Are you an average golfer? Here are some statistics from the National Golf Foundation. The only caveat is that the following figures vary greatly depending on the age and gender of the golfer, as well as the region of the country in which they live.
Here are some recent stats to help you gauge whether you’re average; the average golfer plays eight rounds a year. According to the United States Golf Association, the average handicap index for men in the United States in 2021 was 14. This is slightly lower than the 14.2 reported in 2020. The average handicap index for women in 2021 was 27, 7. While male golfers saw a slight drop in their scores year over year, women’s indices were slightly higher than the 27.5 reported in 2020.
According to the USGA and Royal & Ancient reports for 2019, the average driving distance for male amateur golfers was around 216 yards. Golfers with a handicap of +21 showed an average driving distance of 177. For women, the average distance was 148; high handicappers (+29) average just 120 yards. Are you average?
Melrose’s Meadowlark Country Club held its annual four-way race on September 10 and here are the gross and net winners from the steals: the gross champions with a score of 56 were Kevin Reller, Steve Peterka, RG Schulte and Bruce Miller. The net winners with a score of 48.6 were Mike West, Brad Wiehoff, Cary Wiehoff and Aaron Worms. The Meadowlark course was a joy to play and this niche nine hole course serves the Melrose area well.
Koronis Hills GC in Paynesville held its 6-6-6 tournament on September 11 and here are the flight winners: Keith Erickson & Dick Vineski (69), Championship Flight; Blake and Brian Kiel (70), first flight. Dan & John Hovel (83), second vol.
The Member-Guest Wapicada was played September 16-17 and the winners of the two-day event were the duo of Mitch Staley and Gary Jost. The duo had 151 quota points to win by five points. The event attracted 48 two-man teams and, according to assistant tournament director Andrew Benson, the turnout was one of the highest ever for the event. Next year’s event will take place on September 15-16.
One of the last clubs in the area to host its Club Championship was the Kimball Golf Club on September 17-18. Many local players travel the 20-mile St. Cloud route and are treated to a scenic layout that, in my opinion, has one of the toughest par threes in the area to hit in regulation; it’s the long (210 yards) par three 6ths.
Here are the three club championship winners provided by Neil Helgeson, general manager of the Kimball Golf Club: Luke Ashbrook, men’s champion; Nicole Vossen, women’s champion; Jim Stelten, Senior Men’s Champion.
The following St. Cloud area seniors have been playing well all summer and as a reward they will be invited by the Minnesota Golf Association Tour Championship to compete for more accolades at Rush Creek GC in Maple Grove on Monday. This elite platoon includes the following North Section seniors: Phil Link, Terry Kurash, Mike Quinn, Scott Sieben, Joe Bell, Jeff Wiltse, Wayne Caughey, Curt Howard, Terry McGee, Mike Wayrynen, Glen Hasselberg, Jim Zierden, Greg Mattson, Tim Maaske, Tom Peterka and John Hagge. Mike Cleland qualified from the Metro section. Glory!
Last week I was invited to play at Edina Country Club by Gregg Wong, who was a longtime sportswriter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Wong has been the ECC’s starter for nearly 20 years and retired last year as one of the Minnesota Twins’ three official scorers after a 15-year stint. He and his wife Donna will visit the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in October to check out a historic score sheet he signed. Here is his interesting story:
“As for Cooperstown: Mark Buehrle of the White Sox pitched a perfect game in Chicago against Tampa Bay on July 21, 2009. I was at the game with some buddies on one of our baseball trips. In his next start against the Twins at Target Field several days later, he struck out every batter for over 5 innings, giving him the longest streak in MLB history as far as I know.
He added, “I was the official scorer for the game in Minneapolis, so the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown wanted my roster to add to his previous start. My scoresheet was a mess and I thought I’d send them a nice copy but that wouldn’t have been the right thing to do. … For sending him to the Hall of Fame, they sent me a lifetime pass.
As this is the last column for 2022, here is a quote from a book I loved reading by New York Times bestselling author Tom Coyne called “A Course Called America: Fifty States, Five Thousand fairways, And The Search for The Great American Golf Course”. ”
“For me, a good course is a course that you follow. Where you can find your golf ball. Where you can go to the pro shop, get your wallet out and step onto the first tee. Those would be my first three requirements. A welcoming golf course. If there is grass, that’s fine, but that’s not the most important thing. … As the old Scots say, ‘If you have wind, well, your day is done.’ Then you are truly in paradise.
— That’s the opinion of Times golf columnist John Lieser. Contact him at [email protected]