Report from the 15th Mercedes-Benz - Cole Haan Cup
Team Europe retains the Cup!
EU Captain Carl Eklund receives the trophy from
Kintaro Ueno, Mercedes-Benz Japan and Greg Dinges, Cole Haan Japan.
The European and North American business communities in Japan held their 15th golf tournament, the North America - Europe Golf Challenge in Japan, at Atsugi Kokusai Country Club on 6 October 2017.
With Mercedes Benz Japan and Cole Haan Japan as the title sponsors and 29 other sponsors, the tournament brought together 157 players from the American and Canadian Chambers of Commerce on one team and the Chambers and members of European Business Council on the other team. Playing the new peoria (shin-peria) scoring system and calculating an average score from best 80% of each team, the European team came out on top by 0.8 strokes (76.7 vs. 77.5 for the North American team). The North American team has now nine wins versus six for the European team.
A record 157 players participated in this event, including 20 ladies. The European team had 76 players, the North-Americans 81. While the extra players presented a logistical challenge the pace of play was smooth and the play finished on schedule. The players represented about 15 different nations. The Japanese made up the largest group, with 79 players (50%), followed by 24 Americans, 10 Germans, 8 Finns, 7 Canadians, 7 Brits, 4 Swedes and 28 representing about 8 other nationalities.
Counting by chambers the American Chamber had 63 players, followed by the Finnish Chamber with 22, German - 19, Canadian - 18, British - 8, Swedish - 7, and Dutch - 6.
Golfers of all levels took part, from scratch players to high handicappers and gross scores ranged from 75 (Philip Dean) to 176. 38 players scored a gross of less than 90, but also 54 had over 110. As a testament to the more difficult course (West Out instead of East Out) we played this year, last year only 19 sciored over 110. The scores on West Out were on average 3-4 shots higher than on West In and 5-6 shots higher that on the East Out used last year.
Also this year the tournament's fundraising was again directed to the YMCA Challenged Children Project (CCP). In addition to collection boxes the effort included Charity Skill Challenges on the par-3 7th hole supported by Cole Haan and on the par-3 10th supported by Mercedes-Benz. Those who donated 1,000 yen and hit the green got a a prize.
The Charity activities at the course brought in a total of 272,000 yen. In addition all surplus over operating costs, approx. 650,000 yen, will been donated, bringing the total charity contribution to over 900,000 yen.
The YMCA Challenged Children Fund and the organizers very much appreciate the players kind contributions.
Sponsors and Prizes
The event had 31 sponsors, including the title sponsors Mercedes-Benz Japan and Cole Haan Japan. Thanks to this, we were able to supply tasty and refreshing food and drink throughout the day and had many quality skill and drawing prizes to give away.
Apart from the beautiful Hoya crystal Cup to the winning team and a crystal trophy for the winner of the individual competition (from Mercedes-Benz Japan) and a new trophy for the Ladies' Champion (from Cole Haan Japan) were given out. Notable prizes included a Chanel J12 watch, a pair of Business Class tickets to USA from United, a pair of Business Class tickets to Europe from Finnair, a pair of Business Class tickets to North America from Air Canada and a pair of Economy Class tickets to Europe from Swiss International Airlines. They also provided a sleeve of golf balls for the goodies bags.
Warsteiner provided beer for the course and prize ceremony as well as for the After-Party on 12 October, and also donated money to qualify as Platinum sponsor. New Era provided original one-of-a-kind Mercedes-Benz - Cole Haan Cup 2017 golf caps for all players.
TaylorMade provided golfing goods and also provided the prize for the Driving Contest on No. 13. Häfele two juicer, a Heliotentand high-end napkins for the goodies bags and Philips 9 advanced home appliances as performance prizes.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo, DoubleTree by Hilton Naha, Hilton Osaka and Conrad Tokyo all gave out excellent accommodations, Genki Art
provided two on-location portrait photo sessions, Neato Robotics two vacuum robots STIHL several of their products, Takara Shuzo sprkling sake for the goodies bags .
Snell Golf and Titleist golf goods and FusionGOL web hosting services.
The cash sponsors were; Lufthansa (Gold), K&L Gates (Silver) and Asian Tigers Mobility (Bronze), CDAC (Bronze), Curvature (Bronze), Pipeline Security (Bronze), Robert Walters (Bronze), and Snell Golf (Bronze). The cash contributions were key to the events success as it enabled us to improve the drink and food service at the event, provide free bus service and cover other costs related to organizing the tournament (e.g. logo golf balls, trophies, etc.).
Apart from the trophies, Mercedes-Benz and Cole Haan prizes for the four Near Pin competitions and several items each for the "Goodies Bags".
They also covered the cost for the administration, web site and costs for posters, signboards, pocket guides, scorecards, etc.
A big Thank You to all the sponsors. We couldn't have done it without you!