A field of 121 players who are from around the country will play in The Society of Seniors’ Founders Cup this week at Silverado Resort and Spa.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament is Monday- Wednesday. Twenty-nine players from California, including Dave Carroll of Napa, are entered.
“It’s nice that we’re able to be here,” said Jim Popa, the executive director of The Society of Seniors and a former executive director of the Ohio Golf Association. “I think we’re geared up to have a lot of fun here. It’s the premier senior amateur golf association. The Society is the best of the people your age.”
To be eligible to play, golfers must be at least 55 years old and have a U.S. Golf Association handicap index of 2.5 or less.
According to the organization’s website, www.societyofseniors.com, players must have a proven record in USGA, professional, national, international or state/regional golf tournaments, and must be an amateur, to be eligible for membership.
Players are entered in three divisions: seniors, ages 55-64; super seniors, ages 65-69; grand masters, age 70 and over.
“Once they get to this level and get into The Society, they’re going to be playing against the very best players in the world,” said Popa. “We probably receive in our office every year 100 applications for membership and we only accept 25 or 30.”
There was a practice round on Sunday on the North Course, the same golf course on which the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open is played.
Monday’s first round starts at 8 a.m. from the first and 10th tees on the South Course.
Tuesday’s second round will be played on the North Course, with players starting from the first and 10th tees at 8 a.m.
There is an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on the South Course for Wednesday’s final round.
This is the second year of the Founders’ Cup, which was played in Orlando, Florida last year. It will go to Carlsbad, California next year and then to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2019.
“This event is more of a celebration of the founders of The Society – we wanted to honor them,” said Popa. “Most of our tournaments are named after the guys that founded The Society back in (1983). This is a big event and a good opportunity for our guys to get together and play golf.
“Last year, we decided that we were going to bring this tournament West every year.”
The Society of Seniors has 1,000 members from throughout the country and conducts nine tournaments each year.
“We’re going to have a wonderful tournament,” said Popa. “From what I’ve seen so far, the golf courses are going to be a lot of fun for everybody. I think our guys are going to love both of them.”
Carroll is joined in the tournament by Frank Abbott, a former Napa resident and former member at Silverado, who now lives in Las Vegas. Robert Callan, a member at Silverado and a resident of San Francisco, is also in the field.
“I think the courses are going to be fair. The guys are going to enjoy the Valley,” said Carroll, who plays out of Silverado.
Carroll won the men’s super senior division title at the 2012 San Francisco City Championship, held at TPC Harding Park.
Carroll is originally from Shelby, North Carolina and is a University of Maryland graduate, a Big Ten school in College Park.
He has played in U.S. Golf Association events, such as the U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Senior Amateur and the U.S. Mid-Amateur.
He also has international experience, having played in the Senior British Open and the Senior British Amateur.
Carroll tied for 23rd in the 2009 California Senior Amateur Championship, which was played at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach. He was 14th at the 2007 Northern California Golf Association’s Senior Championship, which was played at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in Vallejo.
Abbott won the super senior championship of the Southern Nevada Golf Association in 2013 at Cascata Golf Club in Boulder City,
Abbott is a five-time Silverado men’s club champion.
Playing in his 10th U.S. Golf Association event in 2008, Abbott advanced from qualifying to match play at the U.S. Senior Amateur at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, Abbott played college golf for Columbia University, an Ivy League school in New York. He has extensive experience as an amateur player on a national level.
He lost to Kemp Richardson, of Laguna Niguel, California, in 19 holes in the finals of the 2003 Senior Amateur at the Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, Virgnia.
He has played in three U.S. Mid-Amateurs and a U.S. Amateur. He’s a former Washington, D.C., Amateur champion.