Falmouth golf course to host 2017 MGA Open Championship
In the last 12 months, TGC at Sacconnesset (formerly The Golf Club of Cape Cod) has experienced a healthy dose of success. The Falmouth club enrolled 67 new members in 2016, and as of early May, new membership momentum continues. The club recently completed an aesthetic update of its 25,000-square-foot clubhouse, initiated a popular membership program for junior members, and hired a new in-house chef. Also, as a result of its unique ownership structure, where a good percentage of members have purchased equity in the club, TGC at Sacconnesset continues to operate debt-free. The biggest accomplishment, though, may be yet to come.
From Monday to Wednesday, June 12-14, TGC at Sacconnesset hosts the Massachusetts Golf Association (MGA)’s 108th Open Championship, a historic 54-hole tournament that annually crowns the region’s best golfer—professional or amateur. For some perspective, the average handicap of participants in the tourney is “under 2.4”
Kevin Eldridge, the MGA’s director of rules and competition, says the Mass. Open is one of the organization’s three biggest events of the year. One must qualify to play in the Open, and many local club pros participate, but since the first tourney in 1905 a number of PGA Tour golfers have also taken part. The list of winners is a formidable lineup and includes Francis Ouimet, Byron Nelson, Horton Smith—the winner of the very first first Master’s Tournament—and Cape Cod’s Paul Harney, who claimed five Open titles, including four in a row from 1967 to 1970.
Eldridge says the process of selecting courses for tournaments like the Open takes several years, but he added that TGC at Sacconnesset has done well in hosting recent MGA events, including the 2007 MGA Senior Amateur Championship, the 2013 Father-Daughter Championship, and the 2016 Mid-Amateur Championship. “The staff and membership at TGC has been awesome,” Eldridge says. “They have been super accommodating. They’re really just excited to show off their course.” Eldridge added that the layout of the course, which was designed by Rees Jones and stretches for 7,047 yards, is relatively modern compared to others that have hosted the Open in recent years when it comes to course length and hole location. “It’s probably one of the longest courses that have ever hosted the Open,” he says.
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