Despite an extended winter and unprecedented use of hand warmers in April, 2018 was a good year for the Hoffman Cup Matches on several fronts:
CC was extraordinary in the
Finals. True, we have come to expect great things from PCC, but they
easily cleared that bar. We suffered heavy
rains all morning before tee time, and the course played like it had
experienced a drizzle: hardly any casual and greens like lightning. At
the reception, PCC readily embraced the
idea that Red Hoffman had been a member of their club; they could not
more gracious hosts to Red’s daughters, Lisa and Loren, who came
in from Oregon
and Maine to be part of the reception.
Excellence #2. Speaking of which, Arcola CC proved its tenacity by winning its third Cup in four years, this time edging Baltusrol GC. Was especially neat to see the team's “old man” and highest handicapper, Captain Brian Celiberti, (with partner Xavier Dailly) lead his team to victory.
Innovation. The Hoffman Cup is always ready to do things that we think will improve the event. Last year, we tried a few innovations; some worked, one didn’t. So, in 2019, we will go back to the old method of determining what teams make it to the playoffs – total points in group matches. But, we’re keeping the sudden death playoffs in the semis and the finals. And, in the finals, all four scores (as opposed to three of four) will count toward the club’s score.
Parity. Last year, only two of the eight semifinalists were seeded first in their group; four were third or fourth seeds! Over the past two years, only one of our “big” clubs (i.e., with more than 18 holes) has made the Finals. This is testimony to parity in the Hoffman Cup, and why no club should feel it is being left behind.
Engagement. Our captains engaged and led like always, despite plenty of logs in the roadway, including the rules changes. They proved again the importance of captains to the Hoffman Cup. Be sure to thank your captain for doing such a great job!
Generosity. Our collective Hoffman Cup teams’ donations to four New Jersey First Tee chapters exceeded $22,000, led by Baltusrol’s generous $2300 team contribution. Again, thank you to the captains who make this important donation happen.
Looking Ahead to 2019
Storied Ridgewood CC has graciously agreed to be our finals host in 2019. What a treat that will be!
The finals date has not yet been cast in stone, but other key dates have. 2019 Groups will be announced on March 1. The 2019 Hoffman Cup Matches will officially start on Saturday, April 27. The second round will be Sunday, April 28, with the third round scheduled for Saturday, May 4. That leaves time before April 27 and on Sunday, May 5 to help deal with potential conflicts.
Be sure to let your pro shop, golf committee chair and your green superintendent know about the dates. More to come . . . 2019 will be a great year!