Welcome to the PMGA for 2020


On behalf of the PMGA board I would like to welcome you to the Papago Men’s Golf Association for the 2020 season.   We have a very busy season ahead and the staff at Papago is anxious to give you the best experience at our award winning golf facility.   For those of us that suffered through the ten or so years of the trailer days, Lou’s Bar and Grill provides a great way to unwind and recount your round!  Now a little bit of history for you about the course you are a member of.


The golf course is encompassed by Papago Park which encompasses almost 1200 acres. The park also features the Desert Botanical Garden, a large zoo (the Phoenix Zoo), picnic areas, several small lakes, hiking trails, bicycle paths, a fire museum, and Hunt's Tomb, the pyramidal tomb of Arizona's first governor, George W. P. Hunt.   As you walk down the third fairway you can clearly see this unique feature looking due east.  The distinctive red sandstone butte formations of Papago Park were formed some 6-15 million years ago.  One such formation, Hole-in-the-Rock, is a major landmark, thanks to the openings (called tafoni) eroded in the formation over time. There is some evidence that the Hohokam—a now-extinct aboriginal tribe that once lived in the Phoenix area—used the openings and sunlight to track the solstices.  Pretty amazing information but enough history – now on to the important stuff!

The golf course was opened in 1963 and designed by famous architect William (Billy) Francis Bell.  He and his father, William Park Bell, collaborated on many highly rated California courses – one being Torrey Pines in San Diego.  In Arizona, he also designed Tucson Country Club and Wickenburg Country Club.  With our great pedigree of design we also attracted top talent to regularly play and compete at Papago.  Notable tour players like Heather Farr, Billy Mayfair and Jim Carter regularly played Papago.   Another PMGA member, Ken Kellaney, arguably the best amateur to ever play golf in the state, calls Papago his home.   Lastly, with the Arizona State University Men’s and Women’s teams fully moved into their new, state of the art practice and training facility, designed by alum Phil Mickelson, Papago continues its commitment to excellence.

The new decade also brought some changes to golf too.   As many of you know, the old handicap system was replaced by the World Handicap System (WHS).   Like any new system, there were some bugs being worked out in the initial rollout but as of this writing, the system appears to be working well.   If you have any questions about the new process I would encourage each one of you to go to www.usga.org to read up on the changes.   The PMGA board will continue to provide oversight of this system to assure continued parity to our playing field.

For our PMGA members the board also purchased the advanced version of Golf Genius.  Golf Genius will dramatically streamline the process of setting up tournaments, tracking tournament scores and results collection.  It also provides on-course monitoring to let you know exactly where you stand relative to other player’s in the field.    In our January tournament we had almost 95% participation of the field use this system.   As with any new system, a learning curve will persist, but the initial feedback on GG has been very positive.   Lastly, we will also be updating the PMGA website and migrating this over to the PMGA Golf Genius site as well.   Be on the lookout for instructions on the new website in the weeks ahead.


As noted in Mark Deatherage’s note last year, it is very important to make sure your contact information is correct on the PMGA website as our membership continues to grow (we are now over 420 members!) and prosper.   

The PMGA also conducts a weekly RAZZ event at Papago every Wednesday.  The event is a $20 entry fee and allocates payouts for low gross and net, plus net skins.  If interested, please contact Pete Hammer azhammer@cox.net or Dale Redger daleredger@gmail.com for all of the details.


Lastly, I wanted to highlight the philanthropic side of our membership to the First Tee of Phoenix.   Several years ago, we decided to actively promote the support of this organization for the many benefits that it brings to underserved kids in the Phoenix area that want to learn this amazing game and the many life-long benefits that it brings.   Our first tournament, which paired several juniors with PMGA members, has now caught on as an event not to miss.   Not only are the kid’s great players, their gracious and kind spirit gives me continued hope that this amazing game will continue with the same great life values that bind us all together.  In 2019, our First Tee Event generated over $10,000 in cash donations and our goal is to keep driving this number up.  Please continue your generous support of the event and we look forward to a record turnout and contributions for 2020!


On behalf of myself and the entire board (listed below), thanks and welcome again to the PMGA for 2020.  We hope you enjoy your membership benefits and take advantage of our great facility and amazing year round playing options!   You can always contact us at papagoboard@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.


Chris Cejka, President (Rules)


PMGA Board:  Mark Deatherage, (VP and Tournament Chair), Dale Redger (Treasurer), Chris Schortgen (Secretary), Brian Lopez (Social Media), Jeff Morgan (Budget/Finance), Kevin Corn (Scoring/Rules), Jon Connolly (Golf Genius/Tournaments), Jason Cowans (Events/Special Events).  Connolly, Corn and Cowans are new to the board this year.