Here are 10 things you didn't know about the Crump Cup at Pine Valley

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Crump Cup at Pine Valley

For 100 years the Crump Cup has been played in Pine Valley and yet the tournament and the host club remain a mystery to many. The course, despite maintaining its No. 1 ranking for decades, is unknown to most, even more so since the tradition of allowing spectators for the Crump Cup final matches on Sundays was discontinued.

But for those invited to play in the George A. Crump Memorial Tournament, it’s a valuable opportunity to go behind the curtain and experience a place most will never see, in a tournament with a set of traditions and playing conditions that they do different. any other event in the amateur program. The tournament is from September 22 to 25.

Here are 10 things you may not know about what could be the best amateur golf tournament:

1. The tournament dinner takes place after two qualifying rounds of stroke play to determine five match groups (three 16-player medium amateur groups and two 8-player adult groups). Since only those in the top flight have a chance to win the overall championship, one of the past traditions of the Crump Cup has been to honor these 16 players by seating them together at a wide table in front of the rest of the players. On this table, Pine Valley flags were placed at each spot, and each player was awarded a flag corresponding to their seed (e.g., the third seed receives a flag from the third hole) and the opponents of the hole. The next day they sat next to him. each other for dinner.

two. There is a 10-hole short course at Pine Valley that is sometimes used for consolation competitions for those who don’t match play. Eight of the short course’s ten holes are replicated approach shots from the main course.

3. There are probably fewer eagles made in the Crump Cup than in any other major tournament. The reason? It is almost unheard of to have an eagle putt. There are only two par 5s on the course, both stretching over 600 yards and both requiring an aerial approach. Two of the pair 4s, the 8 and 12, are sometimes technically manageable, but the targets are so small that it almost never happens. Therefore, approach shot holes are pretty much the only way to get two circles on the card.

Four. There are no out of bounds at Pine Valley, and all structures on the course are considered through the green. So if a competitor finds his ball behind, in or on top of one of these structures, he will not get relief. Carlton Forrester discovered this in the 2012 Crump Cup, when his second shot on the long par-four fourth found the roof of the clubhouse, from where he went up and down for a world par.

5. The practice facility is on the opposite side of the property from the clubhouse, so warming up before the round requires a nearly one-mile scenic drive or cart ride, winding between holes 9 and 5/6, through off the 7th fairway and through the woods. Like many courses built in the early 20th century, Pine Valley did not have a dedicated practice area, so the club eventually built one (which, unsurprisingly, is world-class) where had the land available.

6. Unlike most other middle and top level races, the Crump Cup changes its date every year. One of the main considerations is to avoid a conflict with the US Mid-Amateur, which is why in the last 20 years we have seen the tournament start on September 9 and conclude on October 3.

7. The Rules of Golf regarding bunker rakes do not apply in the Crump Cup, because Pine Valley does not have bunker rakes. So if a player finds himself in one of Pine Valley’s numerous sandy areas, ranging from small scratches to sprawling wastelands, he’s in real danger from which escape is not guaranteed. This is part of the reason why during stroke play qualifiers, players who have found the infamous “Devil’s A**hole” bunker on the 10th hole are known to re-tee rather than risk playing a shot. from the deep pit and watch the ball roll back into a footprint or worse.

8. While the way to secure an invite to the Crump Cup is more nebulous (you don’t ask for one, and there are no open applications or qualifiers; they will find you if they want to invite you), the way to get an invite is much clearer. Two consecutive years of missing a game is usually a one-way ticket out of Pine Valley, as is the rarer but not unheard of display of improper conduct. The Crump Cup is a gentlemen’s tournament, and the players are on their best behavior on and off the pitch.

9. Caddies are required during the Crump Cup, and on a course where being 15 feet above or below the hole can be a difference of 2 or 3 shots, a Pine Valley caddy is invaluable. A round in the Crump Cup is filled with fearsome hazards, misleading reads and strategic decisions (many players have stayed on the par 3 5th and won the hole), and success is always a team effort.

10 The tournament’s namesake, George Arthur Crump, never made it to opening day. Crump was the visionary behind Pine Valley and put everything he had into designing the course that would become No. 1 in the world. He lived on the property year-round, initially in a tent and later in a bungalow built near the current site of the 5th hole. He consulted with some of the great golf course architects of the day, including Harry Colt, George C. Thomas, Walter Travis and AW Tillinghast, and the result speaks for itself. But Crump tragically died in 1918, a year before the 18 holes were completed. The George A. Crump Memorial Tournament was started in his honor in 1922, and 100 years later he was inducted into the New Jersey Golf Hall of Fame.

The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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