The spring of women’s golf in the Garden State

NYC Skyline - Photo Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs

With four LPGA golf events in the state in the span of seven weeks, New Jersey will be a favoured witness to the flourishing of women’s golf and the spectacle of the best female golfers in the world.

The Spring of women’s golf in the Garden State starts with the Cognizant Founders Cup in Clifton (May 11-14), followed by the new Mizuho Americas Open in Jersey City (June 1-4), the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer in Galloway (June 9-11) and the second major of the year, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Springfield (June 22-25).

“New Jersey’s rich golf history goes back to the late 1800’s,” said Erin Hamrick, a partner at Sterling James and Chair of the LPGA Foundation. “My own club, Springdale GC in Princeton, had Mrs. Grover Cleveland as a member in her own right. Fast forward to 2023. For the first time we have four LPGA events being played at world class venues in New Jersey, Baltusrol, Liberty National, Upper Montclair and Seaview.”


“These events will showcase to the world the best women’s golfers and a few of New Jersey’s premier courses. As Chair of the LPGA Foundation, avid female golfer, and Jersey Girl, it is with great pride that this summer of four LPGA events has finally arrived,” added Hamrick about the venues of the tournaments spread over four counties and the tradition of golf in New Jersey.

In fact, a fifth NJ county, Somerset, is the site of the United States Golf Association (USGA), a nonprofit organisation founded in 1894 that celebrates, serves, and advances the game of golf. The USGA Campus in Liberty Corner is home to the Golf Museum and Library, curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artefacts.

Just 35 miles away is Upper Montclair Country Club, one of only a few country clubs worldwide known to have hosted tournaments for all three professional tours, and the site of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup, that honours the past, present and future of women in the game of golf.

For the second consecutive year, the Montclair community and businesses will celebrate the LPGA’s 13 Founders. During tournament week, RWJBarnabas Health will educate and empower women to take care of themselves, the New Jersey Golf Foundation will provide free tickets on Wednesday, and the Valley’s Women in Business Program will contribute to this historical event.

“This vibrant town has it all — culture, art, great food, shopping and above all, an eclectic mix of amazing people. Two of my favourite spots in town are the Montclair Art Museum and the historic Van Vleck Gardens.  If you visit the gardens, walk one block south and come check out The George, a 31-room boutique hotel on North Mountain Avenue that my husband Steven Plofker and I designed together … and don’t forget to dip into the candy closet when you’re there,” said cosmetics pioneer and longtime Montclair resident Bobbi Brown.

Just two weeks later, the LPGA will come back to the Garden State for the inaugural Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Club, in Jersey City, an iconic venue with views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty that will add the LPGA Tour to its impressive line-up, after hosting several world-class events, including the Presidents Cup and multiple PGA TOUR playoff stops.

This new event, supported by one of the largest financial institutions in the world and its Brand Ambassador, LPGA veteran Michelle Wie West, will concurrently host an AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) Invitational, which will provide the opportunity for 24 female junior golfers to compete alongside the 120-player LPGA Tour field.

“The Mizuho Americas Open is an exciting addition to the LPGA Tour schedule, offering a unique opportunity to showcase the very best of today’s players competing alongside the future of the game,” said Mollie Marcoux Samaan, Commissioner, LPGA Tour.

For this inaugural year, the title sponsor, Mizuho Americas, will provide complementary lodging accommodations to the players in one of the 40 top brand hotels, many of which located along the Hudson River, with views of NYC and rooftop dining.

Players and fans will have a chance to visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, enjoy the extremely active arts and culture scene in Hudson County, and immerse themselves in the full-scale shopping extravaganza of the American Dream; before changing scenery and heading south to the third event of the LPGA Tour in New Jersey, this time with views of the Atlantic and its namesake City.

The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, which debuted at Seaview Golf Club in 1986 and has been sponsored by ShopRite for the last three decades, is a solid staple in the LPGA Tour schedule and history. Fans from all over the northeast make this an annual destination to attend the tournament and visit the casinos and the world-famous Steel Pier.

The fourth celebration of women’s golf in New Jersey will take place at Baltusrol Golf Club, designated a National Historic Landmark where the best players in the world have competed since 1901.

The 2023 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be the second women’s major championship played on the Lower Course. In a duel of World Golf Hall-of-Famers, Mickey Wright topped Betsy Rawls by six shots to win the 1961 U.S. Women’s Open.

Another Hall-of-Famer, Nancy Lopez, will be in charge of the inaugural shot at Upper Montclair Country Club, signaling the first week of the Spring of women’s golf in the Garden State, which will culminate with the celebration of the winner of the Cognizant Founders Cup and Mother’s Day.

With thanks to LPGA Women’s Network.

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