The February snow is melting. The golf anticipation is rising.
Behold, the 2021 GAP schedule. The 124th rendition features more than 75 events for players of all ages (Junior, Amateur, Senior and Super Senior) and skill levels (Championship and Handicap).
GAP, pending travel restrictions given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, anticipates administering a full tournament schedule. In 2020, it canceled 14 events due to the ongoing health crisis. Furthermore, GAP canceled qualifying for its Majors and only administered two USGA Qualifying events (U.S. Amateur Four-Ball, U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball).
The 2021 season officially begins with Middle-Amateur Championship Qualifying at Five Ponds Golf Club in April and concludes with the Tournament of Champions in October.
GAP members can also participate in Central Series and AGA/GAP events. The former includes a Junior and Senior slate of events at facilities in Central Pennsylvania. The latter includes events at facilities in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
For only the fifth time in its 124-year history, the BMW GAP Team Matches didn’t occur in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Better believe a renewed sense of energy fuels the 2021 affair. Huntingdon Valley Country Club, the 2019 champion, seeks a 34th Team Matches title. BMW returns as the event’s presenting sponsor for the seventh consecutive year.
Minor hiccup (limited field sizes, zero qualifying) in 2020. Major return in 2021. Below is the lineup of GAP’s most prestigious championships:
Saturday qualifying continues for the Middle-Amateur (April 17 at Five Ponds) and BMW Philadelphia Amateur (May 22 at Running Deer Golf Club), respectively. Three qualifying events will be held for both the Open Championship and Joseph H. Patterson Cup.
Individuals 55 years of age or older may get their tournament fix through the schedule’s Senior portion. Divisional Majors include the 87th Francis B. Warner Cup (Gross) (May 3 at The Springhaven Club); the 16th Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Gross) (June 9 at Lehigh Country Club); the 14th Brewer Cup presented by Callaway Golf (July 19-21 at Huntingdon Valley) and 51st Senior Amateur Championship (Sept. 13-14 at Country Club of Scranton).
If you’re 18 years of age or younger and haven’t started your college education, then the GAP Junior schedule is for you. A trite tagline, yes, but the lineup is far from redundant. It includes the 107th Junior Boys’ Championship at Overbrook Golf Club (June 21-23); 35th Francis X. Hussey Memorial at Rolling Green Golf Club (July 6); 22nd Christman Cup at Chester Valley Golf Club (July 7); 37th Jock MacKenzie Memorial at Sandy Run Country Club (July 19) and 19th Deeg Sezna at Merion Golf Club (West) (Aug. 2). Pre-Junior events, catered to those 11 years of age or younger, will take place at Philadelphia Cricket Club (St. Martins) July 7 and Flourtown Country Club July 12. The 73rd Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship, open to individuals 11-13 years of age, is set for July 26-28 at Moorestown Field Club.
GAP Father & Son events, a tradition since 1911, hit home (get it?). The Younger event, open to teams with sons 18 years of age or under, will take place July 8 at Bent Creek Country Club. The Middle event, open to teams with sons 19 to 29 years of age, will take place June 2 at LuLu Country Club. The Older event, open to teams with sons 30 years of age or older, will take place Sept. 20 at Conestoga Country Club. Golf is better with family.
Golf is better with friends, too. Highlights of the schedule’s team portion include the Four-Player Team (June 30 at Moselem Springs Golf Club) and the 50th Four-Ball Stroke Play Championship (Aug. 30 at Laurel Creek Country Club). The 101st Team Championship, canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place June 24 at LedgeRock Golf Club. Four teams will advance from Team Championship Qualifying June 8 at North Hills Country Club. For individuals 55 years of age or older, team opportunities include the 31st Senior Four-Man Team (July 28 at Yardley Country Club), 62nd Senior Four-Ball Stroke Play (Aug. 9 at Concord Country Club) and 14th Senior 27-Hole Challenge (Aug. 26 at Bellewood Country Club).
Not a scratch? Not a problem. Handicap championships shine the spotlight on golfers of all skill levels. The Tee It Forward — Spring (June 8 at Philmont Country Club) and Fall (Aug. 16 at Bala Golf Club) Net Championships feature, as their respective titles suggest, Tee It Forward parameters and a Stableford scoring format. For individuals 55 years of age or older, consider the 15th Francis B. Warner Cup (Net) June 1 at Talamore Country Club and 86th Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Net) Sept. 2 at Coatesville Country Club.
GAP continues to expand its programming for females of all ages, beginning with the 3rd Women’s Spring Scramble (May 24 at French Creek Golf Club) and 3rd Mixed Foursomes Championship (Aug. 25 at Whitford Country Club). In addition to playing opportunities in all GAP Net championships, women can compete in the Four-Player Team June 30 at Moselem Springs. Women’s champions at GAP Member Clubs in 2021 will be eligible for the Tournament of Champions. And of course, females 18 years of age or younger who haven’t started their college education can participate in the aforementioned Francis X. Hussey Memorial (July 6 at Rolling Green), Jock MacKenzie Memorial (July 19 at Sandy Run) and Deeg Sezna (Aug. 2 at Merion (West)).
The USGA (United States Golf Association) intends on returning to a full tournament schedule in 2021. As a result, GAP will administer qualifying events for 12 USGA Championships. Those include the U.S. Open (Local) (May 10 at Indian Valley Country Club; May 12 at The Steel Club; May 13 at Country Club of York; May 17 at Elmhurst Country Club), U.S. Junior Amateur (June 21 at Carlisle Country Club; June 30 at Doylestown Country Club), U.S. Girls’ Junior (June 23 at Steel Club), U.S. Amateur (June 30 at Colonial Golf & Tennis Club; July 19 at Hartefeld National; July 21 at Sunnybrook Golf Club), U.S. Senior Women’s Open (July 6 at Riverton Country Club), U.S. Senior Amateur (Aug. 11 at Radnor Valley Country Club), U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur (Aug. 11 at Radnor Valley), U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur (Aug. 17 at Philadelphia Country Club), U.S. Mid-Amateur (Aug. 23 at Carlisle; Aug. 23 at St. Davids), U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (Sept. 23 at Berkshire Country Club) and U.S. Amateur Four-Ball (Sept. 28 at Radley Run Country Club).
Canceled altogether in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, honorary team events involving GAP will return in 2021. The Compher Cup, a bout against the New Jersey State Golf Association, heads to Somerset Hills Country Club in Bernardsville, N.J. on April 28. GAP will send a team of four Juniors to the Williamson Cup, set for Aug. 9-10 at Country Club of Buffalo in Williamsville, N.Y. The 36-hole competition pits GAP against 10 regional and state associations. The Senior Challenge Matches showcases eight-man teams from the Delaware State Golf Association, GAP, New Jersey and Maryland State Golf Association. It will take place on Oct. 6 at Gulph Mills Golf Club. The Mason-Dixon Matches, a competition of 12-man teams representing GAP and the Middle Atlantic Golf Association, will take place Oct. 9-10 at Country Club of Maryland in Towson, Md. Top amateurs and professionals collide during the Philadelphia Challenge Matches Oct. 14 at Saucon Valley Country Club (Grace).
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, 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 300 Member Clubs and 80,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
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