October 11, 2018
NCGA staff and volunteers celebrated yet another fantastic tournament and course rating season at the annual TOCR Day at Poppy Hills GC in Pebble Beach.
As per custom, a number of officials and raters were recognized for their commitments to serving the game. Among the awards and honors bestowed included Tournament Official of the Year and Course Rater of the Year.
Tournament Official of the Year—Joan Caldwell
Joan Caldwell really didn’t have any idea what she was getting herself into.
Back in the early 2000’s, the now 66-year-old San Francisco resident attended a Rules seminar only because it was a requirement to play in the championship at her home club, the LPGA Amateur Golf Association (formerly Executive Women’s Golf Association). At the time, Caldwell was so new to competitive golf that she didn’t even know there was a Rules Book, let alone tournament officials who oversaw all the action.
As fate would have it, the seminar was put on by veteran Rules official KC Cote. Caldwell’s interest was so piqued that following the seminar she asked Cote more about becoming an official. Cote responded that she was involved with the NCGA, and that information could be found on the NCGA website.
“‘Afterwards, KC suggested that I should volunteer for the NCGA,” Caldwell said. “I took learning the Rules as a challenge and submitted an application, and here I am!”
As for what has since evolved into a long run as a tournament official, Caldwell pointed to all of the volunteers, staff, Board members and players who along the way have contributed to her success. Looking ahead, she’s already excited for the 2019 season, which will see the debut of the new Rules.
“My goals for next year are simple,” she said “Learn to use binoculars to be a better spotter and work on my golf game so that I can beat my Rules test scores. While the Rules have changed many have stayed the same. I’m here for those who need support sorting them out.”
Course Rater of the Year—Jim Mahaney
As it is with many things in life, it’s all about who you know. Or in some cases, who knows you.
Back in the late 1990’s, Jim Mahaney was a golfer living in the Bay Area. At the time, his wife Mary was good friends with longtime USGA official Sheri Erskine. As things turned out, Erskine eventually convinced her husband, 2003 NCGA Course Rater of the Year and former NCGA Board member John Erskine, to approach Mahaney about becoming a course rater.
“Sheri had told my wife, ‘Why not have Jim sign up?’ So I sent in an application. Two years later I call from the NCGA asking if I was interested,” the now 66-year-old Mahaney said.
It’s safe to say that Mahaney and course rating has been a match. This year marked his 18th season as a rater.
“I really enjoy working with the other raters. It’s a team effort and great camaraderie,” Mahaney said. “Everyone works together to get the right answers.”
For Mahaney, the 2018 season has been extra special. He’d for the first time work with raters from the Women’s Golf Association of Northern California and the Pacific Women’s Golf Association as part of the collaboration efforts between the three entities.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the women this year,” Mahaney said. “It’s been a lot of fun. I look forward to working with them in the future.”
Other awards and honors handed out during the post-golf banquet:
- Tournament Officials Outstanding Service Awards: Greg Galardy, Ed Henton, Kent Hirose, Dale Moser.
- Course Raters Outstanding Service Awards: Alicia Meiners, Linda Bunker, Donna Grover, Grace Harley.
Years of Service Awards
- 5-Year Pins Tournament Officials: Stacey Baba, Steve Johnson, Bob Miller, Carl Thoreson, Marilyn Twisselman, Ted Antonopoulous, Gary Fontana, Clark Jordan, Art King, Susan Morse, Tom Triplett, Gene Zanandi
- 5-Year Pins Course Raters: Linda Bunker
- 10-Year Pins Tournament Officials: Kirk Adams, Scott Anderson, Gary Fox, PJ Lowrey, Gail Rogers, Andrew Biggadike, Dan Pulliam, Pat QUinn, Phil Sexton, William Talmage
- 10-Year Pins Course Raters: Beverly Blatt, Miriam Delagrange, Kaaren Walsh
- 15-Year Pins Tournament Officials: Creighton Fong, John Lienart
- 15-Year Pins Course Raters: John Farley, Karen Price
- 20-Year Watches: Howard Arquette, Jim Moriarty (Tournament Officials), Bill Bazinett, Bennett Smith (Course Raters)
- 25-Years Service: Russ Adamson (Tournament Officials)
- 30-Years Service: none
- 35-Years Service:Vince Kilduff (Tournament Officials)
- Retirement: None