During the other 364 days of the year, getting on Pine Valley requires the proper pedigree or personal connections.
This Sunday, Sept. 20, beginning at 1 p.m., all it takes is a pulse.
O.K., you’ll also have to rustle up $20 for the parking fee. But that’s a reasonable price for access to the Crump Cup, the prestigious amateur event that plays out every year at the number-one ranked golf course in the world. As is its custom, Pine Valley allows the public to watch the closing matches of the competition. It’s the only day of the year the club avails itself to anyone but members and their guests.
Named for Pine Valley founder George Arthur Crump, the Crump Cup was born in 1922 and stands today as one of the premier mid-amateur events in the world, its invitational field composed of marquee players from the U.S and the UK.
It unfolds over four days, with two rounds of stroke-play qualifying capped by four rounds of match play. Since the Cup’s inception, winners have included such amateur icons as Francis Ouimet, Billy Joe Patton and Chick Evans. Jay Sigel holds the record for most Crump titles with nine.
In short: spectators take in sparkling play, along with what amounts for the average Joe to the unicorn-rare sight of the course itself.
The entrance to Pine Valley isn’t marked by neon signage. It’s more like the golf world’s Area 51. To get to the event, set your GPS to 144 Berlin Rd., Clementon, New Jersey, and following the parking signs.
The $20 parking fee goes toward the Clementon Youth Athletic Association.