VGA Newsletters













2016 June Boulder winner Ken Baca, pictured with VGA member Bob Watson.

There will be one years worth of Newsletters kept on this page. The very latest will be printed in its entirety. The others will have links to each one if you would like to go back and catch up on VGA news.

2019 VGA Eagle Newsletter March Q1

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter December Q4

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter September Q3

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter June Q2


The VGA Eagle

First Quarter 2019

Ron Amstutz is the new president of the VGA. He replaced Tony Dalton, who passed away earlier this year. Dan Campos was elected to the position of vice president in absentia by the Board. Also, Larry Burton was elected to the Board as a general member. Thanks to all of you for helping out.

The Board voted to adopt Rule E-5. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with this rule. In general the rule allows a golfer who has lost a ball or hit a ball out-of-bounds to take a drop for a two-stroke penalty. Here is a guide on how to use the rule:

  1. Determine the ball reference point at which the ball went out-of-bounds or was lost, but not in a penalty area.
  2. Sight a line from the pin though the ball reference point.
  3. Determine the fairway reference point that is directly across from the ball reference point, but no closer to the hole.
  4. Sight a line from the pin through the fairway reference point.
  5. The relief area is the area between the two lines within a two-club lengths, but no closer to the hole and in the field of play.
  6. Assess a two-stroke penalty.

If the ball is found, the rule cannot be used. Also, once a player decides to use the Rule E-5 and drops the ball according to the rule, that ball is in play and the lost ball, if found afterward, is abandoned. If you play a provisional ball, you cannot use the rule. However, you may use the rule on the provisional ball.

Also, you may not use the rule if you are reasonally sure the ball is in a penalty area.

The Board has voted to eliminate the VGA desert rule in lieu of Rule E-5. However, if the ball is found in-bounds, the player still has the option to use the unplayable ball rule.

The Board voted to use the USGA option to set a limit of ten on any one hole.  The reason for the rule is to speed up play. Once a golfer has a score of ten on a hole, he/she may pick up their ball and move with the foursome to next hole. However, if the player decides to hole out, then all stokes are counted.The x- out rule is still in effect.

The Board voted to have the Champion-of-Champions tournaments during the first week of May. The Saturday tournament will be at Union Hills on May 4 and the Wednesday tournament will be on May 8 at Raven at South Mountain. Any golfer that won an event from November 1, 2017 through October 31, 2018 is eligible. There is a $10 fee to enter each tournament. You may enter both

Tournaments if you won at least one event on Wednesday and Saturday.

The Board voted to assess a player for greens fees when a course charges the VGA for a no-show and the player does not notify the tournament director before 48 hours of the first tee time of that event.

Highlights from the First Quarter

Ed Chapman, age 75, nearly shot his age at Ken MacDonald on January 9. He had a gross score of 76 with a net score of 62. Ed also scored an eagle at Legend of Arrowhead on March 13. He hit a hybrid onto the 476 yard par five second hole and made the putt from ten feet. Great golf Ed.

Dan Campos shot a gross score of 70 at Legend of Arrowhead where he was in the same foursome with Ed Chapman. Amazingly, Dan had seven birdies on the  day! Way to stick it Dan!

Golf is a game of surprises as Al Dan can testify. When playing hole number 13 at Cave Creek,the 158 yard par three, he hit a low liner that skipped off the pond and landed to the right of the green in the trap. He then overhit his shot from the trap and the ball rolled off the front of the green. And then he sunk a long putt for a “typical” par. This is what makes golf fun to watch!

Rich Golz struck once again. He had his second par-four eagle as a member of the VGA at Stonecreek on January 31. He holed out a wedge shot on the 310 yard fourth hole. Fred Baldwin witnessed both of his eagles.

Diz Disque eagled hole number seven, a 369 yard par four, on February 23.  He hit a monster drive from the tee and hit a nine-iron to hole out the shot. Fred Baldwin witnessed Diz’s eagle as well. Fred is now taking requests to be in your foursome.

Low net scores for the quarter Neal Fisel – 62 at Cave Creek on January 5

Dan Christiansen – 63 at Falcon Golf Club on January 19

John Leopold – 61 at Union Hills on February 2 Dan Clark – 63 at Union Hills on February 2

Fred Baldwin – 64 at Union Hills on February 2 Alan Arndt – 63 at Aguila on February 16

Dan Christiansen – 63 at Aguila on February 16

Ron Amstutz – 64 at Aguila on February 16

George Kowalchik – 63 at at Tres Rios on February 23

Warren Meehan – 62 at Falcon Golf Club on March 16

Tom Giljum – 60 at Sun City on March 20

Warren Meehan – 62 at Sun City on March 20

Dan Christiansen – 63 at Francisco Grande on March 23

Steve Richter – 63 (all time low gross score of 75) at Francisco Grande on March 23

Mike Roether – 64 at Francisco Grande on March 23

Low gross scores

John Adair – 74 at Union Hills on February 2

John Adair – 71 at Great Eagle on February 9

Dan Campos – 72 at Great Eagle on February 9

Big Dog Bites Standings through March 31.

Fred Baldwin and Warren Meehan are tied for the lead with 22 points each in the Wednesday Big Dog fight. John Euler is in second place with 14 points and Dave Dean (he’s baaack) is in third place with 13 points. Cathy Harvey, Bill Heller, and George Kowalchik are next with nine points each.

The resurgent Dan Christiansen has climbed into first place in the Saturday race with 21 points followed by Fred Baldwin and Dan Clark with 16 and 15 points respectively. Close behind are Alan Arndt, Bill Heller, and Rusty Silverman with 11 points each.

Letters to Arnie Dear Arnie,

My playing partner, while setting up to hit a shot onto the green, accidentally bumped the ball, but did not move it. I was unsure as to whether he should have taken a penalty stroke. It just so happened that he holed out the shot for an eagle and I decided to let it ride. Should he have taken a penalty stroke? Hesitant Harry

Dear Harry,

Your partner played the ball correctly. A one-stroke penalty would only be assessed if the ball had moved. According to USGA rule 9.2a, “Your ball at rest is treated as having moved only if it is known or virtually certain that it did. If your ball might have moved but this is not known or virtually certain, it is treated as not having moved and you must play is as it lies.” Tell him congratulations on his eagle from me!

Dear Arnie,

Is there a penalty for hitting a moving ball? Anxious Al Dear Al,

According to USGA rule 10.1d, you must not make a stroke at a moving ball. “In stroke play, a stroke made in breach of this rule counts and you get two penalty strokes.” There are three exceptions; 1) if the ball begins to move only after you began your backswing for the stroke, 2) if the ball falls off of the tee, or 3) if the ball is in moving water. This means, if you are hitting shot number two and you hit a moving ball as per the rule, when your ball comes to rest, you will be lying four (stroke, stroke, two-shot penalty).

VGA Hats for Sale!

The VGA has a selection of hats with our logo. There are two styles of sun-protecting hats: white with a blue or tan stripe for $35, and white with a blue trim and chin tie for $30. There are also white golf hats for $15 and visors for $10. The hats are great quality and attractive. See Fred Baldwin for details.