NJSGA Ultimate Team Event A Dream Day Of Golf For New Jersey Duos

NJSGA Ultimate Team Event A Dream Day Of Golf For New Jersey Duos

The New Jersey State Golf Association’s second annual Ultimate Team Event is set for Monday, August 29 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton.

This exciting event includes clubs from throughout the State of New Jersey, pitting twosomes from member clubs in a unique 27-hole format. Twosomes have been designated by their clubs to participate. In last year’s inaugural event, 62 twosomes competed at Metedeconk National in Jackson. This year, a full field of 72 is expected to participate.

In the event, the teams will play in three nine-hole different formats over the 27 holes in a series of three shotgun starts. The first nine holes are played in four-ball format, with each partner playing his own ball and counting the low ball on each hole. The second nine holes is in a Pinehurst format, with each member teeing off, then playing the other’s second shot, and then playing the best shot the rest of the way.

The final nine holes is to be played in a Shamble format, with each member teeing off, selecting the better second shot, and then each partner playing a separate ball from that point the rest of the way.

The event is scored using Stableford (points) scoring for the entire event which is one point for Net Bogey, two points for Net Par, three points for Net Birdie and four points for Net Eagle and a hole-in-one on a Par 3.

Last year’s champions were Larry Hannon and Dan LaVecchia of Trump National in Bedminster and they will play at Upper Montclair in hopes of defending their championship.

“I enjoyed the competition and loved the multiple formats. I especially loved the Stableford scoring because you don’t get to play with that at all. Having three different formats makes it a true team event. You have to depend on your partner in all three formats,” said Hannon, an insurance executive who lives in Tewksbury.

“I also liked the approach if using three nines. The three different formats and Stableford are all excellent. The venue was great last year and we have another good one this year, a great 27-hole facility. The event is very well organized,” Hannon added

“The scoring is up to speed - it was clear and it was obvious to groups what they needed to do. You get two breaks in between each nine holes.You don’t play against the same team all day. And the presentations at the end were terrific, too. It was a long day and the NJSGA wasted no time presenting the awards,” he said. “I’m very impressed with the event.”

Said playing partner Dan LaVecchia: “The event is awesome, the format is perfect and what I thought was great was you had the cameras on us for the final nine holes and we still went out and crushed the field!”

Jim Spanarkel and Tim Lazarus played last year at Metedeconk National and will represent the host lcub, Upper Montclair, this year.

“The first thing is I thank the NJSGA for having the ability to create an event that crosses the State of New Jersey with all the different clubs participating. You get a chance to meet and get know people from other affiliated clubs. You’re all there for the golf, but you get a feel for them as people, then as golfers. You get to know how they mesh with their clubs. The openness of that is terrific,” said Spanarkel, the former college basketball All-American and current broadcaster.

“The event is great with the three different formats throughout the course of the day. It keeps it interesting and entertaining. Last year, Tim and I played it and we didn’t beat up the field, but we had lot of fun, met nice people and had a very enjoyable experience,” said Spanarkel, who works full-time as wealth management advisor.

“We think it is really exciting to have an event like this on a statewide basis, incorporating this type of format. It is an event like no other. It generates a lot of enthusiasm, first to represent the club, then to play an outstanding venue like Upper Montclair Country Club, and finally, playing in a format far different from any tournament the NJSGA conducts to crown a champion team,” Kennedy stated.

“Any two golfers from a member club have an opportunity to compete in a statewide event that is conducted within the traditions and professionalism in which the NJSGA administers all its other championships. It is an event involving golfers on a larger scale that they would not normally have a chance to compete in,” Kennedy said.

“The way it brings golfers together from all over the state provides enthusiasm for the game of golf. It’s what makes this game unique and interesting.”

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