Winter 2019

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8 WINTER 2019 | NCGA.ORG P R E S I D E N T Õ S D E S K A s I begin my term as your NCGA President, my first thought is about you, our member, and wondering if you know what your NCGA membership dues support. You know that it provides you with an official USGA handicap. This allows you to compete on an equitable basis with your friends, in club and NCGA competitions – and, if you are highly skilled, in city, state, regional and even USGA Championships. But your membership supports much more than your handicap. Do you know we have lobbyists in Sacramento who looks out for the interest of all golfers? They provide input on water issues which can greatly affect our courses bottom line as well as our playing conditions, and are looking out for many other interests for golf facilities, clubs and members. A portion of your membership fee also supports the charitable arm of the NCGA by providing office space for our Foundation and Youth on Course. Any additional contribu- tions you make to the Foundation when you check the box while registering for a tournament or a meeting allows our junior golfers to play many courses for $5 a round or less, including Poppy Hills, The Links at Spanish Bay and various courses in 26 states as they travel with their parents. Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina, just to name one, has three courses in this program. Check out all the others online. By contributing, you are building the future of amateur golf. By the way, did you know there is a new program for Youth On Course Alumni? This allows our players who are 19-25 to keep playing the game for $15 a round while in college, starting a new job, a career or any of the challenges while transitioning to adulthood. As one of our alumni said, "That is the price of a pizza. I can do that." Our tournament program is supported by entry fees but part of the staff expense is cov- ered by dues. It allows us to have our Junior Tour of Northern California players competing throughout the region almost every weekend. And no matter your age or skill, there is golf available to each member through the NCGA 12 months of the year. From fun outings to our most prestigious NCGA Amateur and Senior Match Play Championships we provide events for single players and teams, for women and men, and for couples and friends who like to compete together. Through our staff attending a variety of national meetings and seminars we have a most knowledgeable group of employees ready to answer your questions on amateur status, course marking and course rating, the new Rules of Golf and how to conduct the best-run tournaments. Please remember (and thank) our volunteers who rate our courses under the guidance of our Handicapping and Course Rating Department and those who assist with tournament administration and rulings at all of our qualifiers and tournaments under the watchful eyes of our Tournament staff. Your dues buys them breakfast and lunch on the days they volunteer – a small price to pay for the service they provide for all of us. Finally do not forget our golf courses. Poppy Hills ranked 62nd in Golf Digest's list of "Best Courses You Can Play." It should be on your play list each year. Where else can you tee it up in Pebble Beach and have the great member experience we provide at a very reasonable price? Poppy Ridge in Livermore, meanwhile, is centrally located and provides 27 holes of challenging shots. Select the proper set of tees for your handicap skill and enjoy them both this year. Happy New Year! Enjoy your NCGA membership to the fullest. I'll see you on the course. NCGA Membership: More Than a Handicap BY GAIL ROGERS

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