Tag Archives: Golf

LPGA tour players Sandra Gal and Gerina Piller, pictured here, visited the Lancaster Country Club on Tuesday morning for a round of golf on the links that will host the 2015 U.S. Women's Open next summer

2015 U.S. Women’s Open ticket purchases help to support local charity

Posted: November 3, 2014 2:47 pm

Susquehanna Bank and the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open are coming together to support the Extraordinary Give — Lancaster County’s largest day of giving, which is held on Nov. 21.

They will donate 20 percent of every 2015 U.S. Women’s Open ticket purchased between now and Nov. 20 to the Extraordinary Give.

The initiative, presented by the Lancaster County Community Foundation and lead sponsor Rodgers & Associates, will benefit more than 300 participating nonprofits that serve Lancaster County and beyond.

“The more than 300 nonprofits participating in the Extraordinary Give and the impact they make both locally and nationally are really the stars of this story,” stated William J. Reuter, chairman and CEO of Susquehanna Bancshares, in a news release. “Giving back to the community is a top priority for Susquehanna Bank and the Extraordinary Give allows us to make a difference in a big way.”

The Extraordinary Give is Lancaster County’s largest day of giving. Last year’s event raised more than $3.2 million for 260 nonprofits in only 24 hours. A portion of the funds raised through purchase of 2015 U.S. Women’s Open tickets through Susquehanna Bank will be donated to the stretch pool of the Extraordinary Give.

Stretch pool funds will be distributed to the more than 300 participating nonprofits using a pro-rated system based on the percentage of the total donations raised by each nonprofit during the day of giving.

“The Lancaster County Community Foundation is thrilled that Susquehanna Bank and the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open are joining us and the many supporters of this year’s Extraordinary Give,” stated Sam Bressi, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “We are excited about their innovative approach to bolstering this powerful community celebration of giving.”

The public can support the Extraordinary Give by visiting www.ExtraGive.org to make a donation to any of more than 300 local community organizations on Nov. 21.

Individual donations will be stretched with funds from the stretch pool and prizes provided by the Lancaster County Community Foundation, the 2015 Women’s Open and the Extraordinary Give’s presenting sponsors Rodgers & Associates and the Martin H. Baer Charitable Trust.

“The community of Lancaster has welcomed the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open so warmly that it only makes sense for us to give back to the local community in this way,” said Barry Deach, championship director of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held at Lancaster Country. “We’re extremely thankful that we’ve been able to join forces with such a long-standing pillar in this community such as Susquehanna Bank; they are the ones who have made this all possible.”

18 year old Dana Droz tees off on the 13th hole of the Lancaster Ladies City-County Better Ball Tournament. Droz got a hole in on on the 11th hole

U.S. Open, teen sensations fueling enthusiasm for women’s golf here

Posted: July 20, 2014 2:03 am

Two rounds of golf had been completed and two new champions crowned, leaving the ladies of the Lanco Better Ball tournament with nothing to do but catch up with old friends.

With almost 100 women gathered Wednesday in a banquet room at Lancaster Host, the conversation was wide-ranging, but it wasn’t long before the topic turned to next summer’s U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held at Lancaster Country Club.

As the county prepares for an influx of golfers and spectators, the tournament is having an impact on more than just the local economy.

“I definitely think a lot more people are paying attention to women’s golf in particular, as opposed to men’s,” said Amber Rohrer, fresh off a win at the Lanco Better Ball. “I mean everybody’s always excited about men’s golf whenever it’s around, so this is exciting for us.”

Hosting such a large-scale tournament has shone a spotlight on local women’s golf while showcasing the sport to a new crop of prospective golfers.

“I think there’s a lot more girls interested,” said Emily Quinn, who first picked up a club at age 11 before playing competitively at Lancaster Catholic High and Gannon University. “When I played on the Lanco Junior Tour 12 years ago or so, you were lucky if three girls played in an event.”

The junior tour now lists 15 girls on its roster.

According to a National Golf Foundation study done in 2011, women were the fastest-growing segment of new golfers. Lancaster County, in particular, has seen an influx of new talent, and the younger ladies are having a significant impact on the course.

Rohrer, who just graduated from Millersville, teamed with Haley Goodling, a rising senior at Manheim Central, to win the Lanco Ladies Better Ball tournament.

A few weeks earlier, Allison Appleton, a rising sophomore at Penn Manor, claimed the Ladies Individual at Foxchase. Dana Droz, an 18-year-old graduate of Veritas Academy, finished second at the 2013 Individual and had a hole-in-one at this year’s Better Ball tournament.

The Women’s Western Amateur, held at Lancaster Country Club in June, was won by 15-year-old Mika Liu. It was the second tournament win of the month for the Beverly Hills, California native, who also won the Women’s Southern Amateur.

“When I first started playing about 10 years ago, it was a (very different group of women),” said Paula Light, who finished second to Appleton at the Individual. “But now the younger kids are starting to come out, and they’re so talented.

“They hit the ball so far, they’re just very skilled. It’s really nice to see that more younger kids are starting to pick up the game.”

Many see hosting the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open as a key tool in recruiting the next batch of talented females.

“It’ll be a great week for everybody,” said Branden Lippy, who partnered with Light to take second in the Lanco Better Ball. “Just a lot of camaraderie between the golfers here right now, and then the professionals that play. We hope we can get a lot more of the younger girls in high school to come out and play, not just those of us that have moved on and graduated, but a lot of the younger kids, because it makes the rest of us better.”

LPGA great Annika Sorenstam chats at a Lancaster Country Club event to kick off the countdown to the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open. (Jeff Ruppenthal / Staff )

Open season begins: Countdown for 2015 U.S. Women’s Open gets rolling with Lancaster Country Club event

Posted: May 14, 2013 9:58 pm

Perhaps for the first time Tuesday, the U.S. Women’s Open coming to Lancaster felt like more than words.

Three-time Women’s Open champion Annika Sorenstam and Mike Davis, the executive director of the United States Golf Association, played a round of golf and appeared at a luncheon at Lancaster Country Club with club members, event sponsors and media members.

The Open, which Davis called “the biggest event in women’s golf worldwide,” will be held in July 2015 at the William Flynn-designed course along New Holland Pike east of Lancaster.

The event will be televised nationally by NBC, broadcast in more than 50 countries and contribute between $15 million to $20 million to the local economy, according to event officials.

The course is regarded as a gem by golf architecture buffs and has hosted numerous state and local events, but never before a national championship.

“I love the golf course,” Sorenstam said. “It’s a great design, a true design classic. As far as the (condition), are they playing next week?”

The place is ready, was Sorenstam’s point. It’s still 26 months away but, as Davis said, “It’ll be here before you know it.”

Sorenstam is arguably the greatest women’s golfer of all time, with 93 wins, 10 major championships including three U.S. Opens.

But she retired from competitive golf more than four years ago, and stays involved with the game as a course and clothing designer, with a weekly appearance on The Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive,” talk show, through her golf academy and her foundation, to which Susquehanna Bank announced a $25,000 donation Tuesday.

“I don’t get on the course more than 12 times a year now,” she said, although she did participate in the Lancaster General Hospital outing at LCC on Monday.

Sorenstam shot 74 Tuesday, 4-over par.

The course will play from 6,600 to 6,800 yards for the Open, par 70. The sequence of holes is likely to be different than local golfers are used to. The current 14th hole likely will be the 18th, for example.

Pennsylvania has hosted more USGA events than any other state. Merion Golf Club in Ardmore is hosting the men’s U.S. Open next month.

Davis, who grew up in Chambersburg, played many of the state’s classic layouts as a junior golfer.

“I always had a fascination with Lancaster Country Club,” he said.

Davis is a friend since childhood of LCC member Steve Buterbaugh.

“When Steve joined here, I asked him, ‘Who do we have to talk to to get this done?’ ”

One such person was, and is, LCC President Jerry Hostetter, who announced Tuesday that an “Ambassador’s Council,” of local sponsors already has raised $1.25 million for the event.

“Sales have been going very, very well,” Davis said. “The club is supporting us very well. We’re right where we want to be.”

In 2007, the club completed a facelift of the course, including significant tree removal, to bring the layout closer to the original Flynn design, and hosted the Pennsylvania Open championship.

In 2009, the partnership to hosting the Open was announced.

In 2011, LCC hosted the Pennsylvania Amateur. Last year, the club reseeded the greens with a newer, state-of-the-art turfgrass.

And here we are.

“The challenge in hosting these events is you have to look at it as a one-time thing,” said Davis, who supervises the USGA’s national championships and actually sets up the course for some of them, notably the men’s U.S. Open.

“The parking, the access, the logistics … all of these things, you don’t really know how they’re going to go until you do it. You think you know, but you don’t know for sure.

“The Women’s Open can get lost in New York or Los Angeles or Chicago. There’s so much else going on. I do believe this community is perfect for the Women’s Open.

“And the golf course … I no longer set up the course for the Women’s Open, but, man, I really wish I was setting this one up. I think I’d rather set it up than play it.”