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.

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter December Q4

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter September Q3

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter June Q2

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter March Q1

The VGA Eagle

Fourth Quarter 2018

From the Board Meeting December 4, 2018

Tony Dalton has remained as president of the VGA and attended the December 4 meeting. You should know that he was diagnosed with brain cancer in August and recently has had a series of medical problems. He is now at home under hospice care and would appreciate visitors. Please call first, his number is 623-910-1094.

The VGA officers for the 2019 year will remain the same as they were in 2018. They are as follows; Tony Dalton – president, Ron Amstutz – vice-president, Rusty Silverman – secretary, Fred Baldwin – treasurer, and Neal Fisel – handicap chairman.

The Board discussed finding members who would be willing to help share the coordination of the Wednesday and Saturday tournaments. Presently Neal Fisel runs the Wednesday events and Fred Baldwin runs the Saturday events. If you are interested in sharing or helping out please contact either Neal or Fred.

The Board discussed the future of the John Pierce Invitational that takes place in May in Green Valley. John has stated that he will not return as the coordinator. You will be pleased to know that Dan Campos and Lloyd Snively have volunteered to set up and run the tournament. Be sure to thank John and Tony Dalton for coordinating the tournament for many years.

It was noted at the meeting that the USGA has instituted many new rules for the 2019 season. Neal Fisel has distributed rule books to many of VGA members. If  you need a rule book, contact Neal. The rules went into effect on January 1, 2019. Please refer to the Letters to Arnie section below concerning some of the new rules changes.

The Board discussed its policy on being charged by Country Clubs for members who have withdrawn from an event. This happened recently on September 9 at Wickenburg Ranch. Members need to be aware, that if they withdraw from a VGA event late in the week especially on the day of the tournament, and the VGA is charged a greens fee because of they withdrew, then the members are liable for the fee. Also, if members do not reimburse the VGA, they lose their good standing in the league.  They will not be allowed to play in future tournaments or to renew their memberships. Please be aware that this is a rare occurrence.

The Board voted to award one set of Big Dog points in flighted tournaments. This past year two sets of Big Dog points were awarded when the tournaments had flights. This was due to the limitations of Golf Genius, the program used by the VGA to set up and coordinate results of their events. Neal Fisel pointed out that Golf Genius now will allow one set of Big Dog points for flighted events. The point was made that there is only one true Big Dog in any VGA golf event.

The 2018 Club Championship Results Flight 1

  • Tom Willis            First Place
  • Dan Campos       Second Place
  • Mike Roether     Third Place
  • John Adair            Fourth Place

Flight 2

  • Ron Gunderson    First Place
  • Warren Meehan Second Place
  • Fred Baldwin          Third Place
  • Neal Fisel                   Fourth Place

The 2018 Big Dog Results Wednesday

  • Bill Heller             First Place
  • Tom Willis            Second Place
  • Fred Baldwin      Third Place


  • Rusty Silverman   First Place
  • Bill Heller                 Second Place
  • Tony Dalton         Third Place

Highlights from the Fourth Quarter

After flying the coop in the third quarter, the eagle has landed in the fourth. John Adair had the only eagle of the quarter and the first for the VGA since June (with the exception of Danny’s Delgado’s superb ace on September 1). John actually missed an eagle on opportunity that day on Verrado Founders’ 435-yard par five seventh hole, leaving the putt short. His dream of getting into Fred’s pocket momentarily vanished. However, he was on in two on the 466 yard par five 15th hole and this time he holed the putt. The dream returned and was fulfilled! His round for the day, 39 on the front and 31 on the back (4, 4, 4, 3, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4) for a 70 and a net score of 64. Congratulations John on a great round!

Dick Brooks hit the daily double at Foothills on December 5. Not only did he win the tournament with a net 67 (77), he scored the only birdie for the day. He won $51 each for first place and for the only birdie. Great shooting Dick.

Low net scores

  • Rich Perry – 62 at Falcon Golf Course on November 3.
  • Rich Golz – 62 at San Marcos on November 7.
  • Fred Baldwin – 62 (79) at Francisco Grande on November 10.
  • Lloyd Snively – 62 at Aguila on November 24.
  • Ron Gunderson – 63 at Aguila on November 24.
  • Alan Arndt – 62 at Pueblo El Mirage on December 15.
  • Dan Christiansen – 63 at Pueblo El Mirage on December 15.
  • Al Dan – 64 at at Pueblo El Mirage on December 15.
  • Diz Disque – 64 at Tres Rios on December 29.
  • Lloyd Snively – 64 at Tres Rios on December 29.

Low gross scores

Dan Campos – 70 at San Marcos on October 27 and at Falcon Golf Course on November 3.

Big Dog Bites

Standings through December 31.

Some new dogs are in the early hunt for the Wednesday title. Richard Brooks and Warren Meehan are out in front with eight points each. Larry Burton is alone in second place with six points followed by a pack of five with five points each.

Bill Heller got a taste of the Big Dog first place bone last year, and so far this year is refusing to share it with the Saturday pack. He has the early lead with 11 points followed closely by Fred Baldwin and Lloyd Snively with 10 points each. Dan Clarkis in third place and Alan Arndt and Rich Perry (5) is in fourth.

The Big Dog contests will end on October 31. Letters to Arnie

Dear Arnie,

My partner and I disagreed on what is the procedure after I hit a wrong ball in the fairway. He thought that I should replace it and take a two-stroke penalty. I thought I should continue to play the wrong ball. W. W. Corrigan

Dear W.W.,

Your partner was correct, last year. However, according to the 2019 USGA Rules of Golf under section 6.3c Wrong Ball, if you hit a wrong ball “In stroke play, you must correct the mistake by continuing to play the original ball by playing it as it lies or taking relief under the Rules:

  • The stroke made with the wrong ball and any more strokes before the mistake is corrected donot count.
  • If you do not correct the mistake before making a stroke to begin another hole or, for the final hole of the round, before returning your scorecard, you are disqualified.
  • And don’t forget to assess the general penalty of two strokes for hitting a wrong ball.

Dear Arnie,

Recently, I was asked to remark my ball on the green that was in the path of another player’s putt. I then forgot to replace the ball and putted the ball into the hole. After realizing my mistake, I thought that I should have replaced the ball in its original spot and play out the hole with an additional two-stroke penalty. The other three players disagreed and claimed that what I had done was correct also with a two-stroke penalty. Hasty Harley

Dear Hasty,

Your playing partners were correct. According to the 2019 USGA Rules of Golf under section 9.7b the “penalty for playing (an) incorrectly substituted ball or playing (a) ball from a wrong place in breach of 9.7: General Penalty” is defined as two strokes.

Dear Arnie,

My playing partner and I ran into a rather interesting predicament while playing golf in Arizona. After hitting our tee shots on a hole, they came to rest on a field of ice created by a broken sprinkler head in unusually freezing weather. We were unsure what to do but decided to take a free drop. Was this correct? Rusty Benjamin

Dear Rusty,

Maybe. It may seem counterintuitive, but ice is casual water. “’Casual water’ is any temporary accumulation of water on the course that is not in a water hazard and is visible before or after the player takes his stance. Snow and natural ice,  other than frost, are either casual water or loose impediments, at the option of the player. Manufactured ice is an obstruction. Dew and frost are not casual water.”   So   you had the right to take relief,  but you must do  it “through the green”.  “If the ball  lies through the green, the player must lift the ball and drop it, without penalty, within one club-length of and not nearer the hole than the nearest point of relief. What is key here is the nearest point of relief. That is the only option. If the nearest point of relief is obstructed by a natural part of the course, then you must decide what to do. You always have the option of playing a ball where it lies unless it is out-of-bounds. There is no penalty for taking relief from casual water.

A Repeat From the September Issue There is no longer a penalty when;

  • a player accidentally moves his or her ball during a search.
  • a player accidentally moves his or her ball or ball-marker on the putting green.
  • a player’s ball in motion accidentally hits the player, his or her caddie, or the flagstick a player accidentally hits the ball more than once during a stroke.
  • a player touches the line of putt or touches the line in pointing out a target a player putts and hits an unattended flagstick.
  • a player moves loose impediments, touches the ground with hand or club, or grounds the club in a penalty area when the ball is in the penalty area.
  • a player touches the sand with hand or club when the ball is in the bunker

Other important changes

  • When dropping a ball, the ball must be dropped straight down from knee height.
  • When looking for a lost ball, the time limit is three minutes.
  • A player may repair almost any damage on the purring green (including spike marks) except natural Imperfections.
  • A player may take relief outside a bunker back on the line from the hole through where the ball was at rest for two penalty strokes

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.