The Hoffman Cup Matches have started their eleventh
year, with our first weekend in the books. The HCM will culminate
with four clubs squaring off at its
Finals at Morris County Golf Club
on Sunday, May 31.
Saturday, April 25 – Round 1 (all clubs; intragroup play)
Sunday, April 26 – Round 2 (all clubs; intragroup play)
Saturday, May 2 – Round 3 (all clubs; intragroup play)
Saturday, May 9 – Semi-Finals (8 intragroup winners)
Sunday, May 31 – Finals (4 clubs) at Morris County Golf Club
Go to 2015 Results, above, for more details.
2015 HCM First Weekend Results
The 2015 Red Hoffman Cup Matches kicked off under bright but unusually cool conditions with a mixture of predictable and unexpected results. Some perennially strong teams have faltered, while some usually back-of-the-pack clubs are leading their groups.
Each club is placed in one of eight groups with three other teams. The clubs in each group with the most points after their three matches move on to the Hoffman Cup Matches playoffs, which will start on May 9. After the first weekend (two matches), several interesting scenarios are emerging.
Two-time defending champion Black Oak GC (18.5 points) is in control of its group, but not home free. Second place Morris County GC (13.5) is still within striking distance, especially since the two teams meet this Saturday in their final group match. 8.5 points out of a possible 12 is what Morris County needs to dethrone Black Oak – not a likely outcome, but entirely possible.
Manasquan River GC (18) is always in the playoffs, and likely to make it again this year. But it still needs to get past neighbor Metedeconk National GC (13.5) in head-to-head play on Saturday. Like Black Oak, its lead is comfortable but not unsurmountable. Plus, while those two beat each other up, unpredictable Essex County CC (11.5) could sneak in with a big win on Saturday.
In Group C, you could throw a blanket over Echo Lake CC (12.5), last year’s finalist Spring Brook CC (11.5), and Rockaway River CC (11), with Trump National GC - Bedminster (7) completing the foursome. With both scheduled and rescheduled matches still left in this group, nothing is settled.
Five-time champ Montclair GC (13.5) and its long-time neighbor Upper Montclair CC (14.5) will play next Saturday, but they still need to look over their shoulders. Hamilton Farm GC (11.5) has the potential to jump them both in its match against Ridgewood CC (8.5). This group is too close to call.
Two-time champion Baltusrol GC (21.5) is firmly in control of its group, with only Hackensack GC (12.5) within even shouting distance. Given its depth and balance, one could easily predict that Balty will move on to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Arcola CC has amassed 23 out of 24 possible points in its two matches, and is threatening Essex County’s all-time record of most points (32) coming out of group play. Still, it faces a tough competitor in Fairmount CC (20), another former champion and home to several cagey veterans. It should be a hard-fought match.
Mendham G&TC (15.5) has forged to the front of Group G, with one big win and a tie. Its lead is tenuous, with Plainfield CC and Spring Lake CC both just 3.5 points behind. The Ridge at Back Brook (8.5) is poised to play the spoiler in its match this Saturday against Mendham.
The final group is completely up in the air, with Knickerbocker CC (16.5), Essex Fells CC (15), and Bayonne GC (12.5) each fully capable of capturing the flag on Saturday.
It looks as though there are plenty of incentives for inspired play next weekend, as it will often determine what teams will make the May 9 playoffs and the May 31 Finals at host Morris County GC. Follow the results on www.hoffmancup.org.
4 -- The number
of clubs that started the HCM: Rock
Spring C, Fairmount CC,
Montclair CC and Spring Brook CC. We're now holding
fast at 32.
8 -- The HCM clubs that boast a spot on GolfWorld magazine's "Best Classic Courses."
32 -- Most points ever (out of a possible 36) after the end of HCM group play, by Essex County CC in 2012.
60 -- 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
Jersey golf than anyone.
864 -- The number of rounds in April and May that will be played by participants in the 2015 HCM.
$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 New Jerseys' four local First Tee chapters.
-- A conservative estimate of the caddie fees that will be generated by
the 2015 HCM
(800 rounds x $70/loop).