Craig Smith, a breathing encyclopedia of sports knowledge, was recently inducted into the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s Hall of Fame. The former Seattle Times reporter and recipient of the NWGMA's prestigious "Distinguished Service Award" in 2009, produced the popular “Sideline Smitty” column about high-school sports where he’d provide trivia and answers to reader questions.
Smith retired in 2008, spending three decades covering everything from golf and hydroplanes to the Seahawks.
“As a sports writer, I have found prep sports to be fresher, more fun, often more interesting, and, in their own way, more important, than college or professional sports,” Smith wrote in his final column. “I remember what Washington State basketball coach Dick Bennett once said: ‘High-school coaches are most important because they can do the most good.’”
Bandon Dunes replaces Chambers Bay for 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball
FAR HILLS, N.J. – The United States Golf Association today announced that the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be relocated from Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash., to Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., to accommodate a turfgrass transition project at Chambers Bay.
“The USGA is extremely grateful to owner Mike Keiser and Bandon Dunes, a trusted supporter of amateur golf, for agreeing to host the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball while this work occurs at Chambers Bay,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director of Championships and Governance. “We also acknowledge the foresight and initiative of everyone at Chambers Bay in undertaking this work.”
The ongoing turfgrass project, which will transition the putting surfaces at Chambers Bay from fescue to Poa annua grass, will provide long-term benefits to the facility, which is an important asset to the community and region, according to Matt Allen, general manager of Chambers Bay. The course hosted the 2015 U.S. Open and is owned by Pierce County and operated by KemperSports.
The 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship will be contested May 25-29. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball consists of 128 two-player sides and requires two courses for the stroke-play portion of the championship. The specific courses at Bandon Dunes that will be used for the 2019 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball will be announced at a later date.
Chambers Bay will now host the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship from May 22-26. The Home Course in DuPont, Wash., will serve as the stroke-play co-host for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
“Both of these sites are excellent championship venues and are unwavering in their support of amateur golf; they offer the USGA an opportunity to continue to conduct exemplary Four-Ball championships while providing an ultimate test for the players,” said Bodenhamer. “In addition, both of these Pacific Northwest communities have always offered a warm welcome to the USGA, its championships and the competitors.”
Previously, Chambers Bay was the site of the 2010 U.S. Amateur and 2015 U.S. Open Championships, while Bandon Dunes has hosted the 2006 Curtis Cup Match, the 2007 U.S. Mid-Amateur, the concurrent U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships in 2011 and the inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in 2015. Bandon Dunes is also scheduled to host the 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship, which marks seven USGA championships hosted in 15 years.
Stephens Receives NWGMA’s 2018 Distinguished Service Award
In a very close ballot, members named Dick Stephens as the recipient of the Northwest Golf Media Association’s 2018 Distinguished Award. Stephens accepted his award during a ceremony on October 1 at the NWGMA’s annual Tournament-Banquet. This year’s event was held at historic Bellingham Golf & Country Club.
Stephens is a veteran writer, editor, publisher and business owner in Northwest golf circles. He started out as the editor of Northwest Golf magazine. Later, as President of Varsity Communications, Dick was a driving force in the creation of both Pacific Northwest Golfer (produced by Varsity on behalf of the PNGA) and Cascade Golfer (owned and produced by Varsity). The region’s two largest golf magazines have a combined reach of over 200,000 golfers throughout the Northwest.
Dick also helped launch the Seattle Golf Show, of which Varsity was the original co-producer with the PNGA (and which was recently re-purchased by Varsity in 2017). Varsity also owns the Portland Golf Show (combined, the region’s two largest golf expos draw roughly 20,000 golfers a year). In addition, Varsity assisted in the publication of Jeff Shelley and Michael Riste’s influential book, Championships and Friendships: The First 100 Years of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association. It also produced the Merrill Lynch Invitational, which brought PGA and LPGA Tour greats to the Golf Club at Newcastle and TPC Snoqualmie Ridge for 13 years, from 1991-2003.
“What has always struck me about Dick Stevens, this year's worthy winner of the NWGMA's Distinguished Service Award, are his equal parts of passion and vision,” said NWGMA president, Bob Sherwin. “It takes both to be the force behind starting golf magazines and golf shows where there is no guarantee of success and where others have failed. But his ability to hire correctly, to find just the right niche and provide the essential content is a tribute to his vision. Congratulations Dick.”
The NWGMA is a nonprofit organization established in 1995. It focuses on the best interests of the game of golf in the Pacific Northwest with the assistance of individuals in the Northwest media.
For more information and a list of previous NWGMA Distinguished Service Award recipients, visit www.nwgma.org.
For media inquiries, contact Jeff Shelley at 206/522-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.