Kittansett Calling: Bay Staters Ready To Tackle U.S. Senior Amateur Competition - MASSGOLF

U.S. Senior Amateur Competitors In For A Special Treat At The Kittansett Club


MARION, Massachusetts – It’s a prestigious course that’s been awaiting another national championship for decades. The Kittansett Club, situated at the end of a long point that juts out into Buzzards Bay along the south coast of Massachusetts, is a links-style course that is consistently ranked in top 100 in the United States.

Beginning this Saturday morning August 27, the club will host the 67th U.S. Senior Amateur Championship. It will be the first national championship held here since the 1953 Walker Cup, only this time, there will be some Bay State representation in the field.

“It’s rarefied air to crown a national championship at your own golf club, and we’re about to do it, and we’re very excited,” said Newcomb Cole, the championship chairman of the U.S. Senior Amateur.

Massachusetts has hosted the U.S. Senior Amateur three times previously: 1960 at Oyster Harbors Club, 1977 at Salem Country Club and 1996 at Taconic Golf Club.


Starting Saturday, four esteemed Massachusetts natives — Frank Vana Jr., Don Foberg, Tom Bagley, and Michael Boden — plus Mass Golf members and summer residents — Roger Hoit and Scott Copeland — will compete against the world’s best players 55 years of age and older. And for many of them, it may be there only chance to compete in a national championship in their home state.

Outside of Massachusetts, there will be 16 past USGA champions, including 1975 U.S. Amateur winner Fred Ridley, the Chairperson of Augusta National Golf Club.

“I love driving into the place,” Vana said. “You see the water for so much of the course. They added traps that you have to pay attention to. They made holes that used to be easy more difficult.

“It’s fun to have this in our home state.”

In total, 156 players will compete in two, 18-hole rounds of stroke play with the low 64 moving on to match play beginning Monday, August 29.

An overhead view of the 1st green with the 18th fairway off to the right. (Fred Vuich/USGA)

Vana, the winningest amateur golfer in Massachusetts, will have the distinct honor of hitting the opening tee shot from Hole 1 when the championship begins at 7 a.m. Saturday.

“I was more excited to qualify,” said a humble Vana ahead of his 33rd USGA championship. “I like the course. It’s a great spot, with so much you can’t control. It’s one of those courses you have to roll with the punches. The greens are healthy. The USGA wants them fast and firm, and they want the wind to blow.”

In years past, Vana has played a full season of golf heading into the U.S. Senior Amateur, but this year, he’s taken a step back, with his last major championship being the Ouimet Memorial Tournament at the end of July.

“I’ve been practicing more than playing,” said Vana, 60. “I’m in a routine of practicing 30 minutes or so each day. I feel good. I feel healthy.”

In the meantime, Tom Bagley, Don Foberg and Michael Boden are all experiencing a USGA championship for the first time. Since qualifying last month Bagley said he’s gotten encouraging texts and messages from the local golf community in the lead up to the championship.

“That part has been special,” said Bagley, who served as president of Mass Golf from 2016-2017.

Bagley will have Drew Rosen, Mass Golf’s Senior Manager of Championships, on his bag as Rosen has caddied at Concord for several years. With a duo well familiar with the course, Bagley said he hopes that might help him in pursuit of making match play.

“I’ve heard different opinions of what score will be required to make it,” Bagley said. “If wind blows at all, it’ll be more difficult. My experience playing in state amateurs here, it’s all dependent on the wind. Scores in the low 70s are rare. The key is to keep it in play off the tee and be in position to play in front.”

For Foberg, he’s excited to have a bit of a home audience this week. Much of his family still lives in his hometown of Westerly, Rhode Island, and haven’t watched him play much in competition, including his Mass Senior (2020) and Mass Super Senior (2019) championship victories.

“Some have never been on a golf course,” Foberg said. “I’m looking forward to that. A lot of family has never seen me play golf. Since my 20s, I haven’t lived at home.”

Playing in the Mass Amateur at Kittansett in 1999, 2008 and 2020, Foberg said he’ll try to hit the front of the greens as possible, citing John Hadges’ strategy to his 2008 victory at Kittansett.

In the meantime, Foberg said he’s appreciative of the hospitality.

“At registration Wednesday, I met a bunch of the nicest people at Kittansett and a bunch of eastern players,” he said. “Everybody is excited and loves the place. I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

Boden shared medalist honors with a 69 at Captains Golf Course (Starboard Course) on July 18, a round that included an eagle 2 with a 6-iron on the 425-yard, par-4 16th, to earn a spot in his first USGA championship. Boden, a former golf professional at Hyannisport Club, played college hockey at SUNY-Plattsburgh and minor league hockey for several years with the Johnston Chiefs.

Recent U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifier Doug Clapp (Old Sandwich Golf Club) will be playing the waiting game for now. As of Thursday, Clapp was the second name on the alternates list, and his Plymouth home is just 40 minutes from the course.

Don Foberg has won a Mass Senior Amateur, a Mass Super Senior Amateur and will now play in the U.S. Senior Amateur. (David Colt, file)

The schedule of play for the Championship is as follows:

  • Saturday, August 27 – Stroke Play (Round 1, 18 Holes)
  • Sunday, August 28 – Stroke Play (Round 2, 18 Holes)
  • Monday, August 29 – Round of 64 match play
  • Tuesday, August 30 – Round of 32 and Round of 16 match play
  • Wednesday, August 31 – Quarterfinals and Semifinals match play
  • Thursday, September 1 – Championship match of 18 holes

Parking & Transportation

Parking will be available at A&J Boat Corporation at 840 Point Rd., just 4 miles north of the club. Spectators will have access to shuttle buses that will run every 15 minutes, stopping both at the 10th tee and the clubhouse. Admission is free of charge.



Age: 65

Hometown: Concord, MA

Clubs: Oak Hill Country Club and Concord Country Club

How He Got In: Bagley shot 2-under-par 70 to earn the third and final qualifying spot at the Captains Golf Course qualifier on July 18 in Brewster.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience: None.

Starting Times: Round 1: 1:10 p.m. (Tee 1); Round 2: 8:10 a.m. (Tee 10)

Notes: Bagley is a past president of Mass Golf (2016-17). …He currently serves as chair of Mass Golf’s Governance Committee and Hall Of Fame & Museum Committee. …This is his first USGA championship appearance.

Quoting: “The Kittansett Club and The Country Club have always been my two favorite courses. I love both of them, and to be able to play at Kittansett in a championship like this is tremendous.”


Age: 55

Hometown: Sandwich, MA

Club: Sandwich Hollows Golf Club

How He Got In: Boden earned co-medalist honors, shooting a 3-under-par 69 at the Captains Golf Course qualifier on July 18 in Brewster. Boden holed out for eagle on the par-4 16th hole.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience: None.

Starting Times: Round 1: 8:10 a.m. (Tee 1); Round 2: 1:10 p.m. (Tee 10)

Notes: Boden is a former golf professional out of Hyannisport Club. …This is his first USGA championship appearance.

Quoting: “It’s going to be difficult; it’s going to be hard; it’s going to be fast; it’s going to be quite a challenge.”


Age: 68

Hometown: Pembroke, MA

Club: Plymouth Country Club

How He Got In: Foberg drained a 12-foot birdie putt on the fifth playoff hole at Charles River Country Club qualifier on July 25 in Newton to earn the third and final spot.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience: None.

Starting Times: Round 1: 1:20 p.m. (Tee 10); Round 2: 8:20 a.m. (Tee 1)

Notes: Foberg won the 2020 Massachusetts Senior Amateur and the 2019 Massachusetts Super Senior Amateur. …He won the 2019 Senior Hornblower Championship at Plymouth Country Club. …This is his first USGA championship appearance.

Quoting: “I finally qualified for one of these things at my ripe old age of 68. And then I think back to Kittansett, and three Mass Amateurs, so I’m a little familiar with the place. Hopefully they don’t play from the tips, but they probably will.” … “It’s 45 minutes from home, so you can’t beat that.”


Age: 60

Hometown: Boxford, MA

Club: Marlborough Country Club

How He Got In: Vana shot 1-under and made a beautiful up-and-down for par on the 4th playoff hole at the Charles River Country Club qualifier on July 25 in Newton to earn the second of three spots.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience.: 2017 (Semifinals), 2018 (Round of 16), 2019 (Round of 32), 2021 (Missed Cut).

Rounds 1&2 Starting Times: Round 1: 7 a.m. (Tee 1); Round 2: 12 p.m. (Tee 10).

Notes: Vana was inducted into the Massachusetts Golf Hall of Fame in 2016. …He has won the Mass Mid-Amateur 10-times (1999-2003; 2005, 2006; 2012, 2013); the Mass Amateur Championship twice (2004, 2005), the Mass Senior Amateur (2018), and the New England Senior Amateur (2020)… this will be his 33rd USGA championship appearance.

Quoting: “The carrot is that it’s in Massachusetts, so you don’t want to miss it. Since I’ve turned 55, I’ve made all the ones that I can make, so it’s fun, and maybe I can keep that streak going.”


Age: 58

Hometown: Key Biscayne, FL

Club: Old Sandwich Golf Club

How He Got In: Copeland made four birdies on his opening nine and only bogeyed the final hole in the Captains Golf Course qualifier July 18 at Captains Golf Course in Brewster.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience: None.

Rounds 1&2 Starting Times: Round 1: 1:20 p.m. (Tee 1); Round 2: 8:20 a.m. (Tee 10)

Notes: Copeland lives in Florida but owns a home in Chatham, where he spends most of the summer months. …This is his first USGA championship appearance.

Quoting: “It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve played the course once before, and it’s been a while so I’m really looking forward to it.”


Age: 58

Hometown: Delray Beach, FL (Originally from Hingham, MA)

Clubs: Eastward Ho! and Old Sandwich Golf Club

How He Got In: Hoit made 7 birdies, including a 30-foot birdie on the final hole, to shoot 3-under-par 69 and earn medalist honors at the Charles River Country Club qualifier on July 25 in Newton.

Past U.S. Senior Amateur Experience: None.

Rounds 1&2 Starting Times: Round 1: 1:50 p.m. (Tee 10); Round 2: 8:50 a.m. (Tee 1)

Notes: Hoit has won more than 20 club championships between Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., and Eastward Ho! in Chatham, MA. … He made the Round of 64 at the U.S. Mid-Amateur and has played in the U.S. Senior Open (2015&2019). …Finished T4 in 2019 British Senior Amateur.

Quoting: “It’s always an honor to play in a USGA event, I think particularly to be close to home.”


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