USGA significantly elevates U.S. Women’s Open

ProMedica becomes presenting partner as organization announces huge purse increase and addition of Riviera, Inverness, Pinehurst, Interlachen and Oakland Hills as future venues.

The USGA and ProMedica announced a long-term partnership that includes presenting partner rights for the U.S. Women’s Open, notably elevating the championship through a $10 million purse, additional host sites that include some of the most esteemed courses in the United States and increased charitable support.

ProMedica, a mission-based, not-for-profit integrated health and well-being organization that serves communities in 28 states, becomes the newest partner in the USGA’s global program, which is designed to extend the reach of the association’s mission to champion and advance the game of golf. In addition to the U.S. Women’s Open presenting sponsorship, as part of the long-term relationship, ProMedica becomes the official health and well-being partner of the USGA.

To retain and enhance the standing of the U.S. Women’s Open, most immediately and beginning with the 2022 championship that will be conducted June 2-5 at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, the purse will nearly double, increasing from $5.5 million to $10 million, the highest in women’s golf and among the leaders in all of women’s sports. The USGA also announced a commitment to raise the Women’s Open purse to $11 million and then $12 million over the next five years.

“The USGA prides itself on conducting championships that not only provide an incredible stage for the athletes, but also give younger players something to dream about,” USGA CEO Mike Whan said. “For more than 75 years, the U.S. Women’s Open has been the one that every little girl, in every country around the world, has dreamed of winning. This partnership with ProMedica allows us to substantially grow the championship in every way, from its purpose, to its purse, to the places that host the event. While I’m incredibly proud of what we are announcing today, I know this is just the beginning, as together with ProMedica, we’ll push to change the game and what it means to young women worldwide in order to reach new heights every year.”

Key to the partnership is a joint commitment by the organizations to highlight the importance of addressing health inequities across the United States, which will include sharing the personal stories of golfers and USGA competitors nationwide who have used golf as a means to a healthier lifestyle.
ProMedica will also utilize the global stage the U.S. Women’s Open provides to generate charitable dollars for its ProMedica Impact Fund, which will become the official charity of the U.S. Women’s Open. The ProMedica Impact Fund is committed to raising more than $1 billion over eight years to strategically invest in grants, impact investments, and research and learning activities, all designed to improve individual and community health. The partners will conduct fundraising to support social determinants of health initiatives and other programs in championship communities.

“With this unprecedented partnership, both organizations are breaking new ground,” ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra said. “ProMedica will benefit from taking its work in social determinants of health onto a national stage, while the USGA will benefit from the opportunity to embrace a not-for-profit organization whose mission and support will elevate its signature women’s event.

“You simply cannot talk about improving the health and well-being of all individuals without talking about the disproportionate impact of social determinants of health on women. The U.S. Women’s Open is a perfect platform for bringing this message to a much broader audience.”

As a piece of the partnership, ProMedica will provide on-site medical services at several USGA championships, as well as deliver health and well-being experiences for fans on-site and throughout host communities.

The USGA today also named five additional U.S. Women’s Open host sites: The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California (2026); Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio (2027); Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina (2029); Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota (2030); and Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan (2031 and 2042).

The Riviera Country Club, designed by George C. Thomas Jr. and William Bell and opened in 1926, will host its fourth USGA championship. Ben Hogan won the first of his four U.S. Open Championships in 1948 at Riviera. The club, which was most recently redesigned in 1992 by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, has also hosted the 1998 U.S. Senior Open and 2017 U.S. Amateur.

Inverness Club is located in Toledo, Ohio, home of ProMedica, and has previously hosted eight USGA championships, including four U.S. Opens. Inverness was founded in 1903 and its current course was designed by Donald Ross in 1916. Among its historic moments, Inverness is where four-time champion Bob Jones first competed in a U.S. Open, and it most recently hosted the 2019 U.S. Junior Amateur and the 2021 Solheim Cup. The club will also host the 2029 U.S. Amateur. Andrew Green completed a restoration of the Ross design in 2018.

Pinehurst No. 2, site of the 2024 and 2029 U.S. Open Championships, will host its second “back-to-back” championships in 2029. This will be the second U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, with Michelle Wie West earning her first major championship there in 2014. Pinehurst, which was named the Association’s first anchor site in September 2020, has hosted 10 USGA championships, and is set to host five additional U.S. Opens over the next 25 years.

Interlachen will host its second U.S. Women’s Open and sixth USGA championship overall. The 2030 U.S. Women’s Open will be played on the 100th anniversary of Bob Jones’s U.S. Open victory at Interlachen, where his victory set the stage for Jones to secure the Grand Slam later in 1930 at Merion. The club has also hosted the 1935 U.S. Women’s Amateur, the 1986 U.S. Senior Amateur, the 1993 Walker Cup and the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open, won by Inbee Park. Interlachen has retained Green to do restorative work to its Ross design beginning in 2023.

Oakland Hills will host its 12th USGA championship and first U.S. Women’s Open. It will become the fifth club to have hosted a U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur, with Pebble Beach set to do so in 2023. The South Course, which has hosted six U.S. Opens, was designed by Ross and opened in 1918. It was renovated by Robert Trent Jones (1950), Rees Jones (2006) and Gil Hanse (2021).

The U.S. Women’s Open is one of 15 national championships conducted annually by the USGA. The championship began in 1946.
Future U.S. Women’s Open Sites
2022: Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
2023: Pebble Beach Golf Links
2024: Lancaster Country Club
2025: Erin Hills
2026: The Riviera Country Club
2027: Inverness Club
2028, 2038: Oakmont Country Club
2029: Pinehurst Resort & Country Club
2030: Interlachen Country Club
2031, 2042: Oakland Hills Country Club
2034, 2046: Merion Golf Club

Michigan Turfgrass Foundation makes $1 million lead gift to Michigan State University as campaign to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology commences.

A $1 million gift from the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation to the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources launches a $5 million campaign to endow the Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology.

“Endowed positions are a cornerstone for recruiting outstanding faculty and supporting innovative research,” MSU President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said. “We are fortunate to have the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership in our efforts to advance solutions to pressing challenges in turfgrass science in ways that will improve lives and strengthen communities.”

Funding for the endowed Joe Vargas Chair in Turfgrass Pathology will ensure that a strong and robust program is possible in perpetuity, and that MSU’s land-grant tradition of linking research to our region’s needs continues to advance the economic development, environmental stewardship, and improved quality of life in Michigan and around the world.

This endowment honors Dr. Joe Vargas who has dedicated his 51-year career to improving the quality of turf on every continent except Antarctica. His knowledge has been shared in over 200 articles and over 1,000 presentations. As an international expert on turfgrass diseases, he is a member of the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame.

“At the forefront of our turfgrass program are our faculty members who are global leaders in their areas of expertise,” said Dr. Brian Horgan, chairperson for the MSU Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, which houses the Turfgrass Program. “By investing in this endowed chair position, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation shows their commitment to creating new knowledge through research, while educating and inspiring the students who will become the next generation of leaders in turfgrass science.”

Established in 1957, the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation is a non-profit organization which supports turfgrass research and education. The organization’s members represent a vast portion of the industry including: homeowners, golf courses, seed, sod and stolon growers, municipalities, parks and recreation, schools, landscape and lawn care contractors, athletics and cemeteries. MTF annually sponsors the Michigan Turfgrass Conference and supports the MSU Turfgrass Field Day at the Hancock Turfgrass Research Center in East Lansing, Mich.

“The Joe Vargas Endowed Chair continues the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation’s partnership with Michigan State University that has been successful for over 50 years,” said Carey Mitchelson, Michigan Turfgrass Foundation executive director. “This initiative helps to ensure that the MSU Turfgrass Program continues into perpetuity, sustains MSU’s place in cutting-edge turfgrass technology, and furthers the advancement of turfgrass students. The combined efforts of MSU and the Michigan Turfgrass Foundation exhibit the true meaning of a land-grant university working with its partners to provide a template and foundation of future research and educational programs for generations to come.”

For over 70 years, MSU’s Turfgrass Management Program has provided significant, cutting-edge research that positively impacts practitioners and end-users, from our back yards to world-class golf courses.

The research taking place within the turfgrass program not only serves to positively affect our campus community and the state of Michigan’s economy, but also the U.S. and the world. Greenspace and turf are valuable for communities, as these spaces provide positive ecosystem services including stormwater management, pollinator friendly habitats, urban cooling and environmental protection and preservation.

Designed by Karl Litten and redesigned by Jim Fazio, the course has hosted Champions Tour events won by Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.
Troon has been selected to manage Boca Grove, an exclusive, members-only golf, tennis and country club in Boca Raton, Florida. Troon Privé, the private club operating division of Troon, will manage golf, tennis and club operations, food & beverage, golf course agronomy, and membership marketing and programming.
Boca Grove’s original Karl Litten-designed golf course opened for play in 1982 and hosted the Quadel Senior Classic, a Champions Tour event won by Arnold Palmer in both 1983 and ’84, and by Gary Player in 1985. The course was redesigned in 2011 by Jim Fazio. The 6,808-yard golf course plays to a par of 72.
“Boca Grove has experienced two tremendous years with record home sales, completion of a new building and a merger of our club and POA,” said Boca Grove Property Owner’s Association board president Marc Gillman. “We are stronger than we have been in over a decade and wanted to give ourselves the best chance to remain on top regardless of what the future holds. We feel Troon offers a strong support system through best practices at over 500 properties worldwide, leveraged buying power and, most important, a culture that cares about the members of our club as well as our personnel. It is the right choice for us at the right time.”

“Boca Grove is a first-class private club and community with incredible amenities,” said Ricardo Catarino, Troon VP of operations. “Our Troon Privé team is excited to enhance and push the member experience to new heights through engaging programs and outstanding service. We appreciate the opportunity that the board has provided us to partner with an engaged and dedicated team at Boca Grove as we collaborate on the long-term plans that will further provide members with the lifestyle they expect when joining a top-tier club and community.”

Deal expands professional pond and lake product lines.

Outdoor Water Solutions has acquired Air-O-Lator, a water and wastewater equipment manufacturing company located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Started in 2005, Outdoor Water Solutions, is a pond and lake equipment manufacturing company located in Springdale, Arkansas, that provides high-quality products to the industry. The Outdoor Water Solutions product line includes electric and solar bottom diffused aerators, electric and solar display fountains, microbes, dyes, docks, and more.

Founded in 1961, Air-O-Lator offers display and aerating fountains, surface aerators, de-icers, aspirators and submersible mixers.
“This new combined company will offer one of the broadest product lines available in the professional pond and lake industry,” Outdoor Water Solutions President and CEO John Redd said. “The brand Air-O-Lator is known for its high quality, dependability and ease of service.”

Roy Watkins, formerly President of Air-O-Lator, will continue as general manager and operate the Kansas City location. “Roy’s knowledge of their products and the industry is invaluable given his 42 years with Air-O-Lator,” Redd said. “He has been instrumental in developing products known for their outstanding performance and dependability.”

Roy added, “I feel this is a win-win situation for everyone. With Air-O-Lator’s 60 years of manufacturing experience in the water and wastewater industry and with the outstanding products and customer service of Outdoor Water Solutions, our customers are in good hands moving forward.”

“In a business where impeccable communication helps us manage within tight margins of error, Judd’s leadership and involvement shine time and again.”
Golf course developer and construction company Landscapes Unlimited promoted Judd Chatelain to senior construction estimator.

A 22-year Landscapes Unlimited veteran, Chatelain is widely regarded as one of the golf industry’s more experienced and respected project estimators. In working closely with golf course architects, vendors, property owners and Landscapes Unlimited field managers, he constructs budgets and workflows for high-quality builds and renovations of golf courses, country clubs, resorts and communities, as well as sports fields.

“Internal collaboration between our estimators and regional field teams builds tight-knit relationships and breeds outstanding execution,” Landscapes Unlimited chief development officer Jake Riekstins said. “And in a business where impeccable communication helps us manage within tight margins of error, Judd’s leadership and involvement shine time and again.”

Scheduling the economics of public and private projects from $20,000 to $20 million, Chatelain weighs in on myriad aspects of the company’s project management framework, including activity and resource planning, organizing and motivating project teams, monitoring time management and progress, cost estimating and budget development, analyzing and managing project risk, and ultimately realizing client satisfaction.

“Without detailed roadmaps, budget development and project look-ins by our estimating core, our field teams would have to rely on gut feel during the execution phase, which would’ve been arduous given weather volatility and supply chain challenges nowadays” Chatelain said. “The involvement of our estimating team from project inception through close-out lends stability and reliability to precise execution and Landscapes Unlimited’s ecosystem as a whole.

“What also makes me proud are the relationships cultivated with our construction superintendents and suppliers who help to manage costs, increase efficiencies and overall quality — all key to exceeding client expectations.”

Much of Chatelain’s immersion is on the west coast where he is integral to the success of projects at Rancho Santa Fe Country Club, San Luis Obispo County Club, The Reserve Club, The Vintage Club — all located in California — and Red Rocks Country Club in Colorado. He also played a key forecasting and facilitation role in Landscapes Unlimited’s work for the City of San Diego around its Torrey Pines South Course for the 2021 U.S. Open.

Outside of work, Chatelain is heavily involved in civic projects and coaches youth sports teams in and around Lincoln, Nebraska.


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