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RECORD NUMBER WILL VIE FOR SALT LAKE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

SHARE RECORD NUMBER WILL VIE FOR SALT LAKE AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

More than 1,000 golf clubs were given away to junior golfers Saturday in the Kids For Clubs program sponsored by the Utah Section of the PGA.

Along with clubs donated by golf courses around the state, companies such as Taylor Made, Browning and PinSeeker donated hundreds of new clubs, which were cut and fitted for the younger golfers.The majority of the clubs were handed out at Salt Lake's Nibley Park Golf Course where a dozen pros were on hand, including the Homestead's Bruce Summerhays, who gave a clinic for the junior golfers.

"The future of golf tomorrow rests with junior golf today," said Nibley head pro Jeff Waters, who started the Clubs for Kids program in Utah eight years ago. "We want to put clubs in kids' hands now so they can play the game for a lifetime."

Despite upwards of 500 youngsters at Nibley, there were still dozens of clubs left over at the end. As Jeff Beaudry of the PGA noted, there were plenty of clubs, just not quite enough kids. But as the Clubs for Kids becomes an annual event, more and more kids should get involved and make good use of all those clubs.

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STATE AM RECORD: A record number of entries have been received for the 1990 State Amateur golf tournament.

According to Utah Golf Asssociation executive director Joe Watts, 483 golfers entered the tournament by Friday's deadline, eclipsing the record mark of 477 last year.

Just a decade ago, the Amateur was limited to the first 120 golfers with a 5 or less hadicap who entered.

Qualifyings will be held at five sites, beginning June 4 at Murray Parkway. Other qualifying sites include Valley View on June 6, Green Spring June 8, Birch Creek June 11 and Wasatch Mountain June 13.

The field will be trimmed to approximately 150 for the State Am finals July 11-15 at Alpine Country Club. Unlike the past few years, there will be no cut at the finals until the field is trimmed to the low 32 for match play.

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HELPING HANDS: The Homestead Golf Course in Midway, which was supposed to open last fall and put off until May 15 this year, is now scheduled for a grand opening on June 16.

The course has had several setbacks including legal action over several acres that had already been included as part of the course. But the course had to be redesigned and condensed, cutting the par from 72 to 70.

The newest three holes were sodded two weeks ago thanks to the help of a couple of hundred local volunteers.

"The community wanted to offer a helping hand to The Homestead, which has been our respected and valued neighbor for over 100 years," said Fran Anderson of the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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SCHOLARSHIPS BACK: After a 10-year absence the UGA reinstituted its UGA Scholarship program this year. The scholarship is given to worthy applicants who are somehow connected to golf. The scholarships aren't based on golfing ability or limited to high school students.

This year's winners include Scott Tye of Taylorsville High, Dean Gibbs of Springville High, Craig Labrum of Union High, Stephanie Harmston, a University of Utah student from Roosevelt and Ross Noble, a 35-year-old who works at Gladstan G.C. and is attending BYU.

So why did the UGA resurrect the program? Well, it turns out that KTVX sportscaster Wesley Ruff mentioned in a speech before UGA board members that he once received a UGA scholarship and that it helped him attend college.

The current UGA board members who knew little of the old program decided to start it up again on an annual basis. Recipients receive $1,250.

Many of Utah's top golfers today were scholarship winners of the past including Bruce Summerhays, Craig Norman, Doug Vilven, Reid Goodliffe, Henry White, Scott Brandt, Kirk Abegglen, Jeff Green and Joyce Billings.

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STRAY SHOTS: Besides Vaughn Barker, who won the UGA Seniors tournament last week with a remarkable comeback from 8 shots behind, other winners included Gary Slater in the 55-59 division, Gordon Milne in the 60-64 division, and Glen Lewis in the 70 and over division. The weather was so bad on Thursday at Hill AFB, that 25 percent of the field dropped out in the middle of the final round . . . Todd Barker leads the latest Challenge Cup point standings for amateurs with 1508 points. Second is Kurt Bosen at 1324, followed by Mark Domm at 1110, Jeff Kinney at 790 and Ken Cromwell at 775 . . . Highlighting this week's tournament schedule is the Salt Lake City Amateur Saturday and Sunday at Bonneville Golf Course. The 1989 champion Devin Dehlin won't be back, having turned pro last summer . . . Also on tap this week is the Wasatch Mountain Open Thursday and Friday at Wasatch Mountain State Park GC. Lynn Landgren is the defending champ.