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 June Q2

2019 VGA Eagle Newsletter March Q1

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter December Q4

2018 VGA Eagle Newsletter September Q3

The VGA Eagle

2nd 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.

There was no board meeting during the month of June. The Board usually meets in June and September, but will have only one interim meeting this year on August 6.

Revisiting Local Rule E-5

There seems to be much confusion on how to apply Rule E-5. So here it is again.

  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 afterwards, 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 reasonably sure the ball is in a penalty area.

While the VGA eliminated the desert rule in lieu of Rule E-5, some courses have their own version of the rule. Check the course’s scorecard for any reference to a local desert 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. A golfer may take a score of ten on a hole at any point. In doing so, he is still in the tournament.

The x-out rule is still in effect. If a player chooses to x-out, then he is disqualified for the tournament.

Highlights from Second Quarter


At this point in time, two VGA golfers will be sharing the hole-in-one pot. Veteran, Rusty Silverman, scored an ace at the Green Valley Tournament. This is directly from the horse’s mouth; “Short Par 3, Hole 7, San Ignacio Golf Club, 112 yards, gap wedge. Particulars: Coming off 3 triple bogies, a lucky par, a quad, and a double bogie, I had nothing to lose but relax and let the club do the work. Made a perfect pass at the ball. Ball soared way up in the air. Landed 3 inches right of the cup and with a sloping left to right green, the ball took a tiny hop and jumped right in(to) the hole.” Way to go Rusty!

Rookie, Jim Cox, joined the VGA on June 20 and struck gold on the 26th of June. He  hit a seven-iron on the 152 yard par-three eleventh hole for his first ace. Jim wrote “ I hit the shot perfectly flush and knew it was going to be a good shot, little did I know how good though. The ball landed about a foot past the hole and rolled back into the hole.” Way to go Jim!

Congratulations to both Rusty and Jim.


Four VGA members scored eagles in the second quarter and pocketed $25 for their good luck. April was a good month to get an eagle.

Zach Hamm eagled the par-five 507 yard 15th hole at Ken MacDonald on April 10. That is the par-five hole that goes around a pond.

Fred Baldwin had his eagle on the par-five 407 yard 17th hole at Palmbrook on April 17. (No, it is not a typo, but in his(my) defense his(my) second shot was well over the green.)

Tom Hecocks holed out his third shot for an eagle on Cave Creek’s par-five 477 yard second hole on April 24.

Ben Hughes, the new father of twin boys, eagled the par-five 531 yard 16th hole at Union Hills. That is the par five-hole with a sloping and difficult green. Union Hills has been very good to Ben since he joined the VGA.

Low net scores for the quarter

There was a spate of low net scores this quarter including 13 scores of 64 who be remembered, but unnamed at this time.

Dan Christiansen – 58 (the low net for the year) at Falcon Golf Club on April 13 Dennis Haigwood (May he rest in peace) – 61 at Falcon Golf Club on April 13 Cathy Harvey – 62 at Raven South Mountain on May 8

Tom Orr – 63 at Encanto on May 11

Alan Yancey – 63 at Stonecreek on May 22

Tom Giljum – 60 at Trilogy Power Ranch on May 29

Eddie Little – 62 at Raven South Mountain on June 8

Neal Fisel – 63 at at Tres Rios on February 23

Low gross scores

Dan Campos – 70 (69) at Dobson Ranch on April 6 Ben Hughes – 69 (64) at Cave Creek on April 20 Dan Campos – 69 (65) at Union Hills on May 4 Ben Hughes – 70 (69) at Encanto on May 11 – Dan Campos – 67 (62) at Raven South Mountain on June 8 – Dave Dean – 74 (63) at Bear Creek on June 19

Big Dog Bites Standings through July 31.

Dave Dean is back on top of the Wednesday race after a one year hiatus, but he has another dog in the pound. Warren Meehan has tied Dave’s total with 31 points. Larry Burton, John Euler, and Fred Baldwin are within biting distance with 30, 27, and 24 points respectively.

There are two lead dogs in the Saturday race. Fred Baldwin has caught Dan Christiansen and they lead the pack with 26 points each. Rusty Silverman is in third place with 20 points followed closely by Neal Fisel and Margaret Storms with 19  points each. Close behind is Danny Clark with 15 points.

Letters to Arnie Dear Arnie,

My playing partner and I disagreed on how to take relief from an immovable obstruction (an internal fence on the course). I said that he had to take the nearest point of relief and drop the ball. He claimed that he was entitled to his stance and one club length from where the ball came to rest. Which of us was correct? By the way, he played two balls, one form each point of relief, to be sure to have a correct score. Fastidious Freddy

Dear Freddy,

Your partner was correct. When taking relief from an immovable object you should designate the area defined by the total of your stance and one club length no closer to the hole. You may drop the ball anywhere within the relief area. There is no penalty for free relief. And, in cases where you are unsure of how to interpret a rule, it is a good idea to play two balls.

However, if your ball touches or is in an abnormal course condition, ACC, (such as temporary water – including water outside of an overflowed penalty area Larry, a sprinkler head, or ground under repair), then you may take free relief and drop the ball outside of the ACC at the nearest point of relief, no closer to the hole. The relief area is limited to one club length from each side of the dropped ball, typically a semi-circle.

You may take free relief from an ACC in a sand bunker as well. Also, under the ACC rule, you also have the option of dropping the ball outside of the bunker in line with the hole for a one-stroke penalty.

VGA Hats for Sale!

The VGA has a selection of good quality hats with our logo. There are two styles including: white with a blue or tan trim for $35, sand with a tan trim for $35 (not shown in the picture), and white with a blue trim and chin tie for $30. There are also white golf hats for $15 and visors for $10. See Fred Baldwin for details.

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 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.