Men’s Atlas Trophy Matches
The Atlas Trophy Match originated in 1938 as a competition between private club golfers, as represented by the Golf Association of Michigan or the Detroit District Golf Association and public course golfers, as represented by the Michigan Publinx Golf Association. The trophy honors Edward Atlas who was a GAM Governor, member of the USGA Public Links Committee, and an official in public golf in metropolitan Detroit.
Prior to 2010, the competition was conducted annually, and historically, private club players competed against public course players. Beginning in 2011, it became a biennial competition between GAM members (regardless of club affiliation), and Michigan Publinx Golf Association members. The Atlas Trophy Match is played in odd-numbered years and the USGA Men’s State Team Championship is played in even-numbered years.
The GAM and MPGA each select its own Captain. The Captains then select 12 team members each, using GAM Honor Roll points, MPGA Honor Roll points and other criteria. It is an honor to be chosen for these teams, and golf and a “celebration dinner” are all complimentary for the players.
Traditionally, the Atlas Trophy Match is conducted in the fall. Foursomes matches are played on Saturday morning, and four-ball matches are played Saturday afternoon. Individual matches are played on Sunday. One point is awarded per match with ½ point being given to each team for a halved match. At the end of the two days, if there is a tie for the Trophy, the team currently holding the trophy, retains it.
The Atlas Trophy Match was not held during the war years of 1942 through 1947, and occasionally the matches have been shortened by rain. The point structure has been changed more than once. In the 73 years of the history of the Match, the “private” team holds the edge over the “public” teams, but in recent years the match-up has been quite even.