Headline: Red Tail Golf Club and Shaker Hills Country Club Prepare to Host 2017 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship on May 22-23

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2017

Marc Forbes and Bill Vine will look to make it two in a row at the MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship this week at Red Tail GC and Shaker Hills CC.

Norton, MA — The second MGA Championship will kick off next week at Red Tail Golf Club and Shaker Hills Country Club. Two-person teams made up of the best senior amateurs in the state will compete for the 2017 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship on May 22-23.

The team of Marc Forbes (Norton CC) and Bill Vine (Foxborough CC) will be looking to recapture the title that they won a year ago after posting a winning score of 11-under par 133 at Cranberry Valley Golf Course. This year's field includes 160 two-person teams representing 116 MGA Member Clubs.

New for 2017, this year's Championship Proper features a "super senior division" which is open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who have reached their 65th birthday by May 22 and who have an combined Handicap Index not exceeding 16.0.

Here is complete information about the 2017 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball Championship.

STARTING TIMES & PAIRINGS

Starting times and results will be available online throughout the two-day event. Nine-hole splits and final scores for all teams will be posted.

ABOUT THE SENIOR FOUR-BALL

The Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball began in 1997 and is open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who are 55 years of age or older. The senior field is limited each year and a competitive handicap index is established in order to create a competitive, team environment on the course.

ELIGIBILITY: Entries are open to two-person teams of amateur golfers who hold a membership at an MGA member club, who have reached their 55th birthday by May 22, 2017 and who have an up-to-date MGA/USGA GHIN combined Handicap Index not exceeding 12.0 (as determined by the April 15, 2017 Handicap Revision) or have completed their handicap certification.

PAR AND YARDAGE: Red Tail Golf Club will play around 6,400 yards and a par of 36-36—72. Shaker Hills Country Club will play around 6,400 yards and a par of 36-36—72.

ABOUT THE HOST CLUBS: Here is a brief overview of the two host clubs. Information was excerpted directly from each club's web site.

About Red Tail Golf Club Named after the majestic red-tailed hawks that soar serenely overhead, the 7,000 yard, par 72 course is crafted from a site of great natural beauty. It flows over rolling wooded hills and meanders among numerous streams and ponds. The terrain varies from classic New England landscapes of maples, birches, oaks and pines to tall grasses and sands reminiscent of coastal courses.

The golf course architect, Brian Silva, dedicated a high level of personal involvement to the course and has designed it to work with the site's beautiful features. The course demonstrates spectacularly that environmentally responsible practices can be harmonious with striking beauty and delightful playability.

About Shaker Hills Country Club Beautiful golf courses are usually akin to beautiful properties and Shaker Hills in Harvard, MA is no exception. Although the dynamics of the extraordinary 2012 renovations accomplished by new owner Fred Curtis, Jr. and company truly set this golf course apart. A classic New England layout is only the starting point of adjectives to describe Shaker Hills. It is in the details of the creative renovations that one truly finds its splendor.

How could anyone improve on what was previously the #1 ranked public course in Massachusetts and the #2 best new course in America? Vision.

Standing in front of the club house and looking out Curtis recounts the instant feeling of potential. To his amazement, the 18th hole was nowhere to be found, finishing "a mile" away from the clubhouse. The driving range stood between the 18th hole and the club house on the right and the electric cart charging station on the left. There was an opportunity! The trick was to make it happen.

Intensifying Curtis' confidence was the beautiful land lying directly in front of the clubhouse. The Shaker Hills property sits on over 250 acres. The 30 acres in front of the club house are unique as they are "tilted" like a natural "amphitheater" towards the clubhouse. The problem was this beautiful natural theatre of golf was distorted by the placement of the driving range and cart charging station.

Curtis' plan was hatched. He purchased the property, retained a professional golf course construction company and immediately repositioned the driving range and cart charging area making way for his new layout. Today the older Par 4, 444 yard 18th hole is now a sweeping 560 yard dogleg Par 5 finishing at the club house. Replacing the cart charging area is a creative 10,000 square foot practice green, but most important is the new serene and wholesome "natural theatre" of golf that has been created.

PAST CHAMPIONS IN THE FIELD: The following teams have been victorious at this event, which dates back to 1997, and will be competing as a team in the 2017 Championship Proper.

  • 2016: Marc Forbes (Norton CC) and Bill Vine (Foxborough CC)
  • 2015: Jack Kearney (Elmcrest CC) and Bill Barry, Jr. (Elmcrest CC)
  • 2014: Keith Smith (Franklin CC) and Dave Turgeon (Norton CC)
  • 2011, 2012: Kevin Carey (Dennis Pines GC) and Ray Richard (Willowbend)
  • 2010: Jim Finnerty (Stockbridge GC) and Paul Murphy (Charles River CC)
  • 2005, 2006: Tom Bergeron (Crumpin-Fox Club) and Jack Varner (CC of Greenfield)
  • 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009: James Ruschioni (Wachusett CC) and Paul Nunez (Ludlow CC)

A Look Back at 2016: After posting a 9-under par 63 on Day 1 at The Captains Golf Course, Marc Forbes (Norton CC) and Bill Vine (Foxborough CC) overcame chilly weather and a slow start on Day 2 at Cranberry Valley Golf Course to win the 2016 Massachusetts Senior Four-Ball, with a winning score of 133 (11-under par).

Oldest Player: Jim Holbrook, 75 (Ferncroft CC)

Youngest Players: Rick Miller, 55 (Boston GC), Daniel Cronin, 55 (Boston GC), Jeffrey Smith, 55 (Butter Brook GC), Robert Hawkes Jr., 55 (Cape Ann GC), Mark Nowak, 55 (CC of Wilbraham), Jeff Hunt, 55 (CC of Wilbraham), John Hogan, 55 (Ferncroft CC), Tim Tenero, 55 (Franconia GC), Michael Clancy, 55 (Hickory Ridge GC), Robert Rorke, 55 (New England CC), James Handerhan, 55 (Poquoy Brook GC), Jeff Kiernan, 55 (Salem CC), Nils Gjesteby, 55 (Salem CC), Curt Foehl, 55 (Taconic GC), Dan McCabe, 55 (Thorny Lea GC), George Popp, 55 (Vesper CC).

Most Common Name in the Field: Stephen (14)

Notable players in the field: Keith Smith is a two-time Massachusetts Senior Amateur Championship winner, in 2013 and 2016. He also won the Senior Four-Ball in 2014 with Dave Turgeon, who is his partner this year as well. Jim Maddalena is the head superintendent at Willowbend in Mashpee. Kevin Carey is a two-time MGA Senior Four Ball Champion; he won back to back in 2011 and 2012 with Ray Richard. He also won back to back MGA Mid-Amateur Championships in 1994 and 1995. Dave Houghton won the 2014 MGA Senior Amateur Championship at Oyster Harbors Club. Don Reycroft won the 2015 Senior Amateur Championship at Berkshire Hills Country Club. Dating back to 1982, he won the MGA Amateur Public Links Championship. He also was the 2014 MGA Senior Player of the Year. Doug Crawford was the 2015 MGA Super Senior Amateur Champion. In 2007, he also captured the Senior Amateur Championship.  Joseph Keller is a three-time MGA Mid-Amateur Champion, winning in 1986, 1987, and 1992. He won the 2005 MGA Senior Amateur Championship. He had a magnificent year in 2008 capturing the New England Senior Amateur Championship and was also named MGA Senior Player of the Year. He captured the MGA Four Ball Championship in 1987 and 1993. The brother team of Jon and Carter Fasick are four-time MGA Four Ball Champions, winning it in 1986, 1991, 1997, and 1998. Allen Chase won the 2013 MGA Senior Four Ball Championship at Stow Acres Country Club with his partner at the time Patrick Ball. Joseph Grochmal is a PGA Professional in West Springfield. Alistair Catto was the 2007 MGA Senior Player of the Year and also won the 1991 MGA Amateur Public Links Championship. Along with being a four-time MGA Senior Four Ball Champion, Jim Ruschioni won the 1985 MGA Mid-Amateur Championship.

Total Number of MGA Member Clubs Represented: 116

Most Represented MGA Member Clubs: Franklin CC (9), Indian Ridge CC (7), Salem CC (7), Dennis Pines GC (6), Poquoy Brook GC (6), Brae Burn CC (5), Orchards GC (5), Stow Acres CC (5), Thorny Lea GC (5), Black Rock CC (4), Boston GC (4), Charles River CC (4), Elmcrest CC (4), Ferncroft CC (4), Foxborough CC (4), Oak Hill CC (4), Shaker Farms (4), Vesper CC (4), Walpole CC (4), Winchester CC (4).

Total Number of Massachusetts Towns Represented: 151

Region Breakdown: Greater Boston 64, South Shore 60, North Shore 44, Greater Springfield 34, Greater Worcester 26, Cape Cod 25, Berkshires 12, Non-Real Estate 1

Average Age of Field: 61.17

KEEPING UP WITH THE SENIOR FOUR-BALL

Complete coverage of the 2017 MGA Senior Four-Ball Championship will be available online (MGAlinks.org) and via social media. Join the conversation and share your photos, memories and thoughts by following us on Twitter (@mgalinks #MassSeniorFourBall), Facebook (@ Massachusetts-Golf-Association) and Instagram @mgalinks #MassSeniorFourBall).

©2003- Massachusetts Golf Association. All rights reserved. Site Design by RainCastle Communications, Inc.