USGA sets major here in 1995 Caves Valley gets Mid-Amateur


When Caves Valley Golf Club opened 15 months ago, one of the thoughts expressed by Leslie Disharoon, club president, was the desire to hold a national tournament.

For the prestigious private club in Owings Mills, the future will arrive in late September 1995. This was confirmed yesterday with the announcement that Caves Valley would be the site of that year's Mid-Amateur championship of the United States Golf Association.

Adding significance is its place on the Centennial year calendar.

This will mark the first time the Mid-Amateur, limited to men aged 25 and over, with a specified maximum handicap, will be held in the Middle Atlantic region, and gives the area two USGA events in the same season. Congressional Country Club in Bethesda will hold the 1995 U.S. Senior Open.

"Our selection is a tribute to the professionals who built the course and to the Baltimore business community which has continued to support the club in these difficult economic times," Disharoon said in making the news official.

Although it is unusual for the USGA to award one of its championships to such a relatively new club, current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Danny Yates put it in perspective when he said, "That course was playable the day it opened. I played in the first Chesapeake Cup as a part of the formal opening, and they just did so much [with the course] before that, that it was ready for a tournament. Now, a couple of more years and it will be that much better."

Speaking from his Atlanta insurance office, Yates, 42, added, "It's a magnificent piece of property and I know the players will enjoy it. It's pretty straightforward and will be a good test.

"The committee's choice was decided at our meeting prior to this year's championship in Detroit, and although we had a lot of attractive invitations, it was not a difficult selection," Mid-Amateur committee member Robert Hooper said from his Wilmington, Del., office.

The nomination then went to the Rules and Competitions Committee of the USGA for formal approval. The committee is chaired by Baltimorean Reg Murphy, who is in line to be the USGA president (1994 to 1996) during the Centennial year.

"Quite a few members of our committee were familiar with Caves Valley, and it is fantastic what the people there are trying to do in relation to the game of golf," Hooper said. "It's more than the course. They have a tremendous philosophy in regard to golf, and that's as important as the game itself."

The championship goes to Eugene, Ore., next year, and to Hazeltine in suburban Minneapolis in 1994.

"It's amazing. I have been a part of the Mid-Amateur committee since Day One, and I can remember times when we did not know where we'd be playing the following year," Hooper said. "Now, its popularity has snowballed; we have a selection of venues; and the championship is booked through 1997."

This will be the sixth USGA event to be held in the Baltimore area, dating to the 1899 U.S. Open at Baltimore CC. The others were the 1932 U.S. Amateur at Baltimore CC, the 1939 U.S. Public Links at Mount Pleasant GC, the 1965 Walker Cup at Baltimore CC and the 1988 U.S. Women's Open at Baltimore CC.

1995 USGA sites

U.S. Open: Shinnecock Hills

U.S. Senior Open: Congressional CC

U.S. Public Links: Wailua, Hawaii

U.S. Juniors: Fargo, N.D.

U.S. Women's Open: Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Amateur: Newport, R.I.

,'U.S. Mid-Amateur: Caves Valley GC

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