Thank you for your continued support of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association.
It won’t be long before we can play golf here, as we’re about two weeks from posting local scores following the “winter of our discontent.” This winter the WPGA staff worked on the upcoming season. In addition, the Association hosted a very productive and well attended meet, greet, and sharing ideas workshop at Fox Chapel on February 22. We had a booth at the Greater Pittsburgh Golf Show, February 28-March 2. Other meeting on subjects such as handicapping and championship officiating will take place soon.
Starting on April 1, area scores will be accepted into the 130 Association computers that run GHIN at Member Clubs. If you have a USGA Handicap Index via GHIN through a WPGA Member Club, you are an individual member of the Association. The recent Fox Chapel workshop provided Member Clubs and individual members with information regarding the Association services offered and benefits available to all members who wish to take advantage of the opportunities provided.
In handicapping alone, individual members benefit from the bi-monthly updates of Handicap Indexes year round. Member Clubs and individual members benefit from the Association computers, touch screen monitors, and printers provided to Member Clubs that maintain GHIN. Additionally, the Association provides an active course rating program that generates multiple ratings at 25-30 courses per year, about a quarter of Member Clubs annually. The USGA requires course ratings must be updated every decade. Our modus operandi is usually every five years, exceeding USGA guidelines. In addition, we provide stroke allocation reports, suggestions for where handicap strokes fall on the card, assistance to golf shops with GHIN and the Tournament Pairing Program (TPP), supplies like carts signs and score cards, and responses to numerous inquires received via phone calls and e-mails.
The Association has operated a highly respected championship program since we were founded 115 years ago to conduct the West Penn Amateur and West Penn Open. Now the program consists of 35 competition days that include individual, partners, teams and inter-club championships, plus another 10 USGA qualifying rounds. Individual members are encouraged to play in all championships. Members who don’t compete are encouraged to participate as volunteers, either as Rules of Golf officials or by providing other on site assistance. Clubs benefit from the championship program through the Association’s expenditures at Member Clubs hosting competitions, meetings, and other activities.
The Association also offers to its Member Clubs other services such as general workshops, golf days like Club Rep Day and the Annual Meeting, club visits, publications, information services, and history preservation highlighted by the recent launch of the Western Pennsylvania Golf Hall of Fame.
The WPGA Scholarship Fund assists needy employees at Member Clubs who meet the overall requirements of employment , financial need, scholastic excellence, and extra-curricular activities. Originally established to assist caddies only, the Fund’s purpose was expanded to assist employees from all departments at Member Clubs: course maintenance, club house, swimming pool, and the golf shop. The Fund qualifies as an IRS 501(c)(3) charitable organization so that all Fund donations are tax deductible.
Those within the WPGA family are part of a network of nearly 130 Member Clubs and 28,000 golfers. The organization represents the interests of Member Clubs and individual members throughout the area, from the Ohio-Pennsylvania line to State College, from Lake Erie to the West Virginia-Pennsylvania line. Active support of Member Clubs and individual members is vital to the Association’s well being. The support is most appreciated.