February 2, 2005

The 2005 Virginia PPA Tour

The 2005 putting season is just around the corner. I know most of you are already planning your season. Please take a few minutes to review this year’s newsletter and  schedule  as well as the prize money breakdown .

For complete information on all the National and State events and to get 2005 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 memberships received by March 6, 2005.


Enclosed in this newsletter, please find your schedule of tournaments for the Virginia PPA tour for 2005. 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 15, 2005 to plan our tour for 2005 and report 2004 financial results.  Brad Lebo, Vince Batten and I represented the VA tour at the “three tour meeting?on January 5th and  as a result of that meeting, the schedules of  SC, NC, and VA offer a great opportunity for the players to compete without conflicts.

The 2005 Schedule

  • 4 Virginia/North Carolina cosponsored 54 hole tournaments

  • 11 regular 54 hole tournaments

Major Events

  • The Dogwood Festival Open May 22

  • The Virginia Open June26

  • The Virginia Putting Classic August 21

  • The State Championship Sept 18

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…” 

The 2005 Official Rule Book is available online at ProPutters.com. There are several rules changes that you will want to review.

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. 

The biggest concern of the committee is how we  collectively get a handle on outbursts of temper, whether by verbal or  some physical action,  that are detrimental to PPA, the host course,  fellow players and the  player  committing any such act. The committee feels that it is incumbent upon each person to take personal stock of themselves  and  then make a personal commitment  to insure that we  project a positive image of the PPA.

While it is understood that  there are times, both  in  triumph and defeat, that  players may spontaneously express their emotions, and there is  no desire on the part of anyone to  suppress  such emotion, there are limits  to such  displays when they become  an embarrassment  (i.e. profanity) or a danger, (i.e. flying objects) to fellow players, spectators, the host course,  or the PPA.

With this in mind, the committee asks that all players place a special emphasis on projecting a professional  and positive image going forward.  To that end, any acts of unsportsmanship that are witnessed or reported will be dealt with and we will reserve the right  to fine players even on a first offense a minimum of $25.00.  Please be advised that warnings 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 to 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.

Pairings for all tournaments, Entry Fees, Prize Money and 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. 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. We will know before our first tournament is played. Please refer to the enclosed schedule for the order in which spots will be awarded. One spot will be reserved for the player  highest in the points  standing after the July 10th tournament in Abingdon.  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. 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 nine (9) 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 2005 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 Richmond, VA.

Point Standings

A point system, as used in previous years, will be used again in 2005.  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 20 for first, 18 for second, 17 for third, 16 for fourth and so on with  all places receiving at least 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 25 in the APA. Second will receive 25 in the pro and 20 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 will be a cumulative average of all tournaments with  each tournament round being weighted such that each tournament round  for the season is given equal weight in the calculation of the overall weighted stroke average. For example, a four  round tournament will have 4/3 the weight of a three round tournament in the calculation of the overall weighted stroke average. Similarly, a 6 round tournament will have twice the weight of a three round tournament in the calculation of the overall 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. All six rounds will be played 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.

Rain Delays

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.


2004 brought the Clayton Cup back to Virginia for the second year in a row. Our team represented our tour well with a convincing win in Columbia, SC.  The 2005 Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup will be played in  High Point, NC.

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. Player declaration forms are due in  by May 15th.

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. 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. In the event that the State Championship is rained out and rescheduled to the rain date, then standings through the last played tournament will be used.

APA Old Dominion Cup

Congratulations to Malcolm Shumaker and Dennis Biesma for winning the 2004 Old Dominion Cup.

The format for the 2004 Old Dominion Cup will be as follows. APA players may form a two or three 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 its players. At least two members of 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. A team  must play to receive any points for a tournament.

The scores for each team member at each site will be the best two of three scores each round 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 2005 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 2005 your tournament committee  members are: pros?Gary Hinshaw, chairman, Vince Batten, Mike own,  Jeff Spainhour, Brad Lebo, Jonathan Moore, statistician, and Buddy Taylor, and APA members, Chuck Dibbs, , Dennis Biesma, and Amy Smith. These member will serve throughout 2005.

Members for 2006 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 five PPA members and two APA members from different areas will be elected.

Statistics and Tournament Reporting

One area of concern expressed  is the need to be more timely with updating statistics and reporting tournament results to ProPutters.com.  The committee asks that  all updated statistics be sent to the field by email within one week of a tournament. If they are not sent by that time, the committee will take action to make sure that they are reported.  Jonathan Moore will again keep stats for the PPA and Amy Smith for the APA. Also, in an effort to help keep news current, after each  tournament  the winner is requested to make him or herself available  briefly so that an article can be written to send to ProPutters.com.  Brad Lebo has volunteered his time to  write the stories for  each 2005 VA PPA event.

I hope to see everyone in Richmond on April 9 as we begin the 2005 season.

Gary Hinshaw
Virginia PPA Chairman


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