Curtis Cup Has Strong Ties to St. Louis; Event at St. Louis Country Club June 5-8

By Tom Anselm

Welcome to the 2nd Annual Independent News Golf Pages!

Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but I am just pleased to bring you some golf-related news from The 38th Curtis Cup Match.  I will be hanging out with the USA and Great Britain/Ireland amateur women’s teams at St. Louis Country Club as they battle for the silver Paul Revere design Cup from June 5-8.  Admission is free and all are invited. Can’t beat that with a curved stick.

This competition was established in 1932 by two sisters, Harriot and Margaret Curtis, who  between them won the event 4 times.  The USA team is captained by St. Louisan and six-time USGA champion Ellen Port. It will be only the 6th National Championship played at St. Louis Country Club, going back to 1921.

I had the distinct pleasure of having Ms. Port in my group on Media Day a few weeks ago.  Yeah, I played St. Louis Country Club’s course, with two fellow press guys from The Missouri Golf Post.  Very well maintained, and the greens were pure evil, they were so hard to handle.

However, it was so cool to listen to a seasoned player of the highest caliber as she talked us through our shots.  Even though she only stayed with us for a few holes, I learned a bunch about how to plan your approach, read a green, and watch the wind.

Not that it does me much good as I top that Titleist off the tee, but at least I have a better idea what I’m supposed to be doing.  She was just such a pleasant, personable woman as well as a knowledgeable coach. I am sure the USA team is in good hands.

By getting to do this work  for The Independent News, and I use that term ‘work’ loosely, I have had the opportunity to talk with the golf professionals and course managers of our fine local establishments.  They are, to a person, wonderful guys and generous with their time as I have tried to get an idea of what is the state of women’s golf in our country.  I will be bringing their thoughts and ideas to you in future installments.

So far, my information has encouraged me to get my granddaughters out on the practice range at North County Golf and Sports Center on Lindbergh which is having a Demo Day on June 14, by the way.  Every pro I talk to, as well as Ms. Port, told me that the opportunities for females to excel in the game of golf has never been better.

More than one mentioned that college scholarships for women’s golf teams are going wanting… there just aren’t enough girls interested in playing.  And this situation is across the country.  Nor does a girl need to be from a golf hotbed to do well.  This years team has members from Kentucky, New York, Hawaii, Washington, California, Mississippi and Georgia.  They all play college golf.

Any  age is a good time to start, although most say it’s best to get going around age 10 or so. But Ellen Port, the USA captain, started at the age of 24!  A bit too late for college, but not for excellence.  So it really is a wide-open field for the ladies to make their mark, and I’m not talking about anything like that foot-long divot I gouged out  on the third fairway at the STLCC course… which I quickly repaired, of course. (Don’t tell their grounds keepers!)

On these golf  pages, we will be featuring  some fine golf venues that are looking forward to taking your tee-times.  Our local establishments offer the combination of quality grounds, playable greens, and very affordable pricing plans, all designed to give the occasional golfer a great time but also challenge the more accomplished player.  When you take me up on the invitation to visit one of these fine local courses, ask to see the golf professional there, and tell them I said hello.  They are all fine fellas.

So I will check in next issue with my impressions of The 38th Curtis Cup Match, and more on how I tore up the course, literally and figuratively, when I played that storied venue.

This course has been restored to its original 1914 design, which includes some very difficult greens, and not a few bunkers that are so steep that when I looked up all I  saw was a wall of green grass 15 feet high.  Yep, that deep.

No matter my sand woes, now that spring has finally sprung, it’s time to get yourself out to our local venues for a some sun and fun.

You just can’t beat the value… and the exercise. Hit ’em straight, friends!


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