2023 Red Hoffman Cup Matches

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 roughly 500 leading New Jersey amateurs and professionals playing a total of 968 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 2022 champion team is from Arcola Country Club in Paramus, led by Captain Brian Celiberti. The 2023 Hoffman Cup Matches will be contested at all 36 member clubs in April and May, with the Finals to be held at the impressively and Montclair Golf Club's recently rennovated 2nd and 3rd nines on June 10. 

Terms of Competition:

The following rules and guidelines apply to the various parts of the Hoffman Cup Matches.

Format: With a total of 36 clubs, the event will comprise nine groups, each with four clubs.

  • For all matches and the Finals, USGA Rules are in effect, except as modified by Local Rules.

  • Intragroup. Each club will field four sides. Matches should be played to the degree possible as noted in the matches schedule will be played as two-man, four-ball matches on a three-point (Nassau) basis; e.g., one point for the front side, one point for the back side and one point for the full 18.  Ties on the nines and the eighteen result in 1/2 point for each team.  The point total after competition with another club will be 12 points (i.e., four matches x three points).  Within each of the eight groups, the team that compiles the most total points will be the group winner, and will advance to the semifinals. There is no tie-breaker in head-to-head intragroup play; ties will stand as ties.  In the event of a tie between two clubs at the end of intragroup play, the first tie-breaker would be the result of their head-to-head match. The second tie-breaker would be the cumulative points won in the first matches to tee off (both home and away) in the head-to-head match. The third tie breaker will be the higher cumulative point total in the 2022 Hoffman Cup Matches. The team with the most points advances. 

  • The Bye Club. Eight intragroup winners will compete in the semifinals. The ninth group winner will draw a bye to compete in the Finals. This Bye Club will be the group winner with the most points earned in 2023 intragroup play.  However, this Bye Club will be afforded the option of competing in the Semifinals. If the Bye Club chooses to compete in the Semifinals, that title will go to the club with the second highest intragroup point total. If the new Bye Club chooses to compete in the Semifinals, the same process will continue down the points list until a final Bye Club is identified. 

  • Entry to the Semifinals. The eight teams that enter the Semifinals will be the eight group winnersnot counting the Bye Club. The eight clubs will be seeded based on their intragroup point total (highest total first, lowest total last) with the #1 vs #8, #2 vs #7, #3 vs #6, and #4 vs. #5, with the Bye Club factored out.  Ties in point totals will be broken by comparing the tied clubs' third scheduled round point total; highest total wins.

  • The Semifinals. The semifinals will be competed under the same point system as the intragroup matches with the exception that there will be a tie breaker, as follows: a tie in a semifinals match will be resolved through a sudden death playoff commencing at the higher-seeded club. The playoff host club will be identified ahead of the semifinal match. If the two teams have the same number of intragroup points, the club that earned the most points in the tied clubs' third scheduled round will serve as the playoff host. Both captains will choose their two-man playoff team, consisting of two of the four players (amateur or professional) who played on-site at the playoff host team's course. The sudden death playoff will be played using the same four-ball match rules used in the earlier matches.  The winner of the sudden death playoff will advance to the Finals.

  • Finals. The four winners of the semifinals matches will advance to the Finals, which will be played as a two-man, four-ball medal play competition counting all four sides' scores. The team with the low total score in the Finals will be the Champion team. A tie at the end of regulation play in the Finals will be broken by sudden death playoff, as coordinated by the Hoffman Cup Director and the host head professional, with two competitors from each team who also played during the stipulated round.  

  • Champion Club.  The Finals winner will be the 2023 Hoffman Cup champion club.


  • Within a given club, eligible participants include amateur (as defined in the USGA Rules of Amateur Status) members with a verifiable handicap from that club.  Exceptions to this requirement are that: 
  • Each club is encouraged (but not required) to include not more than one representative from the club’s professional shop for each intragroup and playoff round. Professionals may play home or away. Consideration should be given to having the representatives from the pro shop play their matches against each other, but there is no requirement to do so. 
  • Each club is encouraged (but not required) to include not more than one member younger than 23 years of age for each intragroup and playoff round. This would typically apply to a full, primary member's dependent with a verifiable handicap from that club. (note: captains should refer to relevant NCAA and scholastic eligibility rules for these players competing on nonschool teams). If a contestant is under age 23 and is also a full, primary member of the club, he will not be disallowed from playing under this rule. 
  • Breach of this rule will result in forfeit of any points won by the ineligible team member(s).

  • In intragroup matches, players may compete for more than one club of which they are a member.  However, a player may compete in only one match on a given day. Participants may play for only one club in the playoffs (i.e., both semifinals and finals).
  • There is no requirement for any one player to participate in more than one match.

    Conducting Play

  • The objective of the Matches is to hold a golf competition. All competitions will be conducted as scheduled, unless: 
  • The course has been closed to all play
  • A player feels that there is danger from lightning. The Committee and the competitors should act in accordance with the Rules of Golf.
  • The captains mutually agree to move the match date to another time.  This revised time / date must be scheduled so that it is completed before subsequent "downstream" matches are scheduled to be played.



    The following responsibilities should be applied for each Hoffman Cup match play competition:

Hoffman Cup Matches Club Captain:

  • Selects and fields his club’s team for each Hoffman Cup competition.
  • Coordinates his club’s matches with each opposing captain, and ensures that his club is fully prepared to receive its Hoffman Cup guests / opponents.
  • Ensures that each of his team’s players is fully aware of the tee time, format and responsibilities (as either host or guest) for the day’s matches.
  • Before start of play, establishes the local Tournament Committee, as described below.
  • If not available himself, ensures that one player from his team serves as his on-site representative.  This player has the authority to act on his captain's behalf as a member of the on-site Tournament Committee. 
  • Reports the results of his match immediately after completion, first to his pro shop, and then ensures the information gets to the Hoffman Cup Director (Kevin Casey) within one hour of the end of his team’s last match of the day.
  • In the case of a semifinals match, coordinates with the opposing team captain to ensure that the tie breaker process will be in effect if needed..

Tournament Committee:

    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 Matches Director for resolution.

Host Club:

  • Each club needs to set aside two tee times each of the three match days.
  • The host clubs are respectfully requested to absorb green fees, range balls and a post–round meal (e.g., sandwiches and/or heavy hors d’oeuvres, beverages) for the participating guests and members. 
  • The host club in the semifinals matches and the Finals must be prepared to facilitate a sudden death playoff to commence shortly after the end of the scheduled Hoffman Cup play.


  • Each contestant will know his tee time, format and expectations (either as a guest or a member) in the Hoffman Cup.
  • Each contestant is expected to pay for caddies, carts and other incidental expenses such as tips. However, as a courtesy, some incidental expenses (such as “half-way house” refreshments) should be paid for by the host players or host club.
  • Each contestant will understand that he is a representative of his club.

    Champion Club:

   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 the following year.

Hoffman Cup Matches Director:

  • Ensures that overall event scheduling and grouping is provided to all captains and other interested parties with plenty of time to allow successful coordination.
  • Arranges for and coordinates all aspects of the Finals with the host club, which is expected to change every year.
  • Assists, as necessary, to ensure each captain has the information necessary to perform his job.
  • Serves as final decision-maker or arbitrator on Hoffman Cup-related issues or disputes that cannot be satisfactorily settled by the captains involved, including those involving weather.
  • Communicates relevant information on intragroup matches, Semifinals and the Finals, and provides the results of these events back to the club captains in a timely manner. 
  • Facilitates external media coverage of the Hoffman Cup Matches.
  • Ensures that the Hoffman Cup is properly engraved between events, and is presented at the Finals event. 

Red Hoffman Cup Background

How The Hoffman Cup Came to Exist

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 ultimately 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 recaptured the title by the closest of margins over Black Oak.  

In 2017 four clubs made the Finals with only one title among them.  Arcola recaptured its 2015 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 Jersey shore clubs.

2022 marked Arcola's sixth victory in eight years, displaying a dominance unseen in the Hoffman Cup since Montclair's five consecutive championships a decade before.  After Arcola's 8-shot win in 2022, the second straight conclusive win in its now six wins, the club fully embraced the idea of the Hoffman Cup and found a semipermanent, prominent spot in the trophy case for the Cup.

However, 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.

Detailed results for each year are available under "Cup Archives," in the navigation above.

 Red Hoffman

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, an honor that we hope we can count on for years to come.

Consistent Growth 

From its start in 2005 to 2014, the Hoffman Cup grew at a rate of almost four clubs a year. Starting in 2019, the Hoffman Cup limited participation to 36 clubs. Here are each of the Hoffman Cup member clubs noted by the year 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 Golf Club
2018 - Somerset Hills Country Club

2019 - Deal Golf and Country Club, Forest Hills Field Club, Liberty National Golf Club**, North Jersey Country Club

2020 - Fiddlers Elbow Golf Club

2022 - Maplewood 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 2017, then returned in 2019 after an absence of two years.
*** The Ridge at Back Brook left the Hoffman Cup in the winter of 2018; Roxiticus left in 2022.

Red Hoffman Cup Champions

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)  
2019  Arcola (Capt. Trevor Randolph)  Black Oak (Capts. Michael Deo and Brian Komline)
2020  Hamilton Farm (Capt. Drew Jordan)  Arcola (Capts. Xavier Dailly and Trevor Randolph)
2021  Arcola (Capt. Xavier Dailly)  Rumson (Capt. Morten Gotterup)
2022 Arcola (Capt. Brian Celiberti Baltusrol (Capt. Nick Desai and Co-Capt. Rod  MaRae)


To Participate:

The Hoffman Cup membership is at 36 clubs.  New clubs will be considered for membership primarily 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. Then, 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:

  • Be a member in good standing of the Metropolitan Golf Association and the New Jersey State Golf Association
  • Have 30 members with a handicap index of less than 8.0
  • Have hosted or are scheduled to host at least one of the following events, in the history of the club:
    • New Jersey State Golf Association (NJSGA) Open or Men’s Amateur Championships
    • Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) Open, Men's Amateur or Ike Championships
    • Any USGA Championship (not including qualifiers)
    • Any PGA Tour event.


For more information, contact Kevin Casey, Hoffman Cup Director, at kevincasey36@gmail.com, 973-886-5705.

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