The Red Hoffman Cup Matches were created in 2005 to foster interaction and friendly competition among northern New Jersey golf clubs. These annual matches have been named in honor of Arthur K. “Red” Hoffman, the legendary New Jersey golf writer. Each Spring the matches feature over 400 leading New Jersey amateurs and professionals playing a total of 864 rounds in a no-handicap, four-ball competition designed to effectively identify the strongest cohort of players in one club in Northern New Jersey.
The 2018 champion team is from Arcola Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, led by Captains Brian Celiberti and Michael O'Connell. The 2019 Hoffman Cup Matches will be contested at all 32 member clubs in April and May, with the Finals to be held at iconic Ridgewood Country Club in mid May.
The rules of play, below, have been modified after an experimental change in 2018. Last year, we tried to make the won/lost record the standard by which a club would make the playoffs. In 2019, we will return to total points won in a given group as the criterion for advancing to the post season.
The following rules and guidelines apply to the various Hoffman Cup competitions.
The following responsibilities should be applied for each Hoffman Cup match play competition:
In the event of disputes or Rules discussions, there will be an on-site Tournament Committee consisting of the two local Hoffman Cup captains (or their representatives) and a nonparticipating member of the host professional staff. This committee will settle issues before reporting the match, if possible. If not resolved locally, the issue must be reported to the Hoffman Cup Director for resolution.
The winning club each year is responsible for the safekeeping of the Red Hoffman Cup, returning it to the Hoffman Cup Matches Director before the Finals.Hoffman Cup Matches Director:
When the Red Hoffman Cup Matches started in 2005 as the Northern New Jersey “A” Team Matches, there were no multiclub, men’s, scratch interclub competitions in northern New Jersey. Members from the Rock Spring Club, notably Kevin Casey and Bill Frese, asked other clubs in the immediate vicinity if they would be interested in participating in such a competition. The initial response from many clubs was tepid, and a few took a "wait and see" approach to determine if the event was compelling enough to get involved. However, by late winter of 2005, Montclair Golf Club, Spring Brook Country Club and Fairmount Country Club had joined Rock Spring as charter members of the competition.
These clubs settled on an early spring date, as much to avoid conflicts with existing association competitions and club events as to get an early start on the upcoming season. This first competition among these four clubs was held in Spring, 2005, and won by Fairmount. Led by Al Small and Craig Smith (both fresh from competing in the Metropolitan Golf Association’s Carey Cup against the Golfing Union of Ireland), Fairmount prevailed over Montclair, 8 to 4.
As it turned out, that would be Montclair’s last loss in the Matches for the next several years. In fact, Montclair held the Hoffman Cup from 2006 to 2010, but in 2011, the West Orange club just missed making the Finals. Taking the mantle from Montclair in 2011 was Baltusrol Golf Club, which won by eight strokes over Hamilton Farm Golf Club at Essex County Country Club, and which held on to win again at home in 2012 against newcomer, Black Oak Golf Club.
Within a few years of the first matches, the Hoffman Cup grew steadily by four clubs a year. In 2014, the event reached 32 clubs and decided to hold pat there. In that time, some newer members were starting to make their mark.
Black Oak earned its engraved spot on the actual Hoffman Cup in 2013 at Canoe Brook Country Club, then again at Knickerbocker Country Club in 2014. Given the strength of Black Oak's team, the threat of a new Hoffman Cup dynasty loomed. However, several Hoffman Cup clubs were capable of rising to the occasion. To drive this point home, Arcola Country Club captured the 2015 Hoffman Cup in a convincing four-shot win over Black Oak and Baltusrol. In 2016 Baltusrol captured the title again by the closest of margins over Black Oak.
In 2017 four clubs made the Finals with only one title among them. Arcola recaptured its earlier title over Essex County, Knickerbocker and Plainfield Country Club. One notable aspect of this group was that, for the first time in the Finals, each was an "18-hole" club. This helped dispel an earlier thought that the largest clubs would dominate the Hoffman Cup. Truth is, the most valuable factor in Hoffman Cup success seems to be the engaged and communicative captain.
2018 was an interesting year. True, Arcola again won the Hoffman Cup, but they barely held off a determined Baltusrol squad in the Finals. They were followed by relative newcomer Rumson Country Club (in only its third year) and a talented Manasquan River Golf Club, marking an unprecedented splash in the Finals by our southern, Jersey shore clubs.
Dynasties will be hard to come by as the competition matures and more clubs set their sights on winning the Hoffman Cup. Today, there is enough parity in the event to humble the mightiest teams. However, it would seem that both Arcola and Baltusrol could lay claim to the title
Detailed results for each year are available under "Cup Archives," in the navigation above.
Also in 2005, the legendary dean of New Jersey golf writers, Arthur K. “Red” Hoffman, passed away in May at age 86. Mr. Hoffman had been a fixture of the state and national golf scene for over 60 years, starting with the Newark News. From 1972 to the early ‘80’s, Mr. Hoffman was publicist for famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones and wrote stories for Dorf Features, which appeared in the Star-Ledger and GolfWorld magazine. Mr. Hoffman also worked as a publicist for the New Jersey State Golf Association. In 1990, He was awarded the Metropolitan Golf Association's Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the game, joining ranks with some of the most honored people in the game.
It seemed that every serious golfer in the area had a Red Hoffman story, and he typically had several stories on each of them. More importantly, as the chronicler of the growth of the important New Jersey and regional golf scene, he was known throughout the golfing world.
Why the "Red Hoffman Cup Matches?"
A dissatisfaction emerged with the name of
matches its first year. Its “A-Team Matches”
moniker, drawn from the Washington, DC area's team matches, did little
to help people understand what the matches were, or promote the growth
of the event. By late 2005, Plainfield
Country Club had decided to participate. Its captain, Bob
Corbett, suggested that the name of the event be changed to honor one
of Plainfield's honorary members, Red Hoffman. The idea seemed so
appropriate that the name – the Red Hoffman Cup Matches –
was immediately adopted. At many Finals events since, Mr.
Hoffman has been represented by at least one of his two daughters, Lisa
or Loren. We hope this is an honor that we can count on for years
From its start in 2005 to 2014, the Hoffman Cup grew at a rate of almost four clubs a year. Starting in 2014, the Hoffman Cup limited participation to 32 clubs. Here are each of the Hoffman Cup member clubs and when they joined:
2005 – Fairmount Country Club, Montclair Golf Club, Rock Spring Club*, Spring Brook Country Club
2006 – Echo Lake Country Club, Essex County Country Club, Mountain Ridge Country Club, Plainfield Country Club
2007 – Essex Fells Country Club, Morris County Golf Club, Metedeconk National Golf Club, Trump National Golf Club
2008 – Canoe Brook Country Club, Hackensack Golf Club, Hamilton Farm Golf Club, Manasquan River Golf Club
2009 – No new clubs
2010 – Knickerbocker Country Club, Baltusrol Golf Club, Arcola Country Club, Ridgewood Country Club.
2011 – No new clubs
2012 – The Bedens Brook Club, Black Oak Golf Club, Mendham Golf and Tennis Club, The Ridge at Back Brook***
2013 – Alpine Country Club, Navesink Country Club, Roxiticus Golf Club, Upper Montclair Golf Club
2014 – Bayonne Golf Club, Liberty National Golf Club**, Rockaway River Country Club, Spring Lake Golf Club
2016 - Rumson Country Club
2017 - Hollywood
2018 - Somerset Hills Country Club
* The Rock Spring Club and Montclair Golf Club merged in January
2016, taking the latter's name.
** Liberty National Golf Club left the Hoffman Cup in the winter of 2017.
*** The Ridge at Back Brook left the Hoffman Cup in the winter of 2018.
|Year||Winning Club||Runner-Up Club|
|2005||Fairmount (Capt. Ed Shannon, Jr.)||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)|
|2006||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)||Echo Lake (Capt. Dave Pierce)|
|2007||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)||Morris County (Capt. Peter Dannenbaum)|
|2008||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)||Fairmount (Capt. Glen Kakol)|
|2009||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)||Fairmount (Capt. Jim Leahy)|
|2010||Montclair (Capt. Kevin McGlynn)||Plainfield (Capt. Bob Corbett)|
|2011||Baltusrol (Capts. Vinny Dolan & Jim Brown)||Hamilton Farm (Capt. Matt Freitag)|
|2012||Baltusrol (Capts. Jim Brown & Roddy McRae)||Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo and Brian Komline)|
|2013||Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo & Brian Komline)||Montclair (Capt. Rob Scalzo)|
|2014||Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo & Brian Komline)||Montclair (Capt. Rob Scalzo)|
|2015||Arcola (Capt. Matt Headington)||Baltusrol (Capts. Jim Brown and Andy Stock) and Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo and Brian Komline)|
|2016||Baltusrol (Capt. Andy Stock)||Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo and Brian Komline)|
|2017||Arcola (Capts. Brian Celiberti and Michael O'Connell)||Plainfield (Capt. Brian Kilduff)|
|2018||Arcola (Capts. Brian Celiberti and Michael O'Connell)||Baltusrol (Capt. Nick Desai and Co-Capt. Rod MaRae)|
The Hoffman Cup membership is full at 32 clubs. New clubs will be considered for membership only when an existing member club leaves the event.
Clubs that are interested in participating in the Hoffman Cup should
ensure that they meet the requirements below. First, the club should
contact the Hoffman Cup Director to discuss the competition. The
club may then be placed on the Hoffman Cup waiting list in case an
opening in the event occurs.
To participate in the Hoffman Cup, a prospective club should:
For more information, contact Kevin Casey, Hoffman Cup Director, at email@example.com, 973-886-5705.