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


The Crump Cup has been played in Pine Valley for 100 years, yet the tournament and host club remain a mystery to many. The track, despite being the No. 1 for decades, is unknowable to most, especially since the tradition of admitting spectators to Sunday’s Crump Cup final has been suspended.

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

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

1. The tournament dinner will be held after two stroke play qualifying rounds have been played to determine five match play brackets (three mid-amateur brackets of 16 players and two senior brackets of 8 players). Since only those in the top division have a chance at the overall championship, it was one of the traditions of the Crump Cup to honor these 16 players by having them sit together at a wide table facing the rest of the players. . At this table, Pine Valley flags are spread at each seat, with each player getting a flag that corresponds to their match play seed (e.g. each other for dinner.

2. There is a short 10-hole golf course in Pine Valley that is sometimes used for consolation games for those not making match play. Eight of the ten holes on the short course are replicas of approach shots on the main course.

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3. There are probably fewer eagles made at the Crump Cup than at any other major tournament. The reason? It is almost unheard of to have an eagle’s well. There are only two par 5s on the course, both over 600m in length, and both require an aerial approach. Two of the par 4s, the 8th and 12th, are sometimes technically rideable, but the targets are so small that it almost never happens. So approach shots are pretty much the only way to put two circles on the map.

4. There are no trespasses in Pine Valley and all structures on the course are considered by the green. So if a contestant finds his ball behind, in or on top of any of these structures, he will not get a hindrance. Carlton Forrester found this out during the 2012 Crump Cup when his second shot at the long par-four 4th found the roof of the clubhouse, from where he went up and down for an all-world par.

5. The practice facility is on the opposite side of the clubhouse grounds, so warming up for the round will require a nice car or cart ride of nearly a mile, meandering between the 9th and 5th/6th holes, over the 7th fairway and through the woods. Like many courses built in the early 1900s, Pine Valley didn’t have a dedicated practice space, so the club eventually built one (which, unsurprisingly, is world-class) where it had the available ground.

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6. Unlike most other mid-amateur and senior majors, the Crump Cup moves its dates every year. One of the most important considerations is to avoid conflict with the American Mid-Amateur, and so for the past 20 years we’ve seen the tournament start as early as September 9 and end only on October 3.

7. The rules of golf pertaining to bunker rakes do not apply to the Crump Cup, as Pine Valley does not have bunker rakes. So if a player finds himself in one of Pine Valley’s many sandy areas, which range from minor grazes to vast wastelands, he finds himself in a real danger from which escape is not guaranteed. This is part of the reason why players who have found the infamous “Devil’s A**hole” bunker on the 10th hole are more likely to re-tee during stroke play qualifying than risk a shot from the deep pit. play and see the ball roll back in a footprint or worse.

8. While the way to secure an invitation to the Crump Cup is more unclear (you don’t ask for it, and there are no applications or open qualifiers; they will find you if they want to invite you), the way to – invited is much clearer. Two consecutive years of missing match play is usually a one-way ticket out of Pine Valley, as is the rarer but not unheard of display of inappropriate behavior. The Crump Cup is a men’s tournament where players behave their best on and off the court.

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9. Caddies are required during the Crump Cup, and on a course where 15 feet above or below the hole can be a difference of 2 or 3 strokes, a Pine Valley caddy is invaluable. A round at the Crump Cup is full of terrifying dangers, tricky reads and strategic decisions (many players have been 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 went all out to design the track that would become the world’s number 1. He lived on the property all 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 time, including Harry Colt, George C. Thomas, Walter Travis and AW Tillinghast, and the result speaks for itself. But Crump died tragically in 1918, a year before the full 18 holes were completed. The George A. Crump Memorial Tournament was established in his honor in 1922, and 100 years later he was inducted into the New Jersey Golf Hall of Fame.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek