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Executive Director’s Letter by Joe Huston N Excitement is in the Air

orthern California is the best place in the world for those who love golf! Last year, our region hosted

the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship at the Olympic Club and the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento. Now two additional national championships, both for women, are coming our way. The 2016 U.S. Women’s Open returns to Northern California for the first time since 1982, and we just announced that Poppy Hills will host the 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. We also have made some exciting

changes at the NCGA to better serve our clubs and members. I can confi- dently say that our organization has the best staff and volunteers in the country. We are pleased to announce that

Richard J. Cerame has taken on the role of publisher of NCGA Golf, in addition to leading our business development efforts. R.J. has a wealth of experience in the golf industry, including tenures at LINKS Magazine and the Metropolitan Golf Association in New York. We are also very fortunate to have Jerry Stewart and Kevin Merfeld on our staff with extensive publishing experience. Jerry has covered golf in California for over 15 years and is an award-winning writer. Kevin is now spearheading our market- ing and innovation efforts as we develop some exciting new programs to help grow the game and membership. Our association has been recognized as having the best tournament program in the country. Ryan Gregg is a key reason for that, and to expand the impact of his talents, we have promoted Ryan to Senior Director of Operations. Ryan Farb, our resident rules expert, also expanded his role to become Direc- tor of Rules and Competitions. Our Junior Tour of Northern California has never been stronger under the leader- ship of Aaron Hartesveldt, working in coordination with the NCPGA and with the support of our friends at Capital Insurance Group.

8 / NCGA.ORG / SPRING 2016 We are thrilled that Jim Cowan,

Director of Course Rating and Handicapping, was asked to join an international committee assigned to the development and introduction of a World Handicap System. It is quite an honor to have Jim’s talents utilized on a global basis. We also recently recognized the

20th anniversary of Todd Cook, General Manager at Poppy Ridge. Todd has been a pivotal member of the team since the course’s inception and under his leadership the property keeps getting better. As the start of the U.S. Women’s

Open nears, we’ve dedicated this issue to not only the championship, but to women’s golf. In this special edition, you’ll find an insider’s guide to the championship penned by former GOLF Magazine Senior Editor Tom Mackin and a preview of CordeValle by the person who built the course—renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. GOLF Magazine contributing editor Josh Sens, meanwhile, reminds us that there’s a whole lot more to CordeValle than golf (hint: bring a corkscrew). Other highlights of the package

include San Francisco Chronicle golf writer Ron Kroichick taking a look at the rich history of women’s golf in Northern California and CordeValle Director of Instruction Jon Horner assessing the types of shots necessary to win the championship. Finally, you may have noticed

NCGA President John Ronca competing in Sunday’s final group at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with Hiroshi Iwata and Phil Mickelson. Many PGA Tour pros never find themselves in that position on Sunday, let alone an amateur. Golf is a very special game, and with a handicap, players of all abilites can compete on a level playing field. We think you’ll enjoy this issue.

For NCGA members, it all adds up to exciting times.


The official publication of the Northern California Golf Association Volume 36, Number 2

Editorial & Business Office Northern California Golf Association 3200 Lopez Road, Pebble Beach, CA 93953 P: (831) 625-4653; F: (831) 625-0150;

Richard J. Cerame – Publisher Jerry Stewart – Editor Laurie Lee – Graphic Design

Advertising Managers Tom Black, Jim Whittemore

Contributing Writers Susan Fornoff, Jon Horner, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Ron Kroichick, Tom Mackin, Kevin Merfeld, Brian Murphy, Josh Sens, Alan Shipnuck, Margaret Skillicorn

Contributing Photographers Joann Dost, Aaron Olson, Taylor Shenton

NCGA Staff Joe Huston – Executive Director, NCGA Adam Heieck – Executive Director, NCGA Foundation

Alex Anderson, Toivo Betancourt, Jim Brady, Richard J. Cerame, Kelly Cimino, Jamie Cordova, Ben Coronado, Jim Cowan, Ryan Dunham, Ryan Farb, Mark Fitch, Aana Fitzgerald, Lenny Fudenna, Martin Fuentes, Svetlana Gavrilenko, Jason Gilbert, Otis Goodwin, Jeremy Gray, Ryan Gregg, Aaron Hartesveld, Maryjane Hatch, Vaughn Kezirian, Rick Leoncio, Michael Lowe, Jillian MacDonald, Kevin Merfeld, Helen Nicolayev, Lindsey Novitzke, Malinda Oliver, Jean Quismundo, Rick Rangel, Sam Staton, Jerry Stewart

NCGA Board of Directors John A. Ronca (President), Patrick N. Quinn (Vice President), Thomas E. Bone (Secretary/Treasurer), Lee Gidney (Immediate Past President)

Stacey Baba, Thomas H. Carter, Raymond M. Coates, John A. Dodsworth, Terry L. Fitzwater, Gary Fox, Scott W. Gebhardt, Robert J. Goldstein, Samuel A. Gross, Susan S. Morse, David L. Pearson, Gail A. Rogers, Michael W. Weeks, Richard M. Wise, Paul F. Yost, Jr.

Golf Courses Owned by the Northern California Golf Association Poppy Hills Golf Course P: (831) 622-8239; F: (831) 626-5421; 3200 Lopez Rd. Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Poppy Ridge Golf Course P: (925) 456-8202; F: (925) 455-2020; 4280 Greenville Rd. Livermore, CA 94550

NCGA Golf (ISSN-1524-4385) is published quarterly by the Northern California Golf Association, 3200 Lopez Road, Pebble Beach, 93953. All rights reserved, including right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Members pay an annual subscription fee of $1. Printed in U.S.A. Please send change of address notice on Member Change form (available at your club). Periodical postage paid at Pebble Beach, CA and additional mailing offices. Advertising contained herein does not constitute endorsement by the Northern California Golf Association. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to NCGA Golf, P. O. Box NCGA, Pebble Beach, CA. 93953-1157.

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