Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Holidays

The MGA wishes you and your family happy holidays and a wonderful new year! We look forward to seeing you on the links in 2008.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Here It Is...

The Missouri Golf Association would like to announce the 2008 Championship Schedule.

You can find the schedule at our web site

I am very excited about the venues that we will be at in 2008 and I am looking forward to another great year!!!!

Remember to mark your Calendar for March 4th to start entering the events on line.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Year In Review

Okay folks 2007 MGA Year In Review is now on the MGA web site. So go to and click on the 2007 Review on left side of the screen. . I hope that you enjoy it, there are some great pictures and all the tourney results.

I hope everyone is staying warm during this great ice storm here in Missouri.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

2008 Senior Series

I am proud to announce that the 2008 Senior Series Schedule is on the MGA web site. As you will see the schedule is wonderful. We are going back to some same spots as last year; however we have also added some new ones as well. You can also go ahead now and pay your membership fee for the year. We are looking forward to another great year with the Senior Series; I hope to see you all at them. You can start entering the events March 4th, 2008. However you must be a member to play in the events!!!

Until I see you on the first tee!!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Dear Golfers,

Many times I have been asked by people to explain what a round of golf feels like to me. The best thing that I can compare it to is like being on a roller coaster ride; there are many highs and lows that you encounter in a round. As we bring this 2007 golfing season to a close, I can honestly say that this past year we have had only highs, and looking forward to riding it on into 2008.

A player who rode the high with us was Connor McHenry of Jefferson City; McHenry became the first player to win both the Missouri Amateur and Missouri Stroke Play Championship in the same year. Not only did he win the 100th Missouri Am at Jefferson City Country Club, he was also the medalist in the qualifying rounds. He rode that momentum into Milburn CountryClub in July and ran away with the Stroke Play Championship.

Another high moment in ‘07 was the beginning of the Senior Series, this was an outstanding hit. The participation was unbelievable and I only look for this series to grow even bigger in years to come.

The success that we are enjoying does not come by itself; it takes a lot of hard work. This work comes from the wonderful staff that I have in Randy Bickel and Karen Raithel. Randy has done a bang up job in getting the junior golf program moving in the right direction. Karen does a fabulous job of managing the handicap service that we provide for our member clubs. Not to mention the countless hours of dedication and service that the Directors of the Missouri Golf Association give to make sure the players of Missouri have wonderful Championships.

As we prepare for the 08 season, we are going to keep riding this high and keep bringing you— the players and members, the highest quality of service we can. Thank you for your support and participation and I look forward to seeing you all in 2008.


Scott Hovis
Executive Director
Missouri Golf Association

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something To Think About...

I wanted to pass this video clip that was shown to us last week at our IAGA meeting in North Carolina. It makes you think about how fast and much our world changes daily. It opened my eyes to different things that go on around me that I never think about. I hope you enjoy it!

Also, stay tuned in here, we are about to announce our 2008 MGA Schedule before long.

Until I see you on the first tee,


Friday, November 9, 2007

IAGA Conference

The staff and I just got back from scenic Greensboro, North Carolina for a conference with golf administrators from all over North America. This meeting is a chance for every one to bounce ideas off one another and try to find ways to make golf better for everyone. It is great to see the same faces once a year and get caught up. For me I get a lot of great new things from this meeting that I try to emulate in the future.

On Saturday morning, Randy and I got the opportunity to head down the highway to Pinehurst, one of the most amazing places I have ever been. Pinehurst has hosted numerous USGA Championships, the Ryder Cup and the PGA Championship. The complex has 8 golf courses, 7 of those courses are at one place and number 8 is about a mile away. You can feel the history of this place just standing there looking out over the grounds. One of the most amazing places is to the left of the 18 green of the famous course number 2 that has hosted all of the major championships. That green is the place where Missouri’s own Payne Stewart made the famous putt on the 72 hole to win the US Open. What is so famous about this putt is that it ended up being his last victory. Later that year, as well all know how his life come to tragic end in a plane crash. As you can see in the photo, they have a monument for him and just standing there looking at the green and knowing the magnitude of that putt now, made me have chills run all over my body. I’m so glad and lucky to have finally been to Pinehurst, if you love the game and the history I highly recommended going. It is worth every penny to be there and take it all in.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Seniors Represent Missouri

Last week the Missouri Seniors competed against the Kansas Teams at Brookridge Country Club in Overland Park, KS. In the Ozark Senior Challenge matches both teams played great and it ended in a tie. In the Association Cup Matches, Missouri prevailed with a winning score of 7 to 4. It was a great week had by all and thanks to the Kansas Golf Association for being great hosts.

You can go to the MGA website to see the results of each match.

Great job men, I had fun being your team captain!!

Until I see you see on the first tee.


Check This Out!

After watching this story, and sitting here thinking about it, you realize that there is no reason to get upset the next time you miss that 3 foot putt. This story makes you cherish the great game of golf that much more. I hope you enjoy this story, I know that I did.

Watch the first link; then be sure to watch the second. Amazing!

2007 Player of the Year

Connor McHenry of Jefferson City, MO has been named the Missouri Golf Association Player of the Year for 2007. McHenry who is a Sophomore at Wichita State University and a member of their golf team won two of the MGA major events in 2007. He began the summer by winning the 100th Missouri Amateur Championship at Jefferson City Country Club by defeating Mitchell Gregson of St. Louis 4 & 3 in the 36 hole final. He was also the medalist in the 36-hole qualifying rounds by shooting a score of 7 under par 137 to be low by 5 strokes. Then in July he went on to win the Missouri Stroke Play Championship at Milburn Country Club by shooting a 54 hole score of 6 under par to win by two strokes. McHenry was the first player to win both MGA events in the same year.

The Missouri Golf Association is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the best interests and true spirit of the game of golf throughout the State of Missouri. Dating back to 1905, our Directors have devoted their time and effort to advance the great game of golf in all corners of our state.

The MGA conducts several statewide championships each year. These include the Senior Four-Ball, Amateur, Junior Amateur, Junior Amateur Match Play, Amateur Stroke Play, Ozark Junior Challenge Cup Matches, Four-Ball, Senior Amateur, Mid-Amateur, Hieronymus Cup Matches, and new this year, Junior Team, Junior Collegiate, and the Senior Series. The Senior Series is a series of tournaments for players 50 years of age and older. These events are open to all amateur golfers in Missouri who meet eligibility requirements.

The MGA is authorized to rate and measure golf courses statewide in accordance with USGA guidelines. This service is available to member clubs and courses.

The MGA, in conjunction with the USGA, offers the GHIN (Golf Handicap and Information Network) Member Service, which is used by over 250 golf courses in the State of Missouri. GHIN currently services 65 State and Regional Golf Associations with over two million golfers. This national network enables golfers of differing abilities to compete on an equitable basis.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

West Prevails

This past weekend the West prevailed over the East in the Annual Hieronymus Cup Matches held the Club at Porto Cima. This was my first time to compete in the event and it was a blast! Kirk Farmer and I held off Bobby Godwin and Matt Hines Saturday morning in our Four Ball Match. In the afternoon I teamed up with Wayne Fredrick and we defeated the team of Skip Berkmeyer and Jim Holtgrieve. It was great to play with Holtgrieve who has played in Walker Cup Matches, The Masters and won the USGA Mid Amateur Championship. I learned a lot by watching how he went about his business on each shot. Sunday I lost to Darren Lundgren in my singles match, I had him down early in the match and then gave him two gifts on holes 8 and 9 and could not get the momentum back on my side. It was a good match and we had a great time. To view all the match results go to our web site at and click on Cup Results. It is great to get the cup back on the West side of the state.

Next year the Matches will be held at the wonderful Dalhousie Golf Club.

Until I see you on the first tee


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Here We Go!!

It is that time of year where the East meets the West for the Annual Cup Matches. This year the matches are being held at The Club at Porto Cima Saturday and Sunday. Four Ball and Foursome matches will held Saturday with Singles matches on Sunday. The East put a whipping to the West last year, so revenge is on the mind of Captain Bruce Hollowell and the West. JJ Vastyan is the Captain of the East team again trying to repeat his performance from last year. Here is a list of both teams. May the best team win, it should be fun.

East Team Captain: JJ Vastyan
Dustin Ashby, Joe Behl, Skip Berkmeyer, Don Bliss, Pat Britt, Karl Elbrecht, Bobby Godwin, Matt Hines, Jim Holtgrieve, Darren Lundgren, David Lucks, Brian Kennedy, Paul Neeman and Scott Thomas.

West Team Captain: Bruce Hollowell
Vernon Bennett, BJ Curry, Steve Groom, Kirk Farmer, Wayne Fredrick, Brian Haskell, Jamie Hathcock, Scott Hovis, Travis Mitchell, Dee Sanders, Antonio Serrano, Gerald Siemons, Andy Smith and Tyler Stalker.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Down the Stretch

This week begins the stretch run for us here at the Missouri Golf Association. Starting tomorrow we have the Senior Series Tour Championship being held at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club. This should be a great event to put an exclamation point on a fabulous first year of the Senior Series.

Then this weekend is the season Hieronymus Cup Matches being held at Porto Cima. Last year the East team spanked the West squad. The event is always a great time and should be another one this weekend on a fabulous golf course.

I just want to say thank you to everyone that participated this year in the events and we look forward to seeing you all again next.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Never Gets Old

Terry Tessary won the Missouri Senior Amateur Championship last week at St Louis Country Club for the 4th time. St. Louis Country Club has a storied history by hosting the 1947 U.S. Open, 1960 U.S. Amateur and the 1971 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

Going into the second round of play Tessary trailed former USGA Mid –Amateur Champion and Walker-Cup member Jim Holtgrieve by one shot. However with a strong finish to the house by making eagle on the 15th and birdies on 16 & 17 Tessary pulled away to a four shot victory over Holtgrieve. This was the 4th time in the last five years that Tessary took home the top honors.

The event was a huge success and we are looking for another great event next year when the event goes to Old Warson.

Until I see you on the first tee,


Friday, September 7, 2007

A Great Year!!

The first year of the Senior Series events is in the books. We had a great turn out this year and the invitations for the Tour Championship are going out in the mail today. For the most part the series went off with out any hitches, however there is always room for improvement and fine tuning. I always want to hear feedback from you, the players, good or bad. So please let me know what you think.

I just want to say from the staff and myself, Thank you to all of those that participated in the Series this year.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Final Day!

After a short night of sleep we were back at the course at 6:30am. The morning is the same routine as the day before, however we got to the golf course and I was picked up by the General Manager who took me straight out on the course to show me the storm damage from the night before. A mini storm blew through with high winds and blew over trees throughout the course and a bolt of lightning struck a deer on the 17th tee and killed it. I have never seen anything like it before. With the debris all over the course and chance of weather we had to make sure to get the players off on time and that they were safe. So the plan we came up with was to take the players that were suppose to start on hole 1 and have them start on hole 7, They would play 7 thru 9 and then go back and finish 1 thru 6 before they headed to the back. With the 6th hole beginning so close to the 10th tee it worked out just fine. We got everyone around the golf course and crowned a new Four Ball Champion, Travis Mitchell and Tyler Stalker both of Springfield shot a 61 to finish at 17 under par and win by two strokes over the Defending Champions. Mitchell and Stalker shot a smooth little 28 on the demanding back nine holes, Congrats boys and great playing!!
Once we got the results posted and the awards given out, the trailer was loaded and we are pulling out of town at 8 and heading home. Hope to make to my bed by midnight if not oh well. Back at it Monday and get ready for Thursday thru next Tuesday in Branson.

I would like to finish and say a huge thank you to the staff of Dalhousie, what a wonderful job they did for us and the players. It was a great weekend for everyone involved.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Four-Ball Championship

Today is the first round of the 2007 Four Ball Championship; this will be the longest day for us the staff. We got here at the course at 6:30 this morning. Our first job is to get the First and Tenth tee’s ready for the starters. Make sure that they have the notice to Competitors sheet and the Hole Location sheets along with the Scorecards for each group. As that is being done another part of the staff goes out on the course to check and make sure that hole locations are set in the correct places for the day, while doing this job that person will also set the tee markers for the day. All along the players are showing up for the Championship, asking different questions. It becomes very challenging at times, but we do just fine.

The rest comes after the morning wave is finishing and the afternoon waves are going out. You have to get teams to there starting tee’s and also get the morning scores checked, signed, put in the computer system and posted on the scoreboard. I would say that tonight the last groups will be finishing around 6:30 or so. Once the last group has finished then we have to get ready for the second day by making pairings, getting the scores posted on the web, printing scorecards for the next day, and sending the scores to media outlets. I would say that we will be lucky to leave the course by 8:30 or so. However, that is part of the job and I love it.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Four-Ball Practice Round

Today is Friday and practice round day here at the Four Ball Championship. The staff and I got to the course at 7:30 this morning to finish setting the hole locations for the event. After getting the locations set, we then proceeded to go out and check all the hazards, to make sure that they were marked correctly and visible for the players to see. With 174 players showing up today, it has gotten a little bit more hectic around here. The final preparation for the event is to select the teeing areas for the event. With this event having a net division we have to set two different tee locations.

The venue we are at is the Dalhousie Golf Club; it is one of my favorite courses in the state. You have to search really hard to find a course that is in better playing condition then this course and also a place that has 18 wonderful golf holes. The players are in for a real treat these next three days.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Four-Ball Time

The staff and I are heading to Dalhouise Golf Club in Cape Girardeau for the Four-Ball Championship, I am going to give you guys a daily update on what we are doing and what we really do each day for a Championship. I get that question a lot, people always want to know what we do each day. Today is Thursday and we are heading down to meet with the General manager, Head Pro and Superintendent to go over the golf course and see if there are any issues before we get working. After the tour of the course, we will then begin marking hole locations for both days of the Championship. We also mark which tee boxes that we will use each round. If time permits today we will also mark hazards and Out of Bounds. If not then we will get that done first thing in the morning before the practice round starts.

I hope you enjoy reading what it is like to set up and run a Championship event.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Joe Salazar Jimenez

The golfing community has lost a great member this past weekend. Long time Jefferson City Country Club Pro and Senior Tour Player Joe Jimenez passed away this past Saturday. Joe, who won the 1978 Senior PGA Championship and numerous Senior Legend events. I had the great pleasure of getting to play a round of golf with Joe this past February in San Antonio. He still amazed me how well he played the game at the age of 80 years young.. Bob Toski the great teacher once said that he would play anyone his age or older for any amount of money except for Joe Jimenez. He will be greatly missed.

For more information you can click on this link

Until I see you on the first tee,


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Getting Ready

Well, this past week has been crazy! I have been getting ready for the Stroke Play Championship next week at Milburn Country Club. This course is going to be a huge challenge for the players. I am not looking for very many low numbers to be shot next week.

I have also been getting the Father-Son Championship ready, which is July 29 -31 at the beautiful Club at Porto Cima. We had a record number of teams apply for this event. What a great time for fathers and sons to bond and have a great time. Monday night after the first round we will be having the banquet and former NBA and University of Missouri star Jon Sunvold will be our guest speaker. It is going to be a great time.

How about this heat we are having? I have been watching the British Open this morning for a while and seeing that the players are wearing sweaters, boy that would be nice to have right now. Oh well what do you expect in Missouri in late July.

Until I see you on the first tee!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Let's Go Tom!!

If you have been watching the past couple of days, Tom Watson a former multiple Missouri Amateur Champion and PGA legend has the lead after two rounds of the US Senior Open at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. I have not had the pleasure of visiting the complex in Kohler that houses three great golf courses. Along with Whistling Straits, there is Black Wolf Run and the Irish course. The views that have been shown on TV are incredible. This place is a must on my golf courses to play!!!!

Here Comes The Future

This next Monday and Tuesday we will be having our Junior Amateur at Osage National Golf Club at the Lake of the Ozarks. We had over 230 applications for the event; this has to be close to a record for the event. I wish that we could have taken all the applicants. However, we can only get so many on the course in one day. Our new online entry procedure that we have gone to for the first time has made players enter events earlier then they are use to. So for future reference make sure next year you get your applications in early.

All the Championships the rest of the year are already full except for the Mid Amateur the last week of August. We have waiting list for all the events, so if you are not entered in the Father-Son, Four-Ball or the Senior Am just call the MGA office and we can put you on the list.

Until I see you on the first tee.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Winner of the 100th Missouri AM is…

Connor McHenry had a great week!! After being medalist with a score of seven under par, Connor began rolling through the bracket and met up with Mitchell Gregson, a member of the Kansas State Golf Team, in the final match. For me it was nice to see a fellow Wildcat and a fellow Jeff City mate in the final match. Both players played some great golf at a very challenging Jefferson City Country Club. If you put the ball in the rough it was like a one stroke penalty and we had the greens running at about an 11.5 on the stimp meter. So, it challenged all of their skill level. The gallery viewed great shot after great shot until Connor finally knocked Mitchell out on the 33rd hole of the day, winning 5 and 3. The 100th Missouri Amateur was a tremendous success; except for my little mishap of ripping open my hand. Oh well no golf for me for a while.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Future Looks Bright!!!

Yesterday at Perche Golf Course in Columbia, the Missouri Golf Association put on the 2nd Annual Little Junior Tourney for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 10. The event was another success!! The youngsters played some holes and then competed in Long Drive, Putting and Chipping contests in their age divisions. Always after hard work on the course everyone needs pizza and PowerAde to help rejuvenate themselves. The youngsters were also treated to a clinic put on by Dennis Goettel and John Utley. This type of event is a great way to get kids involved in a life long great sport. I can not wait for my little girl to be able to join in on the fun. Kudos goes out to the MGA staff of Randy Bickel, Karen Raithel, Justin Doss, and Meredith Robertson. I don’t know who had more fun, the kids or the staff!!!!

Until I see you on the first tee!


Field is Set

The Field has been set for the 100th Missouri Amateur Championship to be held at Jefferson City Country Club the week of June 18th. We got five qualifiers done on Monday throughout the state. The pairings are on the web at Also you can follow your favorite player throughout the whole Amateur Championship by watching the live scoring on the MGA website.

Jefferson City Country Club is starting to shape up very nicely and will be a great test for the players. I have two helpful tips for those playing one, keep it in the fairway and two, always make sure that you are always putting with your left foot higher than your right.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Tyler Hillis for winning the Phil Cotton last weekend and also Don Bliss for winning the senior division of the Phil Cotton. Well done to both of you!

I hope to see you all on the first tee soon!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Time To Qualify

It is that time for the Missouri Am qualifiers to take place. Tuesday was the first of the five qualifiers. It took place at Winghaven Country Club in St. Louis. 35 players advanced onto the 100th Missouri Am being held the week of June 18th at Jefferson City Country Club. This Monday June 4th five other qualifiers are going to be held throughout the state. This year we had only 12 players exempt into the Missouri Am, if you have not received your tee time you can go online and see it at Good luck to all those who are trying to qualify.

Also, this Monday is the first of five one day Hieronymus events. This one is being held at Redfield Golf Club in Eugene. If you are wanting to get your son or daughter in call us here at the office. Also next Thursday, June 7th is the second Annual Little Juniors event being held at Perche Creek in Columbia. This is a great event for kids between the ages of 6 and 10. The youngsters get to play some holes, and then we have a junior clinic and lunch. After that we have long drive and chipping and putting contest for all ages. It is a great day for everyone to come out and have some fun.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and see you on the first tee soon.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Grand Opening

Last Friday, I had the honor of playing the opening of The Club at Old Hawthorne in Columbia. The golf course and the clubhouse are absolutely fabulous. The course has changed since the last time I was there in March to rate. Mr. Samp has a gem with this golf course.

Yesterday was the local US Open qualifier at Kansas City Country club. Being one of my favorite courses, I was looking forward to playing, however after only hitting four fairways all day I did not have that much fun. Oh well life goes on!! After finishing my round about 5 last night I hopped in the car and drove across the state to St. Louis for a senior series event today at The Falls Golf Course, we are here this morning and then at Aberdeen tomorrow morning for another Senior Series event!

Applications are still available for the Missouri Amateur Qualifier; just call us at the MGA office, 573-636-8994 and we can help you out.

Until I see you on the tee.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

We Are Under Way

Well, we have gotten the first day of the 2007 Senior 4 Ball under our belt!! With only a short drizzle in the morning the weather was perfect!! Old Kinderhook Golf Club is in perfect condition. In the Championship Division, defending champions Don Bliss, of Chesterfield, Missouri and Jim Coleman, of St. Joseph, Missouri, lit up the back nine by shooting a six under par 30 to go along with a 33 on the front for a 63. Bliss and Coleman finished the round with birding the last five holes. They are leading the event by three strokes over the team of Carl Benbrook and Stephen Koon.

In the net division we have a three way tie, teams Bill Jonas and Nicholas Mickalski, Bruce Robert and Ed Ewing along with David Maddox and John Hurley, shot a blistering 58.

Don’t forget that May 17th is the deadline for the 100th Missouri Amateur to be Held at Jefferson City Country Club. So make sure to go to the MGA web site and get your entry in.

Also, the Father-Son Championship being held in late July at Porto Cima is getting close to full, so if you are wanting to enter do not wait any longer and get your entries in.

Today, we have got the second round off and running here at the Senior 4 ball; the weather so far is perfect. So let’s hope that it stays that way and we can have a rain less day.

Friday morning I am heading to Boone Valley Golf Club in St. Louis for a USGA Family meeting. I am giving my presentation and I have not had time to get it ready with this hectic schedule. I hope that I can find some time this afternoon to get it ready, if not then I guess I will get it done late tonight when I get home or real early in the morning before I leave. The meeting is involving the Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association and also the Missouri Women’s Golf Association. The meeting should be very informational and also nice to see everyone with the USGA Committee. I hope that I can get back across the Missouri Bridge when I head home late Friday night, if not then maybe I can rent a boat to get back across the River.

Until next time and I see you on the tee.


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Still Roadtripping!!

A whirlwind tour continues, last time I talked to you all I was on my way to the USGA Committee meeting in Houston, Texas. As usual when the USGA is involved everything is done first class. There were many great speakers during the weekend; I will only hit a couple of the highlights for you. Fellow blogger and USGA Regional Director Wendy Uzalec did a great job on her presentation on how to mark a golf course for a championship. On the second day, Pete Bevaqua from the USGA talked to us all about what goes on behind the scenes at the US Open. Last year, 350,000 kegs of beer were consumed during the event. Who says that beer does not go with golf!! Come on!! The event ended Saturday afternoon with a round of golf at Panther Creek Golf Course which is apart of The Woodlands complex. Somebody we all know from the MGA staff won the event, but he does not want to brag!! (Way to go me!!)

After the great trip to Houston, I then headed to the Big 12 Championship at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas. At the event I had the privilege of being a walking rules official, it was a treat to watch the stars of tomorrow battle it out on a fabulous golf course. As usual Oklahoma State won the team championship; the defending national champions are loaded and ready to make another run. People have always asked me how Oklahoma State is so good year in and year out. Well first off it has to do with tradition; the Cowboys have won multiple national championships and also conference championships. Secondly it has to do with facilities and opportunities. Karsten Creek, the home golf course for Oklahoma State is wonderful. The golf course is very challenging and also it has state of the art practice facilities for both programs. Third of all, the players that go to Oklahoma State are very bright; these kids do more than just get it done on the course. They are also very good in the classroom. On top of that each kid is first rate, I have never once seen a player from OSU make a scene, or not answer a question with either a yes sir or yes ma’am. Great programs attracted the great kids and players. In my own eyes, I wish that more college coaches would take a chapter from the OSU book and make more of these kids act and respect the game and people involved in the game with more respect. I get sick and tired of watching young players act like they are better than what they really are. I hope in the future that our junior programs can kick this habit in the butt!!!

From Hutchinson, I headed on down to Bolivar and Springfield for some more successful senior series events at Silo Ridge and Rivercut. Both of these events were sold out in advance, so if you are looking to play in these senior series events make sure to get your money in quickly because they are filling up.

We are now at Old Kinderhook, at the Lake of the Ozark, for the Senior 4 Ball, we have 86 teams. 42 teams in the net flight and 44 in the scratch flight. With all of the recent rain, the course is in great condition. Just one thing, do not hit in the rough, you may never get it out. Well, time to get the course ready for the event. Until next time.

See you on the tee.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Let the Madness Begin!

A new beginning has started at the Missouri Golf Association. The first two Senior Series events, presented by Callaway Golf, have been completed. The events were held this past Monday and Tuesday at Leawood South Country Club and Swope Memorial. From the response of the players it was a huge success! With having the inclement weather last weekend in the Kansas City area, we still finished the rounds. Both golf courses were in great condition considering the amount of rain they received a few days before. I am looking forward to this series this summer and I think it is going to be a big hit for everyone involved!!

I am on my way to the USGA Committee meeting held at The Woodlands in Houston Texas for the next couple of days. It is a chance to learn and see what is going on with the USGA for the upcoming year, there are also break out session to attend. I am looking forward to hearing USGA Director of Regional Affairs for the Midwest Region and fellow blogger Wendy Uzalec,, give her presentation on the proper way to mark a golf course for a competition. Also, I am looking forward to hearing David Fay, Executive Director of the USGA, speak and inform us on what is new in the world of golf as he sees it. This should be a very good meeting.

From there, I fly back to Kansas City Sunday morning and head straight to Hutchinson, Kansas for the Big 12 Championship. The event is being held at Prairie Dunes Country Club, which is ranked in the top 20 best courses in the country each year. When I played for Kansas State back in the 90’s Prairie Dunes hosted the Big 8 Championship each year. They also have hosted the Women’s US Open and just recently the US Senior Open. What a great and tough golf course. I have not been back since my senior year when I competed in the last Big 8 Championship, before they converted into the Big 12. As you can imagine the wind is always a factor on that course. I remember my sophomore year playing the 5Th hole in a strong wind, the hole is only about 440 yards, however I had to hit driver, then another driver off the deck and then a full 8 iron to get to the green. Then two holes later on the 7Th hole I hit a driver and sand wedge straight down wind to a 512 yard par 5. That is what makes the course great and that much more challenging. It should be fun being a walking rules official for two days and watching some of the top college golfers in America compete in one of the best golfing Conferences. I will be keeping you all informed with what is going on from the event each day.

Finally, if you have not entered the Senior Series events for the Springfield area, you need to go online and enter them, they are filling up quickly. Also do not forget to enter the Missouri Am, the deadline for this is May 17Th.

See you soon on the first tee.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Midwest Boys Finish Strong at Masters!!!

What a great week of golf! Yes, the weather was not the normal warm and perfect Masters weather however, it brought out some great golf. What a great weekend for the Midwest boys!!! First off with our very own 2006 MGA Player of the Year, John Kelly, becoming the low Amateur at the Masters. What a great thrill for us to have one of our own walking down the historic fairways of Augusta National and playing well.

Then, having another Midwesterner, Zach Johnson, end up winning the Masters!! It was an emotional and great thrill for me as well watching Zach. I had the pleasure of playing many rounds of golf with Zach in college when he was at Drake. For some reason our college teams got paired together a lot. In college Zach was 150 pounds soaking wet and did not hit it that far, however he could get it up and down out of a trash can. I remember one round in particular at the University of Kansas tournament at Alvamar, in the morning round when it was cold and windy (imagine that in Kansas) that Zach hit only five greens and had 24 putts and shot two under par. That was a normal round for him back then. After college when we both turned pro, we traveled together to the mini tour events. You will not find a more down to earth person with a work ethic second to none!! It just shows that you do not have to come from a well known college or be a big time junior to make it on the tour!! Way to go Zach!!!

Two weeks ago, I got the pleasure of going out to Scottsdale, Arizona for a few days and playing some golf at Desert Mountain. What a beautiful place with some great golf courses. If you want a challenge then go play Renegade from the gold tees to the gold flags. Each hole has two sets of hole locations, the white flags are the easy of the two. Each gold flag is tucked behind water or a bunker. We did not play gold to gold, thank goodness. We played blue to gold and that was more than enough for me!! On Thursday I experienced one of the top five golf experiences of my life when I had the opportunity to play Whisper Rock. For those of you who do not know, Whisper Rock is an exclusive all men’s club in Scottsdale. The likes of Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples, Paul Casey and many other PGA pro’s as members. Last year in the Club Championship Geoff Ogilvy (2006 US Open Champion) took second place in the club championship by 10 strokes. Gary McCord won his third Senior Club Championship title. Pretty good competition. They have 36 wonderful holes, the upper and lower courses. We played the upper course that day, each group has their own forecaddie and if you would like you could have your own caddie as well. Even though I was just a guest I was treated like royalty, each staff member that was working new your name and made sure that you had everything you needed. The ambiance is what made it that wonderful. I did not want to leave and I hope to get a chance to go back again someday.

We are under one week before our first event and we here at MGA are excited to see you all real soon.

See you on the tee,


Thursday, April 5, 2007

Getting Ready!

Kelly Plays Final Practice Round at Masters
Senior tees off Thursday at 7:44 a.m.

by Kyle Photographer

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Mizzou senior John Kelly (St. Louis, Mo./CBC) completed his third and final practice round today at Augusta National Golf Club. Starting his day at at 8:30 a.m., Kelly and his caddie, friend Barr Blanton, walked the back nine before taking a break for lunch and and a nap before the par-3 contest.
Kelly enjoyed the par-3 contest he competed in Wednesday afternoon, paired along with Davis Love III and 2006 Ryder Cup team member Vaughn Taylor. The Tiger senior finished the contest 1-over.

Kelly is grouped with Love, a two-time Masters runner-up, and Ben Crenshaw, a two-time Masters champion, for Thursday's and Friday's rounds. "Playing with Davis and Crenshaw tomorrow is going to be a thrill of a lifetime. I just have to stay in the moment," said Kelly.

"It's going to be the start of the biggest stretch in my life thus far and if I can just keep my emotions in check, I think I am going to be ok. That is going to be the hardest thing, I am sure I am going to be extremely nervous. But I'll just try to maintain my composure, and put my best foot forward," said Kelly.

Kelly will tee off at 7:44 a.m. (CT) on Thursday and 10:51 a.m. (CT) on Friday. The Masters will be televised on USA for the first two rounds, and then CBS on the weekend.

"Whatever happens, happens. It's going to be an unbelievable experience, and I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Just Another Day!!!

Kelly Joins Crenshaw, Ballesteros
for Practice at Masters
Tiger senior also lunched Tuesday with two-time champ

by Kyle Coburn Photographer

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Mizzou senior John Kelly (St. Louis, Mo./CBC) completed his second practice round today for the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Starting on the back nine, Kelly was joined in a dream foursome by Ben Crenshaw, Masters Champion in 1984 and 1995, Seve Ballesteros, also a two-time Masters winner in 1980 and 1983, and Jerry Pate, who won the 1976 U.S. Open.

Kelly played the front nine alone after having lunch with Crenshaw, who along with Davis Love III will join Kelly for first- and second-round pairings on Thursday and Friday. The Tiger senior received many tips from Crenshaw, a veteran of 36 Masters tournaments. "Ben Crenshaw kept reiterating to me that you cannot get aggressive on the greens, you have to play high and soft and let it die in the hole," Kelly said.

Support for Kelly was once again strong on the course, as fans came from every direction to shake his hand and take photos with him between holes. "I am loving the support and hopefully I can play well for everybody," Kelly said. "I played with Vaughn Taylor yesterday and he kept saying that he had never seen anyone that has had so much support from one school. I was kidding with him that if I heard one more `Go Mizzou' I might have to switch bags to get a little more under the radar."

Kelly will complete another practice round on Wednesday morning and then will compete in the Par 3 contest in the afternoon. Tournament rounds begin on Thursday and will be televised on USA Network.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Check Out the MGA Player of the Year!!

Soaking It All In
U.S. Amateur Runner-Up Kelly
Relishing First Masters Experience

By Dan O'Neill

Augusta, Ga. – The actuality of John Kelly’s Excellent Augusta Adventure began to sink in on Sunday night when he used the facilities, so to speak, at Augusta National Golf Club.

"You just think about who slept in your bed, who went to the bathroom in the same toilet … well, that’s kind of gross, but you know what I mean," said Kelly of his first evening in the Crow’s Nest. "You know your walking in the same footsteps of greatness. It’s just really neat."

Be it personal hygiene or putting one foot in front of the other, the bunkhouse that sits atop the clubhouse at Augusta National is filled with history and ambiance, a place where legends like Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods snoozed in their first appearances at Augusta.

Kelly, 22, a senior at the University of Missouri, is staying in the Crow’s Nest with three of the other four amateurs playing in the Masters: Richie Ramsay, the Scotsman who defeated Kelly in the U.S. Amateur final, U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Casey Watabu and U.S. Mid-Amateur champ Dave Womack. British Amateur champ Julien Guerrier, of France, made other arrangements. John Kelly is hoping for another memorable week at the Masters like he had last August at the U.S. Amateur.

Oddly enough, Kelly said he had no trouble sleeping in the imposing environment. "I was surprised, but I slept pretty well," he said. "I was really tired."

On Monday morning, Kelly had breakfast at the club and got another jolt to his senses. "I had my grits and bagels," said Kelly. "Then I looked over and there’s Phil Mickelson grabbing a bite to eat. It was cool. Just so many things like that about being here, it’s unbelievable."

Kelly played nine holes of a practice round with 2006 Ryder Cup member Vaughn Taylor on Monday. Taylor, an Augusta, Ga., native, quit after nine, but Kelly finished the round and nearly had a hole-in-one at No. 16. He was slated to play with two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw on Tuesday.

"I think it was good for him, actually, to play by himself," said Rob Sedorcek, a St. Louis teaching pro who is on hand to watch his protegé. "It gave him a chance to really practice some shots and gather his thoughts. If he can keep it straight, he should be fine. The guys with the measuring devices told me he had one of the longest shots all day at No. 14 and Nos. 17 and 18."

On one hand, the challenge for the St. Louis native this week is intimidating. No amateur has ever won the Masters, and few make the cut for the weekend. Since 2000, just eight of the 34 amateurs that have earned invitations at Augusta have stuck around for the weekend. On the other hand, Kelly can’t lose.

"It’s a little bit of both," he said. "The competitive side of me wants to play and beat the heck out of these guys. Then there is the other side that says, ‘Hey, up to this point in my life, this is the coolest thing to ever happen to you.’ So I want to make sure I take it all in and just enjoy the moment."

In addition to his parents and Sedorcek, Kelly’s gallery includes Missouri golf coach Mark Leroux. Flooded with caddie offers, Kelly finally chose friend Barr Blanton to carry his bag this week. A former player at Wake Forest, Blanton lives in St. Louis.

"I had a lot of people to choose from," Kelly said. "But I’ve known Barr for a long time from playing golf and I think he’ll be a big help. We’re just going to go out and have a good time with it."

Dan O’Neill is a freelance writer whose work has appeared previously on