Stuart Smith is the PGA Director of Golf at Somersett Golf & Country Club in Reno, Nevada.
Upon my arrival to Somersett Golf & Country Club in 2007 as the new PGA Director of Golf, my wife Cecile – a native South African – and I met up for dinner with a Founding Member and his wife who were also from South Africa. After chatting about South Africa, he showed me one of his prize possessions he had won in a Saturday men’s golf game – an engraved mug commemorating him as the high point winner on one particular Saturday long ago. He loved that mug as if it was a Claret Jug and what it stood for as one day he finished at the top. Prior to him coming to the U.S., the mug was displayed prominently in the bar at his club where it could be used to drink from each time he visited. I was intrigued of his fondness of this mug and thought what a wonderful tradition to start at Somersett. We entertain two “Monthly Mugs” per month at Somersett. We have a 9-hole Thursday evening game and an 18-hole Saturday morning game. Besides the entry fee, we ask they provide a golf ball for the blind draw of the foursomes – which of course we give back to them after the draw. It is always exciting to hold the draw as the anticipation of all players wait to see who they will be partnered with. We conduct four games – an individual Stableford point game for the mug, a better ball game, net skins and gross twos. All for cash and credit book. The four games keep everyone’s interest up and entices players of all ages and abilities to play. We have grown this event over the past nine years from 16 players to 48 players. Events are a 5:00 p.m. shotgun on Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. shotgun on Saturdays.
The entry for the event is a $25/$30 cash buy-in to be paid out in either cash or credit book. We also order a dozen pewter mugs engraved with our club logo on them in the beginning of the year. The events have a yearly sponsor that contributes $500 (covers the cost of all of the mugs) and his business/company attached to the game. The past few years it has been the Eyezone Monthly Mug. We have a perpetual trophy that resembles a small shelf unit that displays all of the winners’ mugs as the year progresses. Whenever mug winners visit the bar area they may pull their mug and drink their beverage of choice from it. The staff keeps the mugs clean. All mugs are taken to a local engraver and have the day, month and winner’s name engraved under the club logo.