The South Carolina Golf Association heads into December with a full plate of activity, with the transition of the handicapping system for the Carolinas commanding the most attention.
“The holidays this year will include a ‘handicap scoring holiday,’ ” SCGA executive director Happ Lathrop quipped in pointing out members will not be able to post scores until early January.
The “handicap scoring holiday” comes during the change from the GolfNet system to the United States Golf Association’s Golf Handicap and Information Network (GHIN) operation. Lathrop urged players to keep their scorecards and post the results after the new system goes online.
“The data conversion will be taking place until the first week in January,” Lathrop said. “We expect to resume score postings by Jan. 7, and the first handicap revision using the GHIN service will take place Jan. 15.
“This is the biggest project (the SCGA) has ever taken on. In addition to transferring the data, computers in clubs must be changed, but we feel the time is right to make the conversion to the GHIN system.”
The change affects members of the SCGA, the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association and the Carolinas Golf Association. It includes 651 clubs and more than 156,000 golfers.
Meanwhile, Lathrop and his staff are finalizing the 2013 tournament schedule, making plans for Golf Day on Jan. 5 and to 2014.
Most of next year’s schedule is ready. The organization’s premier event, the State Amateur, is set for Aug. 1-4 at the Members Club’s Woodcreek Course. The Senior championship will be May 14-16 at Columbia’s Spring Valley Country Club, and the Junior championship returns to the Country Club of Lexington June 11-13. The Mid-Amateur championship is Sept. 13-15 at Oldfield Club in Bluffton.
On Golf Day, Todd White of Spartanburg, a semifinalist in the 2012 U.S. Mid-Amateur, will receive the player of the year award, and Rick Cloninger of Fort Mill, who won three tournaments, will be named senior player of the year. At the Tiger Golf Gathering this week, Carson Young of Pendleton, who has signed to play at Clemson, will be presented the Jay Haas junior player of the year award.
In looking further into the future, the SCJGA is in talks with the Sea Pines Company and the Heritage Classic Foundation to form a partnership for the operation of the nationally-ranked Junior Heritage tournament at Hilton Head Island. Officials announced in October that the event would not be held in 2013, but if current discussions are fruitful, the tourney, which includes both boys and girls, would return in 2014.
The Junior Heritage has been held since the mid-1980s and past champions include Charles Howell III, Kyle Stanley, Sea O’Hair, Lexi Thompson and Paula Creamer.
South Carolina teams dominated the CGA’s Super Senior Four-Ball tourney with Julius Aiken (Greenville) and Jerry Sherman (Travelers Rest) winning the gross title with a 4-under-par 140 at the Wild Dunes’ Links Course. Sharing second at 142: Gene Spencer (Blythewood)-Stephen Alchermes (Columbia), Art Arns (Okatie)-Dick Cameron (Bluffton) and Scott Schwarz (Mount Pleasant)-Nicholas Avery (Goose Creek). ...
The North Carolina team of Bryan Sullivan (Kitty Hawk) and Billy Anderson (Wilmington) won the Carolinas Pro-Pro title in a playoff at three Pinehurst-area courses. Koll Farman and Stuart Carrihill, representing the Dataw Island Club, tied for third.