The success of an expanded eligibility list inaugurated by the Maryland State Golf Association last year has resulted in more changes for 1992.
Five championships -- Maryland Open, Men's Amateur, Men's Mid-Amateur, Women's Amateur, and Juniors -- are now open to all state residents who have an authorized USGA slope index/handicap that meets the criteria for each event. Furthermore, the MSGA announced it has hopes to extend this eligibility to all 12 of its tournaments in the next three to five years.
In recent years, the popularity of the amateur championship has been such that fields have been cut off at about 190 players. This is a number that requires ideal dawn-to-dark weather conditions, plus incantations and crossed fingers on the part of tournament officials.
Now there will be sectional qualifying at Baltimore and Washington sites to reduce the on-site qualifying field to 120. The champions of the previous five years will be exempt from the sectional rounds.
The changes were announced during the annual meeting of the MSGA at Baltimore Country Club Friday evening. The guest speaker was noted golf course architect Arthur Hills, with 88 completed projects nationwide, and numerous others in various
stages of development.
Two of the latter are proposed public facilities in Howard County that are in the zoning process -- Waverly Woods at Marriottsville Road and Interstate 70, and West Friendship on Route 32 south of Route 144.
At the same time, the MSGA elected a new slate of officers, and released its 1992 schedule.
Thomas Hardinge of Fountain Head CC in Hagerstown was installed as president, succeeding Ned Pugh of Bethesda CC. Eight vice presidents were re-elected, and Harry Cain of Bethesda CC was introduced as the new officer.
The other vice presidents are Ned Longson, Manor; William Smith, Hillendale; Randy Reed, Congressional; John Highfield Jr., Elkridge; Robert Abbo, Columbia; John Snead Jr., Baltimore CC; Steven Abelman, Woodmont CC; and James Pelisek, Sparrows Point.
Completing the executive committee are executive director Jack Emich, Baltimore CC; secretary Edward Brown Jr., Elkridge; and treasurer Dawson Stump, Green Spring.
The championship schedule: April 4-5, 11-12, 18, 15--Team matches; May 8--Two-man team, Old South; May 26--Sectional qualifying for State Amateur, Hillendale and Glenn Dale; June 11-14--State Amateur, Fountain Head; July 13-15--Maryland Open, Prince Georges; July 20--Pro-Amateur, Bretton Woods; July 21--Juniors, CC Maryland; July 21-24--Women's Amateur, Norbeck; Aug. 7--Mixed twoball, Green Spring; Aug. 14--Father-Son, Chestnut Ridge; Aug 24-25--Mid-Amateur, Woodmont; Sept. 4--Seniors, Argyle; Sept. 10--Women Seniors, Elkridge; Sept. 12--Baltimore-Washington team match, Manor CC.
Local qualifying also will be held for three USGA events -- May 18--U.S. Open, Chartwell; Aug. 10--U.S. Amateur, Wakefield Valley; and Sept. 11--U.S. Seniors, Suburban.
Howard in need: The Howard County Golfers Association, non-profit advocacy group, is the newest area organization aimed at promoting golf, particularly as it pertains to the sport in their county. Men, women, seniors, and juniors of all skill levels are being targeted as potential members.
Willow Springs Golf Course, which opened last summer, is the only public facility in a fast-growning county of more than 175,000 residents. Other courses, public and private, are in various stages of development.
Membership information is available from Don Dunn, 11829 Triadelphia Road, Ellicott City, 21042. Or call him at (410) 988-9661.
Tough game: The third annual indoor golf tournament to bsponsored and conducted by the Maryland Chapter of the Leukemia Society of America will be held at the Marriott Hunt Valley on Jan. 31, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
An 18-hole putting course will be laid out through the hotel complex, with appropriate prizes for the winners. Information is available from Patricia Dodd at the Leukemia Society, (410) 825-2500.