Origins of the Travis Cup
The Travis Cup grew out of a proposal submitted to the Golf Committee of Stafford Country Club, Stafford, NY, in the Spring of 1994. The proposal called for an inter-club event involving clubs with a golf course designed by Walter Travis. The event would recognized and honor Walter Travis, and celebrate the shared heritage of each club.
The competition format of the event was patterned after the Ryder Cup, with teams made up of a cross-section of players from each club. Following the approval of the Stafford CC golf committee and Board of Governors, the proposal was sent to several clubs in western New York and southern Ontario, with Travis-designed golf courses as indicated by The Architects of Golf, written by Geoffrey Cornish and Ron Whitten.
Positive responses soon came from Lookout Point Country Club, in Fonthill, Ontario, and Orchard Park Country Club, in Orchard Park, NY. The 1994 President of Orchard Park CC, Dr. Joseph DiVincentis, invited each club to an organizational meeting at Orchard Park in the Fall of 1994.
The inaugural Travis Cup organizing committee consisted of golf professionals and members from each club. There was an enthusiastic consensus to accept the basic principles of the proposal, and to establish the Walter J. Travis Cup as a premier, annual event. Orchard Park Country Club volunteered to host the first Travis Cup to be held in 1995, with the other clubs agreeing on a hosting rota for subsequent years.
CLUBS INVOLVED IN THE TRAVIS CUP
The Travis Cup expanded to a four club format in 1996 with the addition of Pennhills Club of Bradford, PA. Three years later, Cherry Hill Club, of southern Ontario, joined the Travis Cup as the fifth club. From that point on, each team consisted of 16 players: men’s champion, men’s championship runnerup, men’s senior champion, men’s super-senior champion, women’s champion, women’s senior champion, both men’s and women’s A, B, C, & D flight players, junior champion, and golf professional. The competition format would involve individual matches for the champions and four-ball matches for the handicap flights and Pro/Junior pairings.
With Pennhills Club leaving the event in 2010, the Travis Cup currently involves Cherry Hill Club, Lookout Point Country Club, Orchard Park Country Club, and Stafford Country Club.
The 18th annual Walter J. Travis Cup was hosted by Orchard Park Country Club on Friday, August 10, 2012. A threatening day awaited the 64 players and their guests, with official weather reports forecasting 100% chance of precipitation and a chance of thunderstorms. Weather radar showed ugly storm cells all about the area. But, tournament officials decided to move ahead with the event. As it turned out, nary a drop of rain fell until we were safely ensconced in the shelter of the clubhouse, enjoying a wonderful buffet, and marveling at our good fortune.
As usual, Orchard Park CC were wonderful hosts, providing a beautiful setting, including their immaculately prepared Travis course, from 1916, and gracious attention to all details.
As results were posted on the scoreboard, it became evident that Orchard Park was defending its home turf in an overwhelming manner. With each of its 16 member team winning points, OPCC accumulated 79 points to lead Lookout Point with 43 points, followed by Stafford CC with 38.5 points, and Cherry Hill Club with 37.5.
The Orchard Park CC team and points won:
James Holowka, Men’s Champ, 5.5 pts; David Patronik, Men’s Runnerup, 2.5 pts; John Mcdonnell, Men’s SuperSenior Champ, 8 pts; Kirk Barton, Men’s Senior Champ; 8.5 pts; Donna Parker, Women’s Champion, 8.5 pts; Patricia Wasp, Women’s Senior Champ, 7 pts; Sandy Steinagle/Teresa Kroll, Women’s A/C team, 7.5 pts; Kathleen Kelley/Sue Roesgen, Women’s B/D team, 7.5 pts; Thomas Grys/Dale Schaefer, Men’s A/C team, 9 pts; Duane Pieri/Robert Nichols, 9 pts; Randy Shaw/Chris Degrave, Head Pro/Junior Champion team, 6 pts.
As with each of the past Travis Cups, participants left with memories of the collegiality of the affair, the generous hospitality of the staff and members of Orchard Park CC, and great day on a beautiful, old Walter Travis golf course.
SITE AND DATE OF NEXT COMPETITION
Stafford Country Club will host the 19th annual Travis Cup on Friday, August 16th. Specific scheduling information will be available in early July through Ralph Garnish, Chairman of this year’s Travis Cup (firstname.lastname@example.org)