VGA Newsletters

2016 June Boulder winner Ken Baca, pictured with VGA member Bob Watson.

There will be one year worth of Newsletters kept on this page. The very latest will be printed in its entirety. The others will have links to each one if you would like to go back and catch up on VGA news.

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter September Q3

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter June Q2

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter March Q1

2017 VGA Eagle Newsletter December Q4


2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter September Q3.

The annual VGA Awards Banquet will be at Union Hills Country Club on December 1 following the normal Saturday event. As was done last year, The Board voted to pay for individual meals ordered from the menu for members only. Guests of members are invited to the banquet, but must pay for their own meals and drinks. Prize money will be awarded at the banquet for the VGA Club Championship, the 2018 Big Dog contests, and the Champion of Champions among other awards. In all, nearly $2,500 will be paid out. This is your chance to honor your fellow golfers. Be sure to sign up to play that day and join in the celebration. You need not golf that day to partake in the banquet.

As you know Fred Baldwin and Neal Fisel scored holes-in-one this past year and, just recently, Danny Delgado had one as well (see below). The lucky trio wants to share their good fortune with those who attend the awards banquet. They have decided to pay for drinks for all members at the banquet! They have set a limit of two soft drinks or beers per member. Come out and have one or two on them!

The fourth quarter schedule was presented to the board. The courses scheduled are typical for our fall season. However, Sundance and Trilogy Power Ranch are on the list for the first time in some years. Both schedulers, Dan Campos and Larry Burton, remarked that it is becoming more difficult to keep greens fees at $50 and under. This has been the unofficial policy of the VGA for many years. Therefore, The Board agreed that the greens fee limit should rise with demand to $60 per round. However, the schedulers will continue to work to keep the fees as low as possible.

The election of board members will take place at the December meeting. If you are interested in serving as an officer, please notify one of the board members. The offices of president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer are open to members of the VGA.

The Board addressed the issue of speed of play. This was brought to The Board’s attention by both VGA members and golf course officials. The general discussion centered on how to pick up the pace of play. This is something that each member needs to be concerned about.

Picking up the pace of play – Remember your mama doesn’t caddy here!

While you may worry that picking up the pace of play may cause you to rush and affect your game, that is not necessarily the case. Picking up the pace of play has more to do with saving wasted time than with rushing a shot. Here are three areas where you may save time.

Cart Management

  1. Two players that share a cart must think ahead. If their lies (not lays) are separated by a significant distance, one player should be dropped off to hit his next shot while the other player drives to his ball. He then hits his next shot while his cart partner walks to the cart. This approach would also be helpful as you approach the green depending on your lies.
  2. Once the foursome has finished playing the hole, everyone should proceed to their carts and, as quickly as possible, drive to the next tee. At that point, while others are teeing off, cart drivers can enter the scores for the previous hole. This important especially when a foursome is waiting to hit to the green.

Club Management

1)  While others are setting up to hit their shots, plan your shot and select the appropriate club. Be ready to hit!
  • When returning to the cart with a number of clubs, take a seat in the cart and replace your clubs at the next stopping point.
  • When planning a shot around the green, be sure to take all clubs with you that you may need such your putter, chipper, and sand wedge. In this way, you will not have to return to the cart if you misplay the ball.
  • When around the green, place any extra clubs you may have brought to the green between the hole and the cart so that when you finish playing the hole, you can take the direct route back to your cart.
Self Management
  1. Think ahead.
2)  Play when ready. Order of play in golf is more important on the pro tour than it is in a VGA event. If you are set to play, and can do so without disrupting another player, go ahead. This includes putting on the green.
  • Be sure pick out a line of flight if your ball enters a hazard or the desert. Also, be ready to do the same for other people’s errant shots.
4)  When in doubt about where your ball ended up, hit a provisional. In this way, if your ball is lost, you will not have to return to the tee to hit your next shot.
  • Use no more than three minutes to find a lost ball (see below).

Highlights from the Second Quarter

Danny Delgado scored a hole-in-one at ASU Karsten on September 1. He used a five iron on the 178 yard par three. For those that are unfamiliar with the hole, there is water along the length of the fairway and to right of the green. There is also a sand bunker guarding the right side of the green. The pin was directly over the sand trap that day. Great shot Danny!

For the first time in quite some time, no one got into Fred Baldwin’s wallet. There were no eagles this past quarter. (-:

Gordon Lukert, aka Uncle G – the dean of the VGA, had a remarkable net score of 63 at Raven South Mountain on September 12. Remarkable because at age 86 years young, he eschewed the front tees and played the middle tees at over 6200 yards! That’s the way to show the long hitters, Gordon.

Low net scores

Larry Burton – 64 (76 gross) at Los Caballeros on July 14.

Fred Baldwin – 63 at Kierland on July 25.

Rich Golz – 63 at Whirlwind – Cattail on August 1.

Tom Orr – 64 at Raven South Mountain on August 11. Steve Richter – 64 at Raven South Mountain on August 11. Lloyd Snively – 60 at Arizona Grand on August 15.

Steve Richter – 64 at Arizona Grand on August 15.

Rusty Silverman – 62 at Camelback – Padre on August 18.

Bill Heller – 63 at Verrado – Victory on August 22.

Rusty Silverman – 63 at Verrado – Victory on August 22. Rusty Silverman – 63 at Golf Club of Estrella on August 25. Ron Gunderson – 63 at Stonecreek on September 5.

Doug Rankin – 63 at at Stonecreek on September 5.

Rich Golz – 64 at at Stonecreek on September 5.

George Kowalchik – 63 at Raven South Mountain on September 12.

Low gross scores

Dan Campos – 71 at Raven South Mountain on August 11. Ben Hughes – 69 (61 net) at Camelback – Padre on August 18. Dan Campos – 70 at The 500 Club on September 29.

Big Dog Bites

Standings through September 29.

Bill Heller continues to lead the Wednesday Big Dog contest with 40 points. Tom Willis is close behind with 35 points followed by Fred Baldwin with 31. Mike Roether and Larry Burton have a chance to finish in the money and have 30 and 24 points respectively.

Rusty Silverman has blown past the field for first place in the Saturday Big Dog contest by scoring 50 points so far this year. However, there is a tight race for second and third places. The next four golfers are Bill Heller – 31 points, Tony Dalton– 30 points, Ron Gunderson– 27 points, and Tom Hebert – 26 points.

The Big Dog contests will end on October 31. Letters to Arnie

Dear Arnie, I am an avid golfer and have been wondering about the rule changes for 2019. Which ones are most likely to affect my play? Tiger Mickelson

Dear TM, there are many changes that can affect your play. I will list some of the more important ones. To see the entire rule changes go to the USGA website.

There is no longer a penalty when;

a player accidentally moves his or her ball during a search

a player accidentally moves his or her ball or ball-marker on the putting green

a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits the player, his or her caddie, or the flagstick a player accidentally hits the ball more than once during a stroke

a player touches the line of putt or touches the line in pointing out a target a player putts and hits an unattended flagstick

a player moves loose impediments, touches the ground with hand or club, or grounds the club in a penalty area when the ball is in the penalty area

a player touches the sand with hand or club when the ball is in the bunker

Other important changes

When dropping a ball, the ball must be dropped straight down from knee height

When looking for a lost ball, the time limit is three minutes

A player may repair almost any damage on the purring green except natural Imperfections

A player may take relief outside a bunker back on the line from the hole through where the ball was at rest for two penalty strokes

Hats for Sale

The VGA has a selection of hats with our logo. There are two styles of sun-protecting hats: white with a blue or tan stripe for $35, and white with a blue trim and chin tie for $30. There are also white golf hats for $15 and visors for $10. The hats are great quality and attractive. See Fred Baldwin for details.