Top 10 Headlines of 2017
All that's left to complete the Golf Association of Philadelphia's 2017 scrapbook is a Top 10 list of headlines. Whittling down a year’s worth of activity into a small bundle of thoughts wasn't easy, but we gave it a try.
| The end of 2017 marked the beginning of a new era for the Golf Association of Philadelphia. T. Quinn Spitzer of Huntingdon Valley Country Club was elected the 33rd President of the organization during its Annual Meeting in October. Spitzer replaced Bob Morey of Merion Golf Club, who served as President from 2015-17. Spitzer, 68, who is eligible to serve three one-year terms as President, has had a successful career as a management consultant, mostly at McHugh Consulting in Holland, Pa., which he co-founded in 1999, and at Kepner-Tregoe in Princeton, N.J., where he was CEO for 10 years. For a profile of the GAP’s new President, click here. |
| Chris Crawford qualified for the U.S. Open — again. The Spring Mill Country Club member did so in less dramatic fashion this time, finishing the 36-hole qualifier at Canoe Brook Country Club in a tie for second place with a score of 8 under. Crawford’s back-to-back U.S. Open berths are believed to be the first for a local amateur since R. Jay Sigel did so in 1984-85. He missed the weekend cut in the Championship proper at Erin Hills in Erin, Wisc. Crawford turned professional during the fall. |
| The Golf Association of Philadelphia joined forces with “Inside Golf,” the longtime running weekly magazine-style television show seen on NBC Sports Philadelphia and The Comcast Network to produce upward of 20 organization specific segments. A member of the Golf Association of Philadelphia team also regularly appeared on the program’s “Tee’d Off” panel, a segment touching on the hot-button issues of golf. Look for more Golf Association of Philadelphia specific episodes in 2018. If you missed any from last year, check out our “Inside Golf" web page.|
| The more, the merrier has become the motto for the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s evolving social game. The organization makes it a top priority in providing consistent and high-quality content across its social media platforms. It also takes pride in hitting milestones set for each platform. In 2017, the Association surpassed 4,000 followers on Twitter, 2,000 likes on Facebook and 1,500 followers on Instagram. Stay tuned for expanded coverage in 2018. |
| A competitive course record, the extension of impressive streaks and a breakout divisional debut. All can be found among the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Players of the Year. Saucon Valley Country Club’s Matthew Mattare, who earned the William Hyndman, III POY Award, set a Philadelphia Country Club record (8-under-par 63) en route to victory in the Open Championship. LedgeRock Golf Club’s Chip Lutz and White Manor Country Club’s Don Donatoni continued their impressive runs atop the Senior and Super-Senior Divisions, respectively; eight straight POY Awards for Lutz, five for Donatoni. In the Junior realm, Spring Ford Country Club’s Benjamin Pochet burst onto the scene with an appearance in the U.S. Junior Amateur and a victory in the Christman Cup presented by GlobalGolfPost. Congrats to all. |
| The Dawn to Dusk Golf Marathon remains an over-the-moon day of giving for the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. North Hills Country Club hosted the annual event on Aug. 21, the day of a rare astronomical event — a total solar eclipse. And like that celestial event, D2D remains heavenly. JWP’s largest one-day fundraiser raised more than $254,000. A total of 21 Golf Association of Philadelphia Member Clubs participated, combining to play more than 3,700 holes. Since its inception in 2010, Dawn to Dusk has reached the stars and beyond with more than 27,000 holes played and $1.67 million raised. Thank you. |
| Because of her proven dedication, love of the game and time devotion to the Association this season, Muffy McCabe was named the first female recipient of the Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award. During 19 events in 2017, McCabe fulfilled almost every role on the volunteer sheet. McCabe, an accomplished amateur player who calls Philadelphia Country Club home, was assigned as a starter, rules official, live scorer and even as a member of nine course set-up teams. She was formally honored at Bala Golf Club during the Volunteers Day. |
| A bullish Peter Bradbeer showed the Joseph H. Patterson Cup field his horns when he emerged as the tournament’s 18-hole leader at 3 under. The Merion Golf Club member ultimately charged to victory thanks to a decisive birdie on the 17th hole at Wilmington Country Club (South) on Day Two. Tied with Huntingdon Valley Country Club’s Ben Smith for the lead at the time, Bradbeer ripped a 5-iron over the flagstick and onto the back fringe. He then dropped a fist-pumping 23-footer for birdie, which turned out to be the difference. |
| Despite forecasts calling for blizzard-like conditions, the snow cooperated in favor of the Association’s first ever #PolarPlay9 Day on Feb. 9. The event, with a highlight on the USGA’s #Play9Golf initiative, sheltered golfers in nine indoor golf facilities throughout the Philadelphia region. Association Executive Committee Members and staff gathered in Play-A-Round Golf’s Ardmore, Pa. location, first playing a simulated, nine-hole round at Pebble Beach followed by a par-3 showcase featuring some of the world’s best. Highlights of the day included numerous wet shots sprinkled with a few rowdy chip-ins. |
| What happens when a golf course becomes an environmental learning lab? Ask Philadelphia Cricket Club, which welcomed the region’s inaugural First Green program on its Wissahickon Course. Whitemarsh Elementary School third graders learned about what is required to maintain grass on a golf course, performed soil and water tests, studied how water moves inside a watershed, identified trees found on the property and how to care for them. They also explored the game of golf through fun chipping and putting games. |
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 153 Full Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.