The NJSGA’s first annual New Jersey Corporate Golf Challenge presented by Provident Bank took place on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the prestigious Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster and the response could not have been better.

Teams from across the state competed in the one-day event over the New Course at Trump National, the same course that hosted the NJSGA Amateur Championship in 2011. The event is expected to grow over the coming years as more NJ companies learn about its mission.

The event was the brainchild of corporate partners Provident Bank and the NJSGA, which both identified two key initiatives: developing corporate networking opportunities and supporting the NJSGA’s charitable causes. As the day unfolded, both of these objectives were met.

“Provident Bank is honored to partner with the New Jersey State Golf Association as the presenting sponsor. We’re proud of our commitment to the NJSGA and the game of golf in New Jersey,” said Chris Martin, president and CEO of Provident Bank.

“Our shared values make the NJSGA the ideal partner and that’s why we became a corporate sponsor earlier this year. Net proceeds of the Corporate Challenge will benefit the NJSGA Caddie Scholarship Foundation and the Youth Foundation. These foundations help young men and women caddies attend college and support community-based youth programs across the Garden State,” he added.

“This is consistent with our brand promise of commitment and a fundamental belief of giving back to the communities we serve and helping those in need,” Martin said.

“We could not have launched the inaugural NJ Corporate Golf Challenge without the support of Provident Bank, and specifically Chris Martin’s vision for this joint-marketing initiative,” said Bill Frese, President of the NJSGA. “We were looking for a way to raise the NJSGA’s profile among New Jersey-based companies and display the powerful networking and corporate hospitality benefits that come along with being an NJSGA partner. The Corporate Golf Challenge was a logical platform to support the objectives and values we share with Provident Bank.”

Another key aspect of the day was that the event had the look and feel of an NJSGA championship. It was designed to be much different than the usual Monday charity golf outing.

“Each team was comprised of four amateur golfers associated with NJ based companies who played their own ball. Using a net Stableford point system, players of different skill levels were able to contribute points to their team’s total without the pressure of having to hole out every shot.” said Kevin Purcell, NJSGA Executive Director.

“We put a lot of thought into the format, set up of the golf course, and strategy for how companies could form their teams, which resulted in a tournament experience we were very happy with. The friendly competition, networking and support for our charities was fantastic,” Purcell noted.

The event format welcomed smart but aggressive play on the demanding Trump National-Bedminster layout. Each player’s goal was to generate as many points as possible, which were then combined for an 18-hole team total.

The Magyar Bank team of John Fitzgerald, Thomas Lankey, John Reissner and Andrew Hodulik posted the winning score of 144 Stableford points.

“This was a first-class outing on a first-class course. It was fun to have the competition among old friends and new friends and it added a little something special to the event. The day was well organized from the bag drop on through to the dinner,” said Fitzgerald, president and CEO of Magyar Bank.

The event was open to teams representing New Jersey-based companies from any business sector. Each team consisted of four amateur players, with verifiable handicap indexes, and a team handicap limit not to exceed 60.

“The Corporate Golf Challenge is all about making the contributions to the NJSGA’s charitable activities,” said Vincent Dalessandro, regional president of OceanFirst Bank.

“There are a lot of passionate golfers among our customers and we support the youth aspect that goes into golf. It’s great to the see money here flow to the kids through the Caddie Scholarship Foundation and the Youth Foundation.”

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