When we last saw members of the Payson Men’s Golf Association in action it was Nov. 3, 2010 and club spokesman Herb Sherman was lamenting the end of the campaign.
“It’s hard to believe it’s over,” Sherman said. “It’s been a good season.”
The highlights of the campaign included Jessie Smith winning the club championship, Steve Vincent and Terry Lindsey taking the two-man best ball title and the teams of Russ Morris/Steve Holmes and Tim Ernst/Jessie Smith qualifying for the Arizona Golf Association Two-Man Scramble championship.
Some of the beguiling sidelights that didn’t make the headlines included Troy Neal dominating closest-to-the-pin play all season long and the inordinate number of golfers who accomplished what Sherman calls “double dipping” or pocketing closest-to-the-pin prize money on two or more holes in a single tournament.
Almost five months have passed since the PMGA parked their golf carts for the winter and today members are looking forward to what they say will be a banner 2011 season.
Opening day tees off at 7:30 a.m. on March 16 at Payson Golf Course with the annual business meeting and breakfast.
Following breakfast, members will take to the course for their first tournament of the campaign, a scramble shoot-out.
Members play at PGC every Wednesday morning and the schedule includes a series of uniquely formatted events including a green ball plus three scramble, three clubs only low net, buck and doe and two-man alternate shot. Also on the agenda are the traditional formats such as two-man best ball, low net and Ryder Cup-style tournaments.
During the season, the PMGA also hosts three major tournaments — President’s Cup, Club Championship and Two-Man Best Ball.
Finally on the calendar are several interclub frays including visits to Verde Santa Fe at Cottonwood, Elephant Rocks near Williams and Quailwood in Prescott Valley.
Throughout the season, men’s clubs from around small-town Arizona also travel to PGC for interclub showdowns.
In all, the PMGA plays about 35 tournaments each season.
For the new season, Sherman has issued an invitation to join the group and participate in a bevy of competitions and festivities.
“We welcome anyone who wants to play — the membership fee is only $62,” he said.
Last year, there were 85 local players on the PMGA roster and Sherman is hoping that number soon grows.
The real advantage of becoming a member of the PMGA, Sherman says, is it offers opportunities for players to enjoy healthy competition in a spirit of camaraderie and good will.
For more information, call Payson Golf Course at (928) 474-2273.
In addition to the Payson Men’s Golf Association, the Rim Country offers two other golfing organizations — the Payson Women’s Golf Association 18-hole group and the nine-hole troupe, also known as the “Lady Niners.”
Opening dates for those two associations have not yet been set.