Golf Articles

By Lynda Donahue,
Assistant Tournament and Social Media Director
February 1, 2018

WGANC Most Improved Golfers, Part 3

Continuing with the final Part 3 about the many wonderful members who have been awarded MIP at their club. WGANC awards a perpetual trophy to the Most Improved Junior Golfer each year. Part 2 of this article will share with you 6 more interesting Most Improved Golfers.

Orinda Country Club, Lori Huhn– Lori’s handicap dropped from 32.2 to 27.9. She took lessons and increased her practice to improve her game. She also plays most weekends with her husband. She has been playing golf for 2 years. She will continue working on improving by focusing on her short game and putting. She agrees with her husband when he says, “It’s all about the short game!”

Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Denise Ganji – Denise’s handicap went from 19.3 to 14.7. About 18 months ago, Denise took lessons on putting and short approach shots (60 yards in). She discovered that her eye “overlooked the line.” Denise likes on-course practice. She finds it most helpful to take a second shot or putt while in the moment. Denise “LOVES” to play. She finds that cheering on her fellow players not only makes it fun, but they all play better. Denise joined Quail in 2013 and is on the course as much as she can. Denise’s goal is to always improve. She would love to break 80 from the green tees at Quail Lodge. She also wants to continue to lower her index. Denise says, ”I just want to keep I fun and if it says fun, not serious or too intense, then the sky is the limit.”

Rossmoor, Joyce McCann – Beginning index 13.0; ending index 8.9. Joyce is in her 70’s and has been playing golf since she was 12 years old. She played a bit in college then took time off for life. She got serious again in her 40’s and played a bit on the Amateur tour with a handicap of 4. Then she stopped playing to pursue her career as a scientist.
When she started back in her 70’s she suffered with back problems and played sporadically.
Then she got serious and started with a trainer who required that she rebuild her swing entirely.
After a year or so of practice and lessons she started to get a game. She practiced relentlessly. She joined the women’s group and now she and her foursome “exchange money every Sunday” as they play for skins. Joyce credits the most improvement to loving the short game and “practice, practice, practice.”

Saddle Creek Golf Club, Regina Regan – Regina’s index went from 29.9-25.1. In addition to full sized courses, she likes to play executive courses to get in short game practice. She also hits irons in the backyard. Regina has been playing golf for 4 years. Her goal for next year is to break 90 a few times a month. Regina played 89 rounds this year.
Sequoyah Country Club, Robin Nelson – Beginning and ending handicap index.  33.3 to 28.9
Her method of improvement-lessons, practice, tips.  She states, “First of all I was fitted for new clubs.  Golf technology has come a long way over the course of the past decade.  Many of the tips received by the fitter were very helpful in improving my game.” Robin was also keenly focused on improvement in a few areas (grip, swing, stance, etc.) vs. trying to improve all areas at once. Robin has been playing golf since 2004. Her goals for next year include focusing on tempo and swing and putting.

Sharon Heights, Missy Morris – Missy’s index went from 16.5-13.5. Missy has played golf since she was 12 years old. A neck injury from a car accident prevented her from playing until this past year. She attributes her improvement to a new set of clubs, lessons to get rid of “bad habits”, and a patient husband. He husband encouraged her to join him in short game practice. She says, “We usually made a game out of it just to be competitive enough to have something to work towards.” Missy joined the ladies at Sharon Heights who were always encouraging and fun to play with. Being an “empty nester”, Missy will (for the first time) spend the winter months in Palm Desert where she will be able to play through the winter. Her hope is to jump back in with the Sharon ladies in the spring and not be back at square one, but rather the same or possibly even improved.


2017 Junior Girls Program Donations

By Lynda Donahue,
Assistant Tournament and Social Media Director
January 15, 2018

WGANC Most Improved Golfers, Part 2

Continuing with part 2 about the many wonderful members who have been awarded MIP at their club. WGANC awards a perpetual trophy to the Most Improved Junior Golfer each year. Part 2 of this article will share with you 6 more interesting Most Improved Golfers. Be sure to come back to the next newsletter for Part 3…

Del Paso CC, Michelle Silvester – Michelle’s handicap went from 17.4 to 14.4. Michelle took lessons approximately once per month from Tim Berg in Sacramento. She believes in Tim’s methods 100% and takes all of his instruction literally. Susan used his practice drills, watched women’s golf on TV and visualized proper technique, swing tempo, and balance to improve her game. She also on strength training, stretching, and chipping. She experienced ups and downs through the year, but by seeing some improvement, she kept to her training routine. Her goal next year is to “keep up the same efforts and be Most Improved again!”

Green Valley Country Club, Julie DuPuis – Julie’s handicap dropped from 36.5 to 27. Although Julie did not feel that she had a method of improvement, she took some lessons this year and tried to golf as much as possible. She says, “I think that golfing with really good golfers helped.” She started golfing on a regular basis about 4 years ago. Her goals for next year will be to continue to drop her index, to hi her driver better, an to eliminate the “slice to the right.”

Half Moon Bay Women’s Golf Club, Peggy McCarthy – Peggy’s handicap index dropped from 24.6 to 20.3. Peggy learned how to golf from her dad who was an avid golfer. She has been playing for about 55 years. She says she just had some “really good games” that helped her with her handicap.

Lake Merced, Gloria Cevallos- Gloria’s handicap dropped from 31.7 to 27.9. Her method of improvement was taking lessons and reading tips in Golf Digest. Although she has been playing golf almost 20 years, she wish she had starter earlier than in her fifties. Her goals for next year are to continue to decrease her handicap, increase her consistency, confidence, and to get out of bunkers!

Moraga Women’s Golf Association, Joyce Shao. Beginning index 28.1; ending index 21.3. Joyce took lessons and practiced a lot. The tip that got her going was to keep the elbow close to her body on the take-away and flatten her swing. She has been playing since 1982. Her goal for next year is to continue to improve and lengthen driving distance. Joyce’s captain states that Joyce went through a difficult time with her swing a couple of years ago, but she did not give up.

Oakmont Golf Course, Kristin Peters – Beginning index 18.3; ending index 14.9. Kristin says that she took lessons and hit a “million” balls on the range every day and ½ “million” in the chipping area. Her tip to others would be to “relax and practice.” Kristin has been playing for 7 years and her goal for next year is to hit every green in regulation.

WGANC Most Improved Golfers, Part 1

By Lynda Donahue,
WGANC SF Area Director and Newsletter Editor
January 1, 2018

The number one goal for most golfers is to improve their game and lower their handicap index.  Each year, many clubs in WGANC give an awards to the Most Improved Golfer.  The handicap system provides a detailed calculation to determine the Most Improved Golfer.  WGANC awards a perpetual trophy to the Most Improved Junior Golfer each year.  In this article, you will hear from the Most Improved Women in the 18 hole golf clubs.  For some recipients, this award comes as a complete surprise. Maybe we should all work on our skills, so that we may claim this prestigious award!  This is not a complete list.  At the time of this writing, some clubs had not awarded the MIP.  More player information will be listed in future newsletters so check back to see who else is highlighted here…

Brookside Women’s Golf Club, Susan Bartman –Susan’s handicap dropped from 22.6 to 19.4.  She made her improvement by playing, playing, and playing.  Susan learned to play golf about 8 years ago to play with her husband.  She took lessons for a few months but could not find anyone to play with.  Ultimately, a good friend connected her with another female golfer who was looking for golf buddies.  The friend was quite helpful and answered her many questions. Four years ago, she joined the “wonderful” 9 hole group and then the 18 hole group at Brookside Golf Club.  She states that she learns a lot by watching and talking to the ladies of the BWGA.  She loves learning and working on her game.  Last year, Susan broke 90 one time.  Her goal for 2018 is to have more rounds below 90 and to continue to bring her handicap index down. Susan says, “I love getting outside and walking the golf course.  I love the competition, but most of all I have met some really great ladies and made some lifelong friends.”

Copper River, Karren Sandusky – Her beginning handicap index was 27.1 and her ending index was 17.6. She owes her improvement to gaining confidence in using her driver.  Karren was using a 3 iron to drive with because it was more predictable for her. She was able to drive the ball as far as the other ladies using their drivers so it wasn’t a “big deal” to her. However, with her strength she knew she was missing out on even more distance. A friend worked with her on the driver and he was able to help her understand what and what not to do! I made a big difference! Karren can now drive the ball over 200 yards! She still only use irons (no fairway metals!).Karren has been playing golf for about 14 years, but recent retirement has allowed her to increase her play. Karren’s goals for next year are to continue to improve and get her handicap down into the teens!  “Maybe I will dabble with fairway metals? LOL!” she says.

Every issue we will bring you more MIP articles, so please check back…

Good-bye from Out-Going President

by Kim Algren, 2017 President

My sincerest appreciation and gratitude are extended to my entire Board and the staff of WGANC for their time, energy, contributions and commitment this past year. We faced a very “challenging” year with our primary goal being to keep WGANC a viable, independent organization. Because we were operating with the minimum number of directors at the beginning of the year, our Board members were faced with challenges which required extra commitment and additional responsibilities. Our Directors at Large stepped up and assisted with many more of our Open Days than usual. We welcomed a much-needed and experienced additional Board member, Naina Biswell from Seascape Golf Club, in March. We worked as an effective, united group to insure that WGANC continued to operate and provide the services and benefits our members have come to appreciate. Certainly, our dedicated volunteers who participate on the Rules and/or Course Rating Committees and Open Day Assistants deserve our gratitude and a round of applause. My thanks also are extended to the many individual members of our organization who offered support, assistance and kindness throughout the year at our Regional Meetings, Emergency Regional Meetings, Area Meetings, Tournaments and Open Days.

The majority of our energy and effort this year was spent on the USGA Membership Initiative (United States Golf Association) which dictated that commencing on January 1, 2018, WGANC would no longer be able to issue handicap indexes. Negotiations with the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), WGANC and Pacific Women’s Golf Association (PWGA) began in the fall of 2016, to decide how the changes mandated by USGA would affect our associations. Meetings continued throughout 2017, and we worked hard to communicate developments as they occurred and to measure the pulse of our members on how the majority wanted to proceed through Regional Meetings, eRevision announcements and Survey Monkey.

By July, your Board decided that our members needed to be as educated as possible so that an informed decision as to the future of WGANC could be made. Four Emergency Meetings and many individual and small groups “Go-To” Meetings were held throughout the month of August. All but four of our clubs attended these meetings. The special meeting for a delegate vote was called for September; however, prior to the vote, an eight-hour mediation occurred on August 30 between USGA, WGANC, PWGA and NCGA, culminating in an agreement to a two-year collaboration agreement. In addition to continuing all WGANC programs, services and other benefits, all members will receive full NCGA membership benefits during this two-year period. WGANC will retain independence to manage its own operations during this timeframe. A Core Transition Team, consisting of representatives of NCGA, WGANC and PWGA has been established to ensure an effective collaboration period and to have ongoing improved interaction and efficiency. Benchmarks will be established for all parties to determine if alignment on overall goals can be accomplished. The vote scheduled for this past September was not cancelled, but will occur in the summer of 2019 at which time our members can determine if unification best serves their interests. Please be assured that the 2018 Board, Core Transition Team and WGANC participants on WGANC Committees will proactively work to make sure that the best decisions are made on your behalf. Information will continue to be disseminated to you during this transition period. The bottom line, and most importantly, is that 2017 was a successful year because our primary goal was obtained…that of keeping WGANC an independent, strong association.

Also, as a result of the USGA Membership Initiative, the course rating responsibilities will be transferred to NCGA under its handicapping license with USGA. Although we will miss our Course Raters, we believe that many will continue rating for NCGA.

Other developments and improvements in WGANC programs and services were secondary to those above-described, but should be mentioned:

1. WGANC’s Board of Directors continues to appreciate its fiduciary responsibility to its members. Each month we assess our budget so that we can continue to cut costs while maintaining high-levels of service and benefits to our members. For the next two years, our members will receive the benefits of dual memberships in WGANC and NCGA for $39.

2. Because of excessive rain, followed by flooding, heat waves and fires, 2017’s Open Days were affected; however, we still held 30 successful Open Days and 9 Tournaments. We worked at or sponsored other such golf related events as the US Junior Girls’ qualifiers and tournaments, the NorCal Cup Matches, the North-South Matches, the NorCal Four-Ball tournament, the USGA Women’s Four-Ball qualifier, the USGA Women’s State Team, and the California Women’s Championship. We listened to members’ feedback concerning awards at Open Days and we have received positive responses from participants who are now enjoying different, improved awards.

3. The Junior Girls Program, developed to encourage and support our junior girls in pursuing opportunities and friendly competition in the golf world, continues to grow in its success and outreach to young women interested in golf. Another Helen Lengfeld Tournament was added to the North Valley Region at Wilcox Oaks Golf Club. Our grant program continues to grow thanks to our member clubs’ and individual member’s generous donations. This year, close to $20,000 was distributed to worthy Junior Girl Programs throughout Northern California. Make sure to read all the details in the Junior Girls Report. Thank you to all our members for your continued support.

4. This was the first year we held the new 2-Person Scramble Tournament that was a formatted event for all players and all ages. This new tournament replaced the former 18-59 Tournament. The event was not only over-subscribed, but well received and enjoyed by our members. The 2018 schedule of tournaments already includes this new popular tournament.

5. Our eRevision publication continued to improve in 2017 by offering a diversity of excellent and informative articles to our members. Besides the handicap revision notification, eRevision became a user friendly publication that enabled WGANC to keep its members informed of developments throughout the year.

6. One of the most surprising and appreciated benefits resulting from the USGA Membership Initiative was the development of new friendships and bonds with our sister organization, Pacific Women’s Golf Association. Our common interests of keeping our organizations independent, as well as providing educational, competitive and social opportunities to support and promote women’s amateur golf in Northern California, has substantially strengthened our relationship in 2017. We look forward to working with PWGA in the future to accomplish common goals.

It has been my honor and privilege to serve as your 2017 President and to have served on your Board of Directors since 2014. This past year has been a challenge, but I will miss the camaraderie and daily involvement in WGANC. In exchange for my volunteering to serve WGANC, I have reaped the benefits of life-long friendships and gained appreciation of an Association with a 110 year-old history full of rich traditions.

I encourage each and every one of you to volunteer at some level and become involved in WGANC activities. Please communicate your ideas and concerns to your Board, and most importantly, encourage increased participation within your clubs for all of our events.

Kim Algren,

Rules Corner – Let’s Pick Up the Pace!

Suzanne Olson,
Certified Rules Official, WGANC & NCGA

Rule 6-7 deals with undue delay and slow play.
6-7. Undue Delay; Slow Play

Did you know that for any WGANC tournament, the Committee sets a pace of play for each hole? The same is true for any NCGA tournament. In fact, the NCGA sets 40 seconds from the time the player arrives at her ball and is clear to hit, as the time limit for a player to select her club and play her shot, be it full swing, pitch or putt.

You may say that you don’t play in organized tournaments, but whenever you play, you should be playing in a timely fashion. I don’t know anyone who enjoys slow play!! There are many tips for improving pace of play, so I encourage you to look at the following references and incorporate them into your game. I particularly like Gail Roger’s suggestion:

“Are you up for a challenge? Ask the group with whom you regularly play golf to evaluate you and then each other as to whether you are an average, slow or fast player. Do you play efficiently? What is your weak area when it comes to pace of play for the group? Then remind them that you will all be friends at the end of the ‘stamp out slow play in golf’ exercise and you hope you can each work on changing one aspect of your game during the next month.”

When you make it a friendly group exercise, it makes it less threatening, and you may find something you can do to improve your pace.

The player must play without undue delay and in accordance with any pace of play guidelines that the Committee may establish. Between completion of a hole and playing from the next teeing ground, the player must not unduly delay play.

Penalty for Breach of Rule 6-7:
Match play – Loss of hole; Stroke play – Two strokes.
For subsequent offense – Disqualification.

Note 1: If the player unduly delays play between holes, he is delaying the play of the next hole and, except for bogey, par and Stableford competitions (see Rule 32), the penalty applies to that hole.

Note 2: For the purpose of preventing slow play, the Committee may, in the conditions of a competition (Rule 33-1), establish pace of play guidelines including maximum periods of time allowed to complete a stipulated round, a hole or a stroke.


Noted Women California Golfers – Juli Inkster

Lynda Donahue,
WGANC SF Area Director and Newsletter Editor

One of California’s most celebrated golfers, Juli Inkster, is currently Pasatiempo’s LPGA touring professional, and the club is proud of its long association with one of the game’s all time greats.

Juli was born in 1960 in Santa Cruz, CA, and three years later her parents moved into a home along the fourteen fairway of Pasatiempo Golf Club. Even at age 3, Juli was very determined and competitive in everything she did, especially with her brothers. It started then, she wanted to win and be first. Juli’s parents reflect that she was always pursuing things with substantial effort.

She was, of course, a tomboy and always felt equal to her brothers. She could also be a girl when it helped her position. Juli often tagged along with her father when he was coaching Little League. She liked school, especially the social part of it. She played a number of sports during her school years: track, swimming, softball, basketball and tennis.

Juli started working at Pasatiempo Golf Club before taking up the game of golf. She worked in the cart barn, picked up the driving range and worked at Hattie’s Snack Shack at the 10th tee. As she was turning 15, Juli took up golf with a real passion. She practiced hard and played with a passion for the game. She played on the Harbor High School Boy’s Golf Team, and made their traveling team where she and the team won tournaments.

In 1978, she was voted as Pasatiempo’s Most Improved Golfer, where her scores were fast approaching the seventies on a consistent basis. In her senior year Juli received a golf scholarship to San Jose State University and the rest is history. Here are some of the highlights of Juli’s collegiate, amateur, and professional career:

1980 San Jose State Golf

Highlights / Accomplishments of Juli Inkster


· Three time All-American at San Jose State University (1979, 1981, 1982)


· Captures three consecutive U.S. Women’s Amateur titles (1980, 1981, 1982)
· Ranked #1 Woman Amateur by Golf Digest (1981, 1982)
· Member of U.S. Curtis Cup and World Cup


· LPGA Rookie of the Year (1984) and first victory at her fifth event
· First rookie ever to win two major championships in one season (1984)
· 31 career LPGA victories and 6 non-LPGA victories
· Seven major championships including 2 U.S. Open’s (1999 and 2002)
· Currently sixth in all-time LPGA career earnings (over 14 Million dollars as of today)
· Member of 9 Solheim Cup Teams (Captain the last two times)
· Inducted into LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame in 2000

Currently, Juli is Pasatiempo Golf Club’s touring professional and has kept a strong relationship with Pasatiempo over the years. You can find her playing the course with her family, friends and associates when she gets the time. Juli Inkster is one of the all time greats on the LPGA tour, and visitors to Pasatiempo Golf Club can review her many accomplishments and see memorabilia from her career in a special commemorative area near the front entrance. She has also been a terrific mother to her two daughters Hayley and Cori with her husband, Brian Inkster, who is credited with teaching her the game.

Juli lives in Los Altos, California with her family, but often visits her parents and family at the house on the fourteenth fairway of Pasatiempo Golf Course in Santa Cruz, California.

Juli has played on LPGA tour since 1983, during that time she has become a role model for the players, especially the younger players both on and off the course. Juli Inkster is a significant golf star over time, but you would never know it, to this day she has a humble, hard-working, sense of humor with values in everything she does.

More info: Further biographical information, lifetime results, and statistics can be obtained from the Juli Inkster Profile on
Photos of Juli From The Early Days

1976 Harbor High Golf Team
Note on the Photographs: The photos of Juli Inkster are courtesy of the LPGA.


Noted Women California Golfers – Kay Cockerill

Lynda Donahue
WGANC SF Area Director and Newsletter Editor

(Sourced from

Women’s Golf history runs deep in Northern California, so we would like to feature a few California golfers in our newsletter (eRevision).  We’ll start with Kay Cockerill.

  Kay Cockerill has been with Golf Channel since the network’s inception in 1995. She serves as an on-course reporter and analyst for the network’s LPGA Tour, Tour and PGA TOUR coverage. She also contributes to the network’s coverage of the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship National Finals from Augusta National Golf Club as well as the Women’s NCAA Golf Championships.

Cockerill played on the LPGA Tour for nine years before joining the network, and is a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion (1986-87) and participant in the 1986 Women’s World Amateur Team Championships. She received her economics degree from UCLA in 1987 and is the only female golfer in the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame, where she won six times and was a two-time All-American.

Known for her volunteer work away from the course, Cockerill received the LPGA’s Budget Service Award in 1992 for her outstanding community service and dedication to golf. In 2008, she was honored by the California Golf Writers Association with the Jack Lemmon Ambassador of Golf Award, honoring individuals in golf who have represented the game with character and personality and whose positive image has served as an invaluable service to the game. Cockerill also is a member of the Board of The First Tee of San Francisco and a member of the Northern California Golf Association Hall of Fame, alongside fellow NBC Sports/Golf Channel personalities Johnny Miller and Roger Maltbie.

Cockerill resides in San Francisco with her husband Danny Dann, who works for the three-time World Series-winning San Francisco Giants.

Sheri Erskine to receive NCGA Distinguished Service Award

Jerry Stewart, NCGA Assistant Director of Communications
Lynda Donahue, WGANC Bay Area Director
Sept. 14, 2017

Sheri Erskine, WGANC member and the 2006 WGANC Outstanding Volunteer Award recipient, will be presented with the NCGA’s Distinguished Service Award on September 21, 2017 at the NCGA Hall of Fame ceremony at Poppy Hills. Sheri is one of only 5 women to receive this award in its 35 year history.

Introduced to the game by John, her husband-to-be in 1967, Sheri not only has enjoyed playing, but has served as a USGA volunteer since 1994, when she first joined the Women’s Handicap Procedure Committee. Karen Dedman, a friend from Sacramento and a past USGA Women’s Committee member, had approached Sheri after seeing her efforts at her home club, Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton.

In 1995, Sheri went to Rules School. On her first try at the difficult Rules test, she’d score an impressive 92. Not long afterwards, she’d work the first of what would become numerous U.S. Women’s Opens as a walking Rules official.

Eventually Sheri became a member of three USGA committees—Course Rating, Handicap and Handicap Procedure. Fortunately for the NCGA, Sheri has also left her touch on the Northern California golf circle.
Sheri was among those responsible for re-rating NorCal courses upon the institution of Slope Rating. She later also became co-chairman of the WGANC’s handicap committee and still serves as the WGANC’s Course Rating chairman.

Off the course, Sheri is a regular speaker and instructor for the WGANC and the USGA, sharing her years of knowledge through presentations at local, regional and national course-rating seminars.

In 2010, the California Women’s Amateur Championship honored her with the Helen Lengfeld Award for her impact on women’s amateur golf in NorCal.

  Today, she’s still on the USGA Handicap Procedure and Course Rating Committees and still does course ratings for the NCGA. She’s also now spent 50 years with John— a fellow Rules official and former NCGA Board member.

Sheri will be attending the ceremony with her husband, John and their two daughters. The NCGA Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 to celebrate the rich and storied history of golf in Northern California, and to preserve and honor the legacies of those who have dramatically shaped and impacted the game in the region and beyond. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees include Juli Inkster, Loren Roberts, Casey Boyns and Dr. Allister McKenzie (posthumous). What an honor for Sheri to share the stage with these individuals!

Important Update from President Kim Algren on the Status of WGANC

Fall, 2017

Dear Members,

The following Joint Communication Statement was released on September 6 by WGANC, PWGA and NCGA:

“We are pleased to announce that the WGANC, PWGA, and NCGA have agreed to a two-year collaboration plan to support golfers in the Northern California community with a variety of services, including the regional administration and issuance of each member’s Handicap Index. In addition to continuing the WGANC and PWGA programs, services, and other benefits, all members will receive full NCGA membership benefits during this timeframe. The previously communicated WGANC and PWGA vote regarding potential merger/unification will not be needed until 2019 as a result of this highly collaborative process. The WGANC, PWGA, and NCGA leadership fully supports this agreement, and thanks the USGA for their assistance, as we all work together to foster a sustainable and vibrant future for golf in our region.”

– Kim Algren, President of WGANC
– Nancy Boggs, PWGA President
– Pat Quinn, NCGA President

Rules Corner – Using Another Ball as a Backstop

Barry Rhodes
with comments by
Suzanne Olsen
Certified Rules Official WGANC & NCGA

Read what happened at Silverado:
Here is the situation; during the final round of the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort, California, on the on the par-4 12th hole, Tony Finau (USA), played a difficult shot from a buried lie in a greenside bunker. His ball raced across the putting green and collided with the stationary ball of Jason Kokrak (USA), who had previously pitched up close to the hole from over 30 yards away. Finau’s ball was stopped just two feet from the hole, whereas it definitely would have travelled several feet past, perhaps as much as 30 feet, if Kokrak had previously marked and lifted his ball. The incident can be viewed at this link. Was this favourable deflection off a fellow competitor’s ball a fortunate ‘rub of the green’, or as many are claiming, was it equivalent to cheating by either or both of the players?

The first and perhaps the most important point that I wish to emphasise is that no Rule of Golf was broken in this incident, as there is no suggestion that Finau and Kokrak agreed that Kokrak’s ball should be left close to the hole, so that it might act as a backstop to Finau’s ball. In stroke play, it is Rule 19-5b that is relevant to this situation;

If a player’s ball in motion after a stroke is deflected or stopped by a ball in play and at rest, the player must play his ball as it lies. In match play, there is no penalty. In stroke play, there is no penalty, unless both balls lay on the putting green prior to the stroke, in which case the player incurs a penalty of two strokes.

In stroke play, if one player, B, indicates to another player, A, that they would like them to leave their ball where it lies on the putting green, as it could provide an advantage for them, and A complies; or if A gives any indication to B that he will leave his ball where it is, so as to assist B, both players incur the penalty of disqualification. Decision 22-6 states;

Q. In stroke play, B’s ball lies just off the putting green. A’s ball lies near the hole in a position to serve as a backstop for B’s ball. B requests A not to lift his ball. Is such a request proper?

A. No. If A and B agree not to lift a ball that might assist B, both players are disqualified under Rule 22-1.

“Here’s what happened in my situation. I was playing 4 ball stroke play. Player A was off the green. Player B’s ball was on the green about 3 feet beyond the hole, in a position to stop player A’s ball if it went past the hole. As the first player was preparing to putt from off the green, the second player said, “wait a minute, let me mark just in case”. All 4 of us finished the hole without further incident. Afterwards, I asked player B what she meant by saying she wanted to mark, “just in case”.. She said she didn’t want player A’s ball to hit hers. Turned out she thought player A would have incurred a penalty. I pointed out that she would not have incurred a penalty, since her ball was off the green, AND that her ball was in a position to help player B, so she/we would have been better off if she’d just kept quiet. However, once she indicated she wanted to mark and lift, we couldn’t prevent her from doing it as it would then be clear we were agreeing to leave a ball in place that could assist. Strategy!!!”

– Suzanne Olsen
Certified Rules Official, WGANC & NCGA


Rules Corner – Rule 13-2: Improving Lie, Area of Intended Stance or Swing, or Line of Play

Suzanne Olsen
Certified Rules Official WGANC & NCGA

Jane is playing in a tight match when she hit her ball under a willow tree. She takes a practice swing close to the ball and her club hits a branch of the tree on the back swing, knocking down a few leaves. Her opponent claims the hole saying that she improved her lie. What do you think?

Without seeing the tree, you really can’t make a decision! There are examples of what constitutes “improving” one’s lie in Decision 12-2/0.5. Ask yourself the following: Did the player’s action change the lie, area of intended stance of swing for the better so that she’d created a potential advantage? I’ve never personally seen a willow tree that wasn’t fully “leafed”. I doubt loss of a few leaves would create an advantage! But if it were a tree with very few leaves, than yes, removal of them would create an advantage. (Loss of hole in Match Play, 2 stroke penalty in Stroke Play.)

After Jane shows her opponent the Rule book, the two decide she does not get a loss of hole penalty, so Jane steps up to her ball and prepares to hit. On the backstroke she hits a branch and actually breaks it off, but she continues the stroke and hits the ball well forward onto the fairway Her opponent again claims the hole saying that that surely improved her area of intended swing.

If you ask yourself again, “Did the player’s action change the lie, area of intended stance of swing for the better so that she’d created a potential advantage”? You’d have to say no, because hitting the branch probably was a disadvantage! And that’s why the Rule says the player incurs no penalty if the action occurs in making a stroke or the backward movement of his club for a stroke and the stroke is made. Be sure that you understand that if she broke the branch (or removed the only 2 leaves on the branch) and discontinued her swing, she would be improving her area of intended swing for any subsequent strokes, so she’d incur the loss of hole penalty (or 2 stroke penalty in Stroke Play).


An Update from our President

WGANC President, Kim Algren

WGANC President, Kim Algren

Dear Members,
Our Emergency Regional Meetings are continuing on schedule, and for those members who could not attend a scheduled meeting, we are hopeful that we will be able to accommodate them via a series of telephone conference calls, as well. So far, there has been great enthusiasm at these events and members leave with a new purpose.

Because USGA, to date, has declined to offer handicapping services to WGANC, by declining our application to become an Affiliated Golf Association, or by directly licensing WGANC, our membership will have to decide how they wish to proceed in the future. The purpose of these meetings was to educate the Captains and/or Delegates on the options available so that they could then take the knowledge they gained back to share with their individual club members. Our options are:

(1) Remain a stand-alone association offering the same benefits and services as in the past and remaining a major voice for women’s golf in Northern California and a leader for the future of women’s golf through our Junior Girls Golf programs. The only change is that we will no longer be able to offer handicapping services. Membership fee will be $25 per member. (The price of a few sleeves of balls!)

(2) Assimilate into NCGA and dissolve WGANC. You will obtain your handicap and receive all benefits of being an NCGA member for $39 per year. NCGA cannot guarantee that WGANC’s current Tournaments and Open Days will continue unless former WGANC members volunteer to work those events and agreements to waive green fees can be obtained from the various venues.

(3) Dissolve the Association at the end of 2017. All remaining assets on dissolution shall be distributed to a non-profit fund, foundation, or, corporation which is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes and is a Section 501(c)(3) exempt entity.

Essentially, should your club vote to remain a WGANC member and be a stand-alone association, the cost would be $25 for our membership fee ($5 less than last year), plus the $39 fee to NCGA for your handicap services.

Our Notice of Special Meeting and Ballot will be emailed to the delegates on August 31, 2017. Each delegate will vote, via email or mail, pursuant to the directive of its club members, on or before September 12, 2017.

For those members who would suggest that WGANC is no longer relevant, let me share with you the sentiment of an older member at one of our WGANC clubs: “I am of an age when I no longer participate in Open Days or tournaments, but that won’t stop me from supporting WGANC. We need to continue for the future of women’s golf, to make sure there is a woman’s voice for our daughters and granddaughters and that they have an organization that represents them and whose sole function is to support women’s golf for all handicap ranges.” Women have come so far in the game of golf over the past 110 years. In fact, the biggest growing segment of the golf industry is junior girls who WGANC specifically supports. Do you want to preclude the next group of young women from enjoying Open Days and tournaments as you may have done in the past?

Kim Algren
President – WGANC


Summer Message from our President

WGANC President, Kim Algren

WGANC President, Kim Algren

Dear Members,
The 2017 Tournament Season is well underway and the tournaments so far have been well-attended and enjoyed by our members. The new 2-Person Scramble appears to be heading to oversubscription! Our Open Days had a slow start this year because of inclement weather, but we are going strong now. Open Days are a wonderful way to play outstanding courses for a fraction of the price, enjoy two meals and get to know some new “golf buddies.”

Thank you to all of our members who participated in our Survey Monkey Questionnaire in March regarding viable options available to WGANC as a result of the USGA Membership Initiative. The results of this survey revealed the following preferences of those members who responded. Of our 10,101 WGANC members, 28%, (or 2,828 individual members) responded to the questionnaire.
Of the 28% that responded,
• 85.52% (or 2,418 members) chose Option 1,
• 12.83% (or 363 members) chose Option 2,
• and 1.65% (or 47 members) chose Option 3. If Option 1 was not available, 68.43% (or 1,935 members) chose Option 2 and 31.57% (or 893 members) chose Option 3.

To refresh your recollection of the options available at the time of the questionnaire, they are summarized as follows:
Option 1 – WGANC contracts with NCGA to provide GHIN services to our members, but otherwise remains a separate association for purposes of tournaments, Open Days, charitable contributions, and other association activities. WGANC would continue to collect dues from members and clubs; it would pass along an amount necessary to compensate NCGA for the GHIN services; and WGANC would retain the remainder of the dues to fund its usual operations.

Option 2 – WGANC fully merges or is absorbed into NCGA, but retains its identity as an affiliated association under the NCGA umbrella. NCGA would collect dues from our members and clubs, and would provide WGANC with a budget each year to conduct tournaments, make charitable contributions, and cover administrative expenses (including staff and office). The WGANC operating budget would be re-evaluated each year by NCGA. (The terms of the merger/absorption described in this paragraph and initially discussed with NCGA have changed significantly since our survey questionnaire.

Option 3 – WGANC contracts with outside vendors to supply handicapping and tournament management services. Handicaps developed by a non-USGA system would probably not be considered official for purposes of golfer participation in USGA and NCGA events, but would enable tournament play at club and WGANC tournaments and Open Days.

During the first week of May, 2017, WGANC learned that NCGA declined to accept our proposal to enter into a contractual arrangement whereby we would purchase handicapping services from them. Instead, NCGA provided a “draft” proposal, the terms of which were significantly different than those described to you as Option 2 in our Survey Monkey Questionnaire. The terms and conditions of this draft proposal were reviewed and analyzed by an Ad Hoc Committee. Rest assured, we are still investigating all options available to us that would allow WGANC to continue to operate as it has been over the past 110 years.

With respect to the current status of the merger option, and after much deliberation and discussion in the Ad Hoc Committee, a counterproposal was sent to NCGA on June 18, 2017. The counterproposal essentially states that should a merger be our only alternative, we want either (1) a three-year transition period prior into the merger where our members would pay dues to NCGA and we would retain our reserve funds so that we could continue to work our tournaments and open days and pay our volunteers to do so, or (2) a two-year period in which we would purchase our handicap and rating services and we would continue to collect dues from our members and essentially function as in the past, with a merger to occur after the third year.

Once we receive a response from NCGA, expected on or before July 21, 2017, all members will be notified of what we believe will be our three options: (1) Continue as we have with our members paying NCGA for their handicaps and WGANC a smaller membership fee; (2) A merger with NCGA under the best possible conditions that we can negotiate for our members, or (3) Dissolution.

Kim Algren
President – WGANC


Women’s Golf Day Plans at 3 WGANC Clubs

June 1, 2017

Lynda Donahue,
WGANC SF Area Director and Newsletter Editor

Sierra View Country Club will be participating in the nationwide Women’s Golf Day event. It will be held on June 6 from 4-6 pm at the practice facility. David Sutherland, Sacramento State Girls Golf Coach will be making an appearance. Local high School girl’s golf teams have been invited. Plans are continuing to develop to make this a special day. Contact Dawn Colli, Captain, for more information.

Maryellen Peters, Captain reports that Granite Bay Golf Club has morning and afternoon fun-filled activities planned for Women’s Golf Day.

Woodbridge Country Club will also be celebrating Women’s Golf Day. Both 9-hole and 18-hole Ladies’ Clubs at Woodbridge Golf & Country Club are participating together in this world wide event.  18-hole Captain, Sandi Page, says that this event has provided an opportunity for the two clubs to work together!  All of the details have not been worked out, but here’s what she can report as of this date: The 18-hole group is called the Woodbridge Women’s Golf Association (WWGA) and the 9-hole group is called the Fore-Tee Niners (49ers).  The General Manager, Ernie Micelli, and Pro, Kelly Runkle, worked with the WWGA Captain to make this a unique event and very affordable!

The event will begin with a putting lesson/activity at 4:00pm, then continue to a 4:30pm shotgun.  The group will play 9 holes, all par 3’s.  Females 8 years & under will play 3 holes, 9-16 year olds will play 6 holes and all others will play 9 holes.  It should be fun golf–no tournament, no winners.

After golf, light appetizers will be served and fun, interactive games will be played until 7:00pm.  The cost for all of this will be $5.00!!  What a great bargain.

Organizers are working on getting Channel 3 News or the local newspaper for some positive coverage of this women’s event. Outstanding high school golfers have been asked to make an appearance and give some instruction or inspiration to the younger females who visit that day.

Posters advertising the event are positioned in different places throughout the Woodbridge Clubhouse. The event will also be included in the June monthly bulletin. For more information, contact Sandi Page, Captain, Woodbridge Country Club.



Keeping Up With Our Interns

Lynda Donahue,
WGANC SF Area Director and Newsletter Editor
April 15, 2017

2016 WGANC Boatwright Intern, Madison Ricks, was recently hired for a 12 week internship at NBC’s Sports Group’s Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida. Madison will work with the Senior Director of Golf Central. Madison completed her 3-month internship with WGANC on August 8, 2016. She was great to work with and her tenure at WGANC provided her with a variety of experiences in the inner workings of the association.

Madison will be primarily working with the production of the daily show, “Golf Central”. The daily show reports everything that is happening in the world of golf. It is the only live, daily news source in the world of golf. The 30-minute daily show provides in-depth analysis, highlights, and up to the minute golf news. “I am really excited for the amazing opportunity, and thankful for my P.J. Boatwright internship in the WGANC office,” writes Madison. Madison goes on to state, “It gave me such a unique background and experience to draw from. I believe it helped me stand out over some other applicants.” The P.J. Boatwright Internship Program is funded through a grant from the United States Golf Association.

The 2015-16 P. J. Boatwright Intern, Caitlin Banke complete an 8-month internship with WGANC in May 2016. She will be attending Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Caitlin attended Menlo College and played on the Menlo Women’s Golf Team while interning at WGANC. Caitlin writes, “I know that I could not have continued my education at Trinity College had it not been for the help I receive during my Internship at WGANC. I will always look back fondly at my time at WGANC.”

WGANC Executive Director, Eva Monisteri stated, “We are proud of Caitlin and Madison and we are happy to hear that they are both achieving some success as a result of the P. J. Boatwright Internship experience here in the WGANC Office.”

WGANC just hired our 2017 Boatwright intern. Her name is Ritida Nanda and she is a senior at Monte Vista High School in Danville. She will play golf for Santa Clara University this fall. We are very excited to have Ritida as our intern this year! You will hear more about Ritida in articles to come…

Volunteers at Rules School

Vicki Wilson and Janet Winslow
April 15, 2017

Janet Winslow of Discovery Bay CC, Lynne Gangi of Half Moon Bay Golf Links and Debbie Mackie of Riverview G&CC all attended this year’s PGA / USGA Rules of Golf Workshop – a 3½-day workshop held annually by The PGA of America and the USGA. The workshops are held throughout the US and Janet, Lynne and Debbie attended the one held in Sacramento from March 24th through the 27th.

Their accomplishment is no small feat – The workshop they attended:  Rules of Golf Workshop – is a 3½-day intensive workshop covering all 34 Rules of Golf, unabridged and in detail.  The 3 days of lectures are followed by a half- day exam.  The exam is timed and consists of 100 multiple choice questions which cover all types of rules scenarios.

Since 1975, The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association, working together to support the best interests of the game, have offered a series of workshops on the Rules of Golf. These workshops are open to the public and bring together several of the foremost Rules of Golf educators in the game, with the goal of making the Rules accessible to anyone who wishes to learn more about them or sharpen their existing knowledge.

This was Janet’s 3rd USGA Rules School – a necessity to maintain her Rules Certification. A week prior to attending this workshop she successfully completed and passed the NCGA Rules Class!  Now she is “good to go” for the next 3 years. Janet says she likes to “jump in with both feet” to accomplish her goals.  I say Bravo and congratulations!

Janet will take this experience and knowledge back with her to her Rules volunteering that she does with WGANC, NCGA, CWAC and NCPGA.

We at WGANC say THANK YOU to all the wonderful Rules Volunteers!

Rules Corner: ‘Through the Green’

Suzanne Olsen
Certified Rules Official, WGANC & NCGA
April 15, 2017

If you have ever attended a Rules seminar/presentation you’ve been told that the most useful and important thing you can do is know the definitions in the very front of the Rules book. Knowing them can help in many situations, so in that vein I am going to review a couple of them over the next few months and give examples of their use and importance.

When you read the definitions in the Rules Book it’s helpful to know that anything in italics has its very own definition.

This month, let’s look at the definitions of Through the Green and The Course:

“Through the green” is the whole area of the course except:
a. the teeing ground and putting green of the hole being played; and
b. all hazards on the course

The “course” is the whole area within any boundaries established by the Committee (see Rule 33-2).

Seems straightforward, right? Let’s look at three situations where knowing this definition is important.

Here I am with my ball on a cart path. The green is actually behind me, and I am right handed, so my NPR (nearest point of relief) will be off the cart path to the right, in the rough.

I’ve dropped my ball within one club length of my NPR and it rolls onto the fairway, within 2 club-lengths of where it struck the ground in the allowable area.

Some of you may think that the ball has to stay in the rough. But in fact, this is a good drop and I am a happy girl. Notice that there is nothing in the definition of “through the green” about “rough” or “fairway”. My ball is through the green on the course-yay!

Here’s another situation. Again, I am right handed. This shows that my ball is in ground under repair, but the same would be true if I was on a cart path in the same position.

Because my ball is Through the Green, I have to find my NPR on the course through the green, and drop within one club-length. In this example, my NPR will be in the middle of the tree! That tree is in fact through the green. I don’t get to decide my NPR is elsewhere. The fact that I can’t physically take my stance and determine my NPR means that I have to estimate the spot and drop within one club-length. In this case I may decide not to take relief! Imagine this same scenario, with thick ugly ice plant to the right, instead of a tree. That would still be through the green, so again, I may decide not to take relief.

And finally, did you know that 90% of courses in the United States have adopted the following Local Rule for an embedded ball?
“Through the green, a ball that is embedded may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green.”

Again, no differentiation between rough and fairway!



All of our wonderful
Through The Green newsletters
going all the way back to 2006
are available here.
There are interesting
articles and a ton of information.

The newsletters were printed
3 times/year.
Please select a date to
open a PDF of that issue.



Rules – Score Cards & Markers, Jan ’18

Rules Corner -Ball in Play

Interns Update, April ’17

Volunteers at Rules School, Apr ’17

Women’s Golf Day Press Rel. Mar ’17

Message from New President Spring ’17

Winter Storms, Mar ’17

Importance of Grants for Jrs, Feb ’17

Rules Corner – Equipment, Jan ’17

President’s Message – Goodbye, Dec’16

Gail Rogers Retiring, Dec. ’16

Rules-Leaves & Winter Rules, Dec ’16

Rules – Re-Dropping (Part 2), Nov ’16

Rules – Re-Dropping (Part 1), Oct ’16

The Challenge of Participation, Oct ’16

Women-Golf-at-the-Olympics, Sept ’16

The Future of WGANC, Aug ’16

How do I Play on Northern Team, Aug ’16

Rules Corner – Nrst Pnt of Relief, Aug ’16

Rules Corner – What Penalties?, July ’16

Volunteering at U.S. Open, July ’16

Empowering Girls Through Golf, July ’16

Rules Corner – On the Green, July ’16

Summer-President’s Message-June-2016

2016-North-vs-South-Match, June ’16

Golf Returns-to-the-Olympics, June ’16

Course Rating – What You Know, May ’16

Spring President’s Message, Feb ’16

Peer Review & Playing Alone, Feb ’16

Abnormal Ground Conditions, Jan ’16