The first Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship is set to begin Tuesday at Achasta Golf Course in Dahlonega.
The course, which I’ve had the good fortune to have played (badly), is a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, which essentially means that mere dabblers in the game will spend a lot of time searching for balls lost to sand and water.
But the place is beautiful, regardless.
Fifty-five two-person teams will be competing at Tuesday’s event, with each team consisting of players from the same university in a 54-hole stroke play tournament.
The competition will feature players from all levels of collegiate golf, including 42 Division-I schools, four Division-II, six Division III and one NAIA program.
Several Top 50 Golfstat Ranked Division-I players will be participating in the event, including Braselton resident Emilie Burger from the University of Georgia, Brooke Pancake from the University of Alabama and Cheyenne Woods of Wake Forest.
Also competing from the University of Georgia will be Abby Johnson, a Buford High graduate, Milena Savich and Tess Fordham. Georgia is one of six schools sending two teams to compete.
The three-day event will be broken down into three types of play. I’ve attempted all three with my buddies, and two I actually enjoyed.
On Tuesday, the golfers will play alternate-shot, which consists of (you guessed it) the teammates taking turns hitting the same ball. I like this format when I play, but only if my partner is better than me (which occurs fairly often).
On Wednesday, the teams will play my personal favorite brand of golf: best ball. Both players take a shot with their own ball. Whichever ball is judged to be in better position by the team is played, and the rest of the team drops a ball near it and hits as well. This type of play is good for us golfers who tend to hit a good shot about every fifth or sixth time we take a swing. If you’ve got a team of four out playing best ball, there’s a good chance one of you will hit a decent shot each time.
The first two styles are fun, the third is not.
Thursday is aggregate-score day, which means both players play their own balls and then add their scores together at the end. This can go badly for those of us who play golf once a month or even less frequently. Combined scores of over 180 are common when my friends and I attempt this. Or, I should say, the one time we thought it would be a good idea.
Tickets to the event are free and open to the public. Play will begin each day at 8 a.m., with tee times starting on hole No. 1 and No. 10.
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