A Note from MSGA Executive Director Brian Bickford

Jan 1, 2021

A note from Brian Bickford, MSGA Executive Director

As we reflect on 2020 and remember all the hurdles we overcame as a golfing community this past year, we are reminded that through it all, golf, and not baseball, was the one constant.  For those who have seen the movie “Field of Dreams,” you know what I’m talking about.

Thanks to you, golf in Maine provided a safe outdoor experience and a chance to get together with family and friends like never before.  And boy, did we take advantage! 

None of this golf season would have been possible without the clubs, owners, general managers, golf professionals, superintendents, chefs, bar managers, and all of their employees working tirelessly to provide a safe and enjoyable golf experience.  No matter the challenge, they were ready to step up and take it on.  Please take the time to thank all of them!

At the MSGA, we overcame 16 cancelled play days and saw the cancellation of the Maine Open for the first time since World War II.  Despite the hardships, Maine’s golf courses made so many accommodations, and we were able to play the other 15 championships that included many memorable shots and stories. 

Two shots come directly to my mind when I reflect on the season. First was Ruby Haylock’s chip-in from the fringe on the 1st playoff hole (10th hole) to win the Maine Women’s Amateur at Augusta. The other was Caleb Manuel holing out from 195 yards for double eagle on the 18th hole to win the Maine Junior Championship at Gorham.  In both cases, the runners-up, Bailey Plourde and Armand Ouellette, made fabulous shots only to be topped by shots we will never forget. 

A couple of stories that come to mind were Cole Anderson’s second straight Maine Amateur Championship in which he set the tournament scoring record at 10-under at Biddeford-Saco.  I also think to Laurie Hyndman winning in Maine’s longest ever playoff at the Women’s Senior Amateur.  Due to the lack of daylight at the end of regulation, the playoff resumed a week later at Brunswick GC and Laurie prevailed over Melissa Johnson to win her second senior title. Lastly, Dan Falcone’s playoff victory at Riverside over Mike O’Brien, where Falcone took the title using clubs circa 1970.  Wilson Staff irons and a Titleist Bullseye work just fine when you’re a great golfer!

There were so many obstacles to overcome in 2020, but we did it! Hopefully you too can take some time to think of positive memories you can take from golf this past year. No doubt there’s still a lot to overcome in 2021, but I’m predicting one heck of a July 4th party.

Enjoy a safe and healthy offseason and we will see you in April!