For the 15th time, I was fortunate enough to be able to play in our national championship event, the United States Golf Teachers Cup. From modest beginnings in 1996 at Ponce De Leon Resort in St. Augustine, Florida, as a one-day event with approximately 40 players, the event has blossomed into an extravaganza with over 100 participants regularly.
Originally, the event was simply called the USGTF Members’ Tournament. Like the Masters, which was called the Augusta National Invitational for the first few years, the original name didn’t adequately convey the stature of the tournament. In time, the name United States Golf Teachers Cup was adopted for the 2001 version of the event, which took place in Jensen Beach, Florida, as part of World Golf Teachers Cup week. In fact, it was in 2001 that the tournament took on its current format of 36 holes of stroke play. Now, this may be changed in future years if circumstances warrant, but for now the two-round format works well. Many participants get in a few days before the event and spend 4-5 nights. A great deal of camaraderie and friendship occur each and every year.
Personally for me, the best part of the tournament is not in the actual playing itself, but in getting to see many of my old friends and making new ones. I would say that we have at least 75 “regulars” each year who come to the events. I would like to think that they are there for the same reason.
For those of you who never come to the event, you really don’t know what you’re missing. Honestly, if you have the time and the money, you owe it to yourself to make the journey. You will guaranteed wish you had come sooner. We get to play two tournament rounds plus practice rounds on great golf courses, at a time of year where things are winding down for most of us. For those who live in the Sunbelt, October-November is the lull before the storm, so to speak, so we’ve found that these months are ideal for having our tournament, regardless of where you live.
Next year’s US and World Cup tournaments appear to be headed towards Orange County National in Orlando. You may have heard of this venue – they have Tour Q-School finals here every 2-3 years.
So don’t delay. Once signup begins for the Cups next year, be sure to get your entry in…especially you first-timers!