golf articles

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 – 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.
San Francisco Area Director

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

April 15, 2017

Lynda Donahue
San Francisco Director

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

April 15, 2017

Vicki Wilson and Janet Winslow

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’

April 15, 2017


Suzanne Olsen
Certified Rules Official, WGANC & NCGA

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!