Mark Plummer watches his tee shot on the sixth hole at York Golf and Tennis Club during the opening round of last year’s Maine Amateur. Plummer won the 1997 Maine Amateur at Brunswick Golf Club, which is the location of this year’s championship.

As a founding member of the Maine State Golf Association, Brunswick Golf Club is proud to be hosting the 98th annual Maine State Golf Association Maine Amateur Championship starting Tuesday and running through Thursday.

It will be the second time Brunswick has hosted the Maine Amateur. The first time was 20 years ago when Mark Plummer won with score of plus-3. It was a no-brainer for the members and Kavanaugh to accept the MSGA’s invitation to host this year’s tournament.

“Our membership is very excited, and a positive response when we brought it not only to our board of directors but to our membership as a whole last year when the MSGA asked us to host this year,” Brunswick Golf Club’s Director of Golf A.J. Kavanaugh said. “With it being the 100th year anniversary of their association, we are very proud that they are coming back after 20 years and we are very proud of some of the changes we’ve made.”

While Brunswick is member-owned, the course is open to the public. Kavanaugh is happy the MSGA is returning for the championship since they don’t often hold the Maine Amateur at public courses.

Kavanaugh expects a “blue collar” feel to the tournament, akin to when the United States Golf Association goes to Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, New York, or Torrey Pines in San Diego, California, for U.S. Opens, as both of those courses are open to the public.

Brunswick Golf Club, which which was founded in September of 1898 and initially named the Bowdoin Golf Club, has hosted other MSGA events, such as the 2012 and 2015 Senior Amateurs, the 2013 and 2014 Four-Ball Championships and the 2016 Match Play Invitational.


Just like those events and their annual member-guest tournament, the course will be flipped around for the Maine Amateur.

“For all the major tournaments we hold here, both our member events and the state championships we’ve held probably going back to the 1997 Amateur, they have always reversed the nines,” Kavanaugh said. “So number nine is number 18 which is the hole that finishes right at the clubhouse which is a par-5. That seems an exciting hole to finish the tournament at.”

The finishing hole for the tournament normally plays 600 yards but might play from multiple tee boxes during the week to entice the longer hitters to take on the dog leg to reach the green in two.

Number 11 (normally number two) will have have a new tee box to the right of the old tee box. The par-3 will now play 198 yards downhill compared to 180. Players will be able to see the flag from the new tee box. Number 13 (normally number four) will also have a new tee box. The par-3 will play 215 yards with water guarding the green.

The course will play a par-72 and play around 6,600 yards.

After a wet spring, the sun has came out just in time for the staff at the Brunswick Golf Club to get prepared for the tournament.


“(Course Superintendent) Allan (Greenleaf) and his crew took some extra measures to prepare for the tournament,” Kavanaugh said. “Like I mentioned, some extra fertilizing, and, obviously, to get the greens to the speed, we normally don’t run them this quick. Usually we run them this quick in August for our member-guest (tournament), we get them this quick as they are now. To keep them healthy, so they don’t get burnt out, so if we do get in those heatwaves, we added some different measures. We added some different irrigation patterns, all were factored to showcase our course.”

Kavanaugh said the MSGA wants the greens to be 11-12 on the stimpmeter, but could run as high as 13. He said hitting fairways will be a premium as the rough has grown the past year to prepare for the tournament.

This week’s championship is a 54-hole stroke play competition. The 132 -player field will be cut to the low 40 two-day scores, plus ties, for Thursday’s final round. Any player that makes the cut will be exempt from qualifying for the 2018 Maine Amateur Championship. Additionally, the top 16 and ties will earn a berth in the 2017 Match Play Invitational, to be played at Waterville Country Club in August.

The 2016 Maine Amateur champion Matt Hutchins won’t defend his championship because he is no longer a Maine resident.

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Maine Amateur facts


• The field is comprised of 132 players representing 45 different golf clubs from around Maine.

• Sable Oaks GC has the most players in the field with 13, followed by Biddeford-Saco CC, Falmouth CC, and Fox Ridge GC, which all have 10 players.

• 12 of Maine’s 16 counties have at least one player in the field.

• There are two sets of brothers competing in the championship; Joe and Mike Walp from Falmouth CC, and Eric and Gavin Dugas from JW Parks GC.

• The oldest players in the field are Ron Brown and Tom Kus (68), and the youngest is Armand Ouellette (14). The average age is 35.

• The lowest USGA Handicap Index in the field is +1.9, with the highest at 9.1. The average Handicap Index of the entire field is 3.1.

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