Winter 2019

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NCGA.ORG | WINTER 2019 77 N E W S W hen Todd Cook first arrived at what would become Poppy Ridge Golf Course in the spring of 1995, there was literally nothing on site except dirt. No electricity. No water. Just acres of empty land. As the grow-in superintendent, it was the job of Cook, the first-ever Poppy Ridge employee, to grow in the turf for the course, which was designed by architect Rees Jones. "Those first six months at Poppy Ridge are probably the most fun I've ever had at a workplace. It was a blast," said Cook who before arriving at Poppy Ridge had worked at The Olympic Club and Edgewood Tahoe. "There was a lot of buzz in the golf community about the NCGA having a second course. A lot of the time, I was the only person people could find to talk about it." Nearly 25 years later, Cook made the decision that it was time to move on from what had become his second home. The now 59-year-old retired at the end of 2018 from his position as General Manager to spend more time with his wife, Carolyn. The two met at Poppy Ridge in the late 1990's when Carolyn worked at the course as office manager/group coordinator. "It's just time," said Cook, who was promoted to GM in 2009 after serving as superintendent for 15 years. "Carolyn and I want to be together more." Along with being at Poppy Ridge from the start, Cook helped oversee the course's extensive bunkers and green renovation in 2013. He said he'll also miss working with the Poppy Holding Board and the Poppy Ridge staff. "My time at Poppy Ridge is something I'll always cherish," Cook said. "I kind of feel like it's my course." N CGA Director of Course Rating and Handicapping Jim Cowan was presented the USGA's Ike Grainger Award at December's NCGA Annual Meeting for his 25 years of service to the Association. Cowan, who received the award from USGA West Region Director Mike Sweeney, was a longtime member of the USGA's Handicap Proce- dure Committee and also served on the Regional Association Committee in the late 1980's-early 1990's. He currently serves on the international Handicap Operations Committee which is charged with the development of the World Handicap System. The award honors the legacy of Isaac B. Grainger, who was one of the leading authorities on the Rules of Golf and a longtime member of the USGA Executive Committee. Grainger served as president in 1954-1955. W omen now represent 20% of the NCGA membership. As a result, we continue to focus on offering tourna- ments and events that reflect the growth. Women are always eligible to play in NCGA Scratch Championships (ie. Stroke Play Championship, Match Play Champi- onship) as long as they meet the handicap index requirement (5.4 or less for Scratch events, 9.4 or less for Senior Scratch events). There are also four women-specific events on the tournament calendar: NCGA Women's Net Amateur (April 22-23, no handicap limit), NCGA Women's Amateur Championship (July 1-2, handicap index 7.4 or less), NCGA Senior Women's Amateur Championship (July 1-2, handicap index 18.4 or less) and the Northern California Women's Four-Ball Net Championship (November 20-21, no handicap limit). Other events that are always open to women are the Weekend Net Tour and NCGA Play! Check the pull-out calendar that's included in this issue and set your own schedule! NCGA's Cowan Honored USGA West Region Director Mike Sweeney presented Jim Cowan with the award at the NCGA Annual Meeting. Poppy Ridge GM Todd Cook Retires There From the Start There From the Start Did You Know?

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