Tournament schedule expands in 2018
A 70-degree day in February teased golfers throughout the Delaware Valley. Could warmer weather arrive sooner than later?
| 2018 schedule |
Well, it isn’t here to stay just yet, but the promise of tournament season is present in the form of the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 2018 schedule — the 122nd in the organization’s history.
More than 70 events for players of all ages (Junior, Amateur and Senior) and skill levels (Championship and Handicap) comprise the calendar. It officially begins with a Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifier at Greate Bay Country Club and concludes with the celebrated Player’s Dinner in October.
Thanks to a new partnership in 2018, Golf Association of Philadelphia members can compete in Anthracite Golf Association events. Anthracite, which encompasses the Northeastern Pennsylvania region, offers a schedule of 12 amateur tournaments, including the 35th John Moore Memorial Tournament and 15th Stroke Play Championship. GAP members aren’t eligible to participate in Anthracite’s distinguished Coal Scuttle championships, however.
BMW GAP Team Matches (April 22, 29 and May 6)
Playoff & Challenges (May 12)
| The oldest interclub competition of in the nation, the BMW GAP Team Matches will feature 332 teams from 137 Member Clubs. Philadelphia Cricket Club 1, a three-time champion, enters 2018 as the event’s defending champion. BMW returns as the event’s presenting sponsor for the fourth consecutive year.
35th Middle-Amateur Championship
(May 23-24; Llanerch Country Club)
| The countdown is on for Llanerch Country Club and the Major Championship calendar. The Alexander Findlay gem has hosted |
4 ... BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championships
3 … Open Championships
2 … Joseph H. Patterson Cups
and now finally 1 … Middle-Amateur. The first Major of the GAP season turns 35 years old. It is open to golfers 25 years of age and older. Qualifying events will take place April 21 at Greate Bay Country Club, April 26 at Talamore Country Club, May 1 at Moselem Springs Golf Club and May 2 at Elmhurst Country Club.
118th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship
(June 12-14 & 16; Whitemarsh Valley Country Club)
| The BMW Philadelphia Amateur returns to Whitemarsh Valley Country Club for a record 15th time and first since 2008. Qualifying and match play is set for June 12–14 with the 36-hole Final scheduled for June 16. Michael McDermott of Merion Golf Club hoisted his first Amateur title when WVCC last hosted. The defending champion is Gregor Orlando of neighboring Philadelphia Cricket Club. Green Valley Country Club serves as the second qualifying site. The event is open to all amateurs with a 7.0 Handicap Index or less. Qualifying venues include Makefield Highlands Golf Club (May 14), Wild Quail Golf & Country Club (May 19) and Golden Oaks Golf Club (May 21). A qualifying site in the Anthracite region will be announced at a later date.
114th Open Championship (July 18-19; St. Davids Golf Club)
| St. Davids Golf Club was established in 1897. In 2018, the Wayne, Pa., club will host its first Open Championship. The 114th edition of the most competitive tournament in Philadelphia golf visits July 18-19. The field of 132 (approximate) will feature a mix of the best from the Philadelphia Section of PGA professionals and Golf Association of Philadelphia amateurs. The event is two days and 36 holes. Qualifying events take place June 20 at Berkshire Country Club and June 26 at both Burlington Country Club and Woodstone Country Club (two separate qualifiers). An amateur has won the last eight editions.
116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup (Aug. 8-9; Gulph Mills Golf Club)
| The venerable Gulph Mills Golf Club will be the site of the 116th Joseph H. Patterson Cup, the fourth time it will host the Association’s stroke play championship. The two-day, 36-hole tournament last witnessed the Patterson Cup in 1991 when GAP Hall of Famer David Brookreson took the crown. Gulph Mills was also the Patterson’s home in 1975 and 1977. The event is open to all amateurs with a 7.0 Handicap Index or less. Qualifying venues include Honeybrook Golf Club (July 24), Yardley Country Club (July 25) and Elkview Country Club (July 25) (two separate qualifiers).
Senior & Super Senior
| Senioritis causes high school students to lose interest and motivation. Conversely, it causes golfers 55 years of age and older to gain desire and interest in hitting the links. The Association’s Senior schedule suffices with the following divisional Majors: the Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) at Concord Country Club (May 3); the Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) at Commonwealth National Golf Club (June 6); the Brewer Cup at Old York Road Country Club (July 9-11) and the 48th Senior Amateur Championship at Riverton Country Club (Sept. 4-5).
| School’s out, golf’s in for the summer. The Association’s Junior schedule caters to golfers 18 years of age or younger who haven’t started their college education. Events include the 104th Junior Boys’ Championship at Blue Bell Country Club (June 19-21); Francis X. Hussey Memorial at Rolling Green Golf Club (July 9); Christman Cup at Whitford Country Club (July 12); Jock MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run Country Club and The Deeg Sezna at Radley Run Country Club (Aug. 6). The Pre-Junior, an instructional event for children ages 11 and under, will take place at West Chester Golf & Country Club June 26 and Philadelphia Cricket Club (St. Martins) July 3. Open to players 11-13 years of age, the 70th Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship is set for July 30-Aug. 1 at Merchantville Country Club.
Father & Son tournaments
| A tradition since 1911, the Association’s Father & Son events truly stand out. Bellewood Country Club hosts the Younger event, open to teams with sons 17 years of age and under, on July 2. The Middle event, open to teams with sons 18 to 29 years of age, will take place May 31 at Heidelberg Country Club. Rounding out the triumvirate is the Older event, set for Sept. 11 at North Hills Country Club. It is open to teams with sons 30 years of age and older.
| The Philadelphia Eagles played as a unified team all season and won the Super Bowl. That means you and your buddies will win a championship if you play as a team. No, it doesn’t, but you’ll feel victorious when you experience the Association’s team events. Take the Four-Man Team at LedgeRock Golf Club (June 21) or Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship at Cherry Valley Country Club (Aug. 27) as a small example. The 99th Team Championship, set for June 28 at Manufacturers’ Golf & Country Club, is a highlight as well.
| Not a scratch golfer? Not a problem. The Association’s net championships can fulfill your competitive bill. The Spring (June 7 at Coatesville Country Club) and Fall (Aug. 23 at Brookside Country Club) Net Championships feature Tee It Forward parameters and a stableford scoring format. Both offer an exciting tournament atmosphere while easing any accompanying pressures or nerves.
| The Golf Association of Philadelphia will administer qualifying events for 11 USGA Championships. They include the U.S. Open (May 7 at Hidden Creek Golf Club, May 10 at DuPont Country Club, May 16 at Country Club of York and May 17 at Glenmaura National Golf Club); U.S. Senior Open (June 4 at Indian Valley Country Club); U.S. Junior Amateur (June 18 at Carlisle Country Club and June 27 at Union League National Golf Club); U.S. Senior Women’s Open (June 18 at Northampton Country Club); U.S. Girls’ Junior (June 19 at Steel Club); U.S. Amateur (July 10 at Laurel Creek Country Club, July 23 at Bidermann Golf Club and Chambersburg Country Club); U.S. Mid-Amateur (Aug. 20 at Cedarbrook and Aug. 24 at Carlisle Country Club); U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur (Aug. 21 at Brookside Country Club of Allentown); U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur (Sept. 13 at Schuylkill Country Club); U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (Sept. 25 at Kennett Square Golf & Country Club) and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (Oct. 10 at Philadelphia Cricket Club (Militia Hill)).
| The Pro.-President, Golf & Green, as its title suggests, is open to professionals, presidents, golf and green chairperson at Golf Association of Philadelphia Member Clubs. Set for May 16 at Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Philmont Country Club, it includes lunch, golf, cocktails, dinner and a presentation. The 14th Player’s Dinner will take place Oct. 24 at Overbrook Golf Club. This year-end gathering formally awards top players of each championship division as well as flight winners within each tournament.
| The Association will be represented in five honorary team events. On April 25, the 57th Compher Cup, a bout against the New Jersey State Golf Association, comes to Sunnybrook Golf Club. GAP will send a team of four Juniors to the Williamson Cup, set for Aug. 13–14 at St. Clair Country Club. The 36-hole competition matches the Association’s team against 10 other regional and state associations. Top amateurs and professionals collide during the 28th Philadelphia Challenge Matches Oct. 2 at Lehigh Country Club. The 30th Senior Challenge Matches showcases eight-man teams from Delaware, GAP, New Jersey and Maryland on Oct. 22 at Hidden Creek Golf Club. The 67th Mason-Dixon Matches, a competition of 12-man teams from the GAP and the Middle Atlantic Golf Association, will take place Oct. 13–14 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 200 Full Member Clubs and 70,000 individual members are spread across Eastern Pennsylvania and parts of 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.