Friendship Cup

SEPTEMBER 16, 2019

The Friendship Cup is a transatlantic mission of golf diplomacy between two great golf communities.

Fifteen-person teams from St. Andrews, Scotland, the ancestral home of golf, and Southern Utah, where it is said “the summer sun spends the winter” will play a one day match match. The Southern Utah match will be played as part of Sand Hollow Golf Week in September 2019.

The Scotland portion of this event will take place in the summer of 2020 when the U.S. team visits historic St. Andrews, plays its great courses, and builds friendships that will last a lifetime.

If you are interested in being part of the Sand Hollow team, please contact Mark Leavitt at mark@leavitt.com

Do you have questions about the Friendship Cup and St. Andrews? Mark Leavitt, President of the Sand Hollow Golf Week, provided us these insights.

What is St. Andrews?

St. Andrews, or more specifically, “The Old Course” is viewed by the world as the Ancestral home of golf; this is where it all began.   Golf started in that area of Scotland in the 1450’s. “The Old Course” is not the first place it was played, but it is recognized as the first great and original course; it dates back to 1574!   Mary Queen of Scots played golf on the Old Course, but there are many famous Courses in Fife.   Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

 To many golfers, the Old Course at St. Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, Balcomie and Royal Troon. 

The above mentioned Courses are the most famous from a historical sense…and we have three of those four that are part of our Team St. Andrews: St. Andrews (Old), Carnoustie, & Balcomie (Crail Golfing Society), with each of the clubs themselves dating back to the 1700’s to early 1800’s.

St. Andrews, to us, means the “Old Course”, but “The Old Course” is just part of what is known as the St Andrews Links Trust.   The St Andrews Links Trust is the controlling body of 7 community golf courses, all being owned by the community itself.   The Old Course is only one of the remarkable courses…  The others, The New Course, (built in 1895), the Castle Course, the Jubilee Course, The Eden Course, Strathtyrum Course & Balgove Course.   One of the fun and amazing facts is that The Old Course is closed on Sundays, and it is open for the entire community to walk it freely, picnic on its fairways or take the dog for a walk!   It truly becomes a public park each Sunday!   

The region around St Andrews is called “The Kingdom of Fife” (located north east of Edinburgh on the shore) and includes the communities where each of our partner clubs were created.   We have called the Scottish team, “Team St Andrews”, because St Andrews is the most iconic and famous of the communities.

Golf is very nearly a “religion” in Scotland.   Each community has a  golf club, and each golf club has a community!  In fact, the local golf club is almost always named after the town or village where each is located.    Crail Golfing Society is located in the small town of Crail, population of 1,812, Carnoustie has the Carnoustie Links, Population 11,394, Ladybank, about 1,600 inhabitants & St Andrews, the home of the St Andrews Links Trust has a population of 16,801 (2011 Census).   These golf clubs have been the center of community life since their inception and have become world famous because of the popularity of golf and the respect for the heritage of St Andrews area.   

Has anything like this event happened before? 

To my knowledge, this event is unique for a few reasons: the teams represent an area, not just one club, the Ryder Cup format, and playing “Home and Home” each year. There are similar events that are specific between just two clubs.

How many players are coming from Scotland? How were they selected?

There are fifteen players coming from St. Andrews area.   First, friends of Rod Sturrock.   Rod is our original contact and an important figure to the event. Rod is a “Starter” on the Old Course with significant seniority.   We have talked of doing this for several years; the time just came where we were bold enough to make a proposal and it worked.  About nine of the players this year are friends of Rod; the other six are coming from three different Clubs: St Andrews Golf Club, Crail Golfing Society & Ladybank Golf Club.  

How about the players from Team Sand Hollow?

Players are invited – they will come from Utah and other surrounding states. Their entry fee provides them entry into this event as well as transportation and entry into the event in Scotland next summer. Their fees offset the costs and contribute significantly to the charity portion of our week. Golfers on both teams are amateurs at the intermediate level.

Which courses at Sand Hollow Resort will you play?

Sand Hollow has three 9-hole courses. We will play all three of the courses in different formats.   We are playing in a “Ryder Cup” format that will utilize a different challenge on each of the three courses.   We will play Foursomes (two-man best ball) on the Back 9 in the morning, play Singles (Match play) on the links at mid-day and play Alternate shot (one player hits the drive and his partner hits the next shot until the team holes the ball for a score). It will be unique and fun to see and compete.

What’s the difference between the Links course and the Championship Course? 

The Links course at Sand Hollow resort is designed as a Scottish links course. In general, a links course in general is designed as a walking course… it is rough and natural, it has longer grasses in the rough and more undulating terrain. The Championship course is a plush, smooth playing course in the American style.

Can people come watch?

Absolutely! Tickets go on sale mid-August and for only $50 you can be in the gallery for not only the Friendship Cup but also the entire week of golf.  Also, our local sponsors will have free passes, so check back soon to see a list of sponsors and contact them. We’d love to see you in the gallery for the Friendship Cup as well as this entire week of amazing golf. https://golfweek.sandhollowresorts.com/attendees/

Summary
Event
Friendship Cup at Sand Hollow Golf Week
Location
Sand Hollow Resort, 5662 West Clubhouse Drive,Hurricane,Utah-84737
Starting on
September 16, 2019
Ending on
September 16, 2019
Description
Fifteen-person teams from St. Andrews, Scotland, the ancestral home of golf, and Southern Utah, where it is said "the summer sun spends the winter" will play a Ryder Cup format "home & home" match. The Southern Utah match will be played as part of Sand Hollow Golf Week in September 2019.