February 9—Here’s one way to judge the sturdiness of this year’s USGA qualifying sites in Connecticut: Combined, they have hosted sixteen state Opens. Torrington Country Club, Race Brook Country Club, Wampanoag Country Club, Indian Hill Country Club and Hop Meadow Country Club have also produced, from among their members, nine Connecticut Open Champions.
Which is to say that this year’s nine qualifying sites, including Connecticut National, the youngest of the courses, will provide proven tests for nine national championships. "The goal each year is to find first-rate sites that will provide excellent playing conditions and a strong competitive challenge,” said CSGA Executive Director Mike Moraghan. "It is difficult to qualify for a USGA championship and it should be. We are very happy with the strong lineup of courses we have this year in Connecticut."
The 120th U.S. Open. A first-stage (local) qualifier for the U.S. Open Championship takes place April 29 at Race Brook Country Club in Orange. Race Brook has hosted five Connecticut Opens, the first one in 1941 won by the great Jimmy Demaret, and the last, in 1997, by two-time Open champion Mike Gilmore.
Designed in 1913 by the Scottish architect Robert Pryde, also the first Yale golf coach and first Executive Director of the CSGA, Race Brook has hosted many other championships and qualifiers, including five Connecticut Amateurs.
The 2020 U.S. Open is almost a home game. It will be played at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York June 18-21. It is the sixth time Winged Foot has hosted the Open. The championship is open to any professional, or to any amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. Players (male or female) may obtain a place by being fully exempt or by competing successfully in qualifying. Players advancing from Race Brook will play in a Sectional Qualifier at one of six locations nationwide.
2020 U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Girls’ Junior. On June 18, Connecticut National in Putnam will host qualifiers for the 73rd U.S. Junior Amateur Championship and the 72nd U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. Connecticut National opened in 1994, but its present look and feel date to a complete redo in 2007 by architect Mark Mungen. What the boys and girls will be shooting for: The Girls’ Junior, to be played July 13-18 at the United States Air Force Academy’s Eisenhower (Blue) Course in Colorado Springs, and the Junior Amateur, to be played at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minn., a past U.S. Open site, July 20-25. (Hartford Golf Club was the last Connecticut club to host a US Junior Championship, the Girls’ Junior in 2009).
These championships are open to boys and girls 18 or under, boys with indices of 4.4 or less, girls with indices of 9.4 or less.
2020 The U.S. Amateur. Both Torrington Country Club and Wampanoag Country Club will host July qualifiers for the 120th U.S. Amateur, which will be played at Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon, August 12-16. Torrington has been the site of four Connecticut Open championships, including last year’s won by Rasmey Kong, and two Connecticut Amateurs: 1994, won by J.J. Henry, and 2006, won by Tommy McDonagh. Torrington opened in 1929 and was created by Orrin Smith. Its qualifier is July 14.
On July 21, Wampanoag will host the second Amateur qualifier. “Wamp” has hosted six Connecticut Opens and seven Connecticut Amateurs, the last in 2003, won by Justin Goodhue. Last July Wampanoag member Mark Vasington won the Connecticut Senior Match Play there. Wampanoag is a Donald Ross design, opened in 1924.
U.S. Amateur entrants must have a Handicap Index of 2.4 or less.
2020 Senior Amateurs. On August 10, U.S. Senior Amateur and U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur qualifiers will be played at Hop Meadow in Simsbury, a Geoffrey Cornish design opened in 1961. Hop Meadow hosted the 1995 Connecticut Amateur, won by J.J. Henry.
The 66th U.S. Senior Amateur will take place at the Country Club of Detroit in Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., August 29-September 3. It was at CCD that Arnold Palmer won the 1954 U.S. Amateur, setting the stage for his Hall of Fame career. It was designed by British architect Harry S. Colt and later updated by Colt/Alison, Robert Trent Jones, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and Tom Doak.
The 59th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur takes place at the Lakewood Club, Point Clear, Ala., September 12-17, a part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The Dogwood Course there was designed by Perry Maxwell, who also designed Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.
The U.S. Senior Amateur is open to players of 55 and over with Handicap Indices of 7.4 or less. The U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur is open to women of 50 and over with indices of 14.4 or less.
2020 Mid-Amateur. On August 18 Indian Hill Country Club in Newington will host a qualifier for the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur, Sept. 12-17. Indian Hill, a Roger J. Ross design, is the oldest of this year’s qualifying sites, having opened in 1899. The 2020 U.S. Mid-Am will be played at Kinloch Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va., and Independence Golf Club in Midlothian, Va. Last year 2018 Player of the Year Ben Conroy, his Connecticut Four-Ball partner Ben Day and Day’s brother Dan, all qualified for the championship. Brad Tilley, a former U.S. Mid-Amateur medalist, Pat Griffin, an Indian Hill member, and Glen Boggini of Manchester, have also qualified for the Mid-Am in recent years.
The U.S. Mid-Amateur is open to players who have reached the age of 25 and have a Handicap Index of 3.4.
2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball. Qualfiying for the both the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball and the 2021 U.S. Amateur Women's Four-Ball will take place September 24 at Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin, the site of the 2018 Connecticut Public Links Championship. The 2021 Four-Ball will be played at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. The 2021 Women's Amateur Four-Ball will take place at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollten, Tex.
In the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball each member of the side cannot have a Handicap Index exceeding 5.4. For the women that number is 14.4.
2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open. One USGA Championship will be played in Connecticut this year: the third U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, July 9-12. It is the club’s fifth national major championship and its third Open. Brooklawn, designed by A. W. Tillinghast, also hosted the 2019 Connecticut Women’s Open, won by Woodway’s Loretta Giovannettone. The nearest qualifier for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open is Sunningdale Golf Club in Scarsdale, N.Y., June 2.
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to competitors of 50 years or older with a Handicap Index of 7.4 or less.