Scoring News Players History USGA
 

History

In 1981, the USGA inaugurated its first new championship in 19 years, the U.S. Mid-Amateur. The Mid-Amateur, for amateur golfers of at least 25 years of age, provides a formal national championship for the post-college amateur, for whom the game is truly an avocation.

Before the arrival of the Mid-Amateur, the post-college player could compete in the Amateur Championship, sometimes successfully, but these older amateurs faced greater odds. While they fit their golf around their work and families, they were most often competing against college golfers, for whom the game is close to a full-time activity.

Only about 40 percent of those who qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship each year are at least 25, although several have been quite successful. For example, Bob Lewis Jr., then 41, reached the Amateur final in 1980, and the semifinals in 1981 and 1986. Jay Sigel won consecutive Amateur titles in 1982 and 1983 (at ages 37 and 38, respectively), then added the Mid-Amateur title in 1983, 1985, and 1987. In 1986, Buddy Alexander, 33, a reinstated amateur, won the U.S. Amateur. And in 1993, 41-year-old John Harris won the Amateur.

In general, however, most post-college amateurs found themselves at a disadvantage competing against college golfers. Thus, the Mid-Amateur Championship was born.

Played at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, the first Mid-Amateur drew 1,638 entries in 1981. The field included three former Amateur Champions: Gary Cowan (1966, 1971), Marvin Giles III (1972), and Fred Ridley (1975). Jim Holtgrieve, 33, of Des Peres, Mo., defeated fellow Walker Cupper Bob Lewis Jr., 37, of Warren, Ohio, in the final, 2 up.

In 1983, Jay Sigel, 39, of Berwyn, Pa., became the first golfer in 53 years to win two USGA Championships in the same year when he added the Mid-Amateur Championship to the U.S. Amateur Championship he had won just 32 days earlier.

Sigel became the Mid-Amateur's first two-time winner when he again captured the championship in 1985. Sigel won his third Mid-Amateur in 1987. Combined with his two U.S. Amateur titles (1982, 1983) Sigel had won a total of five USGA championships.

In 1985's first qualifying round, Don Bliss of St. Louis, made holes-in-one on the eighth and tenth holes at Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. Bliss became the only player to score two holes-in-one in one round of a USGA championship.

Jim Stuart of Macon, Ga., became the first player to win two consecutive Mid-Amateur Championships when he won in 1990 and 1991.

The U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship has continued to grow in popularity and in 1989 topped 3,000 entries for the first time.

In its short history, the championship's unique age qualification has inspired similar tournaments throughout the country and there are now Mid-Amateur events in nearly every state.

In 2001, the final match, for the first time in the history of the championship, was expanded from 18 to 36 holes.

 

 
Championship Facts

U.S. Mid-Amateur

ARCHITECTS – The Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique was designed by Tom Watson and opened in 2000. The River Course was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1995.

COURSE SETUP – There are two setups at Cassique – Pulpit and Nip Tuck. During stroke play, the Pulpit setup will be used with holes 4, 5 and 6 playing at 370, 148 and 525 yards, respectively. With the beginning of the second round of match play, the Nip Tuck setup will be used and holes 4, 5 and 6 will play at 360, 155 and 565 yards, respectively. The Pulpit and Nip Tuck setups may rotate during the quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds.

The USGA Course Rating® and USGA Slope Rating® for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at The Kiawah Island Club’s Cassique are 75.2 and 146 for the Pulpit setup and 74.5 and 145 for the Nip Tuck setup. The USGA Course Rating® and USGA Slope Rating® for The River Course are 74.7 and 147. The grass heights in the various areas of the course for the championship should be as follows:

Cassique
Putting Greens – Prepared firm and fast to measure approximately 12 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Approaches collars around greens – .400 inches (30 inches in width, or one mower width, on collars)
Fairways, teeing grounds – .450 inches Intermediate Rough – 1 inch (6 feet in width)
Primary Rough – 2.5 to 3 inches Practice Tee – .450 inches

The River Course
Putting Greens – Prepared firm and fast to measure approximately 12 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Fairways, approaches, collars around greens – .350 inches (30 inches in width, or one mower width, on collars)
Teeing Grounds – .250 inches
Intermediate Rough – 1 inch (6 feet in width)
Primary Rough – 2.5 to 3 inches
Practice Tee – .450 inches

USGA AND SOUTH CAROLINA – The 2009 U.S. Mid-Amateur will be the 14th USGA championship conducted in the state of South Carolina. The last USGA championships in the state were the 2005 Men’s and Women’s State Team Championships, held concurrently at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton.

It is the first USGA championship for The Kiawah Island Club. The U.S. Mid-Amateur is making its second appearance in the state; the 1991 U.S. Mid-Amateur was held at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island.

CHAMPIONSHIP WEB SITE – Visit www.usmidam.org or www.usga.org for the latest news and scores during the championship.

ADMISSION – Admission is free. Tickets are not needed for this USGA championship, and spectators are encouraged to attend.

 

Visit The USGA Visit The USGA