DALLAS, Pennsylvania—The season-ending Forme Tour Championship, originally scheduled for The Ridge at Back Brook in Ringoes, New Jersey, is moving to Huntsville Golf Club outside Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Hurricane Ida caused significant damage at the scheduled site—The Ridge at Back Brook—leaving the facility unable to host the tournament. The 72-hole tournament will be Wednesday through Friday, September 8-10, with a 36-hole finale on the last day.
On Thursday morning, September 2, Tour officials learned about the issues at The Ridge at Back Brook and began looking at options.
“Many people played important roles in quickly helping us identify potential sites in Pennsylvania that didn’t sustain damage from the hurricane,” said Forme Tour Executive Director Greg Carlson. “Brandon Matthews, in our field this week, a Pennsylvania native and someone familiar with Huntsville Golf Club put the wheels in motion. His help was invaluable.
“We wanted to do everything we could to play next week,” Carlson continued, “because otherwise we would have had to push our season back even further as we couldn’t interfere with Korn Ferry Tour first-stage Qualifying Tournaments that begin the week after next as many of our players participating in those.”
Carlson and his team left this week’s Rolling Green Championship this morning and drove here, approximately 12 miles west of Wilkes-Barre. The team did a site visit and went over particulars needed to host the Forme Tour, the Tour and the club later striking a deal.
“It’s difficult to adequately thank the members at Huntsville Golf Club, who graciously offered their course to our players during our significant time of need. We are certainly disappointed not to play our inaugural season-ending tournament at The Ridge at Back Brook and are saddened to learn of the damage at that course. It’s a tremendous course,” Carlson said. “To find a replacement this quickly—and of this quality—is nothing short of remarkable, and I speak for our staff and all the Forme Tour players in saying how grateful we are to Huntsville Golf Club.”
The Rolling Green Championship in suburban Philadelphia continues today, with a Saturday finish planned. Currently, Trevor Werbylo sits atop the Points List, with Turk Pettit, Mac Meissner, Philip Knowles and Corey Shaun making up the remainder of the top five. The top-five points earners at the end of the season earn Korn Ferry Tour membership.
“Much is at stake next week at the Forme Tour Championship and having a quality course in which to play will mean so much to the players who are all battling for Korn Ferry Tour membership and to maintain their 2022 Forme Tour playing privileges,” Carlson continued.
Huntsville Golf Club is a par-72 layout for members but will play as a par-71 for the Forme Tour Championship. The course features three par-5s, with 11 par-4s and four par-3s. Huntsville Golf Club can play as long as 7,200 yards.
“Another important component is the fact Huntsville Golf Club is approximately a 120-mile drive from where the players are this week. It’s a convenient drive and keeps us in the same general area, allowing the players the ability to save on travel costs, which is always top of mind,” Carlson added.
Huntsville Golf Club turned 27 this year. After announcing the construction of the course in 1991, club owners hired Rees Jones to design its 18 holes set on 473 acres. The club opened in 1994, immediately earning accolades. In its December 1995 issue, Golf Digest named Huntsville Golf Club No. 2 on its Best North America New Private Course list. Within a decade, the course was inside the top five on the magazine’s Best in Pennsylvania list, alongside such notable layouts as Merion Golf Club, Oakmont Country Club, Laurel Valley Golf Club and Aronimink Golf Club.
Owners created the club strictly as a golf facility, without a real estate development or tourism in mind. Next week, wooded areas, forests, rolling fields and nearly 150 feet of elevation change will greet players throughout the 18 holes.
In its history, Huntsville Golf Club has hosted numerous U.S. Open qualifying tournaments, along with Pennsylvania Golf Association and Philadelphia PGA Section championships.