Hope everyone is enjoying the seasons first 90 degree day.  As of today’s date , personally– I have taught 0 golf lessons, clinics, camps or schools (traditionally 100 lessons by this point), as the Bay State driving ranges are still shuttered down. Also, the practice putting greens, pitching area, practice bunkers, as well as the restrooms are all not quite yet available in the Bay State.  One journeyman RIPGA member was tracking how many times he had to inform his patrons the bathrooms were not available and their comical and not so comical responses.

As stated, I completely understand Massachusetts State Government position in being cautious as the Bay state’s Covid-19 related health data is closing in on the 2nd most affected state in the country-very tough data.  Also, I want to thank all in the golf world for advocating in a patient, thoughtful, measured way for the opening of Massachusetts golf facilities and driving ranges.

The RIPGA and Rhode Island is taking the lead in jump starting the 2020 competitive season, with NEPGA Stroke Play events at Newport National on June 8 and Kirkbrae CC on June 15, both fabulous venues to tiptoe back into the swing of things – Aquidneck Island and Blackstone Valley gems.

The ever-popular NEPGA SR/JR will be at another Aquidneck Island masterpiece which gave Tiger Woods fits during his 1995 US Amateur Championship run, Wanumetonomy Country Club on June 22. All 3 courses are in spectacular condition.

Then after the July 4th holiday NEPGA Stroke Play #3 at the Ledgemont Country Club on July 6th(the pro there (Troy) once gave me a putting lesson and I won my very next start- I should probably book another appt).

The RIPGA Board and tournament manager Mick Herron are formulating a slightly watered down 2020 RIPGA schedule, but have some outstanding venues in the works for the remainder of summer and into Fall.  Some upcoming events include the RIPGA Chapter Championship, Pro-Pro Championship, Pro-Officer, and the Metropolitan Pro-Am Championship scheduled at perhaps one of Donald Ross’s finest design efforts with putting greens that are worthy to be in a golf architectural museum- really  true Ross masterpieces comparable to the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel, and the Last Supper – sitting high atop a hill on Veterans Memorial Parkway overlooking the great city of Providence – The Metacomet Country Club- a Rhode Island institution since 1901.

As things start to open up a bit more (2 on a cart, driving ranges opening etc..) the schedule will be updated and events posted on BlueGolf by tournament manager Mick Herron.

Our social distancing casual round of golf went great last week at the North Kingstown Golf Club as I got paired with two big-hitting Central Connecticut stars Chris Hulme and Brian Owens. We invited RIGA Executive Director Robert Ward down who has done a tremendous job communicating between RI state government and the courses in our chapter-really helping us through the Covid-19 crisis.

I would like to thank our chapter leadership, section leadership and national leadership for keeping us informed throughout these most difficult times., I want to thank Suzy Whalley, Seth Waugh, and all who were involved with putting together the Golf Relief Fund, the fund is really helping out so many PGA members and apprentices. Top notch.

-Shane Drury, PGA
RIPGA President