Baltusrol -- Back in the Winner's Circle              

The 2016 Red Hoffman Cup Champions, from Baltusrol GC (L to R): Nick Desai, Dan Feeney, Steven Wentz, Terry Yun, Branden Holden, Captain Andy Stock, DJ Stewart, Roddy McRae and Gregg Angelillo

The 2016 Red Hoffman Cup Finals ended in a familiar fashion, with Baltusrol Golf Club and Black Oak Golf Club providing a typical, down-to-the-last-group finish at splendid Mountain Ridge Country Club.  Baltusrol came out on top this time by the scantiest of spreads, 209 to Black Oak's 210 (see 2016 Results, above, for details) -- just the latest in tiny separations between the two squads over the past five seasons.

Metedeconk National Golf Club proved that it is a for-real team with a bright future, coming in third with a 213 total.  Led by a brilliant 68 from the team of Tyler Brewington and John Browndorf, Metedeconk gave notice that it plans to be a fixture in Finals to come.  The spell came off Mendham Golf and Tennis Club's giant-killer season; the match play mavens of the first four rounds shot 225 in the medal play format, but should take solace in the fact that no one will take Mendham lightly going forward.

Baltusrol was led by its first team out of the blocks, veterans Nick Desai and Dan Feeney, who captured the medalist honors with a how-did-they-do-that? 67 in weather conditions more typical to pond hockey than spring golf.  Long-hitting Branden Holden and steady Steven Wentz teamed well to finish in the twilight with a sterling 68, while Terry Yun and Gregg Angelillo completed the scoring for Baltusrol with a 74. 

In a format counting the best three of four team scores, impressive Black Oak provided the most consistent scoring: 69 by David Glenz and John Olsen, 70 from Michael Deo and Chris Markham, and an even-par 71 from Brian Komline and Todd Peluso.  Black Oak is a team of champions that is bound to be already making plans to take back the Hoffman Cup in 2017. 

Baltusrol v. Black Oak has officially become a friendly but legit rivalry. They've met in three medal-play Hoffman Cup Finals in the past five seasons, with Baltusrol winning two events over Black Oak by a total of three shots.  The two clubs tied for second against Arcola Country Club in 2015.  But in their only head-to-head match (in 2014), Black Oak came out on top in a tie breaker after a 6-6 total.  Expect the rivalry to continue!

Mountain Ridge's course proved to be a beautiful, extraordinary test, with perfect greens sliding into warp speed by wind gusts over 30 miles per hour. The club was an wonderful host, and our sincere thank you goes to its Board, Hoffman Cup Captain Michael Kopelman, Head Professional Len Siter and General Manager Jim Corcoran for making this memorable 2016 Finals possible.

These Finals are the capstone to the 2016 Red Hoffman Cup Matches, which included over 400 low-handicap regional golfers and professionals and accounted for 864 individual rounds of early spring golf, more than $56,000 in caddie fees, and over $20,000 in donations to the four First Tee chapters of New Jersey.  Thank you to the team captains, who prove every year that it is their passion that makes the Hoffman Cup Matches a success.

By the Numbers:

3 -- As of 2016, the number of Hoffman Cup championships won by Baltusrol Golf Club.

5 -- The Hoffman Cup clubs that own a spot on GolfWorld magazine's 2016 "Best Modern Courses."

9 -- The Hoffman Cup clubs that boast a spot on GolfWorld magazine's 2016 "Best Classic Courses."

12 -- The number of Hoffman Cup events, starting in 2005 with charter members The Rock Spring C, Montclair GC, Spring Brook CC and Fairmount CC competing

15.5 -- The record improvement, year over year, in intragroup points, by Spring Brook CC, 2013-14.

60 -- The number of years Arthur K. "Red" Hoffman, long-time dean of New Jersey golf writers, covered New Jersey golf.

$61,000 -- In its first four years, the amount generated by our team captains in support of our First Tee Initiative, which donates funds to support New Jersey's four local First Tee chapters.

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