Hillendale's Smith elected MSGA president

January 16, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Staff Writer

Bill Smith found himself in a unique situation Friday night. member of a club without a golf course or a clubhouse, he was elected president of the Maryland State Golf Association at its annual dinner meeting, held at Baltimore Country Club.

David Fay, executive director of the United States Golf Association, was the guest speaker.

It seems ironic that Smith, a member of Hillendale Country Club, has become president at a time when the club's golf course is closed for renovation of its greens and construction has not yet begun on a new clubhouse after last summer's devastating fire.

If nothing else, this promises to be a busy year for Smith. In addition to his MSGA responsibilities, he is serving on Hillendale's reconstruction committee and holding a full-time position as vice chairman of the board of Hurst-Rosche Engineers in Cockeysville. Coincidentally, as though another distraction was needed, that office is being remodeled.

The new president sees attaining the position as a matter of survival.

"This is my 10th year [in the chain of vice presidential command], and that in itself is an accomplishment," he said. "At the same time, given the long list of predecessors, it is, obviously, an honor."

This year, the MSGA will conduct 18 events, including three United States Golf Association qualifying programs -- U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Senior Open.

The overall list also includes one new championship, a two-woman team event scheduled for Oct. 14 at Walden GC in Crofton.

The new event is a part of what Smith sees as the organization's biggest challenge -- meeting the demand for golf. "Women are among the biggest growth areas for the sport, and we have tried to respond to that.

"At the same time, because of course availability and conflicting schedules, we can't expand the schedule too much," he said. "As a result, our biggest consternation is that while we accommodate as many players as possible, there are still some being turned down.

"With this in mind, we don't look for a lot of new things, but rather a consolidation of what we have."

Aside from its tournament schedule, the association will return with its second spring meeting for greens chairmen to be co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Golf Course Superintendents Association. As Smith pointed out: "We need to educate these club members of their relationship with the superintendents. This is especially true now, when environmental concerns are so important."

Smith is a native of Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of Bradley University with a civil engineering degree. He went to work for Hurst-Rosche and moved to Baltimore in 1974 when the company asked him to start an office here.

"A couple of kids in my neighborhood got me interested in golf when I was about 12," he says of his start in the game. "None of my immediate family was involved, but I had an uncle in Memphis who was a golfer, and he sent me an old set of clubs. At the time, Peoria had three public courses and you could get a student's season pass for $7.50."

Needless to say, the fee structure is a little different today, but through golf and business he has achieved considerable leadership experience. In the past, he served as president of Hillendale CC for two years and as president of the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce for a year.

* The slate of officers: President: William K. Smith, Hillendale CC. Vice presidents (in order of ascension): Randal Reed, Norbeck CC; John W. Highfield Jr., Elkridge Club; Robert Abbo, Columbia CC; Norris Cook, Baltimore CC; Robert Lerner, Woodmont CC; Roger Finn, Fountain Head CC; Edward Harrington, Congressional CC; Dennis Wells, Chartwell CC; Fielding Yost, Old South. Secretary: Edward W. Brown Jr., Elkridge Club. Treasurer: Dawson Stump, Green Spring VHC. Executive

director: Jack Emich, Baltimore CC.

Miscellaneous

Former assistant Lance Poe has been named head professional at the Elkridge Club, succeeding David Jones, who resigned because of recurrring problems with his back. . . . Another former assistant, Jeff Greene, has been promoted to the head pro job at Prospect Bay, replacing Terry Shaffer. . . . Greg Ellis is the new head professional at TPC-Avenel, having previously served as the head pro at TPC of Michigan. He replaces Brian Golden, who resigned to accept a marketing position in a golf-related company.

1994 MSGA schedule

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April 9-10, 16-17, 23-24 -- Team matches, various sites.

May 6 -- Two-man team, Kenwood G&CC.

May 23 -- Men's Amateur and Open qualifying, CC Maryland & Montgomery Village GC.

June 9-12 -- Men's Amateur, Norbeck CC.

July 11-13 -- Maryland Open, Congressional CC.

July 18 -- Pro-Am championship, Prospect Bay CC.

July 19 -- Juniors, Sparrows Point CC.

July 19-22 -- Women's Amateur, Old

South CC.

Aug. 5 -- Mixed twoball, Suburban Club.

Aug. 12 -- Father-Son, Green Spring VHC.

Aug. 22-23 -- Men's Mid-Amateur, CC Woodmore.

Sept. 9 -- Men Seniors, Woodmont CC.

Sept. 10 -- Baltimore-DC team match, Congressional CC.

Sept. 22 -- Women Seniors, Rolling Road GC.

Oct. 14 -- Two-woman team, Walden CC.

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