Representing Bailey & Oliver Law Firm, Joshua Hamby, Geoff Hamby, Adam Ruff and Chad Matthews winners of the 2015 Benton County Bar Association golf tournament.
Today I reinstated my official USGA handicap as my first step towards trying to qualify for the U.S. Mid-Amateur golf championship. A “handicap” is golf-lingo for a number that represents a golfer’s average score. The difficulty of the course is factored in with the golfer’s actual score on that day and then a long-term average is created. The lower a person’s handicap, the better the golfer they’re supposed to be. Handicaps are used to set limits to apply to qualify for tournaments and for just normal play amongst friends. In order to sign up for the Mid-Am qualifier in August, my handicap has to be below 3.4.
The Mid-Am is one of the newer national golf championships, only dating back to 1981, but it is among the most prestigious for golfers who don’t plan to turn pro. The only amateur tournament with more prestige is the U.S. Amateur, and that is typically won by young college players who just haven’t turned professional yet. The Mid-Am requires a minimum age of 25, basically guaranteeing everyone who plays in it plans to stay an amateur forever. Whoever is able to qualify for the Mid-Am, and then actually win, gets invited to play in The Masters alongside the best golfers in the world. But my goal this year is to just qualify.
The qualifier I’m planning on applying to is being held up here in Northwest Arkansas at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, and the Mid-Am is during a month that we don’t have a trial scheduled, so it’s a good time for me to give it a shot. The golf game has been pretty good lately, but playing in a real tournament on my own will be an experience I haven’t had in years. Last summer the B&O team brought home the win at the Benton County Bar Association tournament as well as a Harley-Davidson for a hole-in-one at the Police Athletic League tournament and I can already tell you I’m going to miss having friends to rely on during the qualifier. I can’t wait to see how this goes, I’ll be back with an update soon!