The Women's Southern Golf Association and the Texas Golf Association join forces to help promote Women's amateur Golf

Women’s Southern Golf Association and the Texas Golf Association

Join Forces to help promote Women’s Amateur Golf

After exploring many options the WSGA recently partnered with the Texas Golf Association in an effort to bolster the competitiveness of both entities. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, the TGA will oversee tournament administration for the WSGA, one of the oldest and most prestigious golf associations in the nation.

The TGA will help conduct the Women’s Southern Amateur Championship, Women’s Southern Mid-Amateur Championship and the Women’s Senior Amateur Championship as part of a two-year contract.

“Being involved with the TGA affords us an opportunity to partner with an organization whose core competency is tournament administration,” WSGA President Donna Kay Meyer said.  “The TGA is one of the elite golf associations in the United States and we are honored to be able to partner with them. We look forward to growing the game and promoting our brand together.”

The WSGA has a long and storied history dating back to 1911 when Mrs. Roger Smith of Nashville, TN captured the first title at Eastlake Golf Club in Atlanta. A number of well-known names have been engraved on the Championship Trophy through the years, including those of LPGA Tour Professionals and Major Champions Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis. Other recent winners include Sierra Brooks of Florida, Lucy Nunn of Oklahoma, Hally Leadbetter of Florida and Texan Calynne Roshult of Cedar Park, the two-time defending champion.

The 34th WSGA Senior Amateur Championship concludes the 2019 WSGA season at Craft Farms Golf Resort’s Creek Course Nov. 5-7. A full field of 112 players will be competing, with the winner claiming the Katherine Graham Senior Trophy.

TGA Executive Director Stacy Dennis and TGS Director of Women’s Operations Amy Worthington will oversee the day-to-day operations of the WSGA, including the administration of the association’s three championships. The partnership begins with the 2020 Women’s Southern Amateur and 2020 Women’s Mid-Amateur at The Falls Club of the Palm Beaches in Lake Worth, FL June 1-4.

The 2020 Women’s Southern Senior Amateur will be contested Oct. 27-29 at Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, MS

“The TGA is thrilled to be involved with the WSGA,” Dennis said. “The WSGA and Texas share multiple past champions, current players and a deep commitment to impacting women’s golf. It is an honor and extremely natural fit to work together. We are excited to find new ways to collaborate to grow women’s golf and expand championship experiences for women in the South.”

“The primary objectives of the WSGA are to attract elite and full fields in all three of our championships and to be a tournament of choice among amateur women,” Meyer said. “Given the advances in the industry we feel we will be better served by having someone the caliber of the Texas Golf Association to help with our administration.”

Founded in 1910, the WSGA promotes the game of golf among women golfers in the southern states. Our association is governed by a Board of Directors, who conducts three championships and raises funds for college scholarships for graduating high school senior girls. The WSGA includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and District of Columbia.

 


2019 Amateur/Mid-Amateur Championships

An outstanding group of golfers from throughout the South will be competing in the championships, including defending Amateur Champion Calynne Rosholt of Texas and last year’s Mid-Amateur winner Susan West of Alabama. The events will be hosted at Lockwood Folly Country Club in Holden Beach, NC June 3-7.

Among those entered in the Amateur Championships are collegiate players from the University of Virginia, LSU, Alabama, Furman, Mercer, Texas A&M, Florida, UNC Wilmington, Oklahoma State and others. There are also several top-ranked juniors scheduled to compete.

In the Mid-Amateur event, defending champion Susan West will be faced with taking on some of the best Mid-Amateur and Senior talent from around the South. Looking to be a strong contender will be current Southern Mississippi Coach Lucy Nunn, a former WSGA Amateur Champion with a long list of credentials.

Reigning WSGA Senior Champion Anna Schultz of Texas will also be looking to add a Mid-Amateur title to her resume. Other former WSGA Senior champions in the field are Julie Harrison of Louisiana and Carolyn Creekmore, a longtime resident of Texas who has relocated to Florida.

Among the players who have won the coveted Southern Amateur are current LWGA major winners Lexi Thompson and Stacy Lewis. Collegiate standouts Mika Liu (Stanford), Alex Wright (Ohio State) and Sierra Brooks (Florida) are also recent winners of the title. Assistant editor at Golf Digest Hally Leadbetter is also a former Southern Champion.

“The picturesque Lockwood Folly golf course will be an awesome setting for our championships in June,” said WSGA President Janie Carpenter. “We are expecting a stellar group of competitors in each tournament, including some of the top collegiate and junior players in the South.”

Lockwood Folly features tree-lined fairways with massive oaks, stately pines and abundant wildlife. The course was designed by Willard Byrd and built in 1988 on a former hunting preserve.

The course features narrow holes with shot-making at a premium. Water hazards come in to play on 15 holes. The #18 signature hole is a par-5 slight dogleg with water coming into play twice. The ocean behind this green so most days you are playing it directly into the wind. The course is so close to the Atlantic Ocean golfers can hear the roar of the surf throughout their round.

Holden Beach is located on the Carolina coast midway between Myrtle Beach, SC and Wilmington, NC.  Both the Amateur and Mid -Amateur Championships will get underway with a qualifying round on Monday, June 3. Match play starts June 4 with the champions to be determined in the title matches Friday, June 7.


Amateur/Mid-Amateur at Lockwood Folly

The WSGA is pleased to announce that two-time WSGA Champion and 2018 winning Curtis Cup Captain Virginia Derby-Grimes will be the guest speaker at the Welcome Party the evening of the practice round.

The host  club for the event June 3-7 will be Lockwood Folly in Holden Beach, NC. Tournament organizers have made arrangements for players, guests and WSGA board members to be invited to the East Coast Shrimp-a-roo and Barbeque Dinner sponsored by the Town of Holden Beach on Tuesday, June 4.

This event will be held at the River Room and Terrace and kicks off with cocktails (cash bar) at 6:30. Dinner will follow and guests will be entertained by a live beach music band. Attire for the event will be casual.

“We would like to say a big thank you to WSGA Chairman Myrna Robinson and Local Club Chairman Gayle Todd for their efforts in getting our tournament players and officials invited as a part of this year’s event in Holden Beach. This party should be a great diversion for the players following their first day of match play,” said WSGA President Janie Carpenter.

Sunday night’s guest speaker Derby-Grimes won her WSGA titles in 1987 and 1996. She was also runner-up 4 times and has the distinction of losing in the finals to two former champions who went on to be LPGA major winners. These were Lexie Thompson, who defeated Derby-Grimes in 2009, and Stacy Lewis, who won the title in 2007.

In addition to being the winning Curtis Cup captain last June, Virginia competed for the USA on the Curtis Cup team in 1998, 2000 and 2006. She played her college golf at Auburn and went on to coach the golf team at her alma mater from 1991-1994. She was inducted into Auburn’s Tiger Trail, which honors outstanding athletes, coaches and administrators, in 2004.

Derby-Grimes won the USGA Mid-Amateur Championship in 1998 and was runner-up in 2004. She won medalist honors in the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship in 1995 and 1997. She was a member of Alabama’s winning team in the USGA Women’s State Team Championship in 1997.

Listing Derby-Grimes’ accomplishments at the state and local  level would be impossible but she has won 5 Alabama Amateur Championships and 3 Mississippi titles. She was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

The WSGA is honored to have Derby-Grimes as a part of their 104th Amateur Championship and 5th Mid- Amateur Championship. “I am so excited that Virginia has agreed to come speak to us at our Welcome Party,” said Host Chairman Robinson, who was instrumental in getting the former champion to come.

Lockwood Folly members and staff are working tirelessly to ensure that this year’s  championships  are among the best ever.