ANNUAL REPORT: February 20, 2021
What's Ahead for 2021 Golf?
The State of the Chapter Report
Looking Ahead After an Unusual Year
No one is eager to revisit 2020, let alone repeat it. Yet it was a surprisingly good year for golf—this rare “safe sport” in the Covid-19 environment saw a 12% increase in rounds played, even though courses lost rounds while closed during the pandemic spring.

The year didn’t go too badly for your Chapter, either, as we ended up with a partial season of leagues and casual play. But we held no in-person tournaments or social events, and a year-end spike in viral vigor canceled plans for indoor winter leagues.

We’re optimistic about a return to semi-normality in 2021. We’re confident about offering a full array of outdoor leagues and a beefed-up schedule of casual play sessions. We’ll at least hold virtual competitions, and there’s hope for running real tournaments. With vaccination prevalence, we may even see the return of indoor social activities late in the year.

This report begins by looking ahead, with Board members setting out their 2021 plans. The remainder of the report provides 2020 information and volunteer recognition that we’d normally have covered at our autumn annual business meeting.

Golf Leagues—Barbara Barfield
Leagues are our largest Chapter program, and in 2021 we plan to run at least a dozen of them at courses throughout the Capital Region.
We expect that courses will allow leagues to start in May within established pandemic restrictions, unlike last year’s shortened season.

Our league inventory has something for everyone. While most leagues tee off after 4 pm, our mix also includes morning and afternoon groups. Chapter leagues address different levels of skill and interest in competition. Members can move up to more challenging courses as their golf expertise increases, and those who enjoy weekly competition can consider joining an Advanced league.

Many members feel deep loyalty to their longtime leagues. Accordingly, we usually offer an early registration period for those who meet league attendance requirements. If we do so in 2021, eligibility from 2019 will count as well as 2020.
Look for further news about league registration in March—and remember, you must renew your Chapter membership by March 15 to sign up!

Golf Events and Education—Robin Raco
Events: We hope to make progress toward a normal schedule by reintroducing competitive events and increasing casual play opportunities. Please be on the lookout for a short member survey, coming soon, so you can tell us your comfort level with various event formats while we’re still operating with Covid-19 restrictions.
This year we want to schedule two PlayARound sessions per month—and for this, we’ll need your help! If you enjoy these popular events, please step up to captain or co-captain a PAR. It’s not difficult (click here for the how-to memo), you’ll get plenty of support, and you’ll earn the eternal gratitude of your fellow members.

Two tournaments are already tentatively on the schedule. We have booked Saratoga Spa Golf Course on September 25 for our annual League Challenge/Open Scramble, which we will hold as at least a virtual event. The annual Thruway Challenge competition with Rochester and Syracuse chapters is booked for August 7 at Kanon Valley Country Club in Oneida.

Education: We’re going to try using our Zoom account to hold educational happy hours. A glass of Chardonnay in hand should make learning about the new World Handicap System much more enjoyable!

The Chapter’s programs for beginning golfers have shifted from Leagues to Education. We’d like to revive some form of mentoring system to help newer golfers feel comfortable on the course while learning rules and pace-of-play techniques. We are also looking into collaboration with the Northeastern New York PGA Section to provide a new form of education for beginning golfers.
Social Events—Ellen Hotz and Ellen Kaufman
Social interaction for our Chapter, as for the rest of America, depends on the status of Covid-19 precautions and vaccine prevalence.
We aim to help our members navigate the pandemic, connect to golf and each other, and—we hope—celebrate a return to normality by the end of the year.

We plan to hold a virtual Meet & Greet in April to kick off the golf year and introduce our leagues. Using Zoom, captains and members will introduce themselves, and we’ll cover topics like remaining league openings, ideas for weekly games, use of Sub Central, and attendance policies.

Our 2021 budget includes one major “real” social event for autumn at an outdoor pavilion, if state requirements relax because Covid is under control. Our hoped-for agenda includes a clam bake or barbecue, classic outdoor games, and golf apparel vendors.

Membership and Volunteers—Chris Kelly Powers
In 2020 we were “down a quart” from our typical membership level, as 45 of our 200-plus members opted not to renew under uncertain circumstances.
We are sharing this report with lapsed as well as current members, to encourage them to return to the fold this year for a lively schedule of safe activities.

We aim to achieve at least a partial rebound in membership, which had been eroding gradually in recent years before the pandemic’s impact. Key to this effort will be formation of a Membership Committee to pursue best practices and new ideas for recruiting and sustaining members.

A member becomes a stakeholder when she steps up to serve on a committee, run an event, or captain a league. Working side by side with other members can yield lifelong friendships as well as successful outcomes. One unforeseen benefit of pandemic restrictions has been the use of Zoom videoconferencing to make organizational meetings easy and convenient, and we expect this use will continue for years to come.

Volunteer Needs: Along with committee members to help Directors’ efforts, our Chapter has several specific needs.

We have one open Board position—Marketing Director—in charge of promoting our Chapter to new members and sponsors, both directly and through channels like golf pros and local media. Visit this link for a detailed job description.

To boost our marketing, membership, and communications efforts, we want to enlist social media mavens to post news, activities, and event photos on our Facebook page and group, and keep our website up to date.

League captains and PlayARound hosts are essential to making Chapter golf activities happen. We’re also recruiting golf mentors to make new members and newer golfers feel welcome in our Chapter.

Interested? Let us know by email at, or fill out our Volunteer Survey at this link.
2020 By the Numbers
Events and Activities
14 leagues with 137 members
Our 2020 winter league at NexGen Indoor Golf drew 12 members. The outdoor golf season got off to a bumpy start, as state guidance for golf changed several times, but by late June all of our leagues were playing. Total summer-league membership of 125 compares with about 180 in a normal year. Courses included Ballston Spa, Capital Hills (two leagues), Fairways of Half Moon, Orchard Creek, Pheasant Hollow, Saratoga Lake, Schenectady Muni (three), Stadium (two), and Western Turnpike.
4 PlayARounds
Once the state’s pandemic rules clarified, we were able to hold PlayARound events for a total of about 50 participants. PAR sessions took place at Airway Meadows, Ballston Spa, Cobleskill, and Van Patten.
1 Virtual Scramble Tournament
Our Chapter’s League Challenge tied in with the LPGA Amateurs Virtual Scramble benefitting girls’ golf. Six teams competed locally for reimbursement of their national entry fee as well as bragging rights. Birdies R Us from Orchard Creek won low gross with a blistering 61, and the Capital Hills Queens of Fun took low net with 59.

2020 Financial Report—Katie Vitello, Finance & Records Director
The Chapter’s financial position remains strong, with a cash balance of just over $25,000 at the end of 2020. 
Summary Profit and Loss (January 1-December 31, 2020)
Administration ($660)
Education/Player Development  -
Golf Events  ($3,680)
Handicap-GHIN  $154.00
Leadership  -
Leagues ($200)
Membership $3,531
PayPal Fees ($1,052)
Social Events ($500)
Sponsorship $512
Net Income/(Loss) ($1,895)
Cash Balance
January 1    $26,992
December 31 $25,097

The Chapter’s net loss of -$1,895 for the year is a bit misleading. Because we do Chapter accounting on a cash basis, $2,400 of income for the 2020 winter golf league was received in December and included in 2019 net income, while we paid the facility in 2020. The actual bottom line for 2020 activities was a net income of $505 (-$1,895 plus $2,400).

A key factor in 2020 income was the national LPGA Amateurs organization’s move to a calendar-year model for membership dues. During this one-year transition period, the Chapter received only a pro-rated portion of the usual $32 dues for each member. As a result, 2020 dues income was $1,278 lower than normal.

Since 2014, when the Chapter had a cash balance of nearly $35,000, the Board has followed a policy each fiscal year of using up to 20% of the Chapter’s reserves, above a floor of $25,000, to support Chapter events and activities that are open to all members. Now that our cash balance has reached $25,000, future Boards will need to decide whether to continue subsidizing events or to aim for budgets that are closer to break-even each year.

Notes on 2020 Budget Categories
Administration: This category includes expenses for running the Chapter, primarily for office supplies and communications, and volunteer rewards. Administrative expenses were lower than usual because of the lack of Chapter events. Volunteer rewards from early 2020 (for 2019 volunteer efforts) will carry forward for use toward 2021 event fees, including leagues.
Education/Player Development: No golf clinics were held in 2020.
Golf Events: Ordinarily this category includes both income and expenses for golf events, but in 2020 it includes only expenses: the $2,400 mentioned above for winter indoor golf and $1,280 for Virtual Scramble prizes.
Handicap—GHIN: A small net income reflects a $2 per person charge above the actual fee to offset PayPal charges and cover rule books and seminars.
Leadership: Ordinarily, this category includes income from 50/50 drawings at Chapter events, used to subsidize members attending national golf events and conferences, but neither took place in 2020.
Leagues: League fees are the Chapter’s largest income source, but because they are passed through to golf courses, we aim to achieve net zero. The net loss in 2020 relates mainly to the contract for the Orchard Creek league.
Membership: This category includes dues income and membership-related expenses, such as new member orientations, Founders and Milestone awards, name badges, etc. Membership income for 2020 was lower than usual due to both a decrease in members and the transition to calendar-year dues.
PayPal Fees: The Chapter aggregates transaction fees paid to PayPal rather than breaking them out by event. The 2020 payment compares with an average $1,685 for normal event transactions during the three preceding years.
Social Events: No social events were held in 2020. The net loss relates to an unrefunded Spring Kickoff deposit paid by the Chapter, which we will attempt to apply to a future social event.
Sponsorship: The Chapter had three sponsors in 2020, and hopes to return to a higher level when the pandemic’s impact on golf courses fades.
2019-20 Retiring Directors
Golf Events & Leagues—Julie Naglieri
Marketing & Membership—Michele Endries
Social Events—Janine Dowling

2020-21 Board of Directors
President—Stephanie Mumford Brown
Communications—Wendy Rosher
Finance & Records—Katie Vitello
Golf Events—Robin Raco
Golf Leagues—Barbara Barfield
Membership—Chris Kelly Powers
Social Events—Ellen Kaufman, Ellen Hotz (non-voting)


League Captains and Co-Captains
Amy Barber
Gail Czelusniak
Cathie Becker
Heather Behnke
Renee Behrens
Jill Behunin
Kathy Elfeldt
Ellen Hotz
Fran Kane
Mary Ann Keeler
Latefa Lang
Sally Lennon
Nadine Lindner
Wendy Rosher
Nancy Wolff
Tiana Wyrick

PlayARound Hosts and Co-Hosts
Joyce Bassett
Janine Dowling
Kathleen Hill
Robin Raco
Cindy Walkanowski
Thank you for your continued support! If you have any questions, contact the Chapter board at
LPGA Amateurs/Capital Region NY | Email | Website