The Tinley Park Golf Expo is in it’s final day, head out to the Tinley Park Convention Center at Rt.80 and Harlem Avenue between 9:30 and 4 PM. Admission is $10. The Links & Tee’s Golf Dome is packing in the golfers who continue to work on their game all winter long. Call (630)-233-7275 Ext. 4 for more information or Addisonparks.org.
The Gog Blog by Rory Spears, Follow Rory on Twitter @GogBlogGuy. USGA President Tom O’Toole (pictured above Right) along with USGA Executive Director Mike Davis (above left) made the announcement today of a US. Sr. Women’s Open.
At the CDGA Centennial dinner last November, USGA President Tom O’Toole Jr. said the USGA would make a decision on a U.S. Sr. Women’s in 2018.
Today the USGA and backed up that comment and made the decision, when O’Toole accompanied by USGA Executive Director Mike Davis made the announcement that indeed a Senior U.S. Women’s Open would happen starting in 2018.
The USGA did not announce a host site for inaugural championship, but one would have to believe that announcement will happen in 2015. With this announcement the USGA will now be conducting 14 national championships.
“We have studied and discussed the need for this championship for many years and now we can celebrate it’s introduction,” said O’Toole. “The USGA has been leading and supporting women’s golf since 1895 and it has never been stronger. We hope that current and younger players will be inspired to see national championship competition long into their playing careers.”
The U.S. Senior Open is the third new championship introduced in the last two years by the USGA. It will join the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball that will both start play in 2015.
“The necessary equation for success and long-term viability of this championship has gradually and finally come together,” said Davis. “Even though we have not yet decided on a venue or exact date for the inaugural championship, we wanted to celebrate it’s coming.”
To be eligible for the championship, professional or amateur female players will have to be age 50 or older. The format will be 72 holes of stroke play with a cut after 36 holes, and will be walking only.
The French Lick Resort, already the home of the LPGA Legends Hall of Fame, is interested in hosting the championship in 2018.
The next question is where should the first championship be played.
The French Lick Resort in Southern Indiana has already thrown their hat into the ring, according to sources close to the resort. French Lick has already been the home of a major LPGA Legends Tournament and is the home of the LPGA Legends Hall of Fame.
Closer to home in Chicago two courses will be looking into hosting the championship.
First up is, Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. When reached by phone, RHF owner Jerry Rich told Golfers on Golf that he would “look into it.” Rich has made Rich Harvest Farms the home of women’s golf in the Chicago area, first by hosting the Solheim Cup in 2009, and will be the host of the LPGA International Crown in 2016. Rich plans on speaking with several of his friends who are major names in women’s golf to get their input on the new championship, before making a decision on being a potential host of the event.
Jerry Rich owner of Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove (seen here at the 2014 LPGA International Crown), will look into hosting a U.S. Sr. Women’s Open.
Cog Hill could also become a contender in the race to host the championship.
Golfers on Golf spoke with Frank Jemsek owner of Jemsek Golf and Cog Hill in Lemont, who said “we would be interested.”
Jemsek went on to add that his daughter Katherine Jemsek, the president of Jemsek Golf would oversee the process of Cog Hill contacting the USGA an expressing an interest in hosting the championship.
” At the time we ended up getting the Western Open, we were looking to get an LPGA event to be played on Course No.2,” said Jemsek. ” But for a U.S. Open event, we would have to play it on Course No.4.”
One course that could be a strong contender for the championship should it express interest in hosting the tournament, would be Pine Needles in Southern Pines North Carolina. Pine Needles owned by LPGA legend Peggy Kirk-Bell has hosted the U.S. Women’s Open three times. USGA officials admitted one phone call a few years back that was tough to make, was the one to Bell to inform her that the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open would be played just down the street in Pinehurst on the famed Course No.2, and not at Pine Needles.
No matter who hosts the first U.S. Senior Women’s Open, the main thing is that today the USGA made the right move in announcing the championship will happen. Some are questioning why wait to 2018. The reason might be that, since the age requirement is 50 years of age. It will allow a few more players who have had great LPGA careers to be eligible to compete.