Tavistock just got more colorful


Tavistock Group announced Thursday that the Tavistock Cup, the annual backyard brawl between Isleworth and Lake Nona, will no longer simply be the “friendly cross-town rivalry” that began in 2004.

For the first time, a club outside of Tavistock Group, Queenwood just outside of London, will participate in addition to a new luxury resort community, Albany, that opened last year in the Bahamas developed by Tavistock Group, Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
 Last year’s format pitted 10 players from each of the two clubs against each other in two rounds of play. The first round was a fourball match play format with two-person teams. Round 2 was composed of fourball singles medal match play where each player played 18 holes of stroke play against each opposing two players in the group. Fifteen-and-a-half points were needed for a club to be crowned “World Golf and Country Club Champion.”

The release did not detail the new format, but did reveal that each club will now be represented by six professional members who will play for prize money and team hole-in-one prizes in addition to the title. Traditionally, the interclub match has alternated between Isleworth (whose team and fans dress in red) and Lake Nona (clad in blue), but this year returns to Isleworth for the second year in a row.

Teams for each club have not yet been announced, but coverage is schedule to air on Golf Channel during the event held March 14-15. Last year’s Tavistock Cup players from Isleworth were Robert Allenby, Stuart Appleby, Arjun Atwal, John Cook, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III, Lee Janzen, Nick O’Hern, Mark O’Mera and Brian Davis. From Lake Nona the team was composed of Ben Curtis, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Ross Fisher and Peter Hanson.

In 2010, the two clubs combined for 745 worldwide titles including 54 major championships; but according to the release the four clubs now boast a combined membership that has accumulated more than 825 worldwide victories including 59 major championships. Reigning U.S. Open champion McDowell and two-time 2010 major champion on the LPGA Yani Tseng (both of Lake Nona) add three more majors to the total from last year, four more with Tseng’s 2008 LPGA Championship victory. Paula Creamer (Isleworth) adds another with her 2010 U.S. Women’s Open title.

Albany’s membership list is still brand new and has overlaps with the roster of players from Isleworth and Lake Nona. Queenwood, established in 2001, reportedly only has 350 members including Els and former Ryder Cup players Darren Clarke, David Howell, and Paul McGinley. Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Hugh Grant are also rumored to be members of the elite A-list club designed by David Kidd (known for his work at Bandon Dunes), which is considered to be the most secretive in the UK.

A unique aspect of the invitation-only event is the sea of red and blue that highlight the fairways. In order to gain admittance into the tournament, everyone must don one of the colors to show their allegiance to one of the teams. The colors of the new teams have not been announced, but it is rumored Albany will be white and from the looks of the Queenwood website I’d imagine they will be either dark green or gold.