First Ryder Cup Win in 8 Years for USA

After three straight losses, the United States defeated Europe to win the 2016 Ryder Cup with a final score of 17-11 on Sunday.

The PGA Tour’s official Twitter account showcased the excitement from the home team at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota:


The United States held a 9.5-6.5 lead after two days in the competition. The Americans got off to a 4-0 start in the Friday morning foursomes, and the Saturday afternoon four-ball pairings earned a 3-1 advantage for the home team.

Still, the competition always comes down to singles play, and this year was no different.

Patrick Reed won a showdown with Rory McIlroy in the first match of the session and Rickie Fowler used a late comeback to down Justin Rose at the 18th hole.

Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia combined for 19 birdies in their match, but they only halved.

Mickelson’s halved match and wins by Brandt Snedeker and Brooks Koepka set up Ryan Moore to clinch the win on the 18th hole.

Moore tapped in for par on the 18th green to win his match over Lee Westwood and secure the Ryder Cup for the United States.

Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson rounded out the day with wins in two of the final three remaining matches to hand the United States a six-point victory at Hazeltine National Golf Club.


Disc Golf

On a recent vacation to Incline Village,  Lori Baker, a USGA Boatwright Intern serving in the Handicap Department at the WSCGA office, had an opportunity to experience disc golf.

So what, pray tell, is disc golf? Disc golf is a flying disc game, as well as a precision and accuracy sport, in which individual players throw a flying disc at a target.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, founded in 1975 by ” Steady Ed” Headrick to officiate the standard rules of play, “The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc”.

The early history of disc golf is closely tied to the history of the recreational flying disc (especially as popularized by the trademarked Frisbee) and may have been invented in the early 1900s. The true pioneer of the sport of Frisbee Golf is Kevin Donnelly, who, while a Recreation Leader and then Recreation Supervisor for the City of Newport Beach, California, formulated and then began organizing Frisbee golf tournaments at nine of the city’s playgrounds he supervised. This culminated in 1965 with a fully documented, Wham-O sponsored, city-wide Frisbee Golf tournament. In 1967, two years after conducting the first-ever organized Frisbee Golf Tournament, Kevin, then the Coordinator of the Parks and Recreation Section at Fresno State College, California, organized and then taught the first ever college level Frisbee Golf activity course, in which George Sappenfield was registered.

In 1965, George Sappenfield, from Fresno California, was a recreation counselor during summer break from college. While playing golf one afternoon he realized that it might be fun for the kids on his playground if they played “golf” with frisbees. He set up an object course for his kids to play on. Other early courses were also of this type, using anything from lamp poles to fire hydrants as targets. When he finished college in 1968, Sappenfield became the Parks and Recreation Supervisor for Conejo Recreation and Park District in Thousand Oaks, California. George introduced the game to many adults by planning a disc golf tournament as part of a recreation project. He contacted Wham-O Manufacturing and asked them for help with the event. Wham-O supplied frisbees for throwing, and hula hoops for use as targets. However, it would not be until the early 1970s that courses began to crop up in various places in the Midwest and the East Coast (some perhaps through Sappenfield’s promotion efforts, others probably independently envisioned). Some of Sappenfield’s acquaintances are known to have brought the game to UC Berkeley. It quickly became popular on campus, with a permanent course laid out in 1970.

“Steady Ed” Headrick began thinking about the sport during his time at Wham-O toys. Headrick, who is now regarded as the “Father of Disc Golf”, designed and installed the first standardized target course in what was then known as Oak Grove Park in La Cañada Flintridge, California. (Today the park is known as Hahamongna Watershed Park). Headrick coined and trademarked the term “Disc Golf” when formalizing the sport and patented the Disc Pole Hole, the first disc golf target to incorporate chains and a basket on a pole. He started designing the target because he was tired of arguing over what counted as a scoring disc with his friends.

The number of disc golf courses doubled in the 8 years from 2000 to 2008, and the game is now played in about 40 countries around the world.

While the roots of the game are very casual and laid back, the newest generation of players is taking course design as well as the other elements of the game to a new level. Though early on targets were trees or fence posts in the woods, now courses are being cut out and under-utilized parts of parks, schools, and private land are being used to make some of the most challenging and strategic courses around. All courses share the same basic elements; targets, tee pads, signage, topography, and most important, safety.

The golf discs used today are much smaller and heavier than traditional flying discs, typically about 8 or 9 inches in diameter and weighing between 90 and 180 grams. The PDGA prohibits any disc to be heavier than 200 grams. Discs used for disc golf are designed and shaped for control, speed. There is a wide variety of discs used in disc golf and they are generally divided into three categories: putters, all-purpose mid-range discs, and drivers.

While there are more male than female players, the Women’s Disc Golf Association exists to encourage female players and arrange women’s tournaments. A PDGA survey states that out of its 11,302 members in 2006, 8% are female, or about 900. In PDGA competition, women have the option to play in gender-protected divisions. The women’s field has in fact grown rapidly in the past 5 years, as many Women’s Only tournaments grow in popularity around the world. There are many sites with tips to help encourage more women to play, including Innova Disc Golf.

Several companies have started programs to help attract women to the sport.; the “Go-to site for Women’s Disc Golf” and their associated Facebook group has dramatically increased the communication between women disc golfers. The PDGA Women’s Committee is “Dedicated to Attract, Encourage, and Retain Female Participation in Organized Disc Golf Events”. The PDGA Women’s Committee set historical records on May 12, 2012 by running the Inaugural Women’s Global Event that attracted 636 female players in 24 states and 4 countries. The Women’s Global Event will become a bi-annual event returning in 2014 with hopes of setting the bar even higher in the number of participants.

There are also Disc golf companies such as Disc-Diva, that have started up with a primary, though not exclusive, focus on women in the sport, promoting accessories geared towards women and using catch phrases like, “You wish you threw like a girl.” Sassy Pants is another group that focuses on getting more involvement from women in the sport, advocating for sponsorship of women to enter tournaments.

Women’s disc golf teams are even involved in the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championship, and the Mississippi State Women’s Team were the very first champions.

For more information about disc golf, the rules of disc golf and disc golf courses visit these websites:

Or, for a more personal touch, give Lori a call in the WSCGA office at 909-592-1281 x200.

A disc resting in the basket

A disc resting in the basket (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shape Your Body To Your Swing

Shape Your Body To Your Swing

Annika Sorenstam

Knowing how to make an effective golf swing is useless unless you are fit enough to do it. Good muscular strength, stability and coordination is essential to play the game well. So, what does all of this mean? It is time to hit the gym!

Last month’s article in Golf Digest, Annika Sorenstam demonstrates six exercises that will make you stronger and activate the key muscles used in the swing.

Read More

June Happenings

Hello Summer!

Heat is not the only thing going on this summer! Check out our June happenings and kick start your summer!

June 3
Open Play Day at Santa Barbara Golf Club (Santa Barbara)

June 5
USGA Handicap Certification Seminar at North Ranch (Westlake Village)

June 26
Member Leadership Workshop at Bernardo Heights (San Diego)

**Don’t forget the California Women’s Championship is right around the corner…


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May Events


Believe it or not May is here and in full throttle!

Below is a list of our May events! If you are not already signed up for one of these tournaments, we encourage you to visit our website and become a part of this thriving community of female golfers!

May 6-7 Div I Desert Event at Indian Wells, Monterey and La Quinta (Palm Desert area)

May 13-14 Div I Safari at Lake Arrowhead (Lake Arrowhead)

May 15 Sectional Qualifying for U.S. Women’s Open: Sectional Qualifying for the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open will be held on Wednesday, May 15th, at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont. Click here for general information, tee times and pairings.  Information for the May 28th Sectional Qualifying at Industry Hills Golf Club will be posted on this site on May 8th.

May 18 Women’s Golf Council Tournament at Moreno Valley Ranch (Moreno Valley)

May 29 Member Leadership Workshop at Marbella (San Juan Capistrano

For more information check out our website and Facebook page!

Wellness Wednesday: Instructional Tip


Creating the Perfect Divot

Golf Digest’s Megan Padua recently posted a no-fear instructional guide for creating the perfect divot. According to Padua, the first secret in golf is to make the club hit the ground. When done correctly, it won’t hurt your body and it is within the means of golf course etiquette to take a little bit of turf when you hit your ball.

How To:

  1. Place two alignment rods on the ground to create a track to swing your club through.
  2. Using a short iron, swing the club back and through the tracks without hitting the rods. If you see blades of grass flying up in the air you’re doing the drill correctly.
  3. The goal is to give the grass a quality hair cut, not a buzz cut, just take a little off of the top and you’ll be in business.
  4. The rule of thumb here is, if you don’t hit the grass you wont make solid contact with your golf ball.
  5. Read More

Did this tip help? Share with us how your experience was!

5 Heart Healthy Exercise Tips

Heart Healthy Exercise Tips

February is heart health month, so we have sought out 5 heart healthy exercise tips to keep you healthy and out on the course.

According to Jennifer Mieres, M.D. at the American Heart Association, in order to get heart-healthy benefits individuals must get their heart rate up. Daily physical activity is the best way to get your heart rate up but it is easy to feel the benefits when you adhere to an exercise plan, whether it be at home, work or at play.

5 Tips to help you start a heart healthy exercise plan

1.30 minutes of aerobic exercises a day help increase your heart rate. Alternative exercise can be going on a short walk during your lunch break or walking/jogging the treadmill.

2.Moderate-intensity exercises such as swimming, jogging, Pilates and yoga are also good exercises to keep your heart rate up and to strengthen your body. These exercises can be done at home with a video or right outside your front door.

3.For those that simply “don’t have time” exercise is still possible. Simple exercises such as taking the stairs, parking your car further or mowing the lawn get your heart rate up by simply moving. While you may not be building muscle, some physical activity is better than no physical activity.

4.For those that are already active, doing a vigorous aerobic routine for three days a week for 20 minutes helps keep the heart rate up and healthy.

5.Strength training is just as important to cardio exercises (aerobic exercise); and it also helps to prevent bone and muscle-mass loss. While strength training does not directly increase your heart rate it does increase your stamina, which you need in order to do the intense aerobic exercises.

*With any exercise program, it is good to start slowly and then work your way up to the heavier and more intense routines. Also, be sure to check with your doctor if you are at risk and follow the advice of qualified professionals.

* See Heart Healthy – Exercise Tips for busy people for more ideas!

Wellness Wednesday: 5 Tips for More Joy and Less Stress

Wellness Wednesday

5 Tips for Creating a Life with More Joy and Less Stress

It is no secret that American’s live busy, stressed-out lives. The fact of the matter is that our lives will not get less busy but there are ways we can help manage and dare I say, eliminate stress. Stress management is a learned lifestyle that is not easily approached. However, it is attainable. Here are five guidelines for a life with less stress and more joy:

1. Clarify Top Priorities
Take the time to plan and prioritize. The most common source of stress is the perception that you’ve got too much work to do. Looking at that to do list and shrinking away in fear is not the way to live a happy life. Right out your to-do list, pick one thing that has to be done today and do it. Remember, sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. Do not let life’s curve balls throw you off balance. While you cannot always control what happens, you can control how you react to the situation.

2. Laugh Often
This is a no brainer. Laughing is a natural stress reliever and naturally increases our endorphins. Make laughter a priority in your life by spending time with the ones who make you laugh or your favorite show or game that makes you relax and have a good time.

3. Be Active
Being active is also a natural stress reliever. The more you work out the more endorphins increase in your body, which help relieve pain and stress. Being active is not only good for the body but also the mind. If you are a runner, there is no better therapy than a long run outside. If you enjoy group work outs, then join a hot yoga or Pilates class and socialize while staying fit.

4. Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep
Of course this is the lowest on the priority list for many people. With busy schedules and stressed out lives, who has time to rest anymore?

According to a recent study, the University of Pittsburgh Sleep Medicine Institute found that learning some simple rules to sleeping can improve the quality of sleep:

Spend less time in bed. Don’t spend leisure time in bed, in the morning or in the evening. If you want to cozy up with a good book, go for the couch rather than your bed.

Get up at the same time every day. Your sleep will improve if you can muster the self-discipline to get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you haven’t slept well.

Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy. Even if it is past your normal bedtime, it is better to stay up and be active than to lie awake in bed.

Get out of bed if you’re not sleeping. If you’re having trouble sleeping, get up and read or do something active that will keep you from laying in bed awake.

5. Enjoy the Present
Life is too short to always be living for the future or dwelling on the past. Count the blessings that life has given you now and stay active in the present. The here and now is all we really have, and if we discard that then we are not living for much more. In the words of Henry James, “Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.”

Take-Away Drill

Take-Away Drill

A dear friend of the family, the late Frank Pastore, was a professional baseball player for the Cincinnati Reds who later became a radio talk show host. Frank was always looking at the bigger picture, while posing both comical and philosophically deep questions. No matter the topic, Frank would always ask the question at the end of every segment, “What’s the take away?”

While Frank posed this question to athletes and professors alike, this question can be posed in the game of golf, “what is the take away?” In our case, it’s our golf swing. Here is an easy take away drill that will help you maintain (or get you to) a good tempo in your golf swing.

The first few feet of your take-away should be the slowest part of your swing. Many golfers jerk the club back too quickly, which leaves a poor tempo through the backswing and ultimately back to the ball.

To set up a good take-away, perform the following steps:

1.You will want to set up your tee (golf ball in place) with a long iron.
2.Now place another golf ball directly behind the club head.
3.Take your normal backswing but notice how far back that second ball rolls. Note: It should only roll a few feet.
4.If the ball catches air or jumps back more than a few feet, you have started your backswing too quickly. The goal is to get a slow and smooth start to your backswing. Once you have accomplished this slow and smooth backswing then you will see positive results throughout your swing, especially at impact.

After practicing a few times, step back and ask yourself, “what is the take away?”

January Happenings!

January Happenings!

It’s a new year, which means filling in that new calendar!

Most of our membership is aware that our 2013 Tournaments Calendar has been released for some time now. As you plan your month (and year), we thought we would make life a little easier for you and list our upcoming events as well as provide you with a handy pdf calendar.

Get your pens ready…

January 10-11: DIV I Executive Club Tournament at Chaparral and Sunrise (Palm Desert)

January 14-15: DIV II Senior Championship at Palm Desert Country Club (Palm Desert)

For a schedule of 2013 Tournaments, click here.

Keep up with the USGA Tournaments and Championships with their 2013 calendar.

What are you doing this month? Share below or on our Facebook page!