The marquee national event for club professionals returns to Turning Stone Resort in 2016.
Formerly called the Club Professional Championship, the 49th annual Professional National Championship includes a huge 312-player field.
It was previously held at Turning Stone in 2006, when Scotia native Ron Philo Jr. captured the title.
The championship will be played on both the Atunyote Golf Club and the Shenendoah Golf Club. Atunyote which will host the final 36 holes. It was the site of the former Turning Stone Resort Championship (2007-10) on the PGA Tour. Both courses have hosted former PGA regional professional and section championships. Turning Stone also boasts a third championship course, Kaluhyat Golf Club.
I had a chance to play in a special media event at Atunyote several years ago, and it’s definitely the finest course I’ve played within an hour or two of the Capital Region. I also covered the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge with Tiger Woods in the field.
“We’re excited to be taking the PGA Professional National Championship back to Central New York and Turning Stone Resort, home to some of the finest public golf in the country,” said PGA of America president Ted Bishop in a press release. “Turning Stone has built a tradition of hosting premier championships and we anticipate in 2016, our centennial year, we will have another memorable chapter written by our best playing PGA Professionals.”
Atunyote Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design that opened for play in 2004, was named after the Oneida word for “eagle.” The longest of Turning Stone Resort’s three championship courses, at 7,315 yards.
“The Oneida Indian Nation and Turning Stone Resort are honored to host the 2016 PGA Professional National Championship on our award-winning Atunyote and Shenendoah courses, during the PGA’s 100th anniversary year,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and Nation Enterprises CEO. “We look forward to showcasing our world-class destination resort and challenging courses for the PGA Professionals who will compete here for the 2016 Championship.”
Atunyote Golf Club was chosen by Golf Digest in 2012 as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” and in 2011, “America’s Top 100 Greatest Public Courses.” Atunyote’s parkland setting features vast stretches of open space, gently rolling hills, a stream, small waterfalls and several lakes.
The Northeastern New York PGA club professionals will have a new added point system this year that is based on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup.
Only club pros who have a Class A card will be eligible for the Champions Cup.
“Anyone who chooses to join the Champions Cup program and pay into it at each regular event will accumulate player of the year points, just as always,” said NENYPGA tournament director Doug Evans. “We will still have our same player of the year points system, and the player with the most points will still be named player of the year. The difference is that everyone who decides to also join the Champions Cup program will be able to vie for the Champions Cup title Oct. 13-14 at Saratoga National Golf Club. Only the top 20 players off the Champions’ Cup point list will be eligible. The top five on that point list will be eligible for the overall title.”
Evans said that there will be a minimum of $8,000 in the prize fund.
“This event will help keep everyone’s interest if somebody runs away with the player of the year honors,” Evans said. “They can still win some money with the Champions Cup.
MEET PAT BRADLEY
Local golf fans will have the opportunity to meet LPGA Tour Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley when eduKaytion Golf, located at Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, Lenox, Mass., hosts the second annual Golf Celebrity event, “A Day with Pat Bradley,” May 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bradley was inducted in 1992 as the 12th member of the LPGA Hall of Fame. She has piled up 31 wins in her 31 years on the LPGA Tour, including six majors and three of those in one year. Bradley is still an active player on the LPGA Legends Tour with 11 top ten finishes in 36 events.
“A Day with Pat Bradley” includes Bradley conducting a morning golf clinic exhibition, “hands on” golf instruction by the eduKaytion golf Staff, directed by LPGA Teaching Hall of Fame Kay McMahon, a gift package for each participant, pictures, autograph signing, and closes with a luncheon with Bradley talking about her life and career on tour.
“A Day with Pat” is open to the public. Cost is $119 for adults and $79 for juniors (age 7-17.). It includes a gift, lunch, instruction stations, and full clinic. Early registration is highly recommended as attendance will be limited due to space constraints. For more information and to register (deadline of May 8th), visit www.edukaytiongolf.com,, or call 669-1551.
The first major amateur partners championship of the season will be contested Saturday and Sunday with the Stadium Classic at Stadium Golf Club. The first round will be a two-man scramble, while the second round will use a best-ball format.
The Eastern New York Golf Association kicks off its season today at Ballston Spa Country Club.
Local pros will compete in their first Pro Classic today at Pinehaven Country Club. It will be combined with the CRAGA Classic No. 1 for amateurs.
Albany Country Club will host the first New York State Golf Association State Day today.
Joe Merendo has been officially rehired as head pro at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
Columbia Golf & Country Club will host the Northeastern Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America spring meeting Tuesday. Registration will be at 9 a.m., followed by the meeting, a presentation by SUNY-Delhi’s Dr. Ben McGraw on weevil management, and golf at 12:30 p.m. Entry fee is $85 for lunch and golf.
The East Greenbush Police Benevolent Association will hold its 10th annual golf scramble at Burden Lake Country Club on May 30 at 10 a.m. Entry fee for both golf and dinner is $95. Contact Pete Lavin or Tim Boel at 479-2525 for reservations. The field will be limited to 120 golfers.
Saratoga Lake Golf Club came up with a new event called the Big-Hole Best-Ball tournament, set for Saturday at 10 a.m. All holes will be eight inches in diameter, instead of the regulation 4.25 inches. The format will be four-player teams with a best-ball format. Entry fee is $70 per player or $270 per team. Cost includes lunch, dinner and prizes. Call 581-6616 for more information.
University at Albany’s 21st annual Great Danes Golf Classic will be held June 2 at Albany Country Club. Entry fee will be $700 per foursome for the morning tournament and $1,000 per foursome for the afternoon tournament. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. For more information, contact Travis Wilson at 442-2654.
Bill Kalsuga, from Penfield, holed out with an 8-iron on the 123-yard 17th hole for the first hole-in-one this season at Ballston Spa Country Club. It was also Kalsuga’s first career ace in 52 years of playing.
Brian Zarro reached the 502-yard par-5 eighth hole with a driver and a 7-iron and then sank the eagle putt at Airway Meadows Golf Club.