I am greatly honored to serve as President of the USCGFR for the next three years. My sincere thanks to the Board of Directors that had the confidence to select me for this position. My goal is simply to continue to provide quality golf tournaments and events for our membership, and to grow our participation in these events.
We just completed the 2019 National Championship in Monterey CA. Our tournament was played at the historic Del Monte Golf Course and the beautiful Quail Lodge Golf Club. Our host hotel was the Hyatt Regency Resort in Monterey. The non-golfers enjoyed a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and a tour of the Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach on the Monterey Movie Bus. The ladies also enjoyed lunch at the world famous Tap Room at Pebble Beach. Our entire group enjoyed dinner at the Whaling Station on Cannery Row. We enjoyed great fellowship and perfect weather, sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70’s.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the champions of the 30th playing of our event, Dupont Kirven of North Carolina (Gross Champion) and Larry Newman of Florida (Net Champion).
A special thank you to the host club of this great event, the Pacific Grove Rotary Club.
Now the focus turns to our 2020 tournament which will be contested at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. We will play three premier golf courses, Niagara Falls Country Club, Grand Niagara, and St. Catherine’s Golf and Country Club. Complete details and registration information will be added to the website soon. Bring a friend! Let’s double our participation!
See you in Canada!
You've been waiting for more information about the 2019 Championship. Well, wait no more - the tournament website is up and has the answers you want. Just click on https://uscgfr2019.com/ to see the great golf, tours, fellowship, and fun that awaits all of us in northern California this October.
I am so excited that I am filling my registration form out now, so I can secure my spot and what will be a highly attended venue. I don't want to miss out. I suggest you visit https://uscgfr2019.com/ right now and click on the registration link at the top right of your screen. The sooner you secure a spot for October, the better!
Our 2018 tournament was great fun in scenic Blacksburg, VA. The host courses, the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Country Club, are very different designs, and both offered fair but challenging tests for our golfers. Non-golfers experienced the beautiful Virginia mountains with visits to nearby Smithfield Plantation, Roanoke, and Mabry Mill, one of the most popular stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Tom Shaver served as our venue chair, and he did a fabulous job planning and executing a great tournament. Besides seeing to every detail, Tom’s influence on our tournament extended even further. He served as General Manager of our host venue, The Inn at Virginia Tech, until about one year ago. The Inn is a beautiful facility located on the campus of Virginia Tech and is staffed primarily by students. Tom’s legacy as GM of The Inn was evident in each interaction with staff members, all of whom went out of their way to ensure we had an exceptional time.
Now we turn our attention to our next tournament, which will take place October 6-10, 2019 in the Monterey, CA area. Our next host venue is the Hyatt Regency Monterey, located adjacent to Del Monte Golf Course, the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. In addition to Del Monte, we will play Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel, just a few miles south of the Hyatt.
Our 2019 tournament will take us to yet another beautiful setting that offers great golf and fun excursions for our non-golfing attendees. I can’t wait for next October, and I hope to see you there!
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin turned out to be the perfect host venue for our 2017 National Tournament. We awoke to slightly cool mornings that quickly gave way to beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures each day we were at the Grand Geneva Resort. It was an ideal setting for Rotary friends to gather and enjoy the local attractions and the two lush golf courses located at the resort.
I will always remember the beautiful lake cruise we all enjoyed during the tournament. Seeing the local architecture while dining was a treat, and the sunset over Lake Geneva was stunning. On behalf of all our USGFR members, I offer my heartiest thanks to tournament chair Dennis Guiser and his team for producing a great tournament that we will all remember for years.
In 2018, our national tournament will be held in Blacksburg, VA, which is nestled on a plateau between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains. Our home will be the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center, named for former Rotary International President Bill Skelton, and two beautiful golf courses await us. I can’t wait to see you again next year in Blacksburg, and I hope you will mark your calendars now for September 23-28, 2018.
What a great tournament we just had in Albuquerque. Everything you could want was there - perfect weather, courses as beautiful as they were challenging, a tasty variety of great food, and (most importantly) a gathering of great Rotary friends. Congratulations to tournament chair Jim Easley and his team for their great success as hosts!
It was my first visit to New Mexico, but I am sure to return soon. The memories of beautiful sunrises over the mountains and clear dark skies that provided the chance to see many stars not visible in cities will stay with me for a long time. Those of you who stayed a few extra days also got to see skies filled with hot air balloons at the International Balloon Fiesta.
I am already looking forward to next year's tournament in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This is a return trip to a venue that put on a great tournament once before. Mark your calendar now for September 11-15, 2017. You don't want to miss the chance to make more memories with your Rotarian golfing friends!
What a wonderful place to spend time on the links with your friends in a great climate. Hilton Head Island provided good temps, bright skies, and soft breezes. And, we bunked at the Sonesta Resort—the #1 hotel on the island. While we were competing against Rotarian buddies, but we talked to all & y’all--& laughed a lot.
Our 2015 Tournament yielded really fun golfing, yet great competition. We send our congratulations to Rich Lytle (from Hot Springs Village, AR), our Men’s Gross Champion. Jim Hardy (Florida) is our Men’s Net Champion and Millie MacKenzie (Oregon) is our Woman’s Champion. In addition, Rich Lytle teamed with Peter Towne (Hilton Head--hmmm) and pulled out the win for the Team competition. Hooray.
Peter Towne was also the MC and he kept the fun on-going for the golfers and spouses. The spouses saw three interesting tours.
The Tournament Director was Ed Dowaschinski from the host Rotary Club: HHI Sunset Rotary. Ed didn’t miss a point. And, with his merry Sunset Club troop, they took care of the USGFR folks from everywhere, and then gave us the information on how to really have fun. Thanks much, Ed.
Now, we look ahead to our 2016 tournament venue—Albuquerque, New Mexico—September 24 to 28, 2016. Jim Easley, President of the Rio Rancho Sunrise Rotary Club, will be our Tournament Director. We will be bedded at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. The courses will be Twin Warriors & Santa Ana. For the non-golfers, we’ll have tours of Jemez Trail, Bandelier National Monument & Los Alamos and a trip to Santa Fe via the Turquoise Trail. And, a great bonus for us--the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta begins right after our tournament. Plan to stay 3 or 4 days more & see the sky filled with balloons (and you can hotel at the Regency Tamaya for 3 days at the lower cost). We’ll look for y’all.
Our 2014 Tournament was full of mirth and a great mix of warm fellowship, terrific golf treks, & accommodations right on the white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. The Perdido Beach Resort executed perfectly--I’ll elaborate later.
We send our congratulations to Rich Lytle, the 2014 USGFR Men’s Gross Champion, and Larry Newman, the 2014 Men’s Net Champion. In the Women’s group, we congratulate Millie MacKenzie as the 2014 Gross Champion, and Liz Grulke as the 2014 Net Champion. Hooray!
Thanks to Elaine Durmer (my wife) who played a large part of this year’s Tournament. She handled the budgets from the beginning, and during the Tournament she drove the non-golfers to fun tours--thanks Sweetie. Jim Stewart, from the Foley Club, was our Tournament Director and MC of the awards evening. Thanks to you, Jim.
We made some changes in the USGFR Executive Committee. Millie MacKenzie has finished eight years as our Executive Secretary--THANK YOU, Millie!!!!!!!--and Jim Brock has taken on those big shoes. Denny Horack has jumped into the creation of the newsletter from Nate Naden’s many years--thanks Nate. Gary Hernandez will now be the Handicap Chair and Jim Quinn has moved from the Northwest Region Director to the Southwest Region Director.
We have 10 new Members who joined us in Gulf Shores. Dennis Guiser (Beverly) from IL, Peter Koukos (Peg) from IL, Ed Happ from SC, Shyam Kotwal (Suman) from FL, Peter Towne from SC, Don Forbes from NZ, Bill Tucker from SC, Peter Knudsen from ON, Canada, Mark Snow from KS and Ed Dowaschinski from SC. Welcome, welcome.
Now, the elaboration from the 1st paragraph. We had a practice round on Monday (Peninsula). Then, on Tuesday, we played our first scoring 18 on the same course. Some of us had to cut short at 16 holes as lightning started, and we ran back to Perdido. Tuesday evening was heavy rain into Wednesday--flooding rain 16 to 22 inches down. No courses were open--the Superintendents were strong at work to provide golf for Thursday--yes (amazing)! Sooooo, Perdido Beach Resort opened our lobby Hospitality room quite early, manned it, and we played Bingo for the afternoon. Their service was incredible. Thanks Perdido Beach Resort.
Lastly, here’s the really important stuff for you. Go to your 2015 calendar--Right Now!--and circle the dates of May 16th to 20th for your Tournament at Hilton Head Island--it's our 26th. We’re looking forward to seeing all y’all in South Carolina.
Bill Durmer (Cell: 708-826-2503)
Our 2013 Tournament was a terrific mix of warm Fellowship, first class golf courses and outstanding accommodations. The Tournament was held at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort in Indian Wells, California.
We raise our cups to Mike Laughlin, the 2013 USGFR Gross Champion, and Jim Sissons, the 2013 USGFR Net Champion. Both Mike and Jim went down to the wire with strong games throughout the tree days. Again, we had a strong turnout--75 Rotarians and spouses.
Thank you to Jim Brock (Tournament Director) for conceiving and executing this year's tournament in Indian Wells. Jim's wife, Susan, took on a large portion of the work--thank you Susan, it was great! Jim and Susan could count on help from Jim Pescatore (the USGFR Director of the Pacific Region) and his wife, Rita. Great job all!
Kudos to two USGFR long term, hard workers on the Board on behalf of our organization. Millie MacKenzie is our Executive Secretary and she will be transitioning that position to Jim Brock by our next tournament. Nate Naden is our Newsletter Editor and he will be moving that position to Denny Horack over the next 12 months. To Millie and Nate for their years of great contributions--thank you, thank you.
We also thank Mike Laughlin, our President, for his leadership and vision these past three years. Previously, Mike was the Director of the Pacific Region and then stepped up to our President in 2010.
Now, the important stuff. Go to your 2014 calendar and circle the dates April 28 to May 1 for our 25th Anniversary Tournament at Gulf Shores, Alabama. We'll be at the Perdido Resort--we'll be RIGHT on "our" Beach (on the beautiful Gulf, on miles of white sand, and on the fun.) We'll be here to welcome "all y'all".
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