The organizers made it very clear: This isn’t silly golf.
There are no mulligans on errant tee shots, no second chances on missed putts, no closest-to-the-pin competitions and no drinking while playing. There isn’t even a shotgun start.
The Meadowlands Cup — to be held Aug. 2 at the Upper Montclair Country Club — will be an old-school better-ball team competition intended for the serious golfer and limited to those with a GHIN handicap.
“We wanted to do a different type of golf event,” Fletch Creamer, the chair of the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation, said. “This will be a competitive event for the serious golfer. It will be a true corporate challenge.”
Meadowlands Chamber CEO Jim Kirkos put it this way: “It will not be the typical golf outing,” he said. “This is not silly golf.”
The Meadowlands Cup will benefit the Meadowlands 2040 Foundation, the nonprofit economic development arm of the chamber that provides a vision plan for the area for the next 20 years.
Kirkos said the culture of the Meadowlands and the spirt of the entrepreneurs and businesses that are growing the area led the group to conceive and create a serious competition.
“We’re trying to position the Meadowlands Cup to be like all the competitive events up here in the Meadowlands,” he said. “The 2040 Foundation is an economic development-based entity where we’re trying to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and the competitiveness of entrepreneurs.
“Yes, we’re raising money for the foundation to continue to do research and awareness on economic development-related issues. But we also want to honor and pay tribute to the competitive drive of entrepreneurs and startup businesses.”
Hackensack Meridian Health already has signed up to be the presenting sponsor.
Here’s how the Meadowlands Cup will work:
- You must have a GHIN handicap to play (this will balance the competition);
- There will be 60, two-person teams. Can be all-male, all-female or coed (men will play from the blue tees, women from the white tees);
- One person on the team must directly work at the company they are representing (the second can be a vendor or an associate of the company);
- Companies do not need to be a member of the Meadowlands Chamber to play;
- All teams will start on the first hole (the first team will tee off at 9 a.m.);
- The format is better ball of the two players, with 80% handicap for a net score;
- There will be an online leaderboard that is updated throughout the day;
- There will be a reception for all players afterward;
- Winner gets their name (permanently etched) on the 4-foot trophy.
Registration is $1,750 per team. Register here. There likely will be a fee (for nongolfers) to attend the reception that will follow play.
Creamer said the event will lead to networking — he wants that.
“We expect this to be a high-level corporate event that attracts top people from top companies,” he said. “We want that. We want there to be all the networking that you normally would have at a golf outing.”
Kirkos just wants serious golf, too.
“This is truly a competitive event,” he said. “If you’re playing this, you’re someone who plays regularly who wants to compete — and wants to get their name on a trophy.
“We are using the handicaps to level the playing field, but we expected a spirited competition.”
The event — which was conceived by the chamber — was certainly influenced by the pandemic.
“I think we’re all tired of virtual events,” Kirkos said. “We wanted to do something outside — but we wanted to do something different.”
Kirkos worked with Frank Vuono at 16W Marketing to organize the event and line up more sponsors. The Creamer Family Foundation, the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Professional Insurance Associates signed on after Hackensack Meridian Health — and there are more opportunities available, Kirkos said.
Of course, Kirkos’ ultimate goal is to create an event that will last for years.
“We feel we’ve created that,” he said. “There are not many true corporate challenges around anymore. We feel like we’re bringing that back.”