BOYLSTON, Mass. – 185 New England Professionals are ready to put the peg in the ground and chase after the Mahan Trophy at the 102nd NEPGA Championship next week at Eastward Ho! Country Club and The Club at New Seabury: Ocean.
The marquis Championship for New England Professionals kicks off Tuesday, September 6th with players playing either Eastward Ho! or New Seabury before switching sites for Round 2 on Wednesday September 7th. After a cut to low 60 & ties following Round 2, the Championship will conclude on Thursday, September 8th at Eastward Ho! Country Club.
RELATED LINKS: Round 1 & 2 Pairings | Preview Video
Eastward Ho! and The Club at New Seabury, are hosting the New England PGA Championship for the first time in their course histories. Despite being new to the NEPGA Championship, each site has a rich history of hosting major events. This past year, Eastward Ho! hosted a local qualifier for the US Open. The club has also hosted a handful of other State and National qualifiers at their distinguished course. It is safe to say that The Club at New Seabury does not shy away from hosting golf tournaments of large size and prestige either. With Kevin Taylor, the Director of Agronomy, ensuring impeccable conditions, coupled with the efforts of Jim Clay, PGA, Senior Director of Golf & Athletics, the participants of the NEPGA Championship are in great hands. Both sites will ensure a memorable 102nd NEPGA Section Championship.
The two Championship sites will also host the second year of the Women’s Section Championship. The two-day, 36-hole tournament will run concurrently on Tuesday and Wednesday during Rounds 1 & 2. The NEPGA Professionals will play one round at The Club at New Seabury and one round at Eastward Ho! Before crowning a Women’s Section Championship after play on Wednesday.
The 102nd Championship main host will be Eastward Ho! Country Club, an impressive links style course formatted to accentuate the Pleasant Bay of Chatham, Massachusetts. The par-71 course tips out at just 6,437 yards, but packs quite the punch, and features four par-3s and three par-5s. The course was developed by William Herbert Fowler and opened for play on July 3, 1922. Keither Foster renovated the course in 2004 to elevate its original features after a number of years of wear. 2022 is Eastward Ho!’s centennial season and the club is excited to showcase its outstanding course at the NEPGA Championship to celebrate 100 years of play!
Jason Winslow, Head Golf Professional at Eastward Ho! provides insight into some of the differences between Eastward Ho! and The Club at New Seabury:
“New Seabury has less shape to it, they’re a seaside course too but a little more inland. You’re going to see the true difference in the elevation changes that we have here at Eastward Ho! We have a lot of holes that are very hilly and sideways. There are not a lot of flat lies here. Again, a lot of shot-making and creativity will reward the players. New Seabury likely has some bigger greens than us. Our greens are very small, very traditional to an old course and it plays to the guys that can hit the wedges close for sure.”
The NEPGA Championship co-host, The Club of New Seabury in Mashpee, Massachusetts, also provides a stellar complimentary Championship venue. New Seabury is home to two incredible golf courses. The Ocean Course, selected for the 102nd Championship, was originally designed by William Mitchell in 1962. It was intentionally formatted to feature nine holes with a view of the Atlantic coastline. The Ocean Course also had extensive renovations in 2019, led by designer Bruce Hepner. The recent upgrade to the course will provide pristine conditions for the NEPGA Professionals. The Ocean Course extends up to 7,100 yards, a par 72 layout that features four par-3s and four par-5’s that create challenging play for any level of golfer.
Jim Clay, Senior Director of Golf and Athletics at The Club of New Seabury summarizes how play at each of the two sites will compare in the Championship:
“I think there’s a big difference. Ours is a rather flat golf course and at Eastward Ho! you can see some dramatic elevation changes, with some fast running fairways that players have to plan for. At our course, everything is in front of you, and again, we are on the flat side, right on the water. One thing that will probably be the same for both courses, is that everything depends on what kind of wind comes up. Both courses can be extremely challenging if the winds come up as they often do on Cape Cod.”
Returning to the field for the 102nd NEPGA Section Championship are three previous Champions from the past ten years of the Section Championship. Fresh off his win in 2021 Rich Berberian, Jr., PGA looks to add another notch to his Championship belt. Rich became the fourth player to collect a total of four Championships in their career upon the completion of last year’s Championship. Shawn Warren, PGA (2013, 2019, 2020), having won two of the last three, also wants to match Berberian Jr. and add his fourth title. After his thrilling 2017 win, Liam Friedman, PGA, looks to add his name to the list of multiple Mahan winners.
The three Champions have accumulated eight of the past ten Championship titles.
The 102nd Section Championship is presented by Cadillac, Club Car, and Rolex with support from Titleist, Footjoy, Golf Channel, TaylorMade, Callaway, Nike, the PGA TOUR, Avidia Bank, Dormie Workshop, and Mohegan Sun.
About the New England PGA: The New England Professional Golfers’ Association (New England PGA) has been making the game of golf better for over 100 years in New England. The New England PGA is a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the game of golf and is one of the 41 sections that comprise the PGA of America. The New England PGA consists of over 900 PGA Class A golf professionals and over 140 PGA apprentices at over 450 golf facilities in five states — Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts & Maine. These facilities include public, private and resort golf courses, teaching centers, and driving ranges.