Golf steps into the new year on Saturday at Columbia Country Club with the annual Golf Day celebration, and SCGA executive director Happ Lathrop looks ahead with great expectations.
“We want to continue to build in 2014,” he said. “We had some great things last year and our goal is to maintain that momentum. We had outstanding venues for our championship and we had great champions and look forward to more of the same. We introduced more youngsters to the game and want to keep that going in partnership with the USGA and the PGA of America.
“The groundwork is in place, but we can’t be satisfied. There’s more to be done to grow the game, and that’s our objective.”
Saturday’s luncheon and ceremonies include recognition of players of the year, club of the year, presentation of the service to golf and distinguished service awards and the induction of two members into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame.
Todd White earned his fourth player of the year honor in a year highlighted by his selection to the U.S. Walker Cup team. Rick Cloninger picked up his second consecutive senior player of the year prize with wins in the Carolinas Senior Amateur and the Chanticleer National Seniors plus reaching the round of 32 in the U.S. Senior Amateur.
The Tom Fazio Service to Golf Award will be presented to the United States Golf Association in recognition of the organization’s efforts to promote golf with emphasis on the South Carolina Junior Golf Association.
Doug Smith of Spartanburg will receive the Charles Drawdy Distinguished Service Award that recognizes special efforts by a volunteer. His contributions over more than 20 years include helping create the nationally recognized Bobby Chapman Junior Invitational at the CC of Spartanburg and behind-the-scenes work in helping stabilize the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage presented by Boeing.
The SCGA’s Club of the Year is the CC of Lexington, which has been involved in staging statewide tournaments since the 1970s. In 2013, the club hosted five major events, including the State Juniors and SCGA Senior Four-Ball.
The hall of fame inductees are Karen Ferree and the late George Cobb, an avid golfer who achieved international recognition of his course architecture. Ferree, who will join husband Jim in the shrine, owns a number of titles, has been a frequent competitor in national events and works with the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Junior Golf Foundation. Cobb’s 200-plus designs include the par-3 course at Augusta National and the initial routing for Hilton Head Island’s Sea Pines Resort courses.
For information and tickets, contact the SCGA office at (803) 732-9311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amateur Golf Tour cranking up
The Golfweek Amateur Golf Tour’s 2014 season opens Feb. 1 at Columbia Country Club, and the organization will have a sign-up opportunity this Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods on Bower Parkway from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
The early sign-up includes a reduced membership fee of $75, a $10 gift certificate from Dicks and a chance to participate in closest to the pin and putting contests.
Membership is open to all amateurs. Competition is gross medal play based on handicaps with events scheduled at, among others, Columbia CC, Cobblestone Park, the Members Club’s Woodcreek and WildeWood courses, Fort Jackson GC, CC of Lexington and Orangeburg CC.
For information, call John Livoti at (866) 918-4653.
Looking for a deal? Check out the Way-Back Wednesdays offering from Caledonia Golf and Fish Club at Pawleys Island. Ranked among the nation’s top 100 courses, the club will celebrate its 20th anniversary with 1994 greens fees and pro-shop merchandise for the next five Wednesdays. For tee times and rates at Caledonia, call (800) 483-6800 or visit www.FishClub.com online. ... Kelsey Badmaev (Columbia) finished fourth in the women’s division of CGA’s Carolinas Young Amateur at Pinewild CC in Pinehurst. ... The Golf Channel is expanding to radio for the first time in a broadcast agreement with SiriusXM. Golf Channel programming begins Monday on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio (XM ch. 93, Sirius ch. 208).