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NORTON, Massachusetts – After two seasons of experience, feedback, discussion and review, Mass Golf is excited to announce a series of changes to the Women’s Championships and Women’s Tournament schedules for the 2020 season.
Following the transition to the World Handicap System (WHS) on January 1, there will now be more fairly balanced flights and divisions to create more balanced competition. There will also be adjustments to registrations, allowing participants to spread out their financial commitments to future events, while also giving entry priority to golfers based on the order they sign-up.
While the new schedule will continue to honor the legendary Massachusetts women’s players of the past, the names of some Women’s Championship events have been updated to better reflect their competitive nature. Among those new event names are the Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy, the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for the Keyes Cup, the Women’s Four-Ball Championship for the Townshend Cup and Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup.
ONLINE: 2020 WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIPS
“These modifications to the Women’s Championship and Women’s Tournament schedules will allow for more inclusivity, a better player experience, increased participation, and more manageable operations and administration for our staff and volunteers,” said Jesse Menachem, Executive Director/CEO of Mass Golf.
“We are proud that the Mass Golf Board of Directors unanimously agreed to implement these changes,” Menachem added. “It was especially important to have the guidance of all five female board members, all of whom had experience with the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts (WGAM) before the merger that formed Mass Golf. They all played a pivotal role in the development of these changes.”
Naomi Nesenoff, who has recently been hired as Mass Golf’s Manager of Women’s Events and Player Development, will also lead the growth and evolution of the women’s game in Massachusetts. Nesenoff is a graduate of the PGM program at Penn State and has been a PGA member since 2010. She previously completed an internship with the Women’s Metropolitan Golf Association and most recently served as the Director of Golf at Alpine Country Club in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Nesenoff is highly accomplished at tournament operations and is looking forward to applying her vision for creating player development programs throughout the state.
The following is a detailed layout of what is changing for Women’s Championships and Women’s Tournaments for the 2020 Mass Golf season.
Handicap and age eligibility rules still apply, but entries into all of the Women’s Championship events (with the exception of the Endicott Cup) are accepted in the order they are received rather than giving priority based on Handicap Index (low to high). Registration open dates will also be staggered from February to July so players can distribute their entry fee commitments throughout the year.
Example: Eligible players for events like the Women’s Amateur Championship will have their entries selected in the order they are received.
Note: The Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament remains open to exempt players only.
Balanced flights and divisions will be created based on the diversity of Handicap Indexes of the players in the field who register.
Example: Instead sorting players by a class of Handicap Indexes (Class A for 14.0 or less, Class B for 14.1 to 18.0, etc.), divisions and flights will have an equal number of players based on the range of Handicap Indexes in the field. Specifically, this will apply to the Flighted Division of the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for the Keyes Cup.
Note: In the Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy and Keyes Division of the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, players will still have the option of competing in the Championship Flight or the Tournament Flight.
With the introduction of the World Handicap System, the maximum Handicap Index for women seeking to enter a Mass Golf event has been raised to 54.0 or lower. Some events may require a lower handicap maximum to enter.
The Grace Keyes Cup and B, C, D & E Championship will happen at the same time on the same course as part of the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for the Keyes Cup.
There will be two divisions:
–Keyes Division: Sept. 22-23, 36 holes, stroke play for Handicap Indexes of 18.0 or lower. Winner will receive the Grace Keyes Cup. Players can enter the Championship Flight or the Tournament Flight.
–Flighted Division: Sept. 22, 18 holes, stroke play for Handicap Indexes of 18.1 to 36.0. Players will be divided into evenly distributed flights.
History: Grace Keyes, one of six founding members of the Women’s Golf Association of Boston, established the tournament in 1950 when she presented the Grace Keyes Cup to the WGAM. The Keyes Cup has traditionally been a championship featuring the best mid-amateurs in the state.
The Edith Noblit Baker Trophy has been re-named the Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy, but it will still have the same format: Stroke play, 36 holes for players with Handicap Indexes of 18.0 or lower. Players can enter the Championship Flight or the Tournament Flight.
History: The gross winner of the Championship Flight will receive the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy. The championship dates back to 1950 and was named after Edith Noblit Baker, a five-time Massachusetts Women’s Amateur Champion and former president of WGAM. Baker established the event as president, and it remains one of the most competitive stroke play events on the Mass Golf calendar.
The Hannah D. Townshend Cup and Eleanor W. Allen Bowl are four-ball, stroke play events that have taken place since the 1930s. In 2020, they will be contested on the same date and course.
Townshend Cup: After many years of it being on the Women’s Tournament schedule, the Townshend Cup has been elevated to championship status and named the Women’s Four-Ball Championship for the Townshend Cup. This will be an 18-hole, four-ball stroke play event for players with Handicap Indexes of 18.0 or lower. Top finishing teams will now also earn points towards Player of the Year standings.
Allen Bowl: The Eleanor W. Allen Bowl, which dates back to 1938, is also an 18-hole event, but it will be open to players with Handicap Indexes of 18.1 and higher.
History: The Townshend Cup was established in 1930 when Hannah D. Townshend presented the Townshend Cup to the WGAM in memory of her sister, Miss Fanny Osgood, who served the WGAM as President from 1925-1929.
After nearly a decade of competing for the Stone Cup, this mixed team tournament will now be called the Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup. Each team consists of one man and one woman, but team members do not need to be from the same club or course. Teams will now play an 18-hole, stroke-play event. Also new, the event is available for players with Handicap Indexes of 24.0 or lower.
History: The winners will still receive the Stone Cup, which dates back to 1924 and is named after Katherine Stone of Oakley Country Club. Stone won the Association Championship in 1924 and also served on the USGA women’s committee. Past winners of the Cup include Mass Golf Hall of Fame member, Pat Bradley, who won the event in 1971.
The maximum handicap to enter has been adjusted to 18.0 or lower. It was formerly 14.0 or lower.
For decades, the Mildred Prunaret Cup was one of the most competitive women’s tournaments hosted by Mass Golf. The tournament, which dates back to 1953, has been a two-day better ball of partners event featuring 45 holes of match play contested over two days.
However, after much consideration, Mass Golf has decided to not continue this tournament. The Prunaret Cup, however, will remain on display at the William F. Connell Golf House as a tribute to Mildred Gardinor Prunaret, the captain of the 1960 U.S. Curtis Cup Team. Prunaret left behind a remarkable legacy that included being the 1949-50 Senior Women’s Golf Association Champion and the co-founder of the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship in 1964. By appointment of her Royal Highness, the Queen of England, Prunaret also received many honorary memberships.
2020 MASS GOLF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (As of January 6)
*Some dates and host sites for the 2020 Women’s Championships schedule are still to be determined. Check back to MassGolf.org for the latest on the 2020 schedule. The Women’s Tournament schedule will be released at a later date.
|Date||Championship||Site||Registration Opening Date|
|May 12||Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup||The Cape Club||February 6|
|June 10-11||Women’s Stroke Play Championship for the Edith Noblit Baker Trophy||The Club at New Seabury: Round 1 – Dunes Course; Round 2 – Ocean Course||March 5|
|June 29-July 1||New England Women’s Amateur Championship||North Conway CC (NH)||February 13|
|July 29-31||Ouimet Memorial Tournament||Framingham CC; Woodland GC||February 6|
|August 3-4||Girls’ Junior Amateur Championship||Hatherly CC||May 7|
|August 11-14||Women’s Amateur Championship||Essex County Club||May 7|
|Sept. 22-23||Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for the Keyes Cup||Black Rock CC||July 2|
|Oct. 5-7||Endicott Cup & Tri-State Matches||Agawam Hunt Club (RI)||July 2|
|TBD||Women’s Senior Amateur Championship||TBD||TBD|
|TBD||Women’s Four-Ball Championship for The Townshend Cup||TBD||TBD|
Prior to the launch of online registration going live, Mass Golf encourages golfers to take a moment to do the following:
MAKE SURE YOU ARE ACTIVE
Your Handicap Index must be up-to-date with your current club in order to register. You must have an active index in order to register online. If your index is not active, please contact your club or our staff and we are happy to assist.
CHECK YOUR SCHEDULE
All eligibility requirements, schedules and entry close dates are posted for all events at MassGolf.org under the COMPETITION section. Female golfers should also take a moment to look under the PLAY section of MassGolf.org, which includes information about Women’s Tournaments, Team Tournaments and Member Days.
REACH OUT TO YOUR PARTNER
The Championship schedule features team-oriented events, such as the Mixed Four-Ball Championship for the Stone Cup, which requires both partners to have active Handicap Indexes. Give your partner a call so that you can register for those events which are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact any member of our staff. We are happy to work with you to make your experience as positive as possible. For complete coverage of all Mass Golf events, visit MassGolf.org or follow @PlayMassGolf on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.