Always striving to increase participation, South Carolina Golf Association officials expanded opportunities to the organization’s already popular Forty Plus Series, and the field filled quickly for the season’s first event.
“We already have a waiting list,” SCGA executive director Happ Lathrop said in looking toward the Feb. 21 competition at the Cliffs at Keowee Falls in Salem.
The Forty Plus Series started about 15 years ago to bridge the tournament gap for players age 40-54 -- those who could no longer compete successfully with the top amateurs and mid-amateurs and those too young for seniors.
“As the years passed, we often had as many seniors (55 and older) as we had younger players,” Lathrop said. “So, this year we’re having three division -- one for the 40-54 age group, one for seniors (55-64) and one for super seniors (65 and older). The response has been outstanding.”
The schedule consists of seven tournaments at some of the state’s top courses. After the Cliffs at Keowee Falls, the series moves to the River Club in North Augusta in March. Other sites include the Reserve at Lake Keowee, Orangeburg Country Club, Forest Lake Club, Country Club of Spartanburg and the TPC Myrtle Beach.
“There’s a significant market for older golfers and we want to provide them the opportunity to compete at a high level,” Lathrop said. “Getting a full field so quickly tells us the players like the format. We’re excited about the possibilities.”
The River Club tourney is set for March 13. Online registration is open at www.scgolf.org. Entries are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The South Carolina and Clemson men’s teams enter their spring seasons with both ranked among the top 50 nationally. The Gamecocks open Friday in the All-American Intercollegiate tourney near Houston rated 38th in the GolfStat survey and the No. 22 Tigers start two days later in the Westin Rio Mar Invitational in Puerto Rico.
In the fall, the Gamecocks had one second-place finish and two fifths in four starts with sophomore Scott Stevens and junior Keenan Huskey leading the way. Stevens fashioned a 69.58 stroke average and earned three top-10 individual finishes, including one second. Huskey had a 69.67 average and lost the individual title in the Camden Collegiate in a playoff.
With Stevens tied for sixth and Huskey tied for ninth, the pair make USC the only team with two golfers in the top 10 nationally in scoring average. Junior Ben Dietrich and sophomores Ryan Stachler and Will Miles rounded out the fall lineup.
Clemson won twice and had a third-place finish in its five fall tournaments with freshman Doc Redman (70.13 scoring average), sophomore Bryson Nimmer (71.0) and senior Carson Young (71.73) setting the pace. Redman won two individual titles.
area-events/ or go to the website, click on “competitons” and then “local area events.” Tournament details to be posted can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. … Save the date. The 16th annual Columbia Golf Ball, which benefits the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation, will be held Thursday, April 6, at the State Fairgrounds. For tickets or sponsorship information, call the SCGA at 803-732-9311. … Volunteers are being sought for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, set for May 27-31 at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach. Request a form or direct questions to email@example.com. … Clemson’s women’s team earned the first title in the program’s four-year history by sharing the championship in the UCF Challenge in Orlando, Fla.