BMW GAP Team Matches schedule arrives
They will happen. Hopefully.
The BMW GAP Team Matches, canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will (fingers crossed) be played for the 119th time. The 2021 schedule, pending travel restrictions in Delaware, New Jersey and/or Pennsylvania, is as follows: April 18, 25 and May 2. The Playoff & Challenges will take place on Saturday, May 8.
The Association is working on a contingency plan should any travel restrictions become effective.
“We’re hopeful to move forward in conducting the BMW GAP Team Matches this year,” Kirby Martin, GAP Director of Competitions, said. “We’re hopeful that a one-year absence brings a renewed enthusiasm for the competition. We’re hopeful to continue this GAP tradition. Hope is the keyword.”
Overall, 156 Member Clubs will field a total of 360 teams. BMW GAP Team Matches rookies include Berwick Golf Club, Green Pond Country Club, Hawk Pointe Golf Club, Pitman Golf Course and Susquehanna Valley Country Club. The ACE Club returns to the competition following a brief hiatus.
LuLu Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club will each field an event-high six teams. A third of Philadelphia Cricket’s representation sits in Division AA, the top tier of the BMW GAP Team Matches, along with LuLu as well as defending champion Huntingdon Valley Country Club.
In 2019, Huntingdon Valley secured an event-record 33rd title, defeating LuLu by two points in the Playoff. It also won the inaugural BMW Virtual GAP Team Matches, a lighthearted attempt to fill the Team Matches void in 2020. Don’t worry, Member Clubs. That result isn’t reflective in the actual BMW GAP Team Matches annals.
Each team in the BMW GAP Team Matches consists of 12 players. Six players compete at their home course; the remaining six compete at the opponent’s course. All players compete in a singles match and a four-ball match concurrently.
Since 1897, the BMW GAP Team Matches has been contested annually, save World War II (1943-45), a severe ice storm (1994) and the COVID-19 pandemic (2020). The Association’s forefathers conceived the Matches to promote spirit, fellowship and camaraderie. It started with the four founding clubs – Belmont Golf Association (now Aronimink Golf Club), Merion Cricket Club (now Merion Golf Club), Philadelphia Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket – each fielding two teams with six players per side. First known as the Interclub Team Matches, the event changed to the Suburban League Matches in 1915 before adopting its current moniker in 1997.
BMW is the event’s presenting sponsor for the seventh consecutive year.
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.