Rehoboth Beach and Jack Frost National win big
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With a record 400 teams in the 121st playing of the BMW GAP Team Matches, there’s a total of 18 teams that are fresh blood.
New clubs seeking a reputation of their own.
Two newbies got off to hot starts in their #BMWGTM debuts. Rehoboth Beach Country Club in Delaware and Jack Frost National Golf Club in GAP/AGA territory were dominant.
Rehoboth Beach took out fellow newcomer The Peninsula Golf & Country Club in Week One 36–18 in Division D. Jack Frost National wasted no time getting acquainted with a 45–9 victory over Irem Country Club 2, also in Division D.
“The goal is obviously to win all of your matches so you can move up a division,” said Rehoboth co-captain Ed Brown, 53, of Milton, Del. “There are no challenge matches in this division so making sure we win each match is important. When you can go on the road and win is a huge highlight. Our guys played well, and we had a few sweeps. That’s what you have to do to win.”
Brown is an established Team Matches veteran. When he was a member at Wild Quail Golf & Country Club, he was a frequent participant. His experience was key in being named a co-captain by the club with Dan Coar, who takes care of the club’s away team responsibilities.
“What makes the GAP Team Matches unique is it isn’t a friendly member event,” said Brown. “My message to our guys was that this is a competition and is tournament golf. It is the real deal. As a captain, you want to make the best decisions you can for your team to be successful.”
A total of eight matches were swept by Rehoboth team members: five in the individual matches and three in the better-ball matches.
Next up is fellow newcomer Cripple Creek Country Club, which was victorious in its first week match against Bayside Resort Golf Club by the score of 28.5–25.5. Setting up an important tilt to determine the division leader after two weeks.
“For a lot of guys, this was a lot more stressful than they are used to,” said Brown. “You aren’t just representing yourself, you are representing the club as well, which adds some pressure. We are looking forward to keeping this going. A lot of our guys played well. We were happy to see that.”
Jack Frost National was led by captain Keith DeVos, and the club made a statement in its first match, cruising to a 36-point victory over Irem 2.
“Our members got a lot of enjoyment out of it,” said Devos, 51, of Bartonsville, Pa. “Some of our older members were a little hesitant at first because of traveling, but that’s why we have a home and away team. Once they played, they enjoyed it.”
They swept the better ball matches at home and had seven members sweep their respective individual matches.
“Home-course advantage is a real thing,” said Devos. “Jack Frost has a lot of quirks, and it was important for us to play well at home. We played well enough on the road as well.”
Devos isn’t your normal team member. He also happens to be the general manager of the club. Anyone representing a club can compete in the BMW GAP Team Matches as long as they are an amateur.
Jack Frost National will take on Wyoming Valley Country Club 2 in Week Two.
“We’ve been wanting to do this for a few years but just haven’t been able to get a team together,” said Devos. “With some new members, a lot of people were on board to play. For me, it was a good way for me to compete and play with some of my members. We are excited for the rest of the matches.”
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 organization’s 340 Member Clubs and 100,000 individual members are spread across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland. The GAP’s mission is to promote,
preserve and protect the game of golf.