About GAP

  Philling the GAP

Philling the GAP is a monthly series highlighting the many services the Association provides to its members – some you may be well aware of, some you may not. This monthly space presents an in-depth look at everything the Golf Association of Philadelphia offers.

March 2019
  Interns don’t only make coffee runs; they help make the Golf Association of Philadelphia run efficiently and effectively throughout the year. Through the organization’s internship program, college or graduate students gain valuable work experiences that guide their professional path. GAP employs four to five interns annually to assist services such as championship administration, handicapping and course rating. In conjunction with the USGA’s P.J. Boatwright Jr. Internship Program, it provides a hands-on, career-based opportunities for those looking to dive into golf administration. Cool beans.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia typically hires four tournament interns and a Communications intern annually.

  • Available GAP internships are posted on the organization’s website and social media channels, distributed to more than 20 colleges and universities locally and advertised on Handshake and LinkedIn.

February 2019
  New year, new Rules of Golf. In result, the Golf Association of Philadelphia is gearing up for golf’s major changes. Now it’s your turn to join in on the preparation. A pair of Club Rules Seminars, equipped with a specific focus on the significant changes that took effect Jan. 1, will be held Feb. 23 at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club and March 2 at Lancaster Country Club. In addition, a Women’s Only Seminar is on the schedule for March 30 at Bluestone Country Club. Young minds can gain Rules of Golf knowledge during a collegiate (Feb. 27 at Rosemont College) and high school (Feb. 15 at Talamore Country Club) as well. Furthermore, rules chats are spread throughout the offseason for GAP rules officials.

Facts & Figures
  • Seminars are open to all Golf Association of Philadelphia members.

  • An electronic version of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf is available to Member Clubs and their members through the USGA Rules of Golf App as well as through the Golf Association of Philadelphia website.

January 2019
  The Women’s Committee of the Golf Association of Philadelphia was formed in 2018. Its goal is to promote women’s golf through improved communication and to increase Association women’s programming in the coming years. With more than 16,000 female members, the committee will strive to make sure the GAP is servicing these golfers to the best of its ability. Since the creation of the committee, two more playing opportunities and a Women’s Only Rules Seminar have been added to the 2019 GAP calendar. Stay tuned for more additions and opportunities in the months ahead.

Facts & Figures
  • The 15-person Women’s Committee met for the first time on May 18, 2018.

  • Two playing opportunities for women have been added to the GAP Schedule in 2019: Women’s Spring Scramble and Mixed Foursomes Championship.

  • In 2019, for the first time, there will be a Women’s only Rules Seminar guided by a women’s rules instructor.

  • The GAP currently administers 14 tournaments (not including Member Play Days), including USGA Championship qualifiers, in which there is a Women’s Division.

December 2018
  The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust impacts hundreds of lives by providing financial assistance to deserving caddies of Golf Association of Philadelphia Member Clubs in pursuit of higher education. More than $1 million in grants were distributed during the 2018-19 school year to 126 Platt Scholars. The newest, and highest, level of support is the Endowment Program. The Endowment Program requires a minimum $50,000 gift and can be earmarked for a caddie who attends a particular school or works at a particular club. The Endowment remains in perpetuity.

Facts & Figures
  • As of this moment, the Trust has 20 fully funded endowed scholarships.

  • 16 of those 20 have been created since the endowed scholarship program was re-booted in 2014. The Trust focused on more marketing of the opportunities and began naming a recipient for each endowment yearly.

  • The scholarship becomes fully funded once a minimum $50,000 threshold has been reached.

November 2018
Who doesn’t love a good contest? The Golf Association of Philadelphia knows there’s a knack for them. It specifically spreads contest fever through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, dishing GAP swag and miscellaneous treasures throughout the year. At the beginning of the season, the Middle-Amateur Championship has become a contest centerpiece of late. Participants submit the total number of birdies recorded by the field for a chance to win a Callaway Golf gift package. The Association engages — sans prizes for this one — its Instagram followers through the occasional #NameThatGAPTrack contest. Don’t forget about select contests included in monthly eRevisions as well. And given the Association’s expanded footprint, it seems that more contests may be on the horizon.

Facts & Figures
  • In 2017, a birdies contest for the Middle-Amateur Championship presented by Callaway Golf yielded 67 entrants.

  • #NameThatGAPTrack, a frequent visitor on the @GAofPhilly Instagram page, prompts followers to identify Member Clubs via a single photo. Prizes to come for future correct guesses…

  • In 2015, the Association conducted a contest that asked participants to submit their favorite golf moment from the year for a chance to win a GAP gift package.

October 2018
  Unlimited: the number of minutes that cell phone providers advertise in today’s technology-driven world. Unlimited: the number of scores that Golf Association of Philadelphia members can post to their handicap record. That includes area scores from rounds played during the active season (April 1-Nov. 14). Even if you take a golf trip during the winter, you can (potentially) post that score because 16 states offer year-round active seasons. Whether it’s through the user-friendly GAP App, My GAP Locker or the club’s score posting computer, you can add rounds to your handicap record at any time. GAP members posted 1,220,606 scores in 2017 (1,329,762 in 2018 thus far). Posting scores to your handicap record allows you and your fellow golfers, regardless of ability level, to enjoy fair competition every time you set foot on the course.

Facts & Figures
  • More than two million golfers nationwide have USGA Handicap Indexes issued by golf clubs.

  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia addresses score posting in the “Frequently Asked Questions” portion of its website.

September 2018
  Picture what goes into the Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament experience. No seriously. Pictures are part of the Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament experience. Most events are chronicled through photography. The Association’s purpose is to preserve, promote and protect the game of golf in the region. Pictures represent part of that preservation. All photographs are available to the public, too, thanks to Flickr, an online image hosting service. Most, if not all, GAP tournaments include photo galleries for your viewing pleasures. Now picture yourself playing in an event and being a part of that keepsake photo.

Facts & Figures
  • The Association joined Flickr in 2011.

  • Photos aren’t exclusive to Golf Association of Philadelphia events. Other services and happenings are documented, too.

  • See your photo in a gallery? Contact a member of the Communications team if you’d like to receive a copy of the original file for printing purposes.

August 2018
  Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, the regular networks — television content is readily available and abundant for binge watching these days. Here’s another worthwhile platform to add to your viewing list: GAPTV. As the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s exclusive video network, GAPTV produces a wide variety of programming that highlights the organization’s services and beyond. It provides tournament coverage of all four Majors (BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship, Joseph H. Patterson Cup, Middle-Amateur Championship and Open Championship) in addition to Member Club features and news packages. After catching up on “The Blacklist” and “Stranger Things,” add a few GAPTV productions to your library.

Facts & Figures
  • An upbeat, visually engaging intro and outro segment brands each GAPTV production.

  • Since its inception in 2006, GAPTV has produced more than 500 videos, with more than 200,000 views.

  • Comedy is a GAPTV component, too. Videos such as the IAGA Winter Golf Challenge and Pop-A-Tent Challenge deliver a more lighthearted flare.

July 2018
  “Fun for the whole family” is as trite an advertising zinger as they come. No harm in using it one more time then, right? The Golf Association of Philadelphia offers plenty of fun for the whole family through a handful of playing opportunities. Start with the ever-popular Parent/Child League events. Mom, dad or even grandparents can pair with kin for nine holes of modified chapman golf. Each of the eight events offered in 2018 will feature theme nights. Don’t forget about the Father & Son tournaments or The Deeg Sezna — all of which invite family participation.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia is the only Youth on Course partner in the Delaware Valley.

  • Youth on Course is in 25 regions across the country.

  • YOC registration link: Click here.

June 2018
  The Golf Association of Philadelphia announced a partnership with Youth on Course, a national program that provides Juniors with access to life-changing opportunities through golf, in March 2018.

  Members ages 6-18 in the Golf Association of Philadelphia region will be able to join the Youth on Course national network and access unlimited golf for $5 or less per round at 800 facilities across 23 states.

  The Golf Association of Philadelphia has currently secured 13 clubs in the Delaware Valley: Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, Cobbs Creek Golf Club, Delcastle Golf Club, Downingtown Country Club, Ed Oliver Golf Club, Franklin D. Roosevelt Golf Club, John F. Byrne Golf Club, Ramblewood Country Club, RiverWinds Golf & Tennis Club, Rock Manor Golf Club, Running Deer Golf Club, Valleybrook Country Club and Walnut Lane Golf Club.

  For more information on the Golf Association of Philadelphia/Youth on Course partnership, visit www.gapgolf.org.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia offers three Father & Son tournaments: Younger (sons ages 17 and under), Middle (sons ages 18-25) and Older (25 years of age and older).

  • The Parent/Child League started in 2010. Format for each event is nine holes of modified chapman and a shotgun start.

  • The Pre-Junior events also encourage family involvement. Parents may walk with their children as they participate in a rules clinic followed by six holes of golf.

May 2018
  Here at the Golf Association of Philadelphia, we’ve got playing opportunities for every skill level of golfer. Our net championships – geared toward mid-to-high handicappers – are the perfect opportunity to play competitively while experiencing exceptional golf courses in a comfortable setting. In all events, players accrue Stableford or Net points over 18 holes, and prizes are awarded based on overall and flight winners. The organization’s Tee It Forward events (Spring and Fall) are annual highlights on the season’s calendar. In order to adhere to the Tee It Forward parameters, both events offer three tee choices three sets for those who drive the ball between 150 and 200 yards. Additionally, golfers 50 and over can compete in the Francis B. Warner Cup (Net) and Frank H. Chapman Memorial Cup (Net).

Facts & Figures
  • All members of GAP Member Clubs with a 7.1 or higher Handicap Index are eligible to play in net events.
  • Four net events will take place in 2018: Warner Net (May 29, White Manor); Spring Net (June 7, Coatesville); Fall Net (Aug. 23, Brookside); Chapman Net (Aug. 29, Medford Lakes)

April 2018
  Can’t get enough @GAofPhilly? Look no further than our social media platforms, which serve as a direct connection between the 70,000 GAP Members gracing the Philadelphia region. Whether you’re looking for instant tournament updates or a photo of the latest champion, we cover it all across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You can find us on each of those platforms by simply searching: @GAofPhilly.

Facts & Figures
  • The @GAofPhilly Twitter account, our go-to platform for breaking news, tournament updates and more, currently possesses 4,250+ followers and over 13,500 tweets. Also included is our live-streaming Periscope video service.

  • The current @GAofPhilly Facebook page currently has over 2,300 followers. This page focuses more on interaction posts, such as GAP Magazine articles and other human-interest pieces, in addition to tournament recaps and announcements.
  • Instagram, our fastest-growing platform, now has 1,700+ followers. Its here where we post our favorite photos we snap throughout the year, including trophy shots.

March 2018
  New in 2018, the Golf Association of Philadelphia brings the Anthracite Golf Association, cohorts in Northeastern Pennsylvania, into the fold. Translation? All Anthracite services fall under the GAP umbrella. The former Anthracite Member Clubs are now eligible to become AGA/GAP Member Clubs. All AGA/GAP members are eligible for GAP tournaments (save for the BMW GAP Team Matches). All member benefits will then apply: tournament access, handicapping services, complimentary subscriptions to the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine and much more. Anthracite’s tournament schedule remains in place, with all GAP members now eligible for those events as well. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Facts & Figures
  • A group of golf enthusiasts met at Fox Hill Country Club in 1951 to officially form the Anthracite Golf Association.

  • Anthracite’s most distinguished event is the Coal Scuttle, an interclub competition in the vein of the BMW GAP Team Matches.

  • Anthracite offers a scholarship program that helps graduating high school seniors from the Northeastern Pennsylvania region in their pursuit of a college education.

February 2018
***2018 Member Play Days Lottery Sign-ups***

Tired of offering a negative answer whenever a friend asks if you’ve ever played an exclusive course in the area? Leave those disappointing responses behind by partaking in Member Play Days. Open to all amateur members (male/female/Juniors age 14 and older) of the Golf Association of Philadelphia, Member Play Days allow you to experience exquisite venues throughout the region. No pressure, just the promise of enjoying a new course in a relaxed atmosphere.

Facts & Figures
  • Sixteen facilities, including new GAP Member Club Hershey Country Club and the Country Club of Harrisburg, are slated to host Member Play Day events in 2018.
  • Each Member Play Day event uses a net stableford scoring format. No pressure to complete every hole.

January 2018
  One of our New Year’s resolutions in 2017 was to make more friends (and partners) for the betterment of our member benefit offerings. We’re happy to report we did just that. Not only do we have exclusive ticket opportunities available for the BMW Championship coming to Aronimink Golf Club in early September, but we’ve established relationships outside our sport as well. GAP Members were given special access to reduce rates for select tickets to Philadelphia Flyers, Sixers, Union and Phillies games. Be on the lookout for even more coming your way in 2018.

Facts & Figures
  • Ticket specials were offered to three Phillies’ games in 2017: June 4 vs. Giants, Aug. 26 vs. Cubs and Sept. 20 vs. Dodgers.

  • Two Union games were available for GAP Members at a special rate last year: Aug. 5 vs. FC Dallas and Oct. 1 vs. Seattle Sounders.

  • GAP Members were also entitled to discounted Flyers’ games -- one game per month between October and April.

December 2017
  Who doesn’t like free stuff these days? The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is a free member benefit. Signing up for a subscription is as easy as the decision to play golf on a sunny spring day. First, log into your My GAP Locker and click on the subscriptions tab. Select “yes” next to the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine line and boom, you’re now on the mailing list. Still having trouble? Call the Association’s office at 610-687-2340 and our staff will be happy to help you take advantage today.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine, published four times annually, celebrated its 10th anniversary last year.

  • Change your address recently? Need to cancel your Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine subscription? Send an e-mail to email@gapgolf.org and your information will be updated accordingly.

  • Members can also sign up for a complimentary subscription to Golf Digest. Log into your My GAP Locker, click on the subscriptions tab and select “yes” next to the Golf Digest line.

November 2017
  School is cool. Golf is cool. Put the two together, and life rules. It’s an elementary tagline for an elementary audience. The Golf Association of Philadelphia aims to introduce the sport of a lifetime to the next generation. Player development programs such as Golf in Schools and First Green connect course and classroom. Education is essential to the Association’s mission.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf in Schools program aims to introduce the game to physical education classes throughout the region.

October 2017
  Golf is a game of honor. In that vein, the Association does its part by honoring those who support it in any way, shape or form. For example, three awards — Arnold Palmer Lifetime Service, Distinguished Service and Junior Sportsperson — recognize individuals who exemplify the spirit of the game. The Association presents a plethora of year-end honors, too: Players of the Year (Amateur, Junior, Senior and Super-Senior) for on the course achievements, Volunteer of the Year for the individual who helps make those achievements possible. Don’t forget about the Association’s Hall of Fame, a permanent home for the organization’s greats. It’s an honor to honor those who aid us in preserving, promoting and protecting the game of golf.

Facts & Figures
  • The Arnold Palmer Lifetime Service Award is the highest award of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.
  • The Junior Sportsperson Award was introduced in 2006.
  • Fourteen individuals currently occupy the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame.

September 2017
  The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission since inception is simple: to preserve, protect and promote the game of golf in the region. On the preservation side of things, the organization does its part to raise awareness of its decorated past and to document its present. History is a pride point. Past champions, past presidents, past comings and goings — it’s an integral part of the GAP fabric. “A Centennial Tribute to GOLF in Philadelphia” by James W. Finegan is a literary embodiment of the Association’s historical relevance. The work of GAP’s forefathers was not done in vain.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia was founded on Feb. 5, 1897. George D. Fowle of Philadelphia Country Club was elected first President.
  • The four founding clubs of the Association: were the Belmont Golf Association (soon to be Aronimink Golf Club), Merion Cricket Club, Philadelphia Cricket Club and Philadelphia Country Club.
  • The Association administers seven tournaments that have more than 100 years of competitions: Amateur Championship; Father & Son (Older); GAP Team Matches; Junior Boys’ Championship; Open Championship; Joseph H. Patterson Cup and Silver Cross Award.
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia is the oldest regional or state golf association in the country. This year is the 121st year for the GAP.

August 2017
Dawn to Dusk is the largest one-day fundraiser for the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust. Launched in 2010, club representatives play golf sunup to sundown to raise money for Philadelphia’s True Golf Charity. Since D2D’s inception, more than $1.4 million has been raised and more than 23,000 holes played. In all, the J. Wood Platt has awarded more than $19 million to 3,400 caddies since its inception in 1958. This year’s Dawn to Dusk is set for Aug. 21 at North Hills Country Club.

**Donate to Dawn to Dusk**

Facts & Figures
  • The first Dawn to Dusk was held at Old York Road Country Club in 2010. That year, $102,000 was raised and 1,504 holes played.
  • The Dawn to Dusk individual year record for fundraising and holes played was set in 2015 with $310,000 and 4,183 holes. North Hills Country Club was the site.
  • Including 2017, a total of 43 GAP Member Clubs have participated in at least one Dawn to Dusk Golf Marathon.
  • In 2017, the Dawn to Dusk Golf Marathon raised more than $230,000 with more than 3,500 holes played.
  • In its eight years, the Dawn to Dusk Golf Marathon has raised more than $1.66 million in donations.

July 2017
 Using the golf industry’s best tournament management system? Now that’s genius. New in 2017, the Golf Association of Philadelphia offers USGA Tournament Management, Powered by Golf Genius Software, LLC., to all Member Clubs. This Web-based system helps professionals and staff better manage competitions such as leagues, charitable outing, member-guests and tournaments. It also serves as the scoring and event management platform for all GAP events. Members will notice an improvement in functionality and support, too. Fret not: the Association still supports the Tournament Pairing Program (TPP) for Member Clubs, until Dec. 31, 2017.

Facts & Figures
  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia conducted seven training sessions in March to educate its membership on the USGA Tournament Management suite.
  • Having USGA Tournament Management trouble? The Knowledge Base provides searchable articles, tutorials, and screenshots to aid in initial troubleshooting. If all else fails, support from the Association is available via chat, phone or email.
  • GAP first forged a relationship with Golf Genius Software, LLC. (then GolfLeagueGenius.com) in 2013 to launch GAP League Play, a 12-week competition that featured nine holes of better-ball net stableford scoring.

  • The USGA Tournament Management suite includes three product versions: Club, Club Premium and Association.

June 2017
You won’t see a “boys only” sign when climbing aboard the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s treehouse. The organization offers playing opportunities for the female branch of its membership, too. Women can participate in Member Play Days, Parent/Child League events and Tee It Forward championships (Spring and Fall) as well as, new for this year, the Warner Cup (Net) and Chapman (Net) competitions. The Deeg Sezna, a mentoring event now in its 16th year, encourages female involvement as well. Golfers can invite a Junior girl or boy to compete in a team format. There’s something for everyone, regardless of age or ability level. Stay tuned. There will be more opportunities in the future for girls and women.

Facts & Figures
  • In 2016, the Tee It Forward championships included a Women’s Division. Beth Satterly of The Bucks Club won the Spring Net title; Old York Road Country Club’s Wynn Harris took the Fall Net trophy.
  • Junior girls are eligible to compete in the The Deeg Sezna, Francis X. Hussey Memorial and Jock MacKenzie Memorial. Those tournaments feature girls-only divisions.
  • Women can also become Golf Association of Philadelphia volunteers.

  • The Golf Association of Philadelphia administers qualifiers for female-specific USGA championships such as the U.S. Girls’ Junior, U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball.

  • More than 18 percent of the Association’s membership is female.

    May 2017
    The implementation of Periscope, a live-video streaming app integrated within Twitter, has allowed the Association to bring our tournament coverage to the next level. Our live broadcasts now make it possible for you — the viewer — to catch GAP action from the comforts of your couch. We look forward to extending our coverage in 2017. Here’s a quick guide on how to access the Association on Periscope.

    Facts & Figures
    • Our @GAofPhilly Periscope account currently has 440 followers.
    • In 2016, @GAofPhilly had over 8,500+ unique viewers on tournament broadcasts.

    • Last season included 20 different live broadcasts. The most viewed came between the #BMWPhillyAm Final with an audience of 1,000+.
    • Periscope is used mostly on-site at GAP Majors: #GAPMidAm, #BMWPhillyAm, #GAPOpen, #PattCup.

    April 2017
    The Golf Association of Philadelphia remains committed to informing all golfers of the Delaware Valley about its mission to preserve, protect and promote the game. In 2017, the Association is expanding its media reach by joining the “Inside Golf" television show, the highly-respected, long-standing area production. The Association is slated to run in 24 episodes of the weekly magazine-style show seen on Comcast SportsNet and The Comcast Network. Each segment/episode will highlight the services of the Golf Association of Philadelphia.

    Facts & Figures
    • "Inside Golf" debuted on Jan. 4 1998 on Comcast SportsNet. The first show highlighted Reading Country Club; a segment on blind golfers; a writer’s round up; a feature called ‘Did you ever wonder?’ and a rules of the game piece.

    • The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s opening “Inside Golf" segment focused on the rich history of the country’s oldest state or regional golf association. Take a look.

    • The “Inside Golf" Library is the place to find all Golf Association of Philadelphia appearances on the show.

    • “Inside Golf" runs on Comcast SportsNet on Sunday at 5:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., Monday at 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday at 4 p.m. It runs on the Comcast Network on Sunday at 7 p.m. You can watch all of our previous episodes by going to the website, http://www.insidegolf.net, and viewing ‘Show Archives’ page.

    March 2017
    There isn’t any gray area with the expression, “one more”; it’s either wholly good or bad, depending on circumstance. In the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s case, the verdict is positive thanks to the 1 MORE campaign. It encourages members to play one more round, to eat one more meal, to take one more lesson, to employ one more caddie or to introduce one more golfer to the sport. Those who opt into the 1 MORE campaign are eligible for monthly prizes. We’ll say it one more time; this is a great service.

    Facts & Figures
    • The 1 MORE campaign, a vision of GAP President Bob Morey, began in 2016. It runs from April 1 to Oct. 31, the Association’s active handicapping season.

    • A total of 308 members opted into the 1 MORE campaign in 2016.

    • GAP members can sign up for the 1 MORE campaign via My GAP Locker. Participants can track their monthly progress to see where they stand compared to 2015 for each month.

    • Prizes awarded for participation in the 1 MORE campaign include Golf Association of Philadelphia apparel, a two-hour session on the TrackMan Swing and Ball Flight Analysis system and more.

    • The 1 MORE campaign echoes a “Plus One” call-to-action issued by USGA President Diana Murphy during her Annual Meeting address in 2016.

    February 2017
    Member Play Days continue to be a benefit to behold. These events allow members to experience courses throughout the Delaware Valley in a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere. Member Play Days are open to all amateur members (male/female/Juniors age 14 and older) with a valid GAP/USGA handicap index. No pressure to complete every hole you play, either; these events feature a net stableford scoring format. Grab a few friends and see all the Philadelphia golf scene offers.

    Facts & Figures
    • Twenty-six courses hosted Member Play Day events in 2010, the program’s inaugural year.

    • Eleven facilities, including 2015 U.S. Women’s Open host Lancaster Country Club, will stage Member Play Day events in 2017.

    • Need assistance registering for a GAP Member Play Day? Check out the tutorial video listed in “GAP Tutorials” on the Association’s Web site, www.gapgolf.org.

    • Due to a high demand in entries for Member Play Days, the Association adopted a lottery system in 2013 to determine event participants.

    • Each Member Play Day event features a shotgun start. No tee time pressure, folks.

    January 2017
    That chill in the air shouldn’t scare you from teeing it up. The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Winter Series offers members a chance to keep their game fresh during the typically quiet, “offseason” months. Two slates — branded fall and spring for distinguishing purposes — included four to six events, most of which feature a net stableford scoring format. A Player of the Year competition across four categories (Amateur Gross, Senior Gross, Amateur Net, Senior Net) adds to the participation incentive.

    Facts & Figures
    • The Winter Series started in 2008.

    • Each Winter Series event features a shotgun start.

    • Greg Smith, a Radley Run Country Club member, won the Amateur Net Player of the Year Award in four consecutive years (2012-15).

    • Saint Annes Club (now known as Back Creek Golf Club) hosted the first Winter Series event on March 6, 2008. It featured professional and pro-am divisions.

    • To date, 49 GAP Member Clubs have hosted a Winter Series event. Four of those clubs — Bala, Back Creek, Blue Bell and Whitford — have done so on three occasions.

    December 2016
    The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust reflects the philanthropic passion of its namesake. A revered champion and Golf Association of Philadelphia Hall of Famer, J. Wood Platt carried a compassion for the caddie. Hoping to “give them all a chance,” he conceived a program that fostered club contributions to a singular scholarship fund.

    The Trust, with Platt as a co-founder, first contributor and visionary, came to life in 1958. With assistance from colleagues Walter Schmidt, Robert Dunlop and Herman Benninghoff, Platt and the program financially supported its first Caddie-Scholar, Owen Doyle of Ashbourne Country Club, in the form of a $1,500 grant. Doyle attended Notre Dame in 1958 and graduated in 1962 with a degree in electrical engineering. He is one of 3,450 young men and women in the Trust’s list of scholarship recipients to date.

    The Trust’s mission, constant since inception, is to financially aid deserving caddies in their pursuit of higher education. Since its inception, the Platt has issued $20 million in aid, and 191 caddies will receive more than $1.15 million during the 2016-17 academic year. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 per academic year for undergraduates and graduate students.

    Facts & Figures
    • The average award granted by the Trust is $7,680.

    • First Caddie-Scholar, Owen Doyle of Ashborne Country Club, attended Notre Dame in 1958 and graduated in 1962.

    • The average GPA of the Caddie-Scholars is 3.20.

    • There are currently 383 Lifetime Contributors to the Trust. In addition, 1,957 members belong to the Par Club as of the conclusion of last year.

    • As of 2015, a total of 43 GAP Member Clubs currently have Caddie-Scholars. Eighty-seven colleges are home to Caddie Scholars.

      November 2016
      The Golf Association of Philadelphia’s reach extends beyond the course. It offers seminars and meetings that cater to both Members and Member Clubs throughout the year. Officials can learn more about key issues and topics affecting the golf industry by attending the Presidents’ Council in March or the Pro.-President, Golf & Green in May. Work in a grounds department or serve on a greens committee? The Association’s Environmental Conference may be of interest as it brings sustainability to the forefront. High school students can ease their collegiate queries by checking out the biannual College Golf Seminar, which aims to educate on golf at the next level. And for those with golf tags of any kind, the Club Rules Seminar provides a continuing education of the Rules of Golf. Oh, and morning refreshments and lunch.

      Facts & Figures
      • Breakfast Seminars are conducted periodically to offer Member Club officials the opportunity to network and exchange ideas on timely issues affecting the industry.

      • More than 100 GAP Member Club presidents, general managers and club officials attend the Presidents’ Council annually.

      • The Pro.-President, Golf & Green marks the unofficial introduction of the Association’s tournament season. It includes lunch, golf and dinner with a featured speaker.

      • The Association conducted its first President Council in 2005. Featured speakers that year included Gary Hamilton, Steve Graves and Tom Walker.

      • Former LPGA Tour player and current ESPN Golf Analyst Dottie Pepper spoke during the Presidents’ Council in 2014.

      • Starting in 2014, the Association began presenting its Distinguished Service Award during the Pro.-President, Golf & Green.

      • Andy North served as the featured speaker during the Pro.-President, Golf & Green in 2006 at Spring Ford Country Club.

      • Club Rules Seminar attendees receive a complimentary copy of the latest Decisions Book issued by the USGA.

      October 2016
      Volunteers, in a sense, operate as the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s backbone. Without their support, the organization couldn’t provide industry-leading service to its Members and Member Clubs. More than 150 individuals dedicate time to assisting with tournament administration by serving as checkpoint scorers, starters or rules officials. Another 45 lend a hand with course rating, representing teams that travel to 25-35 Member Clubs annually. The Association fulfills its mission — to preserve, protect and promote the game of golf — thanks to the dedication, congeniality and commitment of its volunteer base.

      Facts & Figures
      • As a way of saying thanks, the Association conducts Volunteers Day annually. The event features lunch, golf and dinner for those who serve the organization that offseason.
      • Carl Berlinger and David Junkin, M.D. are the longest-serving volunteers. They started with GAP in 1983.

      • The Association awards a Volunteer of the Year in recognition of an individual who demonstrates a passion for golf and has made contributions above and beyond the norm.

      • Before each tournament season begins, the Association offers a series of Volunteer Training Days. Each covers changes for the upcoming season, the Rules of Golf, pace of play and more.

      • Volunteers who serve as scorecard checkpoint officials use electronic tablets to input a player’s score, a key component in the Association’s live scoring system.

      • During each GAP tournament, volunteers and staff members on site stay in constant contact to ensure effective administration.

      • In addition to starting, scorecard checking, pace of play monitoring and Rules of Golf coverage, volunteers also spot golf balls for players during GAP tournaments.

      • Indian Valley Country Club and Sandy Run Country Club currently field the most GAP volunteers with 12 each.

      September 2016
      Being old never gets old. Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia is the oldest local or regional association of its kind. With four distinguished facilities in Aronimink Golf Club, Merion Cricket Club, Philadelphia Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club within its roots, the Association features 153 Full Member Clubs spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Its mission, which they chose to accept — to preserve, protect and promote the game of golf. Preservation in the ongoing historical documentation of all GAP events, services and activities. Protection in upholding the game’s integrity throughout each passing season. Promotion in event coverage and technological touch. The Golf Association of Philadelphia is your association.

      Facts & Figures
      • The earliest form of the BMW GAP Team Matches — a match between Devon Golf Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club — served as the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s genesis.

      • Seven gentlemen — George D. Fowle, Rodman E. Griscom, Samuel Y. Heebner, Isaac T. Staarr, Walter E. Stephenson, Dr. Henry Toulmin and Milton C. Work — met on Feb. 5, 1897 to form the Association.

      • George D. Fowle, a Philadelphia Country Club member, was elected to serve as the Association’s first president.

      • The late James W. Finegan, in his book “A Centennial Tribute to GOLF in Philadelphia,” documented the Association’s rich history.

      August 2016
      Ever argue with one of your buddies over whose golf course is harder to play? That type of discussion typically involves course rating, one of the many services provided by the Golf Association of Philadelphia. Five volunteer teams rate every Member course on a seven-year rotation, as well as any other area course requesting service. The Association’s staff, in turn, then reviews each rating to make sure that criteria is consistently being applied. This helps to create an equitable playing field for all golfers. Once a golf course is rated, scores can then be posted for handicap purposes. The Association rates 25-35 courses annually. It may not seem like it at first glance, but course rating plays an integral role in your GAP membership.

      Facts & Figures
      • In April 1983, the Association conducted its first course rating meeting at Gulph Mills Golf Club.

      • In 2015, GAP course rating volunteers rated 29 golf courses totaling 513 holes.

      • Huntingdon Valley Country Club (Flynn/Centennial) holds the highest men’s course rating (76.4) of GAP Member Clubs.

      • Manufacturers Golf & Country Club (Upper) holds the highest women’s course rating (78.9) of GAP Member Clubs.

      • A course rating is based on what a scratch golfer should shoot on that course, while the slope rating is an indicator of the difficulty of the course for a bogey golfer.

      • Phoenixville Country Club was the first course to undergo an official GAP measuring. Executive Director James D. Sykes, along with Tournament Director J. Fred Christman and his two sons, performed such a task in 1983.

      • Course raters take GPS measurements of the golf course and chart various obstacle values on each hole. Those include topography, recoverability and rough, bunkers, water hazards and green surface, and more.

      • Raters evaluate the golf course for two types of golfer: scratch and bogey. The scratch golfer hits it 250 yards off the tee (230 of which are in the air). The bogey golfer hits it 200 yards off the tee (180 in the air). Each subsequent shot for the scratch golfer travels 200 yards (180 of which are in the air) and the bogey golfer hits it 170 yards (150 in the air).

      July 2016
      How does having availability to play the region’s finest courses sound? Too good to be true? It’s not! Thanks to Member Play Days, all Golf Association of Philadelphia members can experience layouts throughout the Delaware Valley in a relaxed, enjoyable environment. These events are open to all (amateur) members (male/female/Juniors age 14 and older) with a valid GAP/USGA handicap index. Nervous about setting foot in a tournament setting? Fret not. Member Play Days use a net Stableford scoring system. That means once you have met your net limit, you can pick up, so there is no pressure to complete every hole. Grab a few buddies and see the Philadelphia golf sights.

      Facts & Figures
      • To bring its “play more golf” vision forward, the Association launched Member Play Days in 2010. Twenty-six courses hosted events that year.

      • Eleven facilities — from the Jersey Shore to Schuylkill County and everywhere in between — will host Member Play Day events in 2016.

      • White Manor Country Club has hosted the most Member Play Day events (five). Laurel Creek Country Club and The Ridge at Back Brook rank second with four.

      • Due to a high demand in entries for Member Play Days, the Association adopted a lottery system in 2013 to determine event participants.

      • Forty-five Golf Association of Philadelphia Member Clubs have hosted a Member Play Day event.

      June 2016
      You know by now — at least we trust you do — that the Golf Association of Philadelphia conducts tournaments. Seventy to be exact, give or take a few each year. Events for all ages (see the Senior Amateur Championship and Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship) and ability levels (take the stage, BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship and Tee It Forward events). But the Association’s tournament department operates beyond administering competitive platforms.

      Course set-up is part of the equation. Staff members mark hazards, determine hole locations and course length for play in advance and will share their expertise with any Member Club wishing to listen. Education is paramount. The tournament department offers an annual Rules of Golf seminar, course marking and set-up instruction and volunteer training. It’s more than meets the tee. Or tent. Or table. You get the idea.

      Facts & Figures
      • When composing the season’s schedule, the tournament department relies on GAP Member Clubs for assistance in offering host services. The Association respectfully requests a club to serve as a host site once every two years.

      • Dotting tees, marking hazards and setting tee positions are just a few of tasks executed during a course set-up.

      • Aside from GAP specific events, the tournament department administers six to eight USGA qualifying events annually.

      • The tournament department conducts an annual Club Rules Seminar, which provides continuing education of the Rules of Golf.

      • Registration for all GAP tournaments is exclusively available online via the Association’s Web site, www.gapgolf.org.

      • Need to know more about course marking? The tournament department is here to help. Call the Golf Office to set up a session.

      • The tournament department is in-tents. It sets each one for starting and scoring purposes.

      • The tournament department relies on the help of volunteers to successfully administer GAP events.

      • When composing the season’s schedule, the tournament department relies on GAP Member Clubs for assistance in offering host services.

      May 2016
      A putt-putt adventure may spark your child’s interest in golf. Once that fire’s lit, let the Golf Association Philadelphia add fuel through its Junior golf opportunities. It offers events specifically catering to boys and girls 18 years of age (who have yet to begin their college education) or younger.

      Start with the Pre-Junior Event, which includes a rules and etiquette session followed by six holes of golf for youngsters ages 8-10. Throw in the Junior-Junior Boys’ Championship, a match play competition for those 10-13 years of age, and top it off with an array of tournaments for both boys and girls. When you choose to explore Junior golf, the Association is here to help.

      Facts & Figures
      • The Association’s Junior outreach formally began in 1914 with the introduction of its Junior Boys’ Championship.

      • The Association conducts a College Golf Seminar in alternating years for high school student athletes pursuing golf at the collegiate level.

      • In partnership with the Philadelphia PGA Section, the Association developed a Golf in Schools program in 2014 to introduce the game in physical education classes throughout the region.

      • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine highlighted Junior golf in its Spring 2014 issue.

      • The Association participates in the annual Williamson Cup, one of nation’s most prominent Junior golf events. It fields one of 11 teams from state and regional golf associations.

      • To open the door to all Junior golfers, the Association created the GAP Junior Players Club. Golfers 18 years of age or younger can gain tournament access, among other perks, for a $50 fee.

      • The Association, in conjunction with the USGA, offers a PLAY Golf program to assist community efforts in expanding access to golf for urban youth.

      April 2016
        One of the essential services the GAP offers to its members is handicapping — a vital piece to keeping the game fair, just and fun for golfers of all skill levels. Since its inception in 1912, the USGA Handicap System has made it possible for golfers of differing abilities to do just that. More than 2.3 million golfers from approximately 14,000 clubs across the country have handicaps provided by the USGA’s GHIN (Golf Handicap & Information Network) service, including 187 GAP Member Clubs.

        Another important feature of GAP’s Handicap Service is golfer inquiries. A GAP/GHIN club may obtain handicap information about any of the nearly 2.3 million golfers on the GHIN system. Verifying handicaps for member-guest and invitation tournaments is right at your fingertips.

        GAP/GHIN users are able to post their scores on the GAP App or via the Internet at www.ghin.com or www.gapgolf.org.

        In addition to the handicapping services provided, the Golf Association of Philadelphia is proud to offer access to the TrackMan Swing and Ball Flight Analysis system to its membership. TrackMan is the standard for equipment makers, PGA Tour professionals and the sport’s governing bodies, the USGA and the R&A.

      Facts & Figures
      • April 1-Oct. 31: the posting season for the Philadelphia region.

      • In 2007, the Association, after analyzing 15 years of data, implemented the Knuth Tournament Point System. This system is used for all net competitions, individual and team, with more than 50 competitors.

      • Did you know? Forty-two percent of scores posted in 2015 were through the GAP App or online (GAP/GHIN).

      • Once a player posts five 18-hole scores, a Handicap Index is generated. Eventually a player’s 10 lowest 10 of 20 scores are counted.

      • Revisions are on the 1st and 15th of each month.

      • A score is acceptable is a golfer has played at least seven holes for a 9-hole score, or 13 holes played for an 18-hole score. Any unplayed holes are posted as par plus any handicap strokes for that hole.
      • GAP members can sign up to receive revisions electronically through email.

      • Ways to post: Handicap computer at club, or on-line at gapgolf.org, GAP App, ghin.com.

      March 2016
        Nothing says golf season is here like the BMW GAP Team Matches. The longest-running Interclub concoction of its kind, the BMW GAP Team Matches showcases competition and camaraderie in a team environment. Members of full Member Clubs represent their facility on three Sundays in April and enjoy different courses throughout the Philadelphia region. The relationship and memories that follow are unparalleled. The BMW GAP Team Matches features teams of 12 players, with six competing at home and six on the road. Participants engage in a singles match and four-ball match concurrently.

      Facts & Figures
      • On Oct. 15, 1896, a team representing Philadelphia Cricket Club traveled to Devon Golf Club for a match. The occurrence served as the genesis for the BMW GAP Team Matches.

      • The BMW GAP Team Matches underwent three name changes. It began in 1897 as the Interclub Team Matches, became the Suburban League Matches in 1915 and then the GAP Team Matches in 1997.

      • Huntingdon Valley Country Club holds the most BMW GAP Team Matches titles with 32.

      • BMW became a presenting sponsor in 2015.

      • The BMW GAP Team Matches wasn’t contested in 1943-45 (World War II) and 1994 (severe winter weather).

      • In 2015, a total of 332 teams from 138 Member Clubs participated in the BMW GAP Team Matches.

      • Division AA is the top tier in the BMW GAP Team Matches. There are seven divisions overall.

      • Philadelphia Cricket Club, one of the Association’s founding Member Clubs, won its first BMW GAP Team Matches title in 2013.

      • The BMW GAP Team Matches Playoff determines the event’s overall champion.

      • The BMW GAP Team Matches is 116 years old.

      February 2016
        Staying ahead of the technological curve is always a Golf Association of Philadelphia priority, especially when it comes to the organization’s Web site and mobile app. The Association’s Web site, www.gapgolf.org, offers a one-stop portal for organizational news, Member Club information, tournament registrations, J. Wood Platt Caddie-Scholarship donations and much more. A main function of the Web site is the My GAP Locker portal, located in the top right of the home screen. My GAP Locker offers all registered users a snapshot of their respective interactions with the organization, from the most current handicap eRevision to the status of their complimentary magazine subscriptions to recent tournament registrations and even a contributions record of donations to the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust.

        Both the Web site and GAP App offer users the most popular features: live scoring from ALL Golf Association of Philadelphia tournaments; instant tracking of the BMW GAP Team Matches results and the ability to post a score in a few clicks to one’s handicap record.

        The GAP App can be downloaded for free on any iPhone or Android device. Other GAP App features include the ability to view one’s handicap score history; to calculate the course handicap for any set of tees and to find contact information and directions to all Member Clubs. Download the GAP App by searching for “gapgolf” in Google Play or the App Store.

      Facts & Figures
      • GAP members posted a total of 1,224,323 scores to the GHIN system in 2015.

      • The Association’s Web site, www.gapgolf.org, was viewed more than 4.9 million times in 2015.

      • There are three convenient and easy ways to post a score for handicap purposes through the Golf Association of Philadelphia. (1) At your club’s posting computer; (2) at www.gapgolf.org; and, perhaps the easiest way, (3) on the GAP App. under Post Score. All take less than 20 seconds.

      • Tracking a friend or family member in a Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament? It’s easy to do so. Live scoring is available both online and on the GAP App for all competitions.

      • Entering its fifth season, the GAP App has been downloaded 10K times: 80-percent by Apple users; 20-percent by Android users. Last season, 330,000 scores for handicap purposes were posted on the GAP App.

      January 2016
        The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine has been a staple of the Association the past nine years. Published four-times annually, it serves as Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information. Content revolves around all things GAP, from Member Club profiles to tournament coverage to a Rules of Golf section. Each issue contains a focal topic (eg. Handicapping; Junior Golf; Pace of Play; etc.) surrounded by accompanying pieces. A subscription to the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is complimentary for all Members. Log-in to your My GAP Locker and click on the subscriptions tab to take advantage. As an added bonus, Members can elect to receive a complimentary subscription to Golf Digest. Again, log-in to your My GAP Locker and click on the subscriptions tab.

      Facts & Figures
      • The first issue of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine was published in July/August 2007 and featured Merion Golf Club on the cover. It was an eight-page booklet with five articles.

      • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

      • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine printed a special U.S. Open Issue in 2013 as a prelude to the Championship. That issue was recognized by the IAGA with a Gold Tee Award. It chronicled Merion’s USGA history and previewed the celebrated affair.

      • The current print run of the Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is 34,500 per issue.

      • Each printed issue is available on-line with clickable pages and links. Visit the Golf Association of Philadelphia Web site, www.gapgolf.org, for a complete Magazine library.

      • Miss a Golf Association of Philadelphia tournament result? View the back pages of each issue for complete coverage. It’s the only place where the results of ALL GAP tournaments are printed.

      • The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine has been printed 35 total times.