CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tuesday certainly won't be the first time the West Virginia Golf Association has held an individual championship at The Resort at Glade Springs, but there is a new twist being added to the State Women's Amateur tournament.Instead of the trusty Cobb Course, 34 women will be taking on The Resort's Stonehaven Course Tuesday through Thursday.Opened in 2003, the course was ranked as the second-best course in the state by Golf Digest in its 2012-2013 edition.WVGA executive director Ken Tackett said the women are in for a real treat this week."It's one of the most scenic courses in the state," Tackett said. "There are a lot of elevated tees into wide, generous fairways. The greens are more modern, there's a lot of collection areas around the greens o the short game is definitely at a premium. It's a must, must, must play for any golfer out there. Some of the women have already played a couple of practice rounds and they're all really thrilled with it so far."Current Campbell golfer and former Cabell Midland standout Brooke Bellomy nailed down her first State Women's Amateur championship last year with an impressive eight-shot victory at Berry Hills Country Club.She was named to the Big South all-conference team last year as a sophomore and recorded her first collegiate win at the Golfweek Program Challenge held Sept. 9-11, 2012.
Needless to say, Bellomy is a favorite to win her second State Amateur championship."Brooke is coming off of a really strong season at Campbell University and I expect her to defend her title and fare well," Tackett said.The field of 34 contenders represents a bit of a low number in comparison to past years, but Tackett said this week should still provide a great tournament."It's a smaller number - 34 players is a little less than we really like but there are a lot of great players here," Tackett said. "The whole idea is to have the best players there to compete for the state championship and we think we have that."
Rain par for the courseUnusally high rainfall totals have affected nearly all of the golf courses in the state and have taken a toll on one of the WVGA's tours.The Callaway Junior Tour has had to cancel events at Berry Hills, Oglebay Resort and Parkersburg Country Club already this summer due to rain, and the WVGA's Senior Series also had one cancellation although it will be made up.Public courses, private courses, resorts - Tackett said everyone has felt mother nature's wrath in the last couple of months.
"I talked to a guy at Grandview [Golf Club] who said he's in his 41st year in the golf business and this is the worst weather he's ever had," Tackett said. "I've been traveling the state and that's what I hear and see from folks. Everything is waterlogged. The course starts drying and draining and then they get hit with rain three days in a row so it has been a challenge. Weather is the most unpredictable variable in golf."Big Bend busyBig Bend Golf Course will hold a couple of tournaments over the next month.The St. Albans Quarterback Club will host a two-man scramble there on Aug. 3. The cost is $75 per person and that includes golf, food and beverages. For more information, call Walt Hall at 304-552-6547.Big Bend will also host the Kanawha County Amateur Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Registration is available at the pro shop.Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him at twitter.com/Rpritt.