February 2, 2004

The 2004 Virginia PPA Tour

2004 should be an exciting year for the Virginia Tour with the National Championship returning to the Richmond course for the first time since 1992.  Begin planning now to be in Richmond  July 17th   through July 24th  as we kick off the week of the Nationals with two State events.  Hotel space is limited, but rooms have been blocked for PPA members  at three different sites. For complete information on this and to get 2004 membership information visit the Official Web Site of the Professional Putter’s Association, www.proputters.com.  Please renew your membership early, by mid February. The Virginia tour will be given spots for the World Championship Match Play event the week of the Nationals based on membership.


Enclosed in this newsletter, please find your schedule of tournaments for the Virginia PPA tour for 2004. Scheduled tournaments   for the National tour are noted, as well as majors on other tours that count toward qualification for the Virginia State championship. Please verify all sites and dates for other tours with the host tours. The Virginia tour cannot be held responsible for changes to schedules of these tours. If any changes to the Virginia tour schedule are made you will be notified of those changes. 

Your tournament committee met January 10, 2004 to plan our tour for 2004 and report 2003 financial results.  Brad Lebo and Vince Batten represented the VA tour at the “three tour meeting? on January 4th and  as a result of that meeting, the schedules of SC, NC, and VA offer the best ever in opportunity for the players to compete without conflicts.

The 2004 Schedule

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">         4 Virginia/North Carolina cosponsored 54 hole tournaments

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">         13 regular 54 hole tournaments

Major Events

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">        The Dogwood Festival Open May 23

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">         The Virginia Open June27

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">         The Virginia Putting Classic August 29

?span style="font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"">         The State Championship Sept 19

General Rules of Play and Etiquette

All tournament play on the Virginia tour is governed by the rules as stated in the Official Rules and Regulations of the Professional Putters Association.   As a member of the PPA and APA everyone pledges ?to uphold the rules and regulations of the PPA and APA; to display proper character and good sportsmanship while participating  OR practicing  on a PPA sanctioned golf course…” 

Please read through your new rule book and review your Membership Contract which you signed when submitting your application for membership.  As members of a professional organization, it is up to the integrity of the players to see that all rules are enforced.  Of concern to the committee is the self enforcement of dress code,  player conduct and  pace of play.  Please familiarize yourself with these rules as well as all rules of play.  There have been specific rule changes and additions for 2004  which will affect everyone.

Any acts of unsportsmanship that are reported will be dealt with and players can expect to be warned and/or fined for any acts of unsportsmanship.  Please be advised that warning or fines may be delayed if actions are reported after an event.

At each tournament site the course owner or representative will act, if it is their desire, as the tournament official to make rulings during play and enforce any rules of sportsmanship and dress. In the event that the course does not wish to provide this service,  then the committee, which is elected by the players, will serve. At each site there will be up two PPA and one APA  committee representative assigned to act as the tournament officials. All decisions that might need to be addressed specific to that day’s events will be up to those three players. All committee members present will be available to assist with collection of entry fees, make pairings, make rulings during play, pay out prize money, record and report all tournament results, and be responsible for any remaining funds.

Please remember that we are playing as invited guests of the local course owners and managers. Please take a moment when you arrive at a site and again before you leave to thank the owner or manager and staff for hosting our tournament. Also do all you can to help keep the facility clean during our tournaments.  We have had some problems reported by course personnel that a few of our players have  been less than respectful to staff members, and customers and not attentive to the fact that once a tournament is over there is a need by the course to continue on with business. We had one instance where a large group was scheduled at a course and tournament players continued to linger and take up space that was needed for the group.  This owner is upset with  this and has again reluctantly agreed to host  us.

Pairings for all tournamentsEntry Fees and Prize Money, Starting Times

The defending champions, i.e. the winner of the last state tournament held  at the site, will tee off first. The current State Championship will tee off second.  All other players will be paired by luck of the draw. Committee members who are assigned to work a tournament will be paired in the second, third or fourth pairing,  so that they may be finished and able to assist  at the end of the tournament. In all major tournaments, the defending champion will be teed off first, followed by the State Champion. All  other players will  be paired  based on the point standings  with the player highest on the points standing entered in the tournament being paired next, and so on until all players are paired.

If you are a defending champion in either the PPA or APA please volunteer this when you pay your entry fee to insure that you are appropriately paired.  Failure to do this might result in you not receiving the recognition due you as the defending champion.

Entry fees for PROS for all 54 hole tournaments will be $50. The prize money pay out for 2004 will reflect this increase in entry fees. At designated tournaments, spots for the World Championship can be won. Any player may attempt to qualify by stating that they wish to qualify. All qualifying spots will go to the low medalist attempting to qualify who must then pay  the $125 entry fee for the spot. Any ties for a qualifying spot will be decided by an eighteen hole playoff. At the time of this printing it is not know how many spots for the World Championship will be awarded on the Virginia tour, but starting with the first tournament of the year we will award one spot per tournament until all spots that we have are filled.  For PPA members,  entry fee for majors will remain $80. Please refer to the enclosed prize money pay-out for the 2004 prize money pay out.

Entry fees will be taken starting one hour and thirty minutes prior to tee off. A final call to pay entry fees will be made one hour prior to tee off. If you have not paid your entry fee by this time, please do so immediately.

If you are unable to pay your entry fee during the time designated and you wish to play, you may give it to someone to pay for you. However, once an entry fee is paid, it is not refundable without good reason and committee approval, and will not be considered until the tournament for that day is complete.

As soon as there are no players waiting to pay after the final call, entry fees will be closed. At this time the one ball rule will be in effect. Entry fees will not be taken while pairings are being made and completed .Any rights for pairings are forfeited at this time. Once pairings have been completed, a  $ 5.00 late fee will be charged to any professional member who wishes to compete but has not entered. These players will then be paired at the bottom of the pairings.

If a player who has been practicing on the day of a tournament fails to pay his entry fee on time, and then does not enter the tournament to avoid a late fee,  that player will be assessed a $25 fine for violation of the rule regarding practice times, and be required to pay the appropriate greens fee to the local course. Starting times, unless requested by the course,  will be 12 noon for all Saturday tournaments,  10 am for all Sunday tournaments. THIS IS A CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEARS!  Please check the schedule for  starting times for each event.

Qualifying for the State Championship

Any player may play in the State Championship if he meets the following qualifications. A Pro must play in  a minimum of ten (10) 54 hole tournaments, and pay the entry fee for the State Championship, or he may pay the balance of entry fees due, to make up for tournaments missed, and pay the entry fee for the State Championship.   An APA member must play in a minimum of five (5) tournaments and pay the entry fee for the State Championship, or he may pay the balance of the entry fees due to make up for tournaments missed and pay the entry fee for the State Championship.

Prize money for the 2004 State Championship will be TBA. In the pro division, prize money will be paid to at least one half of the field. The State Championship will be held in Roanoke, VA.

Point Standings

A point system, as used in previous years, will be used again in 2004.  Points will be won and awarded according to place of finish in all tournament play. All players competing, regardless of their playing status, i.e. non Virginia tour regulars, will be awarded points. Points will be awarded in the following manner; all 54 hole tournaments will award 25 points for first place, 24 for second and so on down to one point for all finishers 25 to the last place. In the APA division of play, the points will start with 12 for first, nine for second, eight for third, seven for fourth and so on with tenth through last place getting one point.

In all major tournaments, those tournaments that are scheduled for four rounds or more, first place points will be 30 in the pro field and 20 in the APA. Second will receive 25 in the pro and 15 in the APA and then increment down one point for third to the end will all players receiving at least one point.

Annual Awards

Awards will be given in the PPA and APA for stroke average, player of the year, and sportsmanship.

The stroke averages will be kept using a weighted average method.  The average of all scores in a division of play at each specific site will be used to rate the players by stroke average.  For example, if at a site there are 20 players and the total strokes for a 54 hole tournament is 1800, then the average score for the tournament is 30.

Player one scores an 85. His stroke average is 28.33. His weighted stroke average is -1.67. Player  two scores 95. His stroke average is 31.67. his weighted stroke average is +1.67. Weighted stoke averages from each tournament will be added and averaged for a weighted stroke average.

To be eligible to win the stroke average award in the pro or APA, a player must play in a minimum of 75% of the total tournament rounds. All tournaments through the State Championship will count for stroke average.

The Player of the Year award will be based on the following criteria:

  • 1 point will be awarded for each win in a regular tournament (3 rounds)

  • 3, 2, and 1 points for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd  in the Majors. ( 4 or more rounds) 3 for 1st and 1 for 2nd

in APA.

  • 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points for 1st through 5th in the following three statistical categories: stroke

average, points and prize money won.

The Sportsmanship Award in the PPA and APA will be voted on by the players at the State Championship and the course owners on the tour if they wish to vote.  Pros will vote for pros and APAs will vote for APAs.  The sportsmanship award will award a plaque for each recipient..

Virginia Open

The Virginia Open will be played over six rounds.  Tee off for the Virginia Open will be 9:30am.  After three rounds,  there will be a thirty minute break and players will be repaired. The first three rounds will be played one course number one and the final three rounds on course number three.

State Championship Weekend

The Saturday tournaments the weekend of the State Championship  will be played back to back. The morning tournament will begin with a shotgun start. The afternoon tournament will be straight tee off. The State Championship will be a straight tee off at 9 am, with three rounds in the morning, a break, and then three rounds in the afternoon. The order of play in the morning will be novice, APA and PPA. This gives everyone equal time between morning and afternoon rounds.  Novice will play four rounds in the State Championship without taking a break.

 Team Events, Team Championship and Match Play Championship

 The committee voted to  eliminate the team events and the Match Play Championship for 2004.

Rain Delays

 Because of several rain delays in the past, the committee felt that we should have a set  of rules for rain delay.

In the event that a course becomes  unplayable because of standing water on two or more holes or for torrential rain, or rain with lightening, play will be stopped.

 If after a one hour  delay in play, it appears that there is no reasonable chance that condition will improve, the three committee members assigned for that tournament will call the tournament.  In order to determine the likelihood of a reasonable chance that conditions will improve, the committee will use all available technology to make this decision, whether it be TV weather reports, Internet access to weather reports or other sources.  The final decision to cancel remaining rounds or postpone or cancel  the tournament will be at the discretion of the designated committee members.

In the event that a tournament is stopped because of weather, and play is unable to continue, then  a tournament will be considered official  if,  by division of play, the following has occurred:  for a 3 round tournament, 2 rounds completed, for a 4 round tournament 2 rounds complete, and for a  six round tournament  3 or more rounds complete.

If a tournament is canceled without being official, all entry fees will be refunded for that day. Any tournaments that are rained out will be attempted to be made up if the schedule allows.


2003 brought the Clayton Cup back to Virginia. Our team represented our tour well with a convincing win in Fredericksburg.  The 2004 Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup will be played in Columbia SC.

Players will be asked to fill out a player declaration form which will be used to determine which tour a player wishes to compete. If a player makes the team of his first choice, then that player must compete for that tour’s team. A second choice may be used only if the player fails to qualify for his first choice team.

The following criteria will be used to determine the Clayton Cup team:

A point system will be used to determine the top players on the tour. This point system will use the points standings list mentioned above, money winnings standings and relative stroke average. Points will be awarded in each of three categories. First place will receive one point, second two points, third place three points and so on through the  top twenty. The points for all three categories will then be added together. The players will then be ranked for the Clayton Cup team  with the player with the lowest combined total being the leader. A player must play in a minimum of 50% of the tournaments to be eligible for the Clayton Cup or Hancock Cup team.

The top eight players on the Clayton Cup standings will make the team. Once those eight players are determined they will vote one player onto the team. Once that player is in place, those nine will then vote for the final player’s spot. The ten members will then vote for a captain who may be another player or a team member. In the event that any player on the team is unable to compete after making the team, then any alternate spots will be awarded to the next highest player on the Clayton Cup team points who was not selected.

For the Hancock Cup team, the APA players will use the points standings. The top six  players in the point standings will make the team.  Any alternate spots will be awarded based on points.

The State Championship will be the final tournament that will count towards the formation of the Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup teams.

APA Old Dominion Cup

Congratulations to Malcolm Shumaker and Dennis Biesma for winning the 2003 Old Dominion Cup.

The format for the 2004 Old Dominion Cup will be as follows. APA players may form a two player team and compete for the Old Dominion Cup. The competition for the Old Dominion Cup will be part of the regular tour schedule. The tournament dates for the Old Dominion Cup are noted on the schedule.  Remember, there is no additional charge to form a team and compete.

Each team must register two players. Each team member must compete in a designated tournament for that team total to count, but a team does not have to play in every designated tournament to be eligible to win the cup.

The scores for each team member at each site will be combined for the team total. The team with the lowest combined score at the end of each tournament will be awarded three points, 2 points for second and so on with each team competing receiving at least one point. For major tournaments, the points awarded will be doubled.  Each team will count it’s best eight point totals out of eleven designated tournaments for the final point total to determine the winning team.

The team with the highest point total after all tournaments designated as an Old Dominion Cup event will win the 2004 Old Dominion Cup which will then be displayed at the team’s home course. In addition, each team member will receive a plaque or trophy designating them as a member of the winning team and a $25 expense reimbursement.  If two or more teams tie for the Old Dominion Cup then the State Championship will serve as a playoff for all tied teams.

If you are an APA member beginning planning your team now so that you can compete.

Committee Member Elections

For 2003 your tournament committee  members are: pros?Gary Hinshaw, chairman, Vince Batten, Mike Brown, Daryl Freeman, Jeff Spainhour, Brad Lebo, Jonathan Moore, statistician, and Buddy Taylor, and APA members, Chuck Dibbs, Bill Garrett, Dennis Biesma, and Amy Smith. These member will serve throughout 2004.

Members for 2005 will be elected at the State Championship. Any player who is eligible to play in the State Championship is eligible to vote for committee members. Any player who has played in at least  ten (10) Virginia tournaments, not counting  the NC/VA event in Martinsville,  will be eligible to be elected to the committee. Committee members will serve a one year term. If a qualified person is not elected  who is willing, and has the necessary skills  to perform the duties of statistician, then the elected committee members may elect a statistician as an additional committee member.  I will remain as course owner liaison and chairman, and six PPA members and three APA members will be elected.

I hope to see everyone in Lynchburg on March 27 as we begin the 2004 season.

Gary Hinshaw
Virginia PPA Chairman


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