Niagara Falls Country Club will add a third Porter Cup championship in 2013. The inaugural Women’s championship will be contested from June 12-14 and will be chaired by Brian Oakley. Steve Denn, long-standing chair of the men’s event, took time to answer a quick nine of questions with BuffaloGolfer.Com.
1. Why a women’s Porter Cup and why in 2013?
To create a forum where the best women players can showcase their talents. To add to our stable of major amateur tournaments and increase our commitment to amateur golf. It is believed that NFCC will be the only Club in the world to host major tournaments for women, men and senior men. The event was approved in November which gave us ample time to prepare for a June 2013 tournament.
2. You are the first of the major summer amateur tournaments to establish a women’s event. Do you think others (like the Sunnehanna, the Northeast) will follow suit?
I don’t believe the Sunnehanna, Players or Northeast Amateurs have plans to add a Women’s event. However, tournaments run by Golf Associations such as the Western Amateur, Southern Amateur and Eastern Amateur all have men’s and women’s tournaments. The events run by associations generally rotate their venues each year.
3. Alice Dye has always said that pushing up the tees doesn’t make it a women’s course. How will the committee ensure that the course will play comparably for the women?
We will likely play the course around 6,200 yards, approximately 600 yards shorter than the men. I feel it will be very suitable for the women. It will likely play very similar to when the course was built nearly 100 years ago when the ball didn’t travel nearly as far.
4. The WPC will be held roughly 6 weeks earlier than the men’s event. How will the course conditioning differ?
We likely won’t alter the normal conditioning of the course in advance of the WPC. It is generally a little more lush in early June vs late July, so the rough may be a little thicker (not higher) for the women. For the Porter Cup, we’ll try to grow the rough a little higher and speed up the greens a bit if conditions permit.
5. Have you established invitational criteria? Could you share it with us or give us a broad sense?
We will cap the field at 60 players this year. Players with a USGA handicap index at 9.4 or below are welcome to apply. We hope to have a world-class field, similar to the Porter Cup and Senior Porter Cup.
6. Will there be an open qualifier, as with the men?
No. There will not be a Qualifier for the women. We hope to have 12-15 local/regional players in the field this year.
7. Dream a bit…what are your reach scenarios (the greatest evolution you could hope for)
We hope for the women’s event to have a similar reputation as the men’s event within 3 years.
8. Will the winner of the women’s Porter Cup receive an exemption of any sort into any other event? If not, is this something worth pursuing?
This is not something we are pursuing at the moment. Perhaps after we have a couple tournaments under our belt, we can look into an affiliation with a women’s pro event.
9. What question have we not asked about the event, that we should have (shame on us)? Ask the question and answer it.
Can you give us information about the tournament? The tournament will be 54-holes conducted at medal play. It will be played at the Niagara Falls CC on June 12-14, 2013. The event is free and open to the public. Volunteers are welcomed. More information is available on www.portercup.com