The Chautauqua Ladies’ Golf League kicked off their 2016 season Tuesday morning, with a member-member tournament played at Chautauqua Golf Club.
Twenty-eight league members were paired together (hence the competition’s name) and played in groups of four, with best-ball rules applying to each pair of golfers. In other words, only the lowest score for each team was counted on every hole.
“They usually try and pair a higher handicap golfer with a lower handicap golfer,” said tournament co-chair Judy Kullberg. “They don’t know who their partner is going to be until they get there.”
Playing in the lead group, Kullberg paired with Suzanne Maurer to win the tournament with a best ball net score of 59. Pat Peters and Mary Khosh took second, while Suzanne Gross and Jane Stirniman finished in a tie for third with Sue Sherwin and Jana Stone.
The competition ended with a reception in the Clubhouse dining room, where lunch was served as the winners of the member-member tournament were announced. A business meeting of the Chautauqua Ladies’ Golf League concluded the event.
Golfers teed off bright and early, with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on Chautauqua Golf Club’s challenging Hill Course. Despite threatening storm clouds that rolled in throughout the afternoon, the tournament was played in warm summer weather.
Providing golfers with a spectacular view of Chautauqua Lake and the surrounding countryside, the Hill Course also boasts narrow fairways and bunker-lined greens, which required accurate drives throughout the morning.
The Hill Course opened in 1994 on property adjacent to the existing golf course and made Chautauqua Golf Club one of the only 36-hole courses between New York, Cleveland and Rochester.
Kullberg said the Hill Course distinguishes itself from the club’s original layout and provides golfers with a unique set of challenges.
“The Lake Course and the Hill Course are very different from each other,” Kullberg said. “The Lake Course is a more conventional one, and the Hill Course is more of a target-shooting course.”
In addition to co-chairing Monday’s member-member tournament, Kullberg has been an avid golfer since her early 20s. For many years, she lived in Corning, New York, which hosted an annual LPGA tournament until 2009. Kullberg said that watching women become more involved in the sports has been a thrill.
“The LPGA circuit was very important to us,” Kullberg. “We had pro golfers stay with us when they came and I was a walking scorer for 25 years. That was so great, because you’re walking with the golfers and talking to them occasionally. You’re not supposed to, but if they open the conversation, you’re not going to [ignore] them.”
The Chautauqua Ladies’ Golf League will continue its 2016 season with a match play tournament on July 12 and league championship later this summer. The season will conclude with a final tournament and gala on Aug. 30 in which prizes will be given out to the league’s top golfers.