News

Bunker to Bunker – Ventana Canyon

The Lodge at Ventana Canyon sits against the backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Nestled within this spectacular setting is a semi-private country club and Lodge with just 50 suites and 36 holes of golf. Winding through the canyons and arroyos of this 600-acre desert preserve are Tom Fazio’s two 18 hole championship courses (Mountain and Canyon), which have won numerous awards as the best in the country. The Lodge has been a prestigious AAA Four Diamond property for 19 consecutive years, and their many awards reflect their commitment to the highest standards in service excellence. The Lodge reflects the spirit of warmth and comfort cherished by seasoned travelers.
For more information click here

News

2014 Year in Review

Updegraff Award: Warren Simmons

Established in 1990, the Updegraff Award is the AGA’s highest honor given in recognition of those who, by their actions, exemplify the spirit of the game. The award is named for Dr. Ed Updegraff of Tucson, honoring his lifetime contributions and dedication to amateur golf in Arizona.
Warren Simmons, the 2014 recipient of this award, after a military career that included many years teaching at the Air Force Academy, moved into golf administration as Executive Director of the Colorado Golf Association, where he was intimately involved with the development of the USGA Course Rating System.
As a player who once participated in the United States Open in 1956 at the Oak Hill Country Club, Warren’s expertise led to involvement in many different areas of the game, from Rules of Golf where he has made perfect scores on the PGA/USGA Exam, to presidency of the International Association of Golf Administrators, among many other positions and awards.
Moving to Arizona after retiring some years ago, he continued his service to the game’s many aspects both at his clubs and Arizona’s amateur associations, while continuing his national work load, serving on USGA Committees including Handicap, Course Rating, and the Handicap Research Team.
It is for Warren’s humor in difficult circumstances while delivering answers that has won him so many friends and supporters in both men’s and women’s circles worldwide.  His now sixty-plus-year love affair with all that is golf and his knack for improving the golf experiences for those around him that has gained this Updegraff Award for Warren.
Everyone in golf administration appreciates the golf skills he still possesses, even though they often result in a lost $2 on occasion (he carries a pad of $2 bills just in case he himself might lose).  Golf and every golfer who loves the game has a friend in Warren Simmons, now to be associated with Dr. Ed Updegraff and those judged to be of similar character.

Doc Graves Volunteer of the Year: Michael Shoaff

Each year the AGA staff honors an individual (other than an executive committee member) who most exemplifies volunteerism through his or her commitment of time and effort to the association. In 2010, this award was named after Robert “Doc” Graves, a long-time AGA volunteer who exemplifies the selfless contributions of time and dedication to serving golf in Arizona.
In 2014, we honor Michael Shoaff. Golf has been part of Michael’s life since he was introduced to the game in his late teens by his brother.  His interest slowly grew from there and throughout the next few decades Michael was able to integrate play into his busy schedule, typically a few times each month.  After Michael retired in 2004, golf became more of a daily focus and has been for the past 10 years, barring a couple of down periods to recover from multiple knee replacement and major back surgeries.
In 2007 a discussion with close friend, Russ Peterson, regarding the USGA Course Rating System sparked an interest as an alternative way to stay in touch with the game while also volunteering his time  to a local Golf Association in need of volunteers.  After some-one-on one rating education with Russ, Michael contacted the AGA. In the subsequent eight years Michael’s level of involvement has steadily grown to currently having rated over 225 Arizona courses and one International facility in Mexico.  He has also represented the AGA on three top-ranking USGA National Course Rating Calibration Teams and for the past four years served on the AGA Course Rating Committee.
Among the most rewarding aspects of Michael’s involvement with the AGA is the broad spectrum of people he has met, most of whom share a common love for the game of golf while looking to give back to insure its health moving forward.  The only downside to being a rater is the unfortunate bad weather you sometimes experience when rating in Northern Arizona, even to the extent of encountering snow flurries on one memorable shoulder season trip to Flagstaff.  Fortunately, these rare ocurrances ultimately lead to a good story to share with new team members and have helped build camaraderie and friendships that will last well beyond the golf course.

Player of the Year: RJ Wood

RJ Wood started out the 2014 season strong, with a second place finish at the Inaugural Players Cup Championship, following that up with a win at the 2014 Short Course.  Later in the summer, RJ won again at the Falcon Amateur after a one hole play-off.  Four other top-five finishes allowed him to sit atop the Players Cup Points List for the entire 2014 season, where he accumulated 2635 points.
RJ represented Arizona at the Men’s State Team Championship in French Lick, Indiana.  He also qualified for the US Amateur Championship.

2014 Accomplishments: Leader – Players Cup Points – 2635, Winner –Short CourseWinner –Falcon Amateur, 2nd – Inaugural Players Cup, T2nd – Tempe Amateur, 3rd – San Tan Amateur, Qualifier – US Amateur

Masters Player of the Year: Scotts Smith

Scott Smith is a newer name on the AGA tour, but it didn’t take him long to prove he is one of the best.  His victory at the Senior Stroke Play Championship, followed by his divisional win at the Southern Amateur, helped solidify his Masters Player of the Year title.  He was also 3rd in the Players Cup Performance points in the Masters Division.
2014 Accomplishments: Winner –Senior Stroke Play, Winner –Southern Amateur(Masters), T4th –Player’s Cup Championship(Masters), 3rd – Masters Players Cup Points – 1602

Senior Player of the Year: Rusty Brown

Rusty Brown has once again earned a Player of the Year title after a strong 2014.  The leader in Senior Players Cup Points, Rusty won the 2014 Players Cup Championship, placed 2nd in the Southern Amateur in the Senior division, and qualified for the US Senior Amateur Championship.  Rusty also participated as a member of the victorious Senior Goldwater Cup team.
2014 Accomplishments: Leader – Senior Players Cup Points – 2433, Winner – 2014 Players Cup Championship(Senior), 2nd – Southern Amateur(Senior), T2nd – Inaugural Players Cup Championship, T4th – San Tan Amateur, T9th – Senior Stroke Play Championship, T10th – AZ Stroke Play Championship, Qualifier – US Senior Amateur Championship

Legends Player of the Year: David Rasley

The leader of the Player’s Cup Points Ranking for the Legends division, David Rasley played well in the Divisional Championships, winning the 2014 Players Cup Championship and finishing T-3 in the Senior Stroke Play Championship. Rasley also represented the AGA as a member of the victorious Senior Goldwater Cup Team. 
2014 Accomplishments: Leader – Legends Players Cup Points – 1275, Winner – inaugural Players Cup Championship, Winner – 2014 Players Cup Championship(Legends), T3rd – Senior Stroke Play Championship

Mayfair Award: Alex McMahon – 68.51 Scoring Average

The Mayfair Award is presented to the AGA member with the lowest stroke average from selected events during the season. To qualify, a contestant must: 1) Compete in at least one USGA qualifying round in AZ AND at least two AGA individual major championships, or 2) Compete in at least one USGA qualifying round in AZ AND at least one AGA individual major championship AND the NCAA Finals. Additional individual competitions that count toward this award are the Pacific Coast and Southwestern Amateurs (when contested in AZ), AZ Open, PING AZ Intercollegiate, ASU Thunderbird Invitational and the U.S. Open, Amateur, Mid-Amateur & Junior Amateurs. A contestant must return a minimum of twelve 18-hole scores from all above listed competitions and all rounds will be used to determine the scoring average.
Alex satisfied the eligibility requirements posting 17 rounds from the following tournaments: AZ Amateur Championship(Champion), Pacific Coast Amateur, NCAA Invitationals at ASU and UofA, US Open Local Qualifier, US Public Links Qualifier and Championship

News

2015 UNC-Mayan Registration

PACKAGE #1: $875.00 USD –
SINGLE PLAYER RATE OR ONE PLAYER PLUS UP TO 3 NON-PLAYING GUESTS (2 ADULTS & 2 CHILDREN)
This package includes a room with two double beds. does not include any meals or golf for the guests. If the non-playing guest(s) would like to participate in the meals and welcome cocktail party, there will be an additional charge as follows: cocktail reception – $20.00; breakfasts – $25.00; lunches – $25.00; dinners – $30.00.All prices are per person and must be paid on site. 
How many players are you registering?   If you are registering more than one player, please provide the other player name(s). If you are bringing guests, please enter names (maximum in room of 1 player, 1 adult non-player and 2 children) The package includes lodging for October 22, 23 and 24. If you would like to reserve additional nights, first add the package to your cart and then select “continue shopping”. Rate per night is $89.00.

PACKAGE #2: $985.00 USD – 
SINGLE PLAYER UPGRADE ROOM OR ONE PLAYER PLUS UP TO 4 NON-PLAYING GUESTS
(TOTAL OF 3 ADULTS AND 2 CHILDREN)
This is the same as Package #1 with an room upgrade – one King Size Bed, and two fold-out beds – does not include any meals or golf for the guests. If the non-playing guest(s) would like to participate in the meals and welcome cocktail party, there will be an additional charge as follows: cocktail reception – $20.00; breakfasts – $25.00; lunches – $25.00; dinners – $30.00.All prices are per person and must be paid on site. 
How many players are you registering?    If you are registering more than one player, please provide the other player name(s). If you are bringing guests, please enter names (maximum in room of 1 player, 2 adult non-player and 2 children) The package includes lodging for October 22, 23 and 24. If you would like to reserve additional nights, first add the package to your cart and then select “continue shopping”. Rate per night is $99.00.

PACKAGE #3: $1,650 USD –
TWO PLAYER DOUBLE OCCUPANCY – $825.00 USD PER PERSON – (MAXIMUM OF 2 PER ROOM)
This package includes lodging in a room with two double beds and a maximum of two players in the room. This package includes meals and golf for both players.
How many players are you registering?    This option assumes two players in the room. Please provide the name of the player you will be rooming with. This package includes lodging for October 22, 23 and 24. If you would like to reserve additional nights, first add the package to your cart and then select “continue shopping”. Rate per night is $99.00.

PACKAGE #4: $705.00 USD
ROOM NOT INCLUDED
This package includes golf, cocktail party, lunches, uniforms, Gift Bag and prizes 
How many players are you registering?    If you are registering more than one player, please provide the other player name(s).

EXTRA NIGHTS ADDED TO PACKAGE #1 OR 3 – $89.00 per night
How many nights would you like to add to your stay?   What dates would you like to add to your stay?

EXTRA NIGHTS ADDED TO PACKAGE 2 – $99.00 per night
How many nights would you like to add to your stay?   What dates would you like to add to your stay?

News

Where Did it Come From

Article taken from YourGolfTravel.comWrtten by “RORY” who is described as the resident golf geek at Your Golf Travel. Have been lucky enough to have travelled far and wide playing golf and if I’m not writing about it at work, you will probably find me hacking it around my local course. Owner of 2 holes in one and some of the most crooked drives you have ever seen! 

Peter Alliss had it right when he said “C’or blimey O’Reilly…it’s a funny old game.” Golf is a bit if a head-scratcher at the best of times and while none of us will ever have the game totally figured out, there are certain aspects that, after a little digging, we can shed some light on.
One of golf’s most obvious quirks is the terms that explain various aspects of the game and while the Mashie, Niblicks, Jigger and Sammys of the golfing world have long been resigned to golf’s history books, there is still plenty of golfing jargon that is probably quite confusing for those on the outside looking in.
In this instance we’re going to focus on the avian theme – think birdie, eagle etc, etc… – that runs through the game in relation to scores on an individual hole and how in America one of these phrases has adapted to make no sense whatsoever!
While there is no cast iron evidence as to where the term birdie came from originally, the vast majority of sources including the Historical Dictionary of Golfing Terms point towards the American slang term “bird” which was commonly used in the 19th century to describe something that was particularly great.
Reportedly during a game at The Country Club in Atlantic City between Ab Smith, William P Smith and George A. Crump, Ab Smith hit his approach shot on the par 4 second hole to within inches of the pin and the shot was described as “a bird of a shot”. After tapping in for a score of one under par on the hole the three of them continued to refer to that single hole score as a birdie and seemingly…the phrase stuck!
The term “Eagle” simply followed, being added to the lexicon to maintain the all things avian theme when referring to scores under par on a single hole. “Albatross” followed suit shortly after and over time all three phrases became common place on the golf course to the point where modern day golfers probably never wonder where they came from.
This brings us on to a variation of one of these phrases that, after being born in the USA following one of the most famous shots in the history of the game has become almost as commonly, if not more commonly used than the original.
“The shot heard ‘round the world” was struck by Gene Sarazen during the 1935 Masters (this was the shot that shoved The Masters forever into the golfing spotlight), a 4-wood from 235 yards that bounded into the hole for a two on the par 5 15th. At the time the shot was one of a kind and is most likely responsible for the puzzling phrase that is “double-eagle”.
In fact, newspaper articles that covered the 1935 event shed some light on where exactly the phrase came from. Grantland Rice, who was the leading American sports writer of his time, wrote the following for the Atlanta Constitution:
“And then as he swung, the double miracle happened. The ball left the face of his spoon like a rifle shot. It never wavered from a direct line to the pin. As it struck the green, a loud shout went up. Then suddenly (it) turned into a deafening, reverberating roar as the ball spun along its way and finally disappeared into the cup for a double eagle 2 — a 2 on a 485-yard hole when even an eagle 3 wouldn’t have helped.”
A beautiful piece of writing no doubt but wait…a double eagle?! I am no maths whizz but surely logic would imply that if an eagle is two under par then a double eagle would be four under par…no?
Let’s let the experts run the rule over this one…
Flabbergasted that anyone would stray from the tried and tested “albatross”, double Open Champion (see what I did there?!) Padraig Harrington said, “It’s an albatross. There’s no such thing in life as a double eagle. Is there? Two eagles side by side are two eagles, not a double eagle. You don’t refer to animals…’Oh, I just saw a double elephant over there.’ There’s no doubting what it is. It’s an albatross.”
Spot on Padraig…spot on!
And the Irishman is not the only pro golfer who’s not sold on “double eagles”…
2005 US Open champ, Geoff Ogilvy also shared his thoughts on the matter. “I didn’t know what a double eagle was until I came to the United States. I might have read the term. That’s weird. I guess they can’t think of a word for something better than eagle so they call it a double eagle. But it’s not really a double eagle. It’s an eagle-and-a-half. I always liked albatross. It’s a good bird, isn’t it? They fly across oceans. It’s grand, which is what describes the shot.”
Whatever you fancy calling it, an ALBATROSS is the second rarest shot in golf (less common than a hole in one due to the length of shots needed to hole out in 2 on a par 5 but less rare than a “condor” which is a hole in one on a par 5) and now that I am content with my lot when it comes to hole in ones – I am currently sitting pretty on two of those – I am eagerly awaiting my first albatross…or is that double eagle? Or triple birdie? Each to their own I guess…

Top 10 Albatrosses on the PGA Tour Published January 2015

News

Golf Goes Greener

Water is the key resource for a golf course, as well as a key impact area for the environment and community.
1. Superintendents at 19-hole golf facilities utilize numerous methods to conserve water, with the top three tactics being the use of wetting agents (92 percent), hand watering (78 percent), and keeping turf drier than in the past.
2. Grass clippings are recycled by spreading them along the rough and around trees. Composting the clippings is also frequently used. Compost is an excellent growing medium that promotes fast germination and can reduce fertilizer use. Recycling grass clipping provides valuable nutrients that improve the soil.
3. Seventy-one percent of 18-hole golf facilities have incorporated one or more design, physical or mechanical changes to conserve energy, such as programmable thermostats, low-level faucets, irragation controller updates and T-9 lighting.
4. Golf faciliteis are highly active in recycling/reusing items in the golf course operations waste stream. For example, 92 percent of facilities that have oil in their waste stream recylce or reuse them. Other recycle/reuse rates inclide equipment/ golf car batteries (93 percent), hydraulic fluids (89 percent), pallets(79 percent), tires (77percent) amd aluminum (76 percent).
5. Surveys show that 29 percent of 18-hole facilities in the U.S. participate in voluntary environmental stewardship programs. In the Pacific Northwest, that number is 53 percent of facilities. 

Water management begins with measuring, tracking and analyzing water use. You have to know where you are to set goals and make improvements in a manner that demonstrates sustainability. One facility may be able to immediately incorporate a weather station and soil sensors, while another may only be able to reduce turfgrass areas or modify irrigation practices.
You should plan for both short- and long-term best management practices to achieve success. Short-term BMPs may range from hand watering, reducing watering times/volumes, or not letting water run unnecessarily. Long-term practices may include the use of technology or converting to a different turf species. You and your facility should set water efficiency and conservation goals as initiatives in conjunction with your business objectives.
Words from the USGA
Water Conservation Resources