as well as events at away courses, including Paradise Valley Golf Club in Fairfield; Yocha Dehe at Cache Creek; the Presidio Golf Club in San Francisco; StoneTree in nearby Novato; and the Links at Bodega Harbour.
There will also be trips to the foothills east of Sacramento to play at Winchester Country Club and Turkey Creek Golf Club, and two private courses in Santa Rosa – Fountaingrove County Club and Santa Rosa Country Club.
Home events are a bargain; players purchase a $25 bonze senior card at the start of the season and tournaments are $43, including cart and entry into the sweeps tournaments.
Sonoma Men’s Golf Association is also still looking for members.
The SMGA, which plays the majority of its events on Sundays, is getting ready for its 2013 opener at Paradise Valley in Fairfield on Sunday, Jan. 27.
Membership in the club, which includes being a member of the NCGA, is $125 for the year.
This year will see the club travel to excellent courses throughout the Bay Area, as well as an overnight trip to the Central Valley and Diablo Grande Golf Club and Stevenson Ranch Golf Club.
For more information, or to join, contact Tom Martin at email@example.com.
In my last column, I talked about my tournaments of the year. This time I am going to look back at 2012’s biggest golf news.
It was really not until November that everyone started buzzing about the potential ruling on long putters.
The USGA and R&A finally came out with a ruling that the length of the putter was not going to be the issue, but how exactly the longer putters can be used.
After seeing the 2011 PGA Championship, 2012 United States Open and 2012 Open Championship, won by players using longer than standard putters, the ruling bodies announced that they are looking at 2016 as the date that will prohibit players from anchoring the putter against their body.
No longer will belly putters be able to be anchored in the belly.
One of the player’s who will be impacted is Webb Simpson, winner of the U.S. Open at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, who has already announced that he is working diligently with a standard-length putter in preparation for the potential ban.
No season-ending golf column would be complete without discussing Rory McIlroy.
The young Ulsterman started the year with a new high-profile girlfriend, former tennis No. 1 Caroline Wozniaki, and an early stare-down win against Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic in March.
He then had a mini-slump around his defense of the U.S. Open in June, only to come roaring back and win the PGA Championship by a record eight shots and then take two of the four FedEx Cup Playoff Events.
McIlroy finished the year with five wins, the money title on both the U.S. PGA Tour and the European Tour, as well as the No. 1 World Ranking.
The end of the season did not come without some surprising news, however, when McIlroy announced that he was leaving his equipment sponsor Titleist to sign a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with Nike.
The 23-year-old has stated that he doesn’t feel that the new equipment will be a major distraction for him and he looks to make 2013 even better than 2012.
The top newsmaker for me this year took place on a late September day, when I truly couldn’t sit still.
It was the singles day of the Ryder Cup when the Europeans came roaring back and overcame a four-point deficit to win the Ryder Cup for the second straight time.
Early in the week no team was favored more than the other, but when things got underway on Friday morning, the United States team came out with something to prove.
Through the first four sessions of best-ball and alternate shot matches, the U.S. had looked unstoppable, with Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley rallying the team and going undefeated.
It was late on Saturday evening when the tide seemed to change, however, as European stalwart Ian Poulter birdied the last five holes to hold off the U.S. team of Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner 1-up.
What looked like a lost cause for the Europeans just a few hours earlier now became a little more believable.
No one could have predicted what Sunday would turn out to be, however.
In one of the bigger matches of the singles, McIlroy was nowhere to be seen just 30 minutes before his scheduled match against the tough Bradley. News came through that he was not at the course, but was on his way after getting confused on the tee-time.
Eventually, a local police car arrived and McIlroy jumped out and essentially ran to the first tee.
Without any warmup shots, he went out and beat Bradley and helped stage the biggest European comeback in Ryder Cup history.
After Justin Rose turned the tables on Mickelson by making birdies on the final two holes, it was up to Martin Kaymer to come through in the clutch.
The last time a German had a putt to retain the Ryder Cup was 1991, when Bernhard Langer narrowly missed his putt on the 18th green. But this time Kaymer, who had struggled much of 2012, buried it in the middle of the hole and the celebrations began.