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Category: General


Horton, longtime rules official from Bremerton, elected as WSGA president

Whenever a United States Golf Association champions rolls into town, and steps foot on the Gold Mountain Golf Complex, Bremerton’s Frank Horton is right in the middle of it.

The longtime rules official, who served as tournament chairman for the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links and 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur. will now serve in a new capacity starting in 2013 – the president of the Washington State Golf Association.

“The game is much different today than it was in the past,” Horton said. “Trends are showing that many decisions won’t be easy to make. That is why I would like

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All-male club no more, Augusta National accepts two female members

Here is the Associated Press story about Augusta National offering two females memberships to the club:

For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.
Both women accepted.

“This is a joyous occasion,” Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said Monday.

The move likely ends a debate that intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women’s Organizations urged the club to include women among its members. Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, “but not at the point of a bayonet.”

The comment took on a life of its own, becoming either a slogan of the club’s resolve not to give in to public pressure or a sign of its sexism, depending on which side of the debate was interpreting it.

Payne, who took over as chairman in 2006 when Johnson retired, said consideration for new members is deliberate and private, and that Rice and Moore were not treated differently from other new members. Even so, he took the rare step of announcing two of the latest members to join because of the historical significance.

“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership,” Payne said in a statement. “It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall. This is a significant and positive time in our club’s history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family.”

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Erwin takes over golf programs at University of Puget Sound

Tacoma’s Todd Erwin has done just about everything in golf – except coach his own program.

That changed Thursday when the University of Puget Sound announced it hired the Bellarmine Prep graduate as its director of golf for the men’s and women’s programs at the NCAA Division III level.

“It’s what I do – promote golf and teach golf,” Erwin said.

Erwin will continue to work as the director of instruction at the Tacoma Firs Golf Center in south Tacoma.

“Todd is one of the most trusted instructors in the area, especially for young adults, so we are delighted he

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Update on Chambers Bay upgrades for 2015 U.S. Open

Toured ever-changing Chambers Bay Golf Course on Wednesday with new director of agronomy Eric Johnson and course superintendent Josh Lewis, and got updates on all the hole changes – all in preparation for the 2015 U.S. Open.

Summaries will be given in the order I toured the course:

* 3rd hole: The dunes and dirt from behind the original teeing area has been removed – and three new teeing areas have been inserted, ranging from 170 to 205 yards for the back tee. Gives this hole more teeth. The new teeing grounds should be in play by the fall.

Also, a service/gallery road has been pushed away from the original tee box, giving the players a little more privacy.

* 6th hole: Again, earth has been moved around to give this hole a little more definition and protection from the fifth-hole green. Also, a long, winding teeing ribbon has been constructed, giving the United States Golf Association the possibility of four more teeing areas – with the furthest back pushing this par 4 to 505 yards.

The area was hydro-seeded about eight weeks ago, and won’t be available for public play until the late fall.

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Johnson hired from Bandon Dunes to head Chambers Bay property

Going to get an updated look at upgraded Chambers Bay Golf Course on Thursday with general manager Matt Allen, who also mentioned that a splash hire has been made.

His name is Eric Johnson, and he is the new director of agronomy. He comes from Bandon Dunes Golf Club where he was the superintendent for both Bandon Dunes (seven years) and most recently – the Old Macdonald Golf Course (1½ years).

Prior to that, he spent four years as the superintendent at Spyglass Hill (1995-2000).

Johnson, a 1995 graduate of Oregon State University, will oversee the physical condition of the

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Will Olympic Club give a chaser a chance? Not enough of one

Another fantastic weather day in south San Francisco (technically we are in Daly City, Calif.) for today’s final round of the 112th U.S. Open.

Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk lead.

Will they be there at the end of the day?

A Sunday score is out there because the Olympic Club has softened up ever so slightly. Today’s temperatures are down. A lingering marine layer might help keep some moisture in the fairways and greens. And the finishing stretch – the 16th, 17th and 18th holes – will give birdie opportunities.

Yet, I don’t know if THAT score is out there

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US Open update: Stanley posts a solid 73

SAN FRANCISCO – Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley is beginning to trust his golf game again.

A 3-over-par 73 to begin the 112th U.S. Open today might not offer the fullest proof of that process. But glance at some of the other scores posted – Phil Mickelson’s 76 and Masters champion Bubba Watson’s 78 highlight a few of the first-day disasters – and what Stanley accomplished seems pretty solid.

His 73 was his best opening round score in a U.S. Open since he shot 70 in 2009 at Bethpage Black.

The proof is more in his demeanor. He is that calm, serious,

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On the road: U.S. Open drive long, scenic . . . and we are close

Greetings from the road at – and to – the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. Changed up the script a bit in 2012 – I decided to make a road trip out of it, covering the near 800 miles by rented sports utility vehicle with my esteemed sports columnist, John McGrath.

We got on the road Monday at 9:45 a.m., made two stops along the way and arrived in sweltering Sacramento (expected to be 96 degrees again today) just before 9 p.m., and found our way downtown to a couple of establishments before calling it a long day.

The challenge

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