Historic Ponce Announcement – The Ponce Matches

April 10, 2019

Fellow Poncers:

I have been waiting for a number of months to share this news.

There is no better time than the eve of the 83rd Masters, and just two days after UVA’s historic NCAA Basketball Championship.

The Ponce de Leon is now unveiling another golf component, separate and apart from the annual Invitational.

This is a natural next step in the Ponce Evolution, and will do nothing to diminish the significance, scope, and foundation of the annual Invitational (both domestic and international).  It will actually enhance it.

Please see the attached letter. (PDF)

Mr. Morton’s proposal for Ponce Matches is hereby approved, effective immediately.

I will be working with 2019 Chairman Bird closely on the Match Approvals for this year, as referenced in the letter.  Additionally, I will be working closely with Mr. Battle on implementing the appropriate tabs and Match record-keeping on our website.

I sincerely hope you are as excited as I am for this next chapter.  The Ponce is perpetual; the Ponce is a golf lifestyle.  

Without further ado, please see attached:



Chairman Emeritus

April 10th, 2019

To: Neil Thomson, Chairman Emeritus, Ponce De Leon Invitational Tournament

From: Isaac Morton
Re: Ponce Matches

Dear Neil,
I’m writing to expound on our conversations related to the prospect of a Ponce Match Series.

On the way home from this year’s Ponce at Sea Island I asked you, tongue firmly in cheek, “what are your three strategic priorities for the Ponce in the future”. Your response was unequivocal, “The Ponce is now a lifestyle Ike.” I should have expected such a definitive response. Your 2019 Chairman’s letter said as much when you wrote,

“The Ponce is more than an annual invitational tournament – it has become a lifestyle.”

I trust that your conviction in this declaration was shaped by our trip to Royal St. George’s and Sunningdale in last year’s International Ponce, and more recently, our visit to Seminole for the Revolutionary Matches. As a fortunate participant in both events, I wholly agree that the Ponce
is a lifestyle…and a good one at that!

During these fantastic trips we’ve enjoyed the company of other golfers, shared stories from our tournament, and made new friendships with hosts whose generosity has been limitless. These friendships, our competitive spirit, our golf games, and the Ponce are already stronger for it.

But while carrying the banner each year to our chosen venue is the nucleus of a Ponce lifestyle, it is yet, not enough. The Ponce spirit is more than a single invitational tournament. The friendly competitive spirit of the Ponce shadows us each time we play golf even though the last bottles of wine have long since been poured from the prior year’s closing ceremonies.

And so while the Ponce De Leon Invitational literally came to you in a dream, and while that dream has been realized with each thumping tee shot on either side of the Atlantic, the next shot across the Ponce’s fairway comes to us by celebrating the Ponce lifestyle throughout the
entire golf season.

We do this with the Ponce Matches .

The Ponce Matches, as they are proposed, will be a series of optional matches played by Poncers with other golfers on their own schedules. The Matches are an opportunity to celebrate the Ponce lifestyle when the official tournament is not in session. The Matches are also an opportunity to play golf with Poncers you may not see regularly. Ponce Matches will not be routine weekend games, but “special affairs” where an equal number of Poncers (ideally 2) compete against an equal number of guests in a friendly match.

A Ponce Match requires approval by the acting Chairman. Prior to participating, a Poncer must submit to the Chairman a written request summarizing the proposed participants, format, and location. The Chairman may accept, deny or modify the Ponce Match request. Once accepted, he will inform all Poncers of the upcoming match details and ensure that the results are published in the official record books of the tournament.

As I’ve mentioned, the intent of the Ponce Matches is to celebrate the Ponce lifestyle throughout the year. It will keep us connected and our games sharp, while exposing new friends and family to the Ponce spirit. In 50 years I fully expect a “Ponce Match” to be a known experience in
clubs across the world.

I look forward to seeing the Ponce Matches develop and continuing to carve new holes into our Ponce lifestyle. Onward, to the tee box.

Kind Regards,
Isaac J. Morton