NJSGA Contingent to compete in St. Kitts & Nevis Admirals Cup
New Jersey State Golf Association members looking for a winter escape and the opportunity for competitive play have found a home in the Caribbean twin islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Twelve NJSGA members, including Executive Director Kevin Purcell, are set to enjoy the warm sunshine and the excitement of the 9th Admirals Cup Tournament, February 2-7.
“I’m excited to go to St. Kitts and Nevis to participate in the Admirals Cup - and also to support the Tourism Authority,” Purcell said. The event is staged by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA), an official sponsor and travel partner of the NJSGA. The five-day tournaments take place at the two championship courses on the islands - the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club and the Robert Trent Jones II Course at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis.
A POPULAR DESTINATION FOR NJSGA MEMBERS
Four NJSGA members will be attending thanks to their high finish at last summer’s Ultimate Team Event (UTE), sponsored by St. Kitts. Champions Ryan McCoach and Mike Waller of Howell Park Golf Course and runners-up Brian Sokolowski and Nick Chiarello (who has opted not to participate, and will be replaced by Pinseekers club-mate Dwight Ramsay) received all-expenses-paid trips to compete in the newly created Am-Am Division of the Admirals Cup, which debuted last February.
“The trip will be amazing. I got married in June; my wife and I considered going to St. Kitts, but went to Hawaii instead. Now, we’re able to visit St. Kitts as well,” Waller said. An equally excited McCoach added, “I’ve never been out of the country, so I’m thrilled about going to St. Kitts.”
One great advantage to being a local resident includes the ability to fly non-stop from Newark-Liberty Airport to St. Kitts on Wednesdays and Saturdays. A number of NJSGA members will avail themselves of this convenience, including current NJSGA Women’s Player of the Year Samantha Perrotta of Old York Country Club, who will be playing in the Admirals Cup with her father, Frank. “I wanted to compete early in the season to help prepare for tournament play this summer. I can’t wait for the event”, stated Perrotta.
Among the strong NJSGA-member contingent include Carol and Kevin Creter of Picatinny Arsenal Golf Club, Debra and David Jones of Fiddler’s Elbow Country Club, and Ollie Caulfield of Glenwood Country Club.
TWO UNIQUE CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCES
The Admirals Cup Pro-Am, now in its ninth year, is the only event of its kind with tournament rounds contested on two different Caribbean islands. Pro-Am division teams are comprised of one professional and three amateurs from the same club.
Last year, Pat Egan of The Knoll Country Club in Parsippany brought his brother (Chris) and son (Todd) to play in the inaugural Admirals Cup Am-Am tournament, which was created to allow players without a host professional the opportunity to compete and enjoy the courses of St. Kitts and Nevis. Chris and Todd finished third in the event and were the highest finishers from New Jersey.
ENJOYING ST. KITTS GOLF AND BEACH
Bob Fetterly, a member of Manasquan River Golf Club, and his wife, Wendy, have spent extensive time each of the past four years at St. Kitts. He is impressed by the service, cuisine, and beach – but golf is the biggest draw for Fetterly. “We play golf most days at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. We love the course. It has great views of both the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans. It is also very challenging.” In addition to golf, visitors come for a variety of activities, including beaches, bird watching, reefs, rain forests, sailing, shopping, swimming and safaris.
With the excitement of competitive golf, perfect weather, and countless amenities, the islands are quickly becoming the perfect winter getaway for NJSGA members.