The Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP), the oldest local or regional golf association in the country, will conduct tournament competition for its 120th season in 2016.
GAP was founded in 1897 by Aronimink Golf Club (formerly Belmont Golf Association), Merion Golf Club (formerly Merion Cricket Club), Philadelphia Country Club and Philadelphia Cricket Club.
The Association's 153 Full Member Clubs are spread across parts of three states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. GAP encompasses an area that roughly goes from Lancaster to Scranton to Bethlehem to Princeton to Cape May.
The purpose of the Association is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf. Every GAP activity is designed to do just that.
In terms of competitive golf, the Association offers events for players of all ages and skill levels. Included in the 2016 GAP schedule are the 116th BMW Philadelphia Amateur Championship; the 112th Open Championship; the 114th Joseph H. Patterson Cup and 33rd Middle-Amateur Championship.
While GAP is charged with promoting the game and guarding its ancient and honorable traditions, it also focuses on keeping up with modern technology. Through its Web site, communications via e-mail and on-line entries, the Association provides 21st century service to golfers, clubs and the game in the Delaware Valley.
Championships - Of special importance are the championships GAP conducts to determine and recognize the top amateur in its service area, the best mid-amateur, the best junior and the best senior. The Association also conducts qualifying competitions for eight United States Golf Association (USGA) championships, in addition to a number of handicap and team events.
Computer Assistance Programs - Member Clubs that fully support the USGA Handicap System and select the paperless option are eligible for the Computer Assistance Program (CAP). The CAP provides new computer hardware to all participating clubs and the latest GHIN Management Program and Tournament Pairing Program software. Providing a uniform platform allows the Association to promptly and efficiently serve its membership.
Course Ratings - Five Golf Association of Philadelphia teams rate every member course on a seven-year rotation as well as non-Member Clubs requesting the service in the area. GAP rates 25-30 courses annually, with each course requiring a full day’s commitment from the team of volunteers. Ratings compiled by these teams are reviewed by the GAP staff to make sure that criteria are being consistently applied. This allows any player with a valid GAP/GHIN Handicap Index to fairly compete against any other player with a GAP/GHIN Handicap. The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine focused on course rating and handicapping in its Summer 2015 issue.
Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine - The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine is the official publication of the Golf Association of Philadelphia. The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine provides extensive features and tournament coverage along with news and notes from the game of golf in the Philadelphia area. Individual Members are eligible to receive a complimentary copy of the magazine by contacting the Golf Office or by managing the subscriptions tab located in My GAP Locker.
Golf Digest — All Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine subscribers are eligible to receive a complimentary Golf Digest subscription.
Global Golf Post — All Individual Members of the Golf Association of Philadelphia can receive a complimentary subscription to Global Golf Post, the first designed for digital weekly golf news publication in the world.
The Grain — Formerly known as Majors eMagazine, The Grain is a digital publication previewing the game’s four Major professional championships plus the Ryder Cup, providing award-winning content, photography, video and podcasts.
BMW GAP Team Matches - Nothing rivals the scale of the BMW GAP Team Matches. On three Sundays in April, more than 3,800 players representing 332 teams from 132 Member Clubs engage in inter-club competition. The Interclub Matches, as they were originally called, served as the basis for the founding of the Association, and today, just like then, serve as a source of club pride.
Handicap Administration - The Golf Association of Philadelphia has provided handicaps for its members since the USGA created a centralized service in 1964. It is affiliated with the USGA’s nationwide Golf Handicap and Information Network, known as GHIN. Steve Latos, GAP’s Manager of GHIN Technical Support, fully supports all functions of GHIN and is available via phone at 610-687-2340 ext. 20 or will visit your club to address any concerns.
More than 2.1 million players from approximately 13,000 clubs participate on GHIN. A player can go to any participating club, check his handicap and post his score. Players may obtain USGA Handicap Index information under the Handicap tab.
GHIN offers all GAP Member Clubs a Tournament Pairing Program (TPP), which is described under USGA Handicap Service. Also, clubs and members can gain access through their handicap computer to the National Course Rating and Slope database retrieval system.
The Golf Association of Philadelphia Magazine focused on handicapping in its Summer 2015 issue.
Web site - The Golf Association of Philadelphia Web site gives visitors the ability to enter events on-line, to print out entry forms and to view tee times and results of GAP championships. You can also post scores for handicap purposes, find your current GAP/USGA Handicap Index and look up rule situations in Decisions on the Rules of Golf as published by the USGA. Also, captains can keep their squads informed with weekly BMW GAP Team Matches results and standings. If you need a course rating from another club or maybe you’re invited to play a member course and need directions ... it’s all there on the GAP Web site.
On-line Entries - Members can register for GAP events via on-line entries. Credit cards are accepted for tournament fees.
J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust - The Association sponsors the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust, a charity that has provided more than $18 million in college tuition assistance to more than 3,350 caddies from Member Clubs. In 2014-15, more than $1 million was provided in tuition assistance to 188 Member Club caddies.
PLAY Golf - Working with the USGA, the Golf Association of Philadelphia started a program known as PLAY Golf in 2000. Its purpose is to assist community efforts in expanding access to golf for urban youth. GAP has established contact with 22 youth programs and 4,200 youngsters across the region and provided many with golf balls, clubs and volunteers. Fundraising programs are being developed to make the program self-supporting and to provide additional support for community efforts to bring young people to golf.
Preserves, Protects the Game - The Association serves as the local voice of the USGA. It focuses its efforts on preserving golf’s values. One way in which the GAP safeguards the game’s integrity is by monitoring rules on amateur status and by processing Amateur Reinstatement Applications of those who wish to regain their amateur status. The Association exists to help its members enjoy the greatest game of all. Each participant in a GAP event, each club member who has a GHIN handicap and each member club helps provide the support that sustains the Association.
Rules - The Golf Association of Philadelphia administers the Rules of Golf as established by the USGA and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, by providing officials at its various competitions and rules advice to member clubs.
The Association invites Member Club officials to attend its Club Rules Seminar, an opportunity for continual Rules of Golf education. High School rules seminars are also offered. Coaches can contact Chris Roselle, GAP Tournament Director, at 610-687-2340 ext. 29 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
An electronic version of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf is available to Member Clubs and their members through the computer that runs the handicap program as well as the GAP Web site.
Surveys & Seminars - The Club Management Survey is a yearly compilation of statistics that illustrates the range of services, activities, staffing and expenditures at participating Member Clubs. Survey results are provided only to participating clubs. The Golf Association of Philadelphia also provides seminars and communications to members from such national organizations as the USGA, National Golf Foundation, Golf Course Superintendents Association and the National Club Association.