Black Oak Holds onto the Hoffman Cup      

At beautifully prepared Knickerbocker Country Club, the four teams still standing in the 10th annual Red Hoffman Cup Matches squared off to determine which club in northern New Jersy fielded the strongest teams of 2014.

Black Oak Golf Club narrowly retained its grasp on the Red Hoffman Cup with a four-under par 209, holding off second place Manasquan River Golf Club by two shots. Led by Patrick Bosworth and Todd Peluso's 67, Black Oak came out of the gate fast to hold onto the Hoffman Cup it first won in 2013.

David Glenz and partner John Olsen shot an excellent 68, making Black Oak the only club to post two under par scores. Manasquan River continues to improve its position in the Hoffman Cup every year. The team that won the most points over the event in match play came to win. Led by Brent Studer and Sean Farren's 67, the club almost captured the prize with a two-under 211. Captain Chris Housen's team will surely contend again next year (see all scores at 2014 Cup Matches).

Led by by two teams at 71 (Tony Santillo / James Mongey III and Kevin Dunn / Mike Cherello), Spring Brook Country Club had a great showing in its first Finals in several years. Its total of 214 nipped fourth-place Montclair Country Club by three. The five-time Hoffman Cup Matches champion club was paced by the duo of Mike Strlekar and Ty Zembrowski, who posted an excellent 67.

The Awards Reception included short remembrance by former New York Times sportswriter Dave Anderson, a Pulitzer Prize recipient and member of
Knickerbocker. Dave regaled the players with some great stories about his long-time friend and colleague, Red Hoffman.

Isabel Gonzales told the audience about the importance of The First Tee in her life. The high school junior credits The First Tee with providing her with many of the tools she uses to thrive, not only in golf, but in her young life. Kevin Casey announced that the donations from the 2014 Hoffman Cup teams to the four First Tee Chapters in our region were still coming in, but had already reached $20,000, far exceeding 2013's total of $14,100.  Since it started in 2012, the Hoffman Cup Matches First Tee Initiative has raised $43,000 for the four First Tee chapters in the region coverd by its teams.

2014's Hoffman Cup Matches featured 32 of the finest clubs in New Jersey, each competing to earn the title of "Champion." In sum, for the second year in a row, "Hail to Black Oak!"

By the Numbers:

2005 -- The first year of the HCM, featuring only four clubs: Rock Spring C, Fairmount CC, Montclair CC and Spring Brook CC.

32 -- The New Jersey clubs that participated in the HCM in 2014.

864 -- The number of rounds in April and May that were played by the pros and amateurs in the 2014 HCM.

$56,000 -- A conservative estimate of the caddie fees generated by the 2014 HCM (800 rounds x $70/loop).

-- The number of years Arthur K. "Red" Hoffman, long-time dean of New Jersey golf writers, covered New Jersey golf,  starting with the Newark News
right after five years of service in WWII. Hoffman wrote more (and came to know more) about New Jersey golf than anyone. 

$43,000 – In its first three years, the amount generated by our team captains in support of our First Tee Initiative, which donates funds to support four different local First Tee chapters.