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Whitney Helping Open Doors For Others

By Rebecca Calderara, USGA

Eugene, Ore. – Even as Sarah Whitney of Hingham, Mass., competes in her first USGA championship this week at Eugene Country Club, she has her eyes on giving others the chance to play the game.

Whitney, 19, a sophomore at the College of William and Mary, is an avid supporter of girls’ golf who hopes to serve as a role model for not only her golf skills but her commitment to making the game more accessible for young girls.

On Aug. 13, Whitney will host the South Shore Girls Junior Invitational, the first-ever all-girls tournament at her home club of South Shore Country Club in Hingham. She has organized not only the golf outing, but has also gotten local businesses involved to sponsor the tournament.

Whitney, already a volunteer at the girls’ golf clinics held at her club, felt it was important that girls were given the opportunity to compete locally.

“When I was younger most of the tournaments I played in locally were for boys,” said Whitney, the co-runner-up at the New England Women’s Amateur in June. “There were not a lot of local tournaments for girls. We need to get more girls involved.”

Whitney’s efforts to expand girls golf in Massachusetts extend beyond South Shore Country Club. In 2005, she founded the Hingham High School girl’s golf team, choosing to start a new team rather than join an existing team in the area.

Promoting girls’ golf is a high priority for Whitney for a variety of reasons. As an accomplished golfer, she understands the benefits and longevity of the game, not just for those who plan to pursue a professional golf career.

“Golf is a great sport that you can play for the rest of your life,” she said. “It is really important for business, networking and just having fun.”

Roberta Bolduc, a native of Massachusetts and chairman of the United States Golf Association’s Women’s Committee, is also an avid advocate for girls’ golf.

“The game of golf teaches values, discipline and persistence, qualities that apply to life,” said Bolduc. “What better way to develop those qualities than to play the game of golf. Golf is a wonderful way to teach girls these lessons.”

Lessons that, thanks to Whitney’s efforts, will be reaching even more young female golfers.

Rebecca Calderara is a first-year Fellow in the USGA in the USGA Grants Initiative program. She can be reached at



Championship Facts

U.S. Women's Amateur

HISTORY: The U.S. Women’s Amateur is one of the United States Golf Association’s original three championships. It was first conducted in 1895, shortly after the inaugural U.S. Amateur and U.S. Open. The Women’s Amateur has since been conducted every year except 1917-18, when it was temporarily suspended because of World War I, and 1942-45, when it was suspended because of World War II.

PAR & YARDAGE: Yardage for the Eugene Country Club will be set at 6,484 (stroke play) / 6,516 (match play) yards, par 72.

ARCHITECT: Opened in 1926, the course was designed by H. Chandler Egan. In 1967, Robert Trent Jones Sr. reversed the routing of the original Egan design (i.e., No. 18 tee essentially became the first tee, etc.).

Fairways – Cut to ˝ inch
Tees and collars of greens – Cut to 3/8 inch
Putting greens – Prepared to be firm and fast to measure approximately 11 to 11 1/2 feet on the USGA Stimpmeter
Intermediate rough – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide along fairways
Primary rough – Cut to 2 ˝ to 3 inches
Player courtesy walks – Cut to 1 ˝ inches, approximately 6 feet wide
The championship setup results in a USGA Course Rating™ of 78.1 and a Slope Rating® of 144

FORMAT: The Women’s Amateur is conducted with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying. The low 64 scorers then advance to match play, with the champion determined by a 36-hole match-play final.

WHO CAN ENTER: The championship is open to female amateurs who have USGA handicap indexes not exceeding 5.4.

ENTRIES: Entries for the 2008 U.S. Women’s Amateur closed on June 18. There were 960 entries received for the 2008 championship, just shy of the record 969 entries received for the 2006 U.S. Women’s Amateur.



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