Greens get presidential treatment


Fact and fantasy have become entwined with the recent release of two somewhat-less-than-secret documents pertaining to the White House.

Officially, President Clinton has a new putting green outside the Oval Office. Unofficial is the inclusion of the "Presidential Course" in a new tongue-in-cheek book, "Golf Courses You'll Never Play."

Among those involved in the putting green project was Reg Murphy, president of the USGA, who saw it as a small but important part of the organization's centennial celebration.

Actually, it is the re-establishment of a practice putting green that first appeared more than 40 years ago. At that time, the USGA's Green Section was asked to assist in its creation and construction for President Eisenhower.

The greens play a big part in the Presidential Course, too, for its 18 holes are compressed into 18 acres. Bring your pitching wedge and your putter.

One thing is constant about both projects -- the White House is always in view. That may not mean much to President Clinton and his guests, but for the fantastical layout, the command is, "Hit it straight -- and short."

Since the course doglegs around the Rose Garden, and the wings of the building, care must be taken not to hit into anything. And players must walk since motorized transportation is not allowed.

The real green, which has grown in and matured (and been cut properly) in the past several months, is now in use. How often is considered classified information.

All involved in the project were volunteers, and their time, as well as the materials and the machinery, were donated.

Obviously, the new putting surface was built to USGA specifications. It's hard to tell about the Presidential Course, although it is likely the USGA would frown on the tee-off spot for the first hole -- a mat located on the third floor above the South Portico.

Rums of Puerto Rico

One of the regional qualifiers for this national tournament will be held Friday at Holly Hills CC in Ijamsville. The teams are three amateur members from the same club (A-B-C handicaps) and a professional, with scoring based on one gross score and one net score for each hole (not the same ball).

Maryland Team Cup

Qualifying is under way at area clubs to choose teams to compete in this second annual tournament. The format calls for two-man teams (handicaps within seven strokes of each other) playing an 18-hole round -- nine holes scramble and nine holes modified alternate shot. Three teams from each club will advance.


Jessica Fernandez of Baltimore and Emily Johnson and Mallory Crosland of Bethesda are in the 156-player on-site qualifying field for the U.S. Girls' Junior championship beginning tomorrow in Longmeadow, Mass. . . . Crosland finished tied for 25th, and Fernandez, 49th, in last week's McDonald's Betsy Rawls Girls National Championship conducted by the American Junior Golf Association at Du Pont CC in Wilmington, Del. Cristie Kerr won with 70-64-72206, and Jenny Chuasiriporn of Timonium was fourth at

216. . . . There are 165 entries for the Middle Atlantic PGA Assistants championship tomorrow and Tuesday at Ford's Colony in Williamsburg, Va.. . . . A 36-hole Section qualifier for the PGA Club Professional championship has attracted 81 entries for Wednesday at CC at Woodmore. . . . A field of 92 teams is entered in the annual Maryland mixed two-ball tournament Friday at Chestnut Ridge CC.

This week's schedule

Today -- Baltimore City Amateur Invitation, Baltimore CC, 8 a.m. Tomorrow -- Executive Women's Golf League (Baltimore Chapter) championship, Hunt Valley GC, 2 p.m. Tomorrow-Tuesday -- Middle Atlantic PGA Assistants championship, Ford's Colony, Williamsburg, Va., 7:30 a.m. Wednesday -- PGA Club Professional championship (Section qualifying), CC at Woodmore, 8 a.m. Thursday -- Nordlinger Cup, Mount Vernon (Va.) CC, 8 a.m. Friday -- Rums of Puerto Rico (qualifying round) Holly Hills CC, 7:30 a.m.; Maryland State Mixed

Two-ball tournament, Chestnut Ridge CC, 8 a.m.

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