Westmoor CC (Rossi Pic)

Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield will play host to the 120th Wisconsin State Amateur Championship this July.

Though no one can say when the coronavirus pandemic will be arrested and the number of cases is in steep decline, Wisconsin State Golf Association officials are cautiously optimistic that the organization will be able to go forward with a full tournament schedule in 2021.

One year after the WSGA canceled its entire Senior Tour series and several Net Partners events and the United States Golf Association eliminated local qualifiers for its national championships, all those tournaments are back on the schedule this year.

“We truly feel that, hopefully, by the start of the tournament season we’ll have a firm grip on the pandemic and the players will feel comfortable to participate,” said Bill Linneman, the WSGA’s director of rules and competitions.

WSGA Bill Linneman, 2020

Bill Linneman, WSGA director of Rules and Competitions.

With so many unknowns in 2020, the WSGA proved to be adept at adjusting on the fly to ensure the safety of tournament participants. Flagsticks were left in the hole, rakes were removed from bunkers and paper scorecards were eliminated, with players keeping score on their phones. A strict spectator policy was enacted for the State Amateur at Milwaukee Country Club, with only people arriving and leaving with players allowed on the course.

As a result, not a single case of COVID-19 was contact-traced back to a WSGA tournament.

“I think all the players inherently knew what was going on,” Linneman said. “Our staff certainly did. Our volunteers did. We tried to keep it as safe as possible for everyone. We took whatever measures we possibly could to conduct the events in the safest manner possible.”

It's too early to tell whether some or all of those safety measures will be in place this year, though Linneman said there will be no shotgun starts for tournaments this year.

“Shotguns tend to have players congregate in the practice areas, whether it be the range or the putting green or the chipping green,” he said. “So, by using tee times it helps spread out the arrival and departure of all the players.

“Right now, I could not tell you if we’re going to be playing with pool noodles in the hole and the flagstick remaining in the hole and no rakes on the course. We’re just not sure. Those types of things we’re going to wait to make a game-time decision, so to speak.”

The 2021 tournament season opens May 12 with local qualifying for the U.S. Open at Hidden Glen in Cedarburg. It’s the first of eight USGA qualifying tournaments and the only one in which qualifiers do not advance directly to the national championship; U.S. Open local qualifiers also must survive 36-hole sectional qualifying.

The WSGA Four-Ball Championship is scheduled for June 3-6 on the Pines and Lakes courses at Lake Arrowhead and the Match Play Championship follows June 21-24 at Hawks Landing in Verona.

The popular Senior Tour series consists of 20 events between May 11 and Sept. 10, with qualifiers advancing to the Senior Tour Championship, Sept. 15 at Wild Rock in Wisconsin Dells.

“I look back to last year and while we didn’t run our Senior Tour events, we did run three senior championships (Four-Ball, Match Play and Amateur), all with full fields using single-rider carts, and we didn’t have any issues,” Linneman said. “We think, and are very hopeful, that will we’ll be close to back to normal this year.”

The Net Partners Championship, another popular event, is scheduled for Sept. 28 at Wild Rock, with two-person teams advancing through 12 qualifying events spaced between May 10 and Sept. 23. The impressive list of host courses includes Washington County Golf Course, Brown Deer Park, The Bog, Blackwolf Run, Kenosha Country Club and SentryWorld.

“A lot of clubs are certainly willing to host these events,” Linneman said. “We have great member courses, great member PGA professionals, great superintendents, great managers. We’re very fortunate to have great relationships with a lot of these courses.”

The pinnacle of the WSGA tournament season is the 120th Wisconsin State Amateur, July 19-22 at Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield. Non-exempt players will try to advance through nine qualifiers between June 28 and July 14. Thomas Longbella of Chippewa Falls and the University of Minnesota is the defending champion.

Online tournament registration for all 14 WSGA championships opens Feb. 16. Registration for Net Partners and Member Series events opens Feb. 17 and registration for Senior Tour events opens Feb. 18.

“Last year started out normal and then in March everyone’s life was turned upside down,” Linneman said. “And this year sort of started out anything but normal. Hopefully, the remaining part of the year will be normal. Who knows?”

2021 Wisconsin men's amateur golf schedule

Date Tournament Course City
May 12 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Hidden Glen GC Cedarburg
May 26 U.S. Senior Open Qualifying Washington County GC Hartford
June 3-6 WSGA State Four-Ball Championship Lake Arrowhead GC/Pines Course Nekoosa
June 21-24 WSGA State Match-Play Championship Hawks Landing GC Madison
May 27 Qualifier 1 Broadlands GC North Prairie
June 2 Qualifier 2 Lake Arrowhead GC/Pines Course Nekoosa
June 10 Qualifier 3 Meadows of Six-Mile Creek GC Waunakee
June 14 Qualifier 4 Meadowbrook CC Racine
June 16 Qualifier 5 Rolling Meadows GC Fond du Lac
June 25-27 WPLA Ray Fischer Amateur Championship Janesville Riverside GC Janesville
June 28-29 WSGA Senior Four-Ball Championship The Legend at Brandybrook GC Wales
July 6 U.S. Amateur Qualifying The Legend at Bristlecone GC Hartland
July 10-11 WPLA Ed Hoffman Senior Championship Janesville Riverside GC Janesville
July 10-11 WPLA Mid-Amateur Championship Janesville Riverside GC Janesville
July 12-15 WSGA Senior Match-Play Championship GCs of Lawsonia/Links Course Green Lake
July 19-22 Wisconsin State Amateur Championship Westmoor CC Brookfield
June 28 Qualifier 1 Janesville Riverside GC Janesville
June 30 Qualifier 2 Johnson Park GC Racine
July 1 Qualifier 3 Watertown CC Watertown
July 1 Qualifier 4 Wausau CC Schofield
July 2 Qualifier 5 Turtleback G&CC Rice Lake
July 7 Qualifier 6 Washington County GC Hartford
July 7 Qualifier 7 The Oaks GC Cottage Grove
July 9 Qualifier 8 Fox Valley GC Kaukauna
July 9 Qualifier 9 La Crosse CC Onalaska
July 14 Qualifier 10 Lake Arrowhead GC/Lakes Course Nekoosa
July 24-25 WPLA Billy Sixty Bestball Championship Whitnall Park GC Hales Corners
July 28 WSGA State Par-3 Championship Sand Valley GR/Sand Box Nekoosa
Aug. 2-4 WSGA Junior Boys Championship Reedsburg CC Reedsburg
Aug. 3 WSGA Father-Daughter Championship SentryWorld GC Stevens Point
Aug. 10 WSGA Pater-Filius (Father-Son) Championship Grand Geneva Resort Lake Geneva
Aug. 11 U.S. Senior Amateur Qualifying Blackhawk CC Madison
Aug. 23 U.S. Mid-Amateur Qualifying Meadowbrook CC Racine
Aug. 16-18 WPGA Wisconsin State Open Blackwolf Run
Pine Hills CC
Kohler
Sheboygan
Aug. 30-31 WSGA State Senior Amateur Championship Wisconsin Club Milwaukee
Sept. 7-8 WPGA Wisconsin State Senior Open Blackhawk CC Madison
Sept. 11-12 WPLA Stroke-Play Championship Naga-Waukee GC
Wanaki GC
Pewaukee
Menomonee Falls
Sept. 12 WSGA Husband-Wife/Couples Championship Meadowbrook CC Racine
Sept. 13-14 WSGA Mid-Amateur Championship The Legend at Bristlecone GC Hartland
Sept. 15 WSGA Senior Tour Championship Wild Rock GC Wisconsin Dells
May 11 Qualifier 1 The Legend at Bergamont GC Oregon
May 17 Qualifiers 2 & 3 The Club at Strawberry Creek Kenosha
May 24 Qualifiers 4 & 5 Oconomowoc GC Oconomowoc
June 1 Qualifier 6 The Bog GC Saukville
June 7 Qualifier 7 The Legend at Brandybrook GC Wales
June 14 Qualifier 8 & 9 Tuckaway CC Franklin
July 2 Qualifier 10 Blackwolf Run/
Meadow Valleys Course
Kohler
July 26 Qualifier 11 La Crosse CC Onalaska
July 27 Qualifier 12 GC at Cedar Creek Onalaska
Aug. 9 Qualifier 13 Kenosha CC Kenosha
Aug. 16 Qualifier 14 University Ridge GC Madison
Aug. 17 Qualifier 15 Hawks Landing GC Madison
Aug. 24 Qualifier 16 SentryWorld Stevens Point
Aug. 25 Qualifier 17 Lake Arrowhead GC/
Pines Course
Nekoosa
Sept. 2 Qualifier 18 Watertown CC Watertown
Sept. 8 Qualifier 19 South Hills G&CC Fond du Lac
Sept. 10 Qualifier 20 Fox Valley GC Kaukauna
Sept. 19-20 WSGA 2-Man Team Championship Washington County GC Hartford
Sept. 28 WSGA Net Partners Championship Wild Rock GC Wisconsin Dells
May 10 Qualifier 1 The Legend at Bergamont Oregon
May 14 Qualifier 2 Naga-Waukee GC Pewaukee
May 19 Qualifier 3 Washington County GC Hartford
May 25 Qualifier 4 Brown Deer Park GC Milwaukee
June 1 Qualifier 5 The Bog GC Saukville
June 7 Qualifier 6 The Legend at Brandybrook GC Wales
July 2 Qualifier 7 Blackwolf Run/
Meadow Valleys Course
Kohler
Aug. 9 Qualifier 8 Kenosha CC Kenosha
Aug. 23 Qualifier 9 Lake Arrowhead GC/
Pines Course
Nekoosa
Aug. 24 Qualifier 10 SentryWorld GC Stevens Point
Sept. 7 Qualifier 11 South Hills G&CC Fond du Lac
Sept. 23 Qualifier 12 GC at Camelot Lomira
Sept. 29 U.S. Four-Ball Qualifying The Legend at Bristlecone GC Hartland

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