By Frank Luna

Forget the crowded freeways this weekend and consider rolling off that couch after several hours watching whatever sports are on TV. Think about going for a nice walk in a beautiful setting and taking in the fresh air and cool breeze as you observe some of the best amateur golfers in the game as they make their way around Ancil Hoffman Golf Course.

In its fifteenth year, the Memorial Amateur Championship offers some of the best golf you can see, up close and personal. The field of 112 includes some of the top amateur golfers from as far away as Florida, Virginia, Texas and Indiana. Mexico and Canada will also be represented in what is sure to be a highly competitive weekend at tree-lined Ancil Hoffman Golf Course in Carmichael.

For many of the competitors this tournament, which is sanctioned by the Royal and Ancient Golf Association, represents a stepping stone to the professional tours. Former Memorial players now on the PGA Tour include Spencer Levin, Matt Bettencourt and Cameron Tringale.

As for up close and personal, the public is allowed to walk the course with the players and take in some world-class golf competition. Last year my wife and I stood near the short par 4 fifteenth green and were astounded when one player landed his tee shot a mere three feet from the cup. That’s a 330 yard drive to a kick-in eagle!

The Memorial Amateur Championship was started to honor Memorial Day and recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the holiday weekend.

The tournament starts Saturday and the final field finishes on Monday. From more information visit the tournament website at


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