GAp teAm mAtches
GAP Team Matches offer
opportunities, memories By Rick Woelfel
here’s always a sense of anticipation and a fair
amount of nervous energy in the air as the GAP
Team Matches draw near.
The series will commence for the 113th time on
Sunday, April 21 and continue on April 28 and May 5.
The Playoff and Challenge Matches are scheduled
for Saturday, May 11.
The GAP Team Matches are one of the most inclusive competitions in golf. A total of 130 clubs will
participate in this year’s competition, fielding 320
12-man teams among them, meaning nearly 3,800
players will be in action each week.
Huntingdon Valley Country Club and Philadelphia
Cricket Club will field five teams this season, while 16
clubs have entered four teams each.
The 320 teams are divided into a total of seven divisions. The Top 16 squads are divided into the four four-team sections that comprise the elite Division AA and
compete for the GAP Team Matches Championship.
Divisions A through E feature 16 sections (64 teams)
each, while Division F features 16 teams divided into
Little Mill enters 2013 as the two-time defending
Champion. Only 10 clubs since the Matches inception
have won three consecutive titles. The last being Tavistock Country Club from 2004-06.
Jim Arsenault will serve as Little Mill’s ‘
captain-in-residence.’ Ryan McCarty, who was in charge of the
team the last two seasons, and is still on the roster, is currently in Florida with work obligations.
Little Mill has lost several players from last year’s
lineup for various reasons but a number of quality
Arsenault said this year’s lineup is likely to be a
blend of youth and experience. He said playing in the
matches is a wonderful opportunity for high school and
college-age players, whatever their club affiliation.
Playing alongside older clubmates offers an assortment
of real-time lessons.
GTM all-time titles
Huntingdon Valley CC . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Old York Road CC ................ 8
AroniminkGC .................. 7
Llanerch CC .................... 7
Overbrook GC .................. 6
Philadelphia CC ................. 6
Sandy Run CC .................. 6
lights. “Our members do get quite excited. Hopefully
this year is the year we move up.”
Astheimer said the players particularly enjoy going
on the road and having a chance to experience the hos-
pitality of other clubs.
“Some of our guys request to go away,” he said.
“They always come back with stories about how well
Road trips are part of what make the GAP Team
Matches so memorable. Each team sends half its play-
ers on the road each week. Each of the 12 players com-
petes in a singles match and a four-ball match simulta-
neously, with three points at stake in each match.
Each team faces every other team in its section over
the course of the three-week regular season.
The following week is highlighted by a Playoff
among the four section winners of Division AA to
determine the 2013 GAP Team Matches Champion.
There are also challenge matches in other divisions
(A to AA and B to A) that enable teams to move from
one division to another.
This year, five teams moved up to Division AA,
with Aronimink Golf Club, Bent Creek Country Club,
Back Creek Golf Club, Meadia Heights Golf Club and
Old York at Chesterfield Country Club replacing Blue
Bell Country Club, Hartefeld National, Laurel Creek
Country Club, Moselem Springs Golf Club and Tavistock Country Club.
The competition was originally known as the Inter-Club Team Matches when it was first held in 1897. It
became known as the Suburban League Matches in
1915 and the GAP Team Matches in 1997.
Since its inception, the GAP Team Matches have
been played without interruption, save for 1943-45
when they were not contested because of World War II,
and 1994 when severe icing made many courses in the
region unplayable that spring.
Huntingdon Valley Country Club, which won its first
title in 1898, holds the all-time record with 32 titles, including a record seven straight on two occasions, from
1898-1904 and again from 1970-76.
Rick Woelfel is a freelance writer from Willow Grove, Pa., who
has covered golf in the Philadelphia region for the last 18 years.