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Cancer claims past USGA Women’s Committee Chairman Barbara Douglas

From usga.org on 01/27/12 Barbara Douglas, who in 2009 became the first minority chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee, died Jan. 27 in Glendale, Ariz., after a three-year battle with cancer. She was 69 years old. Douglas was diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer in March 2009, just one month after she was appointed Women’s Committee chairman, a dream come true after her 16 years of service as a committee member. Despite the disabling effects of treatment, which included chemotherapy, Douglas displayed tremendous courage and endurance as a proactive chairman who seldom missed a USGA women’s championship. Four days after her diagnosis, Douglas endured more than five hours of surgery, and when she awoke immediately asked her surgeon if she could attend U.S. Women’s Open Media Day. Throughout her battle, she scheduled treatments to fit her schedule of Women’s Committee duties, often serving as a walking Rules official in a 36-hole championship final, then flying to Scottsdale to begin another round of chemotherapy. Last year, the Golf Writers Association of America honored Douglas with the prestigious Ben Hogan Award, which has been awarded annually since 1954 to an individual who continues to be active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. “When she wasn’t on the golf course, she was in the hospital,” said one GWAA member in nominating Douglas. When the award was presented at the 2011 Masters, Douglas called it one of the highlights of her life. When she spoke of her battle against the disease, Douglas said her lifelong positive outlook helped her in her fight. “Charles Swindoll, an American writer and clergyman, says, ‘Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it,’ ” Douglas told the audience. “…I would not let ‘the big C’ control my life.” Over her two-year term as Women’s Committee chairman while suffering from cancer, Douglas worked at two U.S. Women’s Opens, two U.S. Women’s Amateurs, two U.S. Opens, the Curtis Cup Match and the World Amateur Team Championship. Getting up every day wasn’t easy, she said, but “my focus on the positives kept me going. It fueled my fire and gave me the wherewithal to get up and get going.” As an African American growing up in a primarily white neighborhood, Douglas was accustomed to challenges. Blessed with strong, supportive parents, Douglas shrugged them off. “I’ve endured a lot of discrimination, both from being a female and a minority,” Douglas said in a 2009 interview. “But it’s never the first thing that comes to my mind.” As a beginning golfer, she went alone to New York-area public courses and asked to be paired with other golfers, utter strangers to her. Still a new golfer, she entered a USGA national championship, the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, and surprised herself by qualifying. While she never advanced to match play, she qualified several times. In addition, she was on a fast career track as an executive with IBM and was president of the National Minority Golf Foundation for five years. In 1992, she was named to the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship Committee and in 1993 became the first minority member of the USGA Women’s Committee. While she was soft-spoken and quietly pleasant, Douglas was a staunch defender of the game. At one WAPL, where she was championship chairman, several spectators behind the ninth green told her that they believed a father who was caddieing for his daughter had intentionally broken a Rule. Douglas grabbed her copy of The Rules of Golf, striding quickly to the 10th tee. “I think I’m going to stay with this group,” she said, and followed the player and her father for the rest of the round. During her two-year term as Women’s Committee chairman, Douglas worked hard to further involve state and regional golf associations as grass-roots supporters of the game and focused on growing the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Black Golf Hall of Fame. After her term as Women’s Committee chairman ended in February of 2011, Douglas devoted more time to her career as a realtor and was able to spend more time playing the game she loved. But the medical treatments that had kept her going throughout 2009 and 2010 failed to keep pace with the disease in 2011 and she was often confined by side-effects. Douglas is survived by her closest friend, Bob Tomisak of Glendale, Ariz., and a host of devoted friends from around the nation. Donations in her memory may be made to the American Cancer Society. A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at a later date.

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Smartphone app for WM Phoenix Open

The app is being highlighted by the Open this year as a “digital program” that is always with you and closely tied into everything going on at the tournament with up-to-date information about the golf tournament and players, maps of the course and holes, weather, services locations, and details about the Open’s well-known events, music and contests. The WMPO is currently giving away 1,000 tournament tickets randomly to golf fans who download the free app and sign up for the “16th Hole Caddie Races” contest, which will award other prizes to winners throughout the Open. Other key features of the app are “Take-Me-There” navigation for getting to/from various parts of the course (including holes, ATMs, restrooms, etc.), as well as links to associated social media pages including a sweepstakes where Kyocera is giving away game-changing golf equipment. The WMPO app by Kyocera is FREE to download in Android and iPhone app markets.

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Free event at the Bird’s Nest during WMPO

Tales From the Tour 2012 When: Monday, January 30, 2012 (Monday of WM Phoenix Open Week) 7 pm – 8:30 pm (approximate) Where: The Bird’s Nest at the TPC Scottsdale Details: The event will be emceed by Brandel Chamblee of The Golf Channel and features some fun and inspirational stories from PGA Tour professionals. Brandel will interview the players and talk with them about golf, life on tour and life in general. Scheduled guests for this year include:

Mark Wilson, defending WMPO Champion
Webb Simpson, two-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2011
Ben Crane, PGA Tour winner in 2011 and creator of “The Golf Boys” videos
Aaron Baddeley, former champion of the WMPO

For early arrivals, Kevin Streelman of the PGA Tour will be playing guitar with Grammy-nominated recording artist Paul Colman beginning at 6:30 pm. After the event, attendees will be able to meet the players and get autographs at the Fan Fest. Cost: THIS IS A FREE EVENT. Open to the public More information: www.talesfromthetour.org (We are asking people to register on the web site so that we know how many guests to expect.) This is the fourth edition of the Tales From the Tour event. Past guests have included Kenny Perry, Zach Johnson, Jim Hardy, Tom Lehman, Stan Utley, Kevin Streelman, Betsy King, Paige MacKenzie and many others. The event is privately funded and organized by a group of local volunteers.

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Chandler golf event raises money for charity

Chandler Horizon Rotary, Thorobred Chevrolet, Godaddy.com and Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort present the 19th annual Million Dollar Hole-in-one Shootout. This exciting event runs for three consecutive weekends from February 18 to March 4. Players make a $1 charitable donation per shot for a chance to win daily prizes such as rounds of golf, golf clubs, restaurant gift certificates and other great items each day of qualifying. In the $1 Million Finals, each of the 5 holes placed in the Finals green is matched with a fabulous cash prize, new car, new truck, or $1,000,000 in cash. The unique 5-hole setup on the Finals Green greatly enhances the chance that someone will walk away with a terrific prize in the finals. Proudly an official “2012 Chandler Centennial Designated Event”, this year promises to be the biggest and best ever. Held on three consecutive weekends during the most beautiful weather period of the year, qualifying rounds will be held Saturday-Monday, February 18-20, Friday-Sunday February 24-26, and Friday and Saturday March 2 & 3. The semi-finals and finals, as well as the 6th annual Women’s $10,000 Shootout, will take place on Sunday, March 4 for those who qualify during the preliminary rounds. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and run through 6 p.m. each qualifying day, and will take place on a specially designed area of Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Course”s practice facility dedicated exclusively to this exciting event. The day is divided into two four-hour sessions, with each session winner taking home a prize. The distance of the shot during the qualifying rounds is approximately 100 yards. Players make a $1 charitable donation per shot for a chance to win terrific daily prizes such as rounds of golf, golf clubs, restaurant gift certificates and other great items each day of qualifying. In addition they are playing to gain entry into the finals as one of the top 20 overall qualifiers from the eight qualifying days. In the $1 Million Finals, each of the 5 – yes, 5 – holes in the Finals green is matched with a fabulous deluxe prize – including $1,000,000 in cash! Other cash giveaways range from $50,000 to $100,000, as well as other great prizes, including a new car or truck and other fantastic merchandise. The unique 8-hole setup greatly enhances the chance that someone will walk away with a terrific prize in the finals. Proceeds from the event are donated to many worthwhile causes in the Chandler area including the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, Chandler-Gilbert YMCA, Junior Achievement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Chandler Christian Community Center, Hunger Plus, Gift of Life Arizona and Polio Plus, just to name just a few. The Crowne Plaza San Marcos Resort is just three blocks west of Arizona Avenue on Chandler Blvd. on the south side of the street. For more information, call Marty Herder at 602-295-7883, or visit www.ChandlerHorizonRotary.com.

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Save $20 at Van\‘s Golf Shops

In case you missed it in your last handicap e-revision, through the end of the month AGA members can save $20 on a $50 or more purchase at Van’s Golf Shops. Click here to print a coupon.