Somerset Hills -- Not Your Typical Rookie

Somerset Hills Country Club, the grande dame of New Jersey clubs and home to one of the most revered courses in the region, will make its debut as a 119-year-old rookie when the Hoffman Cup tees off this April.

Ranked No. 64 on Golf Digest's America's 100 Greatest Courses of 2017-18, Somerset Hills is a study in variety and considered by many to be A.W. Tillinghast’s most authentic surviving design. Still, the club seems determined to balance respect for its heritage and a commitment to improvement.  If you return this year to Somerset Hills after a few-year absence, expect the unique, exceptional greens to remain unaltered, but you’ll find the beauty of the course enhanced by carefully nurtured fescue roughs and strategically removed trees. In a nod to today’s longer ball, there are even a few new back teeing grounds.

The new tees are probably needed. Over the past few years, the club has quietly pulled together an impressive number of excellent golfers and should be expected to have an immediate impact on its Hoffman Cup competition. Many of these players have competed in MGA, NJSGA and even USGA events in recent seasons, and may help the team bypass the rookie-season fits and starts that historically plague so many new Hoffman Cup teams.

Our thanks go to Mark Nugent, Somerset Hill’s Golf Committee Chair, who galvanized the club’s interest in the Hoffman Cup, approached us for inclusion, and was willing to wait until the time was right. Additionally, please welcome Jake Ward as captain of the Hoffman Cup’s newest team.

Somerset Hills was invited to join the Hoffman Cup after the recent resignation of The Ridge at Back Brook, which is refocusing its numerous important obligations. We certainly thank The Ridge and its Captain Travis Deibert for its six years of participation in the Matches, and trust that this special club’s departure is only temporary.

It goes without saying, we look forward to Somerset Hill’s participation in the Hoffman Cup.

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Our Thanks to Plainfield

Plainfield, one of the most storied clubs in the country, will be our host for the 2018 Red Hoffman Cup Finals.  An early (2006) member of the Hoffman Cup Matches, Plainfield’s influence has been obvious. Its then-captain Bob Corbett, suggested that we name our new event after Red Hoffman, New Jersey's golf writer laureate and member of their club, who had just passed away. We did so, and good karma has graced the Hoffman Cup ever since.

Almost immediately upon joining, the hospitality and grace of Plainfield’s members and staff to its Hoffman Cup visitors raised the bar for all of us, and has so much to do with the high regard the Hoffman Cup enjoys today.

And, of course, the quality of Plainfield's Donald Ross emerald is fully evident to the golfing world every time it hosts the Barclays, or any number of major USGA, MGA and NJSGA  events. 

Thank you, Plainfield, for including the Hoffman Cup Matches  in your mix!


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The 2018 Red Hoffman Cup Calendar

Groups Announced

Intragroup Matches

Semifinals

Finals

When: Thursday, March 1

When: Sat, Apr 21; Sun, Apr 22; Sat, Apr 28

When: Saturday, May 5th

When: Saturday, May 12th

Who: Your club vs. the other three clubs in your Group

Who: Each of the eight Group winners

Who: The four semifinalist match winners

Where: Each day, two matches at home, two matches away

Where: Two matches home, two away; same as Intragroup Matches

Where: Plainfield Country Club

Format: Two-man better ball, match play, Nassau point system.

Format: Winner of Group A plays winner of Group H, B vs. G, C vs. F, and D vs. E; same format / scoring as Intragroup Matches. Sudden death tie breaker.

Format: For each club, four two-man teams; better ball, medal play; all four scores count. Sudden death tie breaker.

 

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By The Numbers

2 -- Years (2016 and 2017) that Morris County Golf Club has led all teams in donations to the First Tee.

4 (of 4 possible) -- The number of 18-hole Hoffman Cup clubs that were 2017 Finalists.

14.5 -- The whopping difference between Navesink Country Club's 2016 point total (6.0) and its 2017 total (20.5); 2017's Most Improved Team!

24.9 -- The average number of points by intragroup winners since 2005.  That is 8.3 out of 12 possible points per match.

32.5 -- The total number of points in intragroup play (out of 36) won by Arcola CC in 2017, a new Hoffman Cup record.

60 -- The number of years Arthur K. "Red" Hoffman, long-time dean of New Jersey golf writers, covered New Jersey golf.

218 -- Arcola's winning score in 2017, the highest since Montclair GC's 220 in the 2009 Hoffman Cup Finals at Essex County CC

$102,000 -- In its first six years (2012-17), the amount generated by our team captains in support of our First Tee Initiative, which donates funds to support New Jersey's four local First Tee chapters.



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