Editor's Choice: Quintessential New England Golf Tournaments
07 May 2022
by Sean Melia of AmateurGolf.com

Hyannisport Golf Club (Credit: Links Gems)
Hyannisport Golf Club (Credit: Links Gems)

While the golf season might be on the shorter side in New England, there is no shortage of opportunities for players to scratch their competitive itch.

Events are rich in history and sites like Hyannisport Club, Newport CC, and Stanwich Club offer players a chance to experience excellent golf with outstanding designs.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting different regions of the country and the events players can participate in.

Let’s explore events in the New England Region.

• • •

Seagulls Four-Ball; April 2 - 10; Hyannisport (Mass.) Club

Hyannisport Club hosts the Seagulls over two weekends. The prestigious venue, opened in 1887 and designed by Alex Findlay and later Donald Ross, is a Cape Cod crown jewel.

A one day qualifier on Saturday is followed by the first round of match play on Sunday. The event finishes the following weekend with matches on Saturday and Sunday.

• • •

Vermont Spring Four-Ball Championship; April 30 - May 1; multiple venues

A 36-hole event is for members of the VGA; it is the biggest amateur event in New England and offers three flights depending on handicap.

1. Championship Flight: Combined handicaps of 12 or less.
2. Combined handicaps of 13 or more. Flights of 16 teams.
3. Senior Championship: Each member of the team must be 55 or older.

The event is held at sites in the northern and southern region of Vermont.

North region venues: Neshobe GC, Proctor-Pittsford CC, Rutland CC
South region venus: Dorset Field Club, Manchester CC, The Golf Club at Equinox

Equinox Golf Resort (Credit: Golf Pass)

New Hampshire Match Play Championships; May 10 - September 20; multiple venues

The New Hampshire Match Play Championship takes place throughout the summer and is limited to NHGA club members. An 18-hole stroke play qualifier is followed by four rounds of match play that take place at various clubs around the state.

There are mid-am and senior divisions. The top 16 players in each division qualify for match play.

• • •

John P. Burke Memorial; May 16 - 17; Newport (R.I.) CC

One of the USGA’s five founding clubs, Newport Country Club, opens its doors to golfers who are members at RIGA member clubs and hold a RIGA membership.

The tournament is a 36-hole stroke play tournament played over two weekends, with gross and net competitions. Players age 55 and over will compete simultaneously in tournament proper and senior division.

Newport CC (Credit: USGA)

• • •

Russell C. Palmer; May 16 - 17; Wampanoag CC; West Hartford, Conn.

The Russel C. Palmer Cup is the Connecticut Stroke Play Championship. Host club Wampanoag CC was built in 1924. Like other courses hosting big events in New England, it was designed by Donald Ross. Over the course of two days, competitors play three rounds of stroke play, navigating some of the toughest, fastest greens in Connecticut.

Named for Russell C. Palmer, former CSGA Executive Director (1986-1995) and inductee into the Connecticut Golf Hall of Fame (1997).

• • •

Hornblower Invitational; June 3-4; Plymouth (Mass.) CC

This event started in 1936 and was reinvigorated in the 1960s when the original Hornblower trophy was discovered in the back of a closet by a member and the head pro. Plymouth CC is a Donald Ross design, and the name of the event is in honor of Henry Hornblower, a Boston businessman and key member of the club during it’s founding.

The Hornblower is a 36-hole stroke play event held over two days with a cut after 18 holes.

Each year approximately 65% of the field is filled by invitation, the balance of the field is filled from applications open to anyone who carries an active GHIN index of 3.0 or lower.

• • •

Downeast Metro Amateur; June 11-12; Kebo Valley; Bar Harbor, ME

Tucked between the edge of Acadia National park and the Mt. Desert Narrows in Bar Harbor, ME, Kebo Valley CC hosts the Downeast Metro Amateur in June. There are four divisions: an open division, a junior division for 14-to-17-year-olds, a senior division, and a women’s division.

Kebo Valley was founded in 1888 and designed by Herbert Leeds, who also designed Myopia Hunt Club in South Hamilton, MA.

• • •

Seacoast Amateur Golf Championship; June 24 - 26; Wentworth-by-the-Sea CC; Rye, N.H.

Started in 1981, the Seacoast Amateur is designed to find the best player in the seacoast region of New Hampshire. The field is not limited to players from clubs in the seacoast area, however, they must play their majority of golf in southeastern New Hampshire.

In addition to the 54 hole individual stroke play event, there is a club competition - The Kay Stulb Memorial Championship. Any club with three or more players can participate. The three best scores from the club count toward the total score.

The host courses have changed over the years. Abenaqui Country Club, Wentworth By The Sea, and Portsmouth CC were the original hosts. Now Breakfast Hill, York Golf and Tennis, Cochecho Country Club, The Ledges, The Links at Outlook Golf Course, and Pease Golf Club eventually joined to host the tournament.

• • •

Worcester County Amateur Championship; July 2 - 3; Kettle Brook GC; Paxton, Mass. and Wachusett CC; West Boylston, Mass.

This 36-hole stroke play event started in 1986 and is always hosted by the same two Massachusetts courses. The winner of the first two Worcester County Amateurs, Fran Quinn, is the father of Owen Quinn who is currently a three time defending champion.

Other notable winners are MassGolf Hall of Famer Frank Vana Jr., who has won it six times, and Matt Parziale the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur champion.

• • •

New England Amateur Championship; July 18 - 20; Alpine CC; Cranston, R.I.

Held since 1926, the New England Amateur brings together players from six New England area states. The event host rotates between each of the six represented states. The tournament has been won by notable PGA Tour players such as JJ Henry (1998), Tim Petrovic (1986), Billy Andrade (1983), and Brad Faxon (1980, 1981).

Entries are open to amateur golfers who hold membership in a club belonging to one of the six New England State Golf Associations and have an up-to-date USGA/GHIN Handicap Index not exceeding 6.4.

Alpine CC (Credit: Stacy Smith Photography)

• • •

Little Brown Jug; August 19 - 21; Wahconah CC; Dalton, MA

“The Jug” is a four-ball event held over 54 holes; it will celebrate its 50th anniversary this August. The tournament’s location in Western Massachusetts draws players from both New York and Massachusetts.

During the past 10 years, over 600 players representing 140 different clubs have played in the tournament’s four different divisions.

Registration for the event opens on June 1.

• • •

The Farrell; September 30 - October 2; Stanwich Club; Greenwich, Conn.

The Farrell offers golfers an opportunity to play one of the best courses in Connecticut - The Stanwich Club. This is a new tournament in 2022 that anyone with a World Handicap System (WHS) Handicap Index not exceeding 4.0. can apply to compete in. The event will consist of an 18 hole stroke play, the top 16 players will advance to match play.

There is a men’s, women’s, and senior division.

The tournament is named after Stanwich head professional Billy Farrell. Farrell was the first-ever Head Golf Professional at the club, a role which he held from 1964 until his retirement in 2000.

• • •

New England Series; Various Locations throughout the spring, summer, and fall

This series of events offers players the chance to play some of the most exclusive courses in the region - The Kittansett Club, Myopia Hunt, Wannamoisett CC. Players of all skill levels are welcome and it’s proven a wonderful way to meet new people and test your game under a little bit of pressure.

The Kittansett Club (Credit: Kittansett.org)

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