2016 USGA Men's State Team Championship Fact Sheet September 26, 2016 | Birmingham, Ala.
Sept. 28-30                                              
Country Club of Birmingham (West Course), Birmingham, Ala.,
#MensStateTeam | | |                       

The West Course at the Country Club of Birmingham will be set up at 7,162 yards and play to a par of 71.
(NOTE: yardages subject to change)  

Hole     1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          Total
       4          4          4           5          3          4          4          3           4            35                                            
Yards  378       468      426       547       213       418       483      171       400       3,511

Hole     10       11        12        13        14        15        16        17        18         Total
       5          3          4           3          4          5          4          4           4            36
Yards   550      178       339       183       450      578       485      455       431       3,651

Based on the course setup for the championship, the Course Rating™ is 75.0. Its Slope Rating® is 140.

Donald Ross designed the Country Club of Birmingham’s East and West courses in 1926. Founded in 1898, the Country Club of Birmingham moved from its original location to farmland in Shades Valley.

All states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are eligible to enter three-player teams. The only players ineligible to participate are those currently on a college team, per NCAA rules. 

Admission is free. Tickets are not needed for this USGA championship, and spectators are encouraged to attend.

Fifty-four holes of stroke play, 18 each day from Sept. 28-30, with the two lowest scores of the three individual rounds counting as the team’s score for the round. The team with the lowest aggregate score through 54 holes is the champion. If there is a tie after the final round, the score from the team’s non-scoring player is used to break the deadlock. If the score remains tied, the second-round score from the non-scoring player is used.

For the first time in 2016, there will be a 36-hole cut that reduces the field to the 21 lowest-scoring teams, plus ties. Additionally, any individual player who is within five strokes of the individual lead, but whose team has missed the 36-hole cut, will advance to Friday’s final round, remaining in contention for the individual medal.

Sept. 28 (Wednesday) – First round, 18 holes of stroke play
Sept. 29 (Thursday) – Second round, 18 holes of stroke play (field reduced to 21 teams, plus ties)
Sept. 30 (Friday) – Third round, 18 holes of stroke play

The winning team receives custody of the James R. Hand Trophy for the ensuing two years, and team members receive gold medals.

The 2016 USGA Men’s State Team is the second USGA championship to be conducted at the Country Club of Birmingham. The club also hosted the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur, won by Michael McCoy, of West Des Moines, Iowa. During the Players’ Dinner, Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State and a Birmingham native, served as keynote speaker. The club served as the companion course to Shoal Creek for the 1986 U.S. Amateur and has served as a USGA sectional qualifying host site several times, including qualifiers for the 2012 and 2014 U.S. Junior Amateurs and the 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.

This is the 12th USGA Men’s State Team Championship. The competition, as well as the Women’s State Team Championship, began after the USGA’s centennial anniversary in 1995. USGA officials believed a new championship, one in which each state could be represented by amateur, non-college golfers, was an appropriate way to punctuate the USGA’s year-long birthday celebration. The competition proved to be such a success that the Association decided to continue conducting the championship biennially.

The format was fashioned after the biennial World Amateur Team Championship, which involves three-person teams in a 3-count-2 stroke-play format. State associations were given a variety of options in which to select its team members. The inaugural Men’s State Team Championship drew teams from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The District of Columbia has also been added in recent years.

In 2009, the USGA decided to conduct the Men’s State Team and Women’s State Team championships at separate sites, and beginning in 2010, the schedule was changed to have the competitions alternate years, with the Men’s State Team Championship conducted in even years and the Women’s State Team in odd years.

1995                 Virginia, Keith Decker, Tom McKnight and David Partridge (424)
1997                 Minnesota, John Harris, Terry O’Loughlin and Joe Stansberry (416)
1999                 Texas, Bob Kearney, Dan Dunkelberg and Chip Stewart (280)*
2001                 Minnesota, John Harris, John Carlson and Jered Gusso (432)
2003                 Tennessee, Danny Green, Tim Jackson and Brandt Snedeker (413)
2005                 Texas, Steve Galko, Alan Hill and Terrence Miskell (422)
2007                 Texas, Trip Kuehne, Jonathan Mathias and Terrence Miskell (422)
2009                 Pennsylvania, Sean Knapp, Nathan Smith and Mike Van Sickle (417)
2010                 Kansas, Bryan Norton, Tyler Shelton and Charlie Stevens (423)
2012                 New York, Max Buckley, Michael Miller and Joseph Saladino (428)
2014                 Texas, Zach Atkinson, Colby Harwell and Aaron Hickman (428)

*Championship shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather

2014 CHAMPION          
Texas won a record fourth USGA Men’s State Team Championship with a total score of 4-under-par 428, edging Florida by three strokes at the par-72, 6,891-yard Pete Dye Course at French Lick (Ind.) Resort. Zach Atkinson, Colby Harwell and Aaron Hickman entered the final round with a three-stroke cushion and saw their advantage grow to as many as seven strokes early in the round. A late charge by Florida briefly knotted things at the top of the leader board before Texas pulled away. Though Texas posted a final-round score of 1-over 145, its highest of the championship, a 1-under 71 from Atkinson secured the James R. Hand Trophy for the Lone Star State. Visit for a full recap.

Alabama has fielded a team in all of the USGA Men’s State Team Championships, to date. Its best finish was second place in 2005. All-time Alabama results are as follows:

1995 – T-8th with Connecticut, Georgia and Missouri; Jeff Fisher, Eric Hamilton and Patrick Levio (440)
1997T-16th with Iowa and Washington; Eric Hamilton, Richard Jeffers and Stan Sherlin (433)
1999 – T-29th with Iowa, Kansas, Montana and Utah; Eric Hamilton, Joey Holley and Cole McInnis (298)*
2001 – T-11th with California and Delaware; John Coles III, Eric Hamilton and Stan Sherlin (444)
2003 – 24th; Joey Holley, Patton Kizzire and Scott Weaver (435)
2005 – 2nd; Josh Dennis, Steven Hudson and Will Swift (426)
2007 – T-3rd with Virginia; Talbert Griffin, Steve Hudson and Will Swift (426)
2009 – T-30th with Minnesota and Virginia (DNQ for final 18 holes); Steve Hudson, Vic Kyatt and Will Swift (296)**
2010 – T-5th with Illinois; Brad Benjamin, John Ehrgott and Todd Mitchell (428)
2012 – 43rd; Vic Kyatt, Andy McRae and Lew Mitchell (468)
2014 – T-38th with Kansas; Matt Gourgeot, Steve Hudson and Matt Johnson (458)

*Championship shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather.

**Due to the potential for inclement weather and to give contending teams a chance to complete all 54 holes, a 36-hole cut was implemented.

This will be the sixth USGA championship conducted in Alabama and the first USGA Men’s State Team in the state. In addition to the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur at the Country Club of Birmingham, other USGA championships in Alabama are:

  • 1974 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear, won by Justine B. Cushing
  • 1986 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur at Lakewood Golf Club in Point Clear, won by Constance Guthrie
  • 1986 U.S. Amateur at Shoal Creek, won by Stewart “Buddy” Alexander
  • 2008 U.S. Junior Amateur at Shoal Creek, won by Cameron Peck

Alabama will also host the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek.