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

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For 100 years, the Crump Cup has been played in Pine Valley, 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, especially since the tradition of allowing spectators for Crump Cup Final matches on Sundays has been suspended.

But for those who are 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 make it different. any other event on the amateur calendar. The tournament will take place from September 22 to 25.

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

1. The tournament dinner takes place after two qualifying rounds in move play to determine five match play brackets (three 16-man Mid-Amateur brackets and two 8-man Senior brackets). Since only those in the elite have a chance of winning 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 large table facing the rest of the players. At this table, Pine Valley flags were displayed at each seat, with each player receiving a flag corresponding to their seed in match play (for example, the 3rd seed receives a 3rd hole flag) and the opponents of the next day sat next to together for dinner.

2. There is a short 10-hole course at Pine Valley which is sometimes used for consolation competitions for those not playing match play. Eight of the ten holes on the short course are replicas of approach shots from the main course.

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 putt. There are only two par 5s on the course, both spanning 600 yards and both requiring an aerial approach. Two of the par 4s, the 8th and 12th, are sometimes technically passable, but the targets are so tiny that this almost never happens. So approach holes are pretty much the only way to put two circles on the map.

4. There are no out of bounds at Pine Valley, and all structures on the course are viewed across the green. Thus, if a competitor finds his ball behind, in or on 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 4th found the roof of the clubhouse, from where he rose for a world par.

5. The practice facility is across the property from the clubhouse, and so warming up before the ride requires a nearly one-mile scenic car or wagon ride, winding between 9ths and 5th/6th holes, across the 7th fairway and through the woods. Like many courses built in the early 20th century, Pine Valley didn’t have a dedicated practice area, so the club eventually built one (which is, unsurprisingly, world-class) where they had the land. available.

6. Unlike most other mid-amateur and senior majors, the Crump Cup changes its dates every year. One of the main considerations is to avoid a conflict with the American Mid-Amateur, and so over the past 20 years we have seen the tournament start as early as September 9 and end no later than October 3.

seven. The Rules of Golf regarding bunker rakes do not apply to the Crump Cup, as Pine Valley does not have bunker rakes. So if a player finds themselves in one of Pine Valley’s many sandy areas, which range from tiny little scrapes to vast wastelands, they are in real danger from which escape is not guaranteed. This is part of the reason why, in stroke play qualifying, players who have found the infamous “Devil’s A**hole” bunker on the 10th hole have been known to re-tee rather than risk playing a shot from the deep pit and see the ball roll into a footprint or worse.

8. While how to get a Crump Cup invite is more nebulous (you don’t ask for one, and there are no open applications or qualifications; they’ll find you if they want to invite you), the way to get a- guest is much clearer. Two straight 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 conduct unbecoming. The Crump Cup is a tournament for gentlemen, and the players put on their best behavior on and off the course.

9. Caddies are necessary 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 strokes, a Pine Valley caddy is invaluable. A round at the Crump Cup is full of dreadful dangers, tricky reads, and strategic decisions (many players have folded at the par-3 5th and won the hole), and success is always a team effort.

ten. 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 the world No. He lived on the property year-round, first 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 end of the 18 holes. 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.

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