January 10, 2007

The 2007 Virginia PPA Tour

The 2007 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 years newsletter and schedule as well as the prize money breakdown .

For complete information on all the National and State events and to get 2007 membership information, visit the Official Web Site of the Professional Putters Association, ProPutters.com. For 2007 there are two levels of membership for the PPA, Club Pro and National Pro as well as APA membership for amateurs. See the web site for membership privileges and early payment deadlines.

Enclosed in this newsletter, please find your schedule of tournaments for the Virginia PPA tour for 2007. Scheduled tournaments for the National tour are noted. If any changes to the Virginia tour schedule are made, you will be notified of those changes.

Your tournament committee met December 16, 2006 to plan our tour for 2007 and report 2006 financial results.


In an effort to introduce new players to the Virginia PPA and APA, or reintroduce former players who were not a member of either in 2006, the Virginia PPA is offering the following incentives through Saturday, June 23rd, 2007.

For any player wishing to play a tournament in the APA division, they may play their first regular Virginia PPA tournament without paying a membership fee.

For any player wishing to compete in the PPA, a free entry fee for a regular VA PPA event will be provided with payment of the appropriate Club Pro membership, or Tour Pro membership,.

An attempt is being made by your tour committee to reach out to as many former players as possible. If you know former players or other who you think would be interested please contact them.

The 2007 Schedule

  • 15 Virginia PPA tour events

  • 4 Major Tournaments

Major Events

  • The Dogwood Festival Open June 24

  • The Virginia Open July 29

  • The Virginia Putting Classic August 19

  • The State Championship September 30

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 2007 Official Rule Book is available online at ProPutters.com. The only change in the rule book for 2007 over 2006 deals with how a PPA member may revert to amateur status. That said, it is always a good idea to review the rule book prior to the new season.

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 committee asks that all players place a special emphasis on projecting a professional and positive image going forward. To that end, any acts of unsportsmanlike conduct 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. All decisions that might need to be addressed specific to that days events will be up to those committee members present. 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 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 and the reigning National Champion third or fourth. For Saturday tournaments, all other players will be paired by luck of the draw. Sunday tournaments that are non major events and any second tournament of a double header will be paired based on the results of the previous days tournament with the defending champion and State Champion still first and second. 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.

Tee off for the Saturday Lynchburg tournaments will begin on hole number 17.

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, $10 for APA and $6 for novice. Beginning in 2007, the VAPPA will begin to look at how we compensate the course owners for the use of their course. The committee has taken the initial step of offering to pay a $5.00 greens fee per tournament for PPA members and a $5 weekend greens fee for APA members to cover one or all tournaments for the weekend. The course owners individually can choose to maintain the status quo, or they may choose to not charge the greens fee for players who wear a Putt-Putt shirt for practice and tournament play. The tournament greens fee will be added to the entry fee where it is desired by the course.

For PPA members, entry fee for majors will be $80, $15 for APA and $6 for novice. The prize money pay out has been adjusted for 2007. In an effort to reward more players, the top money spots have been reduced and at least one additional payout spot has been added. Please refer to the enclosed prize money pay-out for the 2007 prize money pay out. There is a new pay out scale for expense reimbursements for the APA field as well.

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 all tournament play 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 avoiding 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 single Saturday tournaments, 10 am for all Sunday tournaments. Please check the schedule for starting times for each event as double headers and majors may differ.

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 eight (8) 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. The minimum required for qualifying is a reduction from previous years. It is in an effort to reach out to players with limited courses to play close to home and encourage them to play some on the Virginia tour. 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. In agreement with the Southern Tour, one Southern Tour major ( Carolinas' Open, Elton Davis Memorial, NC State Championship, Ga. State Championship) will count towards the Virginia minimum and one Virginia Tour major will count towards the Southern Tour minimum.

Prize money for the 2007 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 Lynchburg, VA.

Point Standings

A point system, as used in previous years, will be used again in 2007. 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 place will receive 25 points in the pro and 20 points in the APA, and then increment down one point for third to the end with 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 in the PPA award will be based on the following criteria:

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

  • 2 points for 1st and 1 point for 2nd in four round majors

  • 3, 2, and 1 points for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the Majors. ( 6 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 Player of the Year in the APA award will be based on the following criteria:

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

  • In the Majors, ( 4 or more rounds) 3 for 1st and 1 for 2nd

  • 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 points for 1st through 7th in the following three statistical categories: stroke average, ( Minimum of 50% of tournaments scheduled), points and expense reimbursements 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 with the novice division playing four rounds without a break. 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 starting on hole number 17. 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.

The State will tee off on hole number 1.

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, then the committee members present 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 is 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 3 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.

Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup Teams

2006 saw the Southern Putting Tour team capture the Clayton Cup Champions, and the Virginia APA Team recapture the Hancock Cup. The 2007 Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup will be hosted by the Northern Tour the weekend of September 15th and 16th. The site is to be determined. Going forward, the Northern Tour will host the Clayton and Hancock Cup every other rotation. 2008 would be Southern, 2009 Virginia, 2010 Southern, 2011 Virginia, 2012 Northern.

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.

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 players 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 player of the year points standings. The top five players in the POY point standings will make the team and those five players will pick the 6th player.

 To be eligible for the Hancock Cup team, a player must play in a minimum of five tournaments. Any alternate spots will be awarded based on Player of the Year points.

The Virginia Putting Classic will be the final tournament that will count towards the formation of the Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup teams. In the event that the Virginia Putting Classic is rained out and rescheduled to a date later than the Clayton Cup weekend, then standings through the last played tournament will be used.

APA Old Dominion Cup

Congratulations to Barry Moore and Dennis Biesma for winning the 2006 Old Dominion Cup.

The format for the 2007 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 its players. Only one member of each team 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. A team with one player may still compete counting that players score.

The score for each team at each site will be the best nine hole score for the front and back nines of each round from the two players. Example if team member one shoots 13-14- 27 and team member two shoots 14-13-27, then the team score for that round is 13-13-26. Scores each round combine for the team total. The team with the lowest combined score at the end of each tournament will be awarded five points, four 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 its 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 2006 Old Dominion Cup which will then be displayed at the teams 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 2007 your tournament committee members are: pros Gary Hinshaw, chairman, Vince Batten, Bill Baus, Brad Lebo, Matt Summey, Greg Newport and Rick Rybaczek, statistician. APA members are, Dennis Biesma, Conway Coffey and Barry Moore. These members will serve throughout 2007.

Members for 2007 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, 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 will be elected.

I hope to see everyone in Richmond on March 31st as we begin the 2007 season.

Gary Hinshaw
Virginia PPA Chairman


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