Thursday , July 31, 2014 - 5:05 PM
OGDEN – Win it once?
Win it twice?
Win it three times in a row?
That’s the challenge at hand for former Weber State golfer Kelsey Chugg, the two-time defending Utah Women’s State Amateur champion. She’ll begin defense of her latest title next week when the Ogden Golf and Country Club hosts the 108th women’s state am.
When she golfed for the Wildcats, Chugg played numerous rounds and spent hours on the course at the OGCC, honing her game along with her teammates. That, theoretically, should provide a nice advantage as she goes for a third straight title.
“A really nice advantage,” said Jeff Smith, Weber State’s director of golf, one of Chugg’s many fans around Northern Utah.
Chugg agreed but she’s looking at it in practical terms, just as someone might expect of a two-time champ.
There’s no way she’s going to get ahead of herself a week before the tournament starts.
“Yeah, I think (the familiarity) will help,” she said. “But it’s a tough golf course. I mean, you’ve got to hit the shots. When the greens get rolling, they’re tricky.”
She said she played a practice round there recently and the place looked great.
“It’s in such good shape, the best shape I’ve ever seen it,” she said. “And the members are fantastic about letting us play. It’s really a great opportunity.”
Celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, the OGCC hosted the men’s state am last month and is now set to complete the celebration by hosting the women’s state am Aug. 6-9. The course is a par 72 setup, playing at better than 5,700 yards from the red tees.
It figures to be set up differently for the women, though perhaps not drastically so. The course was in pristine shape for the men’s amateur and the greens were fast but fair.
As Chugg noted, when the OGCC’s greens are extra firm, they’re extra challenging. And when organizers select devilish hole locations, it’s all the more challenging.
“It’ll be a good test no matter what,” she said.
Chugg’s course knowledge came into play during the men’s state am when she helped select daily pin placements. She is currently serving an internship with the Utah Golf Association and one of her many responsibilities that week was to help come up with the best hole locations on each green.
Actually, scratch that. The word “best” perhaps implies the most favorable location for golfers. In truth it was more about selecting a fair-but-challenging spot on the green, one that made players consider risk vs. reward.
Chugg said she’s enjoying her internship and seeing the sport from a different angle has no doubt been eye-opening. Working the men’s state am was hard work, but fun, she said.
“I was very involved,” she said. “We do all the qualifiers leading up to the tournament, there were 10 of them I believe. Once the tournament week came around we were at the club from dawn til dusk everyday.”
Chugg said she helped with course set up, scoring and taking pictures, among other responsibilities.
“They kind of utilized me in all areas,” she said. “It was pretty fun.”
Fun is the magic word.
She joked that she’d love to have a say-so in setting up the OGCC for the women’s state am, but of course that wouldn’t be appropriate. What is, however, is Chugg’s attitude heading into the event and her attempt to defend her title so close to home.
“No matter what happens this week it’s going to be a really fun experience,” she said. “Sometimes my family hasn’t been able to make it. I’ve got a lot of family coming out to watch. I’m looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a fun week no matter what the outcome is.”
Contact reporter Jim Burton at email@example.com or on Twitter @StandardExJimbo.
Sign up for e-mail news updates.