Sunday, July 21, 2013

Live from Martis Camp: US Junior Amateur Preview

            This week I have the privilege of working the 2013 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship at Martis Camp in Truckee, California.  I am an invited official and will walk with groups on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  This experience is extremely special for me for several reasons.  First, this is my first USGA championship as an official and I’m extremely excited to have been invited to work as a referee and observer.  In my line of work, it doesn’t get much better.  Secondly, I am now twelve years removed from my own USGA championship experience.  In 2001, I qualified for the U.S. Junior Amateur and the event changed my golf career for the better in so many ways.  There really is no championship experience that is any better for a junior golfer.  It is an honor for me to give back to the championship that I so greatly benefitted from in my own junior career.
            This year’s site is Martis Camp.  Martis Camp is a unique experience in and of itself.  I will preview the week in the following article and will continue to update everyone throughout the week.

The Junior Amateur Experience

            I arrived on Friday and beginning preparing for the week.  In the days that followed I made my way around the course to become familiar with the various situations that could occur, and to figure out the best way to walk the course.  Tonight, however, were two special events (at least for me) that sum up the championship experience. 
            First was the Rules meeting.  For NCGA Championships we prepare with a brief meeting for officials on the morning of the event.  We covered various procedures including pace of play, discontinuance of play and TIO’s.  I did not realize how little experience I really had with TIOs until this briefing.  If I am lucky (or unlucky) enough to have TIO rulings I will be sure to share.
            The best part of the evening was the player’s dinner.  Twelve years ago I was on the player’s side of this wonderful experience.  At the opening of the dinner the player’s arrive in a processional led by a bagpiper to a standing ovation from the entire Committee, family and guests.  It is truly amazing and I caught a small video of it for everyone here:

The Course

            I don’t think any of my pictures can truly do this venue justice. 

The 3rd Hole - Includes One of Two Drop Zones on the Course

The course is in absolutely immaculate condition and will be a true test of golf for the best juniors in the world. 
Walking Up the 5th Hole

A View of the 9th Hole

There are all kinds of various situations out there, including environmentally-sensitive areas, rock trench obstructions, TIOs and of course – television cables.

ESA on the 12th Hole

The Assignment

            For those that will follow the blog my week is currently scheduled as follows:

Monday – Running US Amateur Qualifying at nearby Schaffer’s Mill.  I will blog about interesting rulings following the event.

Tuesday – Walking Referee with an afternoon grouping.

Wednesday – Walking observer with my boss as the referee in the Round of 64.

Thursday – Walking observer in the final match of the afternoon with “The Voice” as the referee.

Friday – Walking observer in the second semi-final match.

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