The NJSGA Ultimate Team Event includes a novel twist in 2018, the fourth year of the event.

Besides the fact that it will take place on Monday, Aug. 20, at prestigious Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, the 27-hole event will include nine holes on Hamilton Farm’s famous par-3 Hickory Course.

The other 18 holes for the two-man teams representing clubs from throughout the state will take place at HFGC’s Highlands Course, one of the state’s most challenging courses that has already hosted several LPGA and USGA events.

Clubs are urged to plan their own qualifiers and then submit the names of their winning twosome to the NJSGA in order to participate in this year’s UTE. Entries must be received in early August.

“Hamilton Farm is a beautiful property and one of the most renowned golf courses in the United States,” said Rich Kennedy, NJSGA Director of Handicapping and Member Benefit Services. “The Hickory Course is one of the most unique par-3 courses anywhere.

“The NJSGA continues to grow the UTE and with this par-3 component, the UTE in 2018 will present a distinctive golf challenge. Teams from around the state that receive entry into the field will be delighted.”

The Hickory Course is the only USGA rated par-3 in the country.

“The Hickory Course, with a full 18 holes, is one of the most outstanding par-3 courses in the United States and is designed to challenge every golfer’s favorite shot. If there is a better par-3 course in America, I’d like to know where it is,” said architect Dana Fry.

As an added incentive, the 2018 UTE champions will receive a free, all-expenses paid trip to St. Kitts to compete next February (2019) in the Am-Am Division of the Admiral’s Cup.

Mike Decker and Jim Schulz of Mercer Oaks, the 2017 UTE champions, won the inaugural free trip to St. Kitt’s and will compete in this year’s Admiral’s Cup on the island.

The Ultimate Team Event includes clubs from throughout the State of New Jersey, pitting twosomes from member clubs in a unique 27-hole format. Twosomes are designated by their clubs to participate.

The 2015 inaugural event took place at Metedeconk National. A year later, 62 twosomes competed at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton. Last year, a full field of 72 participated at Metedeconk National.

In the event, teams play three different nine-hole different formats over the 27 holes in a series of three shotgun starts. The first nine holes are played in a four-ball format, with each partner playing his own ball and the low ball (net) counting as the team score on each hole. The second nine holes is in a Pinehurst format, with each member teeing off, then playing the other’s second shot, selecting the ball in the best position, and then playing alternate shot with the selected ball to complete the hole.

The final nine holes is played in a Shamble format, with each member teeing off, selecting the best positioned tee shot, and then each partner playing a separate ball from that point the rest of the way, with the best (net) score counting for the team.

The event is scored using Stableford (points) scoring, which is one point for net bogey, two points for net par, three points for net birdie and four points for net eagle.

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