For Immediate Release: December 14, 2016
Norton, MA – As the complete schedule for the upcoming New England Golf Association (NEGA) Championships continues to take shape, local golfers will notice several changes to the golf scene beginning with the 2017 competitive season.
Online registration for all 2017 NEGA events will open on Thursday, March 16 at 10:00 a.m.
Among the changes that golfers can expect in the new year include the addition of sectional qualifiers for both the 2017 New England Amateur Championship and the 2017 New England Senior Amateur Championship. The changes reflect a growing interest in both Championships Proper, which continue to draw the most talented amateur players from across all six New England states.
Beginning in 2017, the 88th playing of the New England Amateur Championship, scheduled to take place at Rhode Island’s Metacomet Country Club, will feature three sectional qualifiers held at sites located across New England. While qualifying dates and locations ahead of the July 18-20 Championship Proper are yet to be finalized, players can expect the three qualifiers to take place between the window of June 12 and July 3.
Each of three qualifiers will have a maximum of 84 players and entries for each qualifier will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Players may only register for one qualifier but may choose any of the available qualifiers regardless of the host state and/or location. Unlike USGA local and sectional qualifiers, playoffs for the final qualifying places and/or alternates will not be included in the format for any NEGA qualifiers. The pre-determined number of qualifiers for each site, calculated once registration for each event is complete, and ties will earn a spot to compete in the Championship Proper.
Much like the New England Amateur Championship, which is open to amateur golfers who hold membership in a club belonging to one of the six NEGA associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 6.4 (as determined by the June 1, 2017 Handicap Revision), the 20th New England Senior Amateur Championship will also introduce two sectional qualifiers ahead of the 2017 Championship Proper, scheduled for Wethersfield Country Club (Connecticut) on September 12-13.
Ahead of that Championship Proper, which will crown champions in both the senior division and the super senior division, two sectional qualifiers will be held to determine those who will compete in the two-day, 36-hole championship.
While locations and dates are still being finalized, entries will be open to amateur golfers who will have reached their 55th birthday by September 12, 2017, hold membership in a club belonging to one of the six NEGA associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 9.9 (as determined by the August 1, 2017 Handicap Revision).
The two qualifiers are expected to be held between August 14-31 and similar to the aforementioned New England Amateur, the New England Senior Amateur will award a pre-determined number of players and ties entry into the Championship Proper. No playoffs will be held at either qualifying site.
For more information on the changes forthcoming to the formats as well as a breakdown of entry fees and exemptions, please visit each Championship's home page: New England Amateur | New England Senior Amateur.
The other change coming to NEGA events in 2017 is the increased age eligibility for the 2017 New England Junior Amateur Invitational, scheduled to take place at Manchester Country Club (Vermont) on August 14-16.
As a result of changes made by the USGA for its U.S. Junior Amateur Championship (click here to learn more about that announcement made on July 20, 2016), the age limits for the New England Junior Amateur Invitational will be extended from 17 to 18 years of age, meaning all players who have not reached their 19th birthday by August 17, 2017 will be eligible to compete.
Team members for each of the six New England Junior teams will still be selected by individual state golf associations during the 2017 season.