The City of Lowell Golf Tournament celebrates it’s 90th anniversary this year. “The Cities” as it is more commonly known started in 1923 and is the oldest known local amateur golf tournament of its kind in the country. Members from Mount Pleasant Golf Club, Long Meadow Golf Club, Nabnasset Lake Country Club and Vesper Country Club qualify at their home courses to play in this unique 54-hole medal play event. Each club fields a team of 12 with three alternates. Both individual and team titles are up for grabs. This year’s tournament will begin at Vesper Country Club on Wednesday, June 24. The second round will be at Mt. Pleasant Golf Club on Friday, June 26 and the final round will be played on Saturday, June 27 at Long Meadow Golf Club.
To quote CBS golf analyst, Jim Nance, ‘A tradition like no other... ‘ Of course, Nance is referencing the famed Masters not the nearly 100 year old Lowell City tournament. But for my money (which is about $2.75/beer), The Cities is far more entertaining. Local golfers play in three competitive rounds in June each year from 4 local clubs. And while these players are considered “amateurs” The Cities has spawned the golf lives of many players that went on to professional careers. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest traditions in this city and it continues to thrive almost a century later.
OK, that is the history lesson of the Cities, now lets talk about what’s really happening here.
The Cities – for all those NOT playing – is a 3 day party.
The Cities is an excuse to leave work at lunch time.
The Cities is a place where Lowellians go who have never played or watched (or can even spell the word) ‘golf’.
The Cities is a reason to walk at a snail’s pace around a golf course, Irish whispering to the guy you sat next to in 9th grade home room while pounding Bud Lights for no reason other than it is 1PM on Wednesday.
The Cities’ crowd is like an scene out of Happy Gilmore, minus Bob Barker
The Cities is the unofficial Lowell High School reunion for every graduating class since 1960.
The Cities is a right of passage for high school kids to sneak a few warm Miller High Life’s they stashed in the woods and responsible adults simply turn a blind eye.
The word ‘kid’ is used more times during The Cities than any other time in history. Ever.
The Cities rule…KID!
My wife is non-Lowellian so naturally had no clue to The Cities experience until she was blessed with meeting me. “Yeah, Aim, we are heading over to this golf tournament….at Mt Pleasant…on a Friday….to WATCH.” What tha? “No, its really fun, trust me.” Think of how insane that must sound to someone who has never been before? Next thing you know I am stuffing beers in her purse and we are following around some 20 year old from Pelham whom I have never met in my life, in 90 degree heat, just because he shot a 69 at Long Meadow. It it effin crazy if you step back.
I may sound like an insane high school hero here but The Cities is an institution and whether you like golf or not, this event is a desperate but legit argument to stand outside, whack cocktails and pretend you have even a vague interest in golf.
See ya tomorrow, kid.