Six-member CCG women’s team set for Mass Golf Fall Cup

  • The six-member Country Club of Greenfield team (left to right: Terry Boyce, Tina Browne, Liz Dolby, Diane Carme, Liz Archer and Nancy Donoghue) will compete in the Mass Golf Fall Cup championship at The Ridge Club in Sandwich. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/12/2020 5:47:19 PM
Modified: 10/12/2020 5:47:06 PM

It’s been quite a year for women’s golf in Franklin County.

That’ll be on display Tuesday morning for the rest of the state to see, as the six-member Country Club of Greenfield team competes in the Mass Golf Women’s Fall Cup championship at The Ridge Club in Sandwich.

The tournament, which is celebrating its 12th year, consisted of three regular-season matches played in September between member clubs. Those clubs were separated into 20 different regions (four teams per region), with the winner of each region advancing to Tuesday’s championship on the Cape.

Here’s how it works: Each team consists of six women, and each regular-season contest was played in a four-ball match play format at 90-percent handicap allowance. In Tuesday’s championship, the six-member CCG team will be broken into three teams of two, with pairs competing in four-ball play against the entire field. Totals will be added up from each of the three teams, and titles will be awarded for the club that notches the low gross and low net. Defending champion TPC Boston is in Tuesday’s field.

It’s been an impressive progression for CCG in this event. The club entered a team in the Women’s Fall Cup for the first time last year, ultimately finishing in last place – well short of qualifying for the championship portion of the event. This year however, CCG entered two teams in the event, as interest has only grown in that short span.

The team of Liz Dolby, Liz Archer, Nancy Donoghue, Terry Boyce, Diane Carme and Tina Browne won their region, earning a spot in Tuesday’s championship. Dolby said she’s been pleased to see marked growth in the sport, particularly at her home course, as CCG was the only Western Mass. club to advance to the championship.

“I think overall there have been major strides in women’s participation and confidence in playing golf and playing in tournaments,” offered Dolby, who has played in the Fall Cup championship before as a member of Crumpin-Fox Club. “I think that confidence has brought us to a very different level this year.”

In order to win their region, Dolby said the team’s final match in September was challenging. Playing against Holden Hills Country Club of Jefferson, the CCG team had to give 60 strokes away to their competitors due to handicaps.

“That’s a lot of strokes,” Dolby said with a laugh. “We went into it with the attitude that, ‘This is the handicap system so we’re going to hope that everybody is legit in their scores and we’ll see what happens.’”

Playing at famed Worcester Country Club, which hosted the very first Ryder Cup in 1927, Team CCG did more than enough to get the job done, taking down the victory, 29½-24½.

“Everyone but Nancy and Liz (Archer) were down at some point in their match so we were able to dig ourselves out of it,” Dolby explained. “It was a great lesson to everyone that you keep plugging away and take it one hole and one shot at a time.”

Team CCG will keep its same pairings together from that match into Tuesday’s championship event. Boyce, the women’s club champion at CCG this year, will partner with Carme in the No. 1 spot and they’ll tee off at 9:42 a.m. Dolby and Browne will play together as the No. 2 pairing and a 9:50 a.m. tee time, with Archer and Donoghue penciled in at No. 3 and a 9:58 a.m. start. 

“It’s partner golf so we really tried to put together the best combinations that we could,” said Dolby, who consulted CCG head professional Kevin Piecuch in formulating the club’s team and pairings. “But it’s really difficult. We had a lot of substitutes throughout the (September matches) but we wound up putting together the people who had won the most.”

Dolby said Team CCG was very much looking forward to their first trip to the state tournament, and the six-member squad planned to head out Monday night in preparation for Tuesday’s event.

“Everybody is so excited,” she offered. “Diane Carme and Terry Boyce, they’re big competitors. But everybody is on board with this. Everybody has played so much more competitive golf this year in preparation and I think we’re going to have a great time. No matter what happens, it’s going to be a fabulous experience, just to have the honor to play in the state championship is what we’ll be talking about the morning of the match.”

With 120 women representing 20 different clubs, The Ridge Club (which counts Boston Bruins legend Bobby Orr as a member) is certainly the center of the Mass Golf universe Tuesday. Dolby said the event has been a highlight on the golfing calendar, to say the least.

“We’ve had so much support from the Country Club of Greenfield,” she began. “Everybody is so pro-women’s golf, everyone has congratulated us and had such nice things to say. Kevin (Piecuch) couldn’t be more helpful and supportive in bringing this all to life. It’s a treat to be where we are.”

CCG’s other team of Sue Welenc, Kathy Nicoll, Ann McHugh, Gail Miller, TC Emerson and Carla Bernier also had a successful Fall Cup run, winning their final match against Oak Hill.

“It’s amazing to see the interest,” Dolby said. “I look at the number of clubs that have two teams in the event. I could have fielded three teams, that’s how many people were interested. It’s so exciting to see representations from 20 different clubs, that’s 120 women showing up to play and compete for a title. It’s great.”

Greenfield Recorder

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