The Forecaddie: Members giveth and taketh golf tournaments away

WHEATON, IL - JULY 15: Laura Davies of England plays a tee shot on the seventh hole during the final round of the U.S. Senior Women's Open at Chicago Golf Club on July 15, 2018 in Wheaton, Illinois. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Members giveth and taketh golf tournaments away

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The Forecaddie: Members giveth and taketh golf tournaments away

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If you’d asked The Forecaddie which membership would embrace a golf tournament and which would say no, there may not have been a bigger surprise than the news coming from two votes last week.

While both Lake Merced Golf Club and Country Club of Rochester are great supporters of various types of amateur golf tournaments, apparently putting decisions to votes can lead to all sorts of surprises.

Ask The Man Out Front to wager which membership would have voted yes, he’s pretty sure Lake Merced Golf Club would have told the PGA Tour to take their mandated changes and go find another course. But 80 percent of the members voted to approve the new Steph Curry-hosted event set for the fall of 2019. The Forecaddie hears tournament officials always focused on the Rees Jones-renovated club as the first choice due to location, course quality and attractiveness to sponsors.

Members of Lake Merced apparently were not dissuaded despite a host of modifications that must be made quickly, including an all-new 10th hole that must be ready for May’s LPGA Mediheal Championship. The club will foot more than a million dollars of the $3.6 million tab, with Octagon covering $2.8 million.

On the other coast, the golf-loving folks at Country Club of Rochester have supported their fair share of tournaments, especially in conjunction with the U.S. Golf Association. The fantastic Donald Ross-designed course hosted the first U.S. Women’s Open in 1953, another in 1973 and, more recently, two AJGA Rolex Girls Junior Championships.

A rubber-stamp vote put out to members for the 2020 U.S. Senior Women’s Open seemed a forgone conclusion, but as Sal Maiorana reported in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the vote fell just shy of the 66 percent needed to approve the event. TMOF hears things were surprisingly contentious despite the tournament not requiring the kind of major changes necessary at Lake Merced.

So as the PGA Tour zeroes in on San Francisco Bay Area event next fall, the USGA is left looking for a new venue. Just another reminder that anything can happen when you put a decision before a group of country club members. Gwk

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