Quail Creek Country Club, in Naples, Fla., has been selected as the host site for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. Scheduled for April 25-29, the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be the club’s first USGA championship. In 2017, the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, originally scheduled to be held at Quail Creek, had to be relocated due to the impact of Hurricane Irma, which caused extensive flooding and damage to Quail Creek’s course and clubhouse.
“Since relocating the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, returning to Quail Creek has been a priority for the USGA,” said Rachel Sadowski, championship director. “We’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with the club, as well as the vibrant golf community in Naples, and know they will be a terrific host.”
Designed in 1981 by Arthur Hills, who also renovated Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club, host site of the 2025 U.S. Open, Quail Creek features two 18-hole courses named Quail and Creek. The course for the 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be announced at a later date.
Both courses were renovated in 2013 by Kevin F. Leo, Quail Creek’s director of golf courses and grounds, with Hills serving as a consultant. Renovations included an increase in playable native areas that has reduced the amount of water, fertilizer and maintenance required; the restoration of bermudagrass throughout the course; and the addition and restoration of bunkers. The club has hosted numerous state and regional events, including this year’s Florida Women’s Open and Women’s Senior Open.
“Relocating in 2017 had to be one of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make as a club,” said Quail Creek’s General Manager Don Hunter. “But we’re ecstatic to be able to welcome the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball just a few short years later and can’t wait to finally be able to show what an exceptional championship golf experience awaits competitors here at Quail Creek.”
The club rebounded quickly after the damage left by Hurricane Irma, with both courses fully operational just two and a half months later. Cleanup and renovation from the damage included the removal of more than 4,000 downed or damaged trees, as well as the complete rebuilding of all bunkers.
The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship is open to two-player sides (or teams) of female amateurs with an individual Handicap Index® not exceeding 14.4. There are no age restrictions and partners are not required to be from the same club, state or country.
The championship begins with 18-hole sectional qualifying, which commences the previous August and is conducted by allied golf associations on behalf of the USGA. A total of 64 sides advance to the national championship, where each player plays their own ball throughout the round. Each side’s score is determined by using the lower score of the partners for each hole. After 36 holes of stroke play, the field is reduced to the low 32 sides for the championship’s match-play bracket, from which the eventual champion is determined.
The 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball will be the sixth playing of the championship, which was contested for the first time in 2015 and won by teenagers Mika Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga, who prevailed at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. It also marks the 26th USGA championship contested in Florida. Upcoming championships in the Sunshine State include the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club in Vero Beach later this week and the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship at Timuquana Country Club in Jacksonville.