Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., will host the The Champions Tour’s PowerShares QQQ Championship this year from October 28-30, as well as in 2017 and 2018. Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla., has been slated to host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, and Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., will host the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship tournament.
The Champions Tour will stage the first of three season-ending events in the new Charles Schwab Cup playoffs at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reported.
The tour said the PowerShares QQQ Championship will be played October 28-30. The club also will play host to the event in 2017 and 2018, the Times reported.
Sherwood is set to re-open on March 3 after a $10.5-million, year-long restoration. Jack Nicklaus, who designed the original course and oversaw the latest project, will hit a ceremonial first tee shot, the Times reported.
The Dominion Charity Classic in Richmond, Va., and the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., will round out the inaugural playoffs that determine the season-long champion. The top 72 players in the standings will compete at Sherwood for a $2 million purse, with the field trimmed to 54 and 36 players for the final two events, respectively, the Times reported.
Quail Creek Country Club, in Naples, Fla., has been selected by the United States Golf Association (USGA) as the host site for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Scheduled for October 7-12, the 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will be the club’s first USGA championship.
“The USGA is honored to add Quail Creek Country Club as a championship site,” said Diana Murphy, USGA vice president and Championship Committee chairman. “We’re confident the club will be a terrific host, and we look forward to crowning the 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion in the vibrant golf community of Naples.”
Designed in 1981 by Arthur Hills, Quail Creek features two 18-hole courses named Quail and Creek. The course for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will be announced at a later date. Both courses were renovated in 2013 by Kevin F. Leo, Quail Creek’s golf course superintendent, with Hills serving as a consultant. Renovations include an increase in playable native areas that has reduced the amount of water, fertilizer and maintenance required; the restoration of bermudagrass throughout the course; and the addition and restoration of bunkers. The club has hosted numerous state and regional events.
“On behalf of the membership of Quail Creek Country Club, we are honored to host the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship,” said Robert P. Magrann, club president. “It is gratifying to have confirmed that our club and courses are of championship caliber, and we are proud to provide an exceptional golf experience for our members and guests alike.”
The 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur will be conducted Sept. 10-15 at The Kahkwa Club in Erie, Pa.
Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo., will host the 2019 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship tournament, the Denver-based BusinessDen reported.
“When you look at the USGA championships, these are premier events in amateur and pro golf,” said Bill McCarthy, director of the Mid-Amateur Championship. “So any time a club hosts one of these, they’re holding a tournament at the highest level.”
Any amateur golfer over the age of 25 can participate in the Mid-Amateur, McCarthy said. He expects the tournament to draw 4,000 entrants. Regional tournaments will whittle that number down to 264 golfers, who will compete at Common Grounds and the Colorado Golf Club to qualify for the 64-person head-to-head tournament September 21-26, 2019, BusinessDen reported.
McCarthy said most of the amateur golfers have day jobs when off the fairway. “The age limit also generally disqualifies college players,” he said. “You’ll see everything from bankers to lawyers to farmers. These guys are coming from across the country and in some cases across the world.”
Although winning the Mid-Amateur doesn’t yield a cash prize, it does have its perks. The champion is exempt from qualifying rounds in USGA tournaments for the next 10 years and generally invited to play in the Masters, BusinessDen reported.
The USGA hasn’t held the Mid-Amateur tournament in Colorado since 1983, when Cherry Hills Golf Course played host. The USGA selected Colorado Golf Club for championship play, McCarthy said, because of factors like its length, variety of holes, topography, atmosphere and walkability. The course, 7,604 yards from the tips, was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw and opened in 2007, BusinessDen reported.
Additionally, the USGA considers a course’s operational facilities, its membership and the demographics of its surrounding area when selecting a host course. It also helps that the Colorado Golf Club is no stranger to national tournaments. The club hosted a Senior PGA Championship in 2010 and the Solheim Cup, a PGA tournament for American and European women, in 2013, BusinessDen reported.
To host the U.S. Mid-Am, courses need to raise between $300,000 and $400,000 to pay for operational expenses, McCarthy said. “One of the first things I tell our host clubs is that it’s not a business winner,” McCarthy said. “When we talk to potential clubs, we stress that if you’re doing it to sell memberships or promote the facility, don’t bother doing it. Clubs host our amateur championships for the challenge and thrill of doing so.”
But Colorado Golf Club spokesman Tom Ferrell said he believes that holding the tournament will benefit the club by raising its prestige in the national golf scene. “The event exposes us to a group of people who are key influencers in the way the club is seen around the country,” Ferrell said.
It has taken two years for the Colorado Golf Club to receive the USGA’s approval to host the tournament, Ferrell said. The club first contacted the USGA with a letter of intent to hold the tournament in 2014. In 2015, the USGA interviewed members of the club and issued its final decision on the Mid-Amateur’s host in November, BusinessDen reported.
Ferrell said the Colorado Golf Club isn’t likely to make any tweaks to the course for tournament play. “The course has plenty of length and it’s a very elastic kind of design. One of the things (the USGA) likes to do is to play different holes in different ways each day,” he said. “We have that kind of flexibility built-in, so I don’t expect any significant changes to the course.”