On Friday, December 16th, the Porter Cup announced that its women’s and men’s events would run concurrently in 2023. This is a big, green deal for western New York’s elite amateur golf tournament. For those not in the know, the Porter Cup is a 72-hole event that invites the world’s top amateur golfers to the Niagara Falls country club in Lewiston. Prior to next year, three events were contested at various points during the year. The women’s event was held in June, with the men’s event following in July. After taking August off, the senior men’s event was held in September. This last event will continue to celebrate autumn, but it’s the summer celebration that has us gobsmacked.
We fired off a quick six question to Marty Shimmel, the event’s media chairman. Easily one of the most reachable event directors around, Marty was back to us within 12 hours with the information we craved. Enjoy the responses to our questions, and schedule some #YouTime from July 12th to the 15th in 2023, to watch some outstanding amateur golf, close to home.
2017 Women’s Champion Zoe Brake Smith
1. Would you tell us how the idea of moving the Women’s Porter Cup to July came about.
There has actually been some discussion about combining the tournaments for the last year or so. Discussions picked up over this past summer when we saw the increase in college events that have been combining men and women and we decided that was the direction we wanted to go.
2. Who was involved in the decision-making process?
When it looked like this might be a real possibility we reached out to several men’s and women’s college coaches, recent Porter Cup participants and others in the amateur golf world for their feedback which was very encouraging. After several discussions among tournament directors the issue was taken to the Porter Cup Executive Committee where it was voted on and passed.
3. It seems that the events will take place a bit earlier in July. What precipitated this move?
With the increase in tournaments being played throughout the summer we always try to find a date where there is no (or minimal) conflict with other events.
Final Round Images from 2022 Men’s Event
4. Will the combination of the two events alter the manner in which you recruit golfers?
We will continue to recruit both men and women golfers as we have in the past by contacting coaches and players and travelling to various collegiate events. We feel that by reducing both fields we can be a bit more selective and improve both the men’s and women’s field.
5. Will the course set-up be impacted by combined events?
Conversations with our head pro and course superintendent will take place but we don’t see any major impact or issues at this time.
6. In conclusion, what are the benefits of running concurrent Porter Cups at Niagara Falls country club?
Initial feedback to this change has been overwhelmingly positive by both club members and people throughout the amateur golf community. This should lead to increased member and corporate sponsorship as well as positive media coverage. Previous Women’s Porter Cups were held on a Wed through Fri in early June limiting the amount of spectators. Combining tournaments in July gives local golf enthusiasts the opportunity to see some of the top women amateurs over a four day period in addition to top men. Another benefit is that our course will be fully open to members for an extra week in June.