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Dear Fellow Golfers,
Although it may seem the transition to MSGA has taken forever, rest assured we are moving forward with a merger. It is important to get this right, and we have been working hard to make sure that happens. The Agreement document has been finalized and as soon as the agreed upon changes have been made to it, Vicki Lindquist and I will be signing. Here are some of the highlights:
-The actual date of transition will be January 1, 2018
-There will be four women on the MSGA Board of Directors at the start two from SMWGA and two from WMSGA, with others able to apply at any time
-There will be one woman on the Executive Board
-There will be a standing Women’s Committee made up of MSGA Board members and any other organization members (male or female) who want to serve on that committee
-We will continue to play on Tuesdays; the 2018 schedule is currently being worked on with a representative from WMSGA and MSGA
-Membership cost individual and clubs, tournament costs, the voucher system; methods of payment, prize payouts, etc. will all be discussed. It is our intent to keep the transition as transparent to you as possible. Your participation in making that happen is welcomed.
The Board of the MSGA works differently than we have. The MSGA Board over sees the Strategic Plan and makes sure that MSGA adheres to its principals. The committee chairs bring proposals to the Board for ratification, after the nitty gritty details are worked out in committee. These are the MSGA Standing Committees:
Nominating, Personnel, Finance, Scholarship, Tournament & Scheduling, Junior Golf, Marketing, Governance and Stewardship as well as the Women’s Committee.
For the next year the Transition Committee, will be made up of myself, Barb Freeman, Joy Eon, Eileen Bryant, Jenifer Stewart, Laurie Hyndman, Terri Messer and WMSGA members Vicki Lindquist, Micki Meggison, Sue Wootton, Birdie Pearse, and Sherrie Thomas. The three subcommittees for merging our organizations are Finance and Administration; Scheduling and Tournament; and Governance. As the bulk of the work is done in committees; we need and want your help with the transition and involvement on these committees.
As the committees come together and begin the transition of merging our organizations, we will keep you up to date.
In the meantime, we still have a month of Tuesday tournaments to play, the Founder’s Scramble, our 2nd annual “Girl’s Golf Tournament with WMSGA at Natanis, and the 2 Ball at Webhannet. We close out our season with the Scholarship Tourney at Val Halla and our Fall Meeting on October 4 at Val Halla.
I am optimistic about the future of golf in Maine, and specifically, women’s golf. Change can sometimes be a bit confusing and difficult, but worth it in the end.
SMWGA Code of Conduct
As a result of issues brought to my attention at the last few tournaments, I decided that it might be a good time to revisit expectations of appropriate behavior. We strive as an organization to make our Tuesday events fun and fair for all. All members should feel welcomed on Tuesday and look forward to playing great courses with friends new and old. Host courses should look forward to our patronage and be anxious about scheduling our events annually. To ensure this, it is imperative that all members are respectful and represent our organization in the most positive manner.
The following have been the concerns expressed by members recently.
We have all probably at one time or another let some “colorful” words slip after that shanked shot into the woods or missing that gimme putt. A sincere apology for an occasional foul word is nice, but refraining from such outbursts is expected by the SMWGA.
- Distracting Chatter
Perhaps we are unaware at times how voices carry on a golf course. As you chat with your partners while waiting to hit, use your “inside” or “library” voices, so your conversation does not distract the groups in front or behind you. Also before shouting across to a distant partner, be aware of the activity in the groups around you. Do not yell to someone if others are on the green putting or the group behind is teeing off. Also after the round if you are socializing on an outside deck, please be more aware of player activity on nearby holes. You are not in a bubble on a golf course; other players are all around you and deserve respect.
- Unsportsmanlike Behavior
Related to the aforementioned issue of voices carrying is the concern that rude and disparaging comments have been made about other players. Even though the comments were not meant to be heard, they have been and have caused offense. There is absolutely no place for unkind behavior in this organization.
- Accurate Scorekeeping
Golf is a game of personal integrity and every player should play by the USGA rules and maintain an accurate stroke count. Be sure to confirm scores as you move to the next tee with everyone in the group. Each member in the pairing should keep a card, so that there is ample information to reconcile any discrepancies after the round.
If you have experienced any of the above issues, I apologize on behalf of the SMWGA. If you have been responsible for these behaviors, I ask that you become more aware and refrain from such in future events.
Thank you all for your consideration and continued effort to make the SMWGA a welcoming and fun golf organization!
Important Notice from the Director
How Tee Times are Selected…..
B Championship Winner & Runner Up
Maine Golf Hall of Fame
We are writing to encourage women from both organizations to join us and other Maine Hall of Fame members in celebrating the selection and induction of Liz Wiltshire and Nancy Storey into the Maine Golf Hall of Fame on Sept. 7th at Poland Springs. This is a momentous occasion for women in golf in Maine – this is the first time that the only inductees are women.
That makes it even more compelling than ever for Maine women golfers to be a part of this occasion, to support two of their own and to recognize their contributions to golf in Maine.
Liz and Nancy have made so many contributions to the game of golf and for women golfers in Maine. Both have advocated for us on many levels and their election into the Hall recognizes their accomplishments.
Abby SpectorPennie CummingsMartha White
Mary Hudson Koener
FROM THE DIRECTOR
Our membership did an amazing job last season making pace of play virtually a non-issue. When reviewing the data for the season, the impact could not be denied. Initially, there was some stress, but ultimately, tremendous commitment made all the difference. Hopefully we will start the season off with the same effort and success of our final tournament at Portland CC where 164 players completed their rounds in less than 4 ½ hours!
We are all aware of what it takes to play a well-paced round. The key is to be mindful of your personal golf practices and supportive of your playing partners to keep up with the group in front. This does not need to cause angst or acrimony within your foursome. Never should this be a “blame-game” or an opportunity to make any member feel unwelcome. Our mission is to ensure a positive and enjoyable round for everyone on Tuesday.
The following is an updated Slow Play Policy which was reviewed at the spring meeting on April 26. We agreed to implement this policy during the 2017 season.
SMWGA Slow Play Policy
Our organization recognizes that pace of play is the responsibility of all players in the field. Each player in a foursome should practice behaviors that support “Ready Golf” at all times.
Slow players as determined by a gap of 25+ minutes between foursomes will receive a warning letter for each of the first two infractions. The third infraction will result in the assessment of a 2-stroke penalty for the tournament in which the infraction occurred. A 2-stroke penalty will be assessed in all tournaments within the current season whenever any subsequent infraction occurs. The number of infractions will carry forward into the next season if the initial infraction occurs after August 1 otherwise the record will be cleared at the end of the season.
If a foursome is more than 20 minutes behind the foursome in front of them, then they will be entered into the “20+ Club” and be assigned a later tee time in the field. If the player plays the next event within a 19 minute or less interval, then they will be removed from the 20+ Club and will be randomly assigned tee times going forward. NOTE: All players are required to indicate beginning, mid, and ending times on their scorecard. Failure to record will result in an automatic membership in the 20+ Club.
If there is a hole open in front of a slow foursome, the group can decide to split into twosomes in order to speed play. The twosomes should make every effort to reunite as soon as possible. If either twosome finishes beyond the expected interval of the group in front of them, then the aforementioned penalties will apply.
If a player has reached their handicap quota by the end of 9 holes and the group has a hole open in front of them, then that player should pick up her ball after reaching her ESC score (i.e., maximum number of strokes her handicap allows for that hole) on any remaining holes and enter a “No Card” for the tournament.
The last two paragraphs of the policy are new practices for this season and come from recommendations from a number of members who have experience with such when playing “down South”.
In order to make this policy work effectively, members of the foursome need to respectfully agree a hole is open in front of them and action needs to be taken. Again this should done in a way that players do not feel bullied or blamed. Focus on the field and what is best to keep play moving.
Regarding the “pick-up”/no card option, we have all played a round where we can’t seem to do any shot well, and the strokes just continue to add up. Sometimes as we stumble and fumble through each hole, we can hold up play and lose the group in front of us. So, if you are a 12 handicap and you have used all 12 of your strokes by the end of hole 9 AND there is a hole open in front of you, then pick up after you reach your ESC score on the remaining holes.
After this season we will evaluate the effectiveness of this policy and make adjustments as needed.