There will be a national Drive, Chip & Putt Championship for juniors ages 7-15, with the national finalists advancing to compete April 6, 2014 at Augusta National Golf Club on the Sunday before the Masters. Anyone interested in attempting to qualify must register online at www.drivechipandputt.com before the deadline of 5 p.m. April 30, and a random drawing will be held to determine the participants. The field will be divided into four age groups, for boys and girls: 7-9, 10-11, 12-13, and 14-15. There are 11 regions that will offer local qualifying, including New England at the following courses: Cyprian Keyes (June 23), Windham (N.H.) Country Club (June 29), Blissful Meadows (July 1), Granite Links (July 10), The Bay Club (July 16), Triggs Municipal in Providence (July 18), the Links at Lang Farm in Essex Junction, Vt. (July 21), Val Halla in Cumberland, Maine (July 22), LeBaron Hills Country Club (July 28), and Black Rock Country Club (July 29). Those who advance from local qualifying will compete in one of 11 regional qualifiers, which also includes New England. Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth will serve as regional host on Aug. 12.
Chris Carpenter, head professional at Nashawtuc Country Club, has been named the professional of the year by the New England PGA, the section’s highest annual honor. Other recognition went to Kevin Rhoads (The Country Club, teacher of the year), Ron Bibeau (The First Tee of Maine, junior golf leader), Tom Moffat (Cape Arundel Golf Club, Horton Smith Award), Mark Heartfield (Sankaty Head Golf Club, Bill Strausbaugh Award), Rob Jarvis (Bangor Municipal, assistant professional of the year), Bob Beach (Braintree Municipal, Patriot Award), Zack Wyman (Vermont National Country Club, player development award), Barry Westall (Newport Country Club, merchandiser of the year/private), Lou Rivers (Foxborough Country Club, merchandiser of the year/public), Peter Doherty (Atkinson Resort, merchandiser of the year/resort), and Joan Stuart (NEPGA staff, George S. Wemyss Award). In addition, Kirk Hanefeld and Steve Napoli will be inducted into the section’s hall of fame.
The application deadline for the Massachusetts Four-Ball Championship is Thursday at 5 p.m. This year’s tournament is May 14-15 at Ledgemont Country Club in Seekonk and Pawtucket (R.I.) Country Club. The field is limited to 180 two-person teams, and tournament spots are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Each team’s combined GHIN handicap must be 6.0 or better. To enter, visit www.mgalinks.org . . . Entries are also being accepted for the Cape Cod Open, scheduled for May 29 at Olde Barnstable and May 30 at Hyannis Golf Club. A field of 160 will compete for $30,000 (for professionals), the largest purse in the tournament’s 22 years. To sign up, or for information, visit www.ccopen.com . . . The first NEPGA local tournament is in the books, with the team of Bill Cunningham (Sterling National), Todd Cook (Milton-Hoosic), John Rainone (North Kingstown), and Mike Turner shooting an 8-under-par 64 at Andover Country Club to win the Pro-Pro best-ball competition. Low net went to the team of George Goich (Golf Club at Turner Hill), Kurt Gradel (Turner Hill), Shaun Madigan, and Mark Thompson, which shot a 13-under-par 59.
Tickets are still available for the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s Centennial Gala scheduled for May 15 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Honoring Ouimet’s victory in the 1913 US Open at The Country Club, the gala will feature, among others, Arnold Palmer and Peter Jacobsen, author Mark Frost, and actor Bill Paxton, who directed “Greatest Game Ever Played,” the story of Ouimet’s win based on Frost’s book. For ticket information, visit www.ouimet.org. In case you missed it, The seven area Golf Town stores have a new name: They’ve been rebranded Golfsmith, after the two companies merged in 2012, creating the country’s largest golf retail chain (100 locations).