Kittansett Club hosts 67th Senior Amateur Championship
MARION — Golfer Glenn Hogle offered some personal wisdom about the sport of golf:
“Golf is like a bad relationship — every once in a while, it works,” he said as he arrived to putt on the third green during the 67th Annual U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, hosted by the Kittansett Golf Club in Marion.
Since 1955, the United States Golf Association has held an annual competition for amateur golfers aged 55 and up. The competition lasts seven days, and a winner will be determined on Sept. 1.
Hogle was one of 156 players who competed in the qualifying portion of the championship on Sunday, Aug. 28. Soon, that number was culled to 64 on Monday and to 32 on Tuesday as competition ramped up.
Notable competitors included Chip Lutz, the winner of the 2015 Senior Amateur, and Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the winner of the 1975 U.S. Amateur Championship.
Billy Burbridge, an assistant at the club, had been on the course since 4 a.m. on Sunday, helping players on the first tee.
“[The golfers] got a great day for it. The weather has been perfect for them — a little bit of everything, different kinds of winds,” he explained.
Even with ample wind, temperatures reached into the 80s. Burbridge said that “tons of water and Powerade” helped him get through the day.
The last time the Kittansett Golf Club saw this much action was in 1953 when the club hosted the Walker Cup Match that pitted the United States against Great Britain.
Now, more than 50 years later, the club is pulling off an impressive tournament, said volunteer Marie Royea, who volunteered to keep score.
A golfer herself, Royea regularly volunteers at tournaments and championships across the country. She said this championship was one of the best organized events she has worked for.
“The logistics — everything has been addressed and taken care of,” she said. “I think they have staffed it very well, so you know exactly what you need to do.”
School buses chartered volunteers and spectators from a parking lot at A&J Boatyard to the golf course. A fleet of golf carts rounded out the transportation options for players and volunteers.
While the clubhouse was buzzing with activity, it was quieter on the course.
“Oh wow,” whispered John Hoagland, who volunteered to keep score on the third green. “These are pretty good shots.”