The 2015 Event
2015 Top 100 Invitational is a Huge Success
Attracts Club Members from Around the Globe
The 2015 Legacy of the Links Top 100 Invitational golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort was an incredible success.Attendees will confirm that the experience was more than a golf tournament—it was a series of amazing happenings that continued to unveil over three days at the historically significant Pinehurst Resort.
The 36-hole invitational, which took place on Pinehurst’s courses No. 2 and No. 4, attracted players from “Top 100” ranked golf courses and clubs from around the globe.
“We had teams from Royal Dornoch in Scotland, Portmarnock in Ireland, Ganton in England and New South Wales in Australia as well as several top clubs from the U.S.,” said Event Co-Founder Kevin McGrath. “While the tournament sparked some competitive play amongst teams, a good time was definitely had by all.”
Event kicked-off in a special setting
The Top 100 Invitational commenced with a lovely cocktail reception at the home of Bob & Carol Hansen, best-known as “Dornoch Cottage” and the former residence of the late, world-renown golf course architect Donald J. Ross. The historic yet charming home (overlooking the third green on Course No. 2) served as an ideal venue for Top 100 participants and guests to meet and mingle, and even share a few golf tales.
Ready… Camera… Action
Day one emerged with special photo sessions for each “Top 100” team, carefully captured close to Pinehurst’s life-size bronze statue of the late, great, PGA TOUR Player Payne Stewart.
Thanks to the work of talented photographer Don MacKenzie (MacKenzie Photography) each team received photos which serve as a lasting reminder of a tremendous “Top 100” Invitational.
Off to the Course—Round 1 on No. 4
Mid-morning, players reported to Pinehurst No. 4 for round one of the two-person better-ball event. The course was in excellent shape. Team members enjoyed the Donald Ross-designed masterpiece which also has a renovated touch by golf course designer Tom Fazio.
In addition to Legacy of the Links Top 100 Invitational tournament, Pinehurst No.4 has served as host site for other prestigious events and championships.
Cocktails & Auction—Time to Bid, and all for a Good Cause
With round one behind them and golf clubs put to rest for the night, Top 100 guests attended a cocktail reception in the beautiful South Room of the Carolina Hotel where they mingled with other participants.
Participants had a chance to view and bid on auction items—including stay & play packages from “Top 100” golf courses and resorts from around the world. According to Legacy of the Links Co-founder Taba Dale, proceeds raised through the auction will benefit St. Andrews University Library in Scotland, the true Home of Golf. Funds have been specifically earmarked for the forthcoming Center for Golf Collections.
2015 Top 100 Hall of Fame Inducts two of Golf’s Legends
After a lavish dinner prepared by the resort’s top chef and savored by all, guests witnessed the 2015 Top 100 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The special event-within-the-event was highly inspirational thanks to the engaging words shared by two seasoned presenters.
First, Audrey Moriarty, Director of the Tufts Archives, provided insight on Top 100 Hall of Fame’s posthumous inductee, Richard S. Tufts, an advocate for amateur golf and the grandson of Pinehurst Founder, James Walker Tufts.
Representing the Tufts Family at the induction ceremony was Rick Tufts, grandson of honoree Richard S. Tufts (and great-great-grandson of Pinehurst Founder James Walker Tufts).
The second presenter for the evening was golf course architect Richard Mandell, Associate ASGCA, and author of The Legendary Evolution of Pinehurst, Home of American Golf. In addition to his revealing talk about the magnificent mind of golf course architect Donald Ross, Mandell served as presenter for the posthumous Top 100 Hall of Fame induction of the famed golf course designer.
Accepting the honoree in the “true spirit of Donald Ross” was Mr. Rod Harter, who remarkably resembled the late inductee in both expression and attire. You would have thought the legendary course designer Mr. Ross was actually there— live and in-person. “Mr. Ross” was extremely charming and Top 100 attendees were captivated by his presence; they thoroughly enjoyed his celebrity style which added even more spirit to the induction ceremony.
Day 2- Course No. 2
On Tuesday morning players made their way to Pinehurst No. 2 for the final round of team play contested on the Donald Ross-designed course which was recently renovated by Coore & Crenshaw.
Top 100 players took on Course No. 2, a tree-lined course with underlying sandy soil and newly re-widened fairways and restored natural areas with wire grass. It didn’t take long for players to encounter the perched greens (that fall off every which way), a gem-of-a-course that makes golf a matter of controlling the ball when it lands rather than just flying it to a target.
Wine, Words of Wisdom, and of course, The Winners
Players reported to the Cardinal Ballroom that evening for wine and cocktails, last-minute silent auction bidding followed by a lovely dinner in the lower level ballroom.
Players and their guests enjoyed a presentation by Lee Pace, author of several books including The Golden Age of Pinehurst: The Story of the Rebirth of No. 2. Pace was able to enlighten Top 100 participants on the recent restoration of Pinehurst No. 2, which was conducted by the design team of Bill Coore and PGA Champions Tour Player Ben Crenshaw (Coore & Crenshaw).
The event culminated with a Tipperary Crystal awards ceremony. Claiming title as Overall Winners for the 2015 Legacy of the Links Invitational were team members Mike Sweeney and Norm Anderson representing Saucon Valley Country Club (Bethlehem, PA). As ongoing evidence of their win, they will display the Tipperary Crystal perpetual trophy at their club, Saucon Valley CC, until the Top 100 Invitational announces its next winner in 2016.
Earning Overall honors in the Mixed Division were team members Tom and Kathy Wiggans from Monterey Peninsula County Club (Pebble Beach, CA).
Overall: Mike Sweeney & Norm Anderson, Saucon Valley CC
Runner Up: Steve Saal & Glenn Owens, Royal Dornoch GC, Scotland
Best Gross Kelly Miller & Blair Miller, Pine Needles Lodge & GC
Overall: Tom & Kathy Wiggans, Monterey Peninsula CC, Pebble Beach, CA
Runner Up: Mary Wilde & Mark Plaumann, New South Wales, Australia
Best Gross: Jack & Debbie Waitkus, Troon North GC, Scottsdale, AZ
Next year we hope to have a Women’s Division and we encourage you to share that news with your lady golfing friends, and/or partners, and let them know how much fun you had!
“Our goal was to provide a memorable experience for every participant both on-and-off the course and at the same time raise funds for a worthy cause,” said Taba Dale. “I am delighted to report the event was a resounding success with a true sense of camaraderie from beginning to end. Many of the folks participating this year are already making plans to attend next year, too.”
In closing, Legacy of the Links would like to extend its deepest appreciation to all who participated in this magnificent event. It was YOU, who made the event so memorable.
Special thanks are also extended to our auction donors and bidders as well as to the incredible staff at Pinehurst Resort, who give new meaning to the words first-class customer service.
If you joined us this year, we look forward to your return next year for the 2016 Legacy of the Links Top 100 Invitational —and hopefully, will have save some room on the tee sheet to welcome a few, new “Top 100” teams, too.