“The Copper Cup will be the first college golf tournament of the spring and a great way to celebrate the Territorial Cup rivalry and the very high level of college golf found in Arizona,” notes Sun Devil head coach Matt Thurmond. “I’m thankful for Ak-Chin Southern Dunes and the two athletics departments that have worked together to support this idea and make it happen. Some great golf and and camaraderie can be expected.”
The teams will play four four-ball matches on Jan. 17 in the morning, followed by eight single matches in the afternoon. On Jan. 18, four matches with foursomes will take place followed by eight singles matches in the afternoon to finish.
Each match will be worth one point, while ties will be awarded a half-point to both sides. Twenty-four points are awarded, as it will take 12.5 to win the Copper Cup. Selection of pairings for both daily matches will be done live the night before between coaches and made available to all players and public immediately.
“Our team could not be more excited for the opportunity to open up the season in Arizona playing our rivals in a very recognizable Ryder Cup style format,” says Arizona head coach Anderson. “While we all understand the importance of this rivalry and competition, it has been outstanding conceptualizing this idea with Coach Thurmond and the ASU staff along with members of the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes team, including General Manager Brady Wilson.
“The pandemic has challenged us all in many ways, and I believe The Copper Cup is a gift coming from the resiliency and persistence our teams face during the challenges. This competition is possible because of the disruption in our season and The Copper Cup is a byproduct of teamwork and vision to have two of the very best college golf teams face off on day one. Getting to put on our uniforms, having a scoreboard again, playing a format we don’t see regularly (Match Play) are all going to make us better as a team. Also, getting to test the depth of our squad with eight players competing will be hugely valuable moving through the spring season. The venue offers a great golf course and our teams are equally familiar with layout. The Copper State will be treated to two great days of college golf and The Wildcats will be ready to play.”
“The opportunity, in this unique golf year, to host a groundbreaking and unique event that features two of the best college golf programs in the country from right here in our home state, is exciting and hopefully a true silver lining outcome from the limitations that 2020 has brought,” says Brady Wilson, General Manager of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes. “The Copper Cup will be another feather in the cap of Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club as a premier championship site in the state, region and country.”
In October, the NCAA announced that Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club will be a host site for the 2026 Men’s Golf NCAA Regionals. Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, named a “Top 100 Golf Course You Can Play” by Golf Magazine, will be one of six Regional sites in the U.S. with each site hosting 14 collegiate teams. The top five teams from each Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships to be held in 2026 at La Costa Resort and Spa in San Diego, Calif. Exact dates for the Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Regionals will be announced at a later date, but the tournament is expected to take place in mid-to-late May 2026.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club was designed by Brian Curley and PGA TOUR veteran Fred Couples in 2002. Originally developed as a private club by private investors, the championship Australian Sandbelt-style golf course sits on 320 acres of land that was once a part of the Ak-Chin’s May 1912 reservation before it was removed by Presidential Executive Order in late 1912. Nearly 100 years later, in 2010, the Ak-Chin Community recovered its sacred land when it purchased the golf facility and opened the course to public play. The course currently boasts several coveted accolades, including being included on Golfweek’s coveted rankings of the “Top 100 Resort Courses” and “Best Courses You Can Play.”
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes has played host to numerous major tournaments and events since opening in 2002, serving as an annual U.S. Open qualifying site, host course for the PING Southwest Section PGA Section Championship and several top collegiate men’s and women’s golf tournaments. The course annually hosts top amateurs in the Tucker Amateur in September and the Saguaro Amateur held in early January. Both events are part of the Troon Saguaro Amateur Series, a multi-tournament series providing high-level amateurs a chance to compete throughout the year.
About The Ak-Chin Indian Community The Ak-Chin Indian Community is nestled into the Santa Cruz Valley of Southern Arizona. The Community lies 35 miles south of Phoenix in the northwestern part of Pinal County. Ak-Chin is an O’odham word translated to mean “mouth of the wash” or “place where the wash loses itself in the sand or ground.” Ak-Chin has an enrollment of more than 1,100 tribal members and a land base of just over 22,000 acres. The Ak-Chin Indian Community has a variety of business enterprises including Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino, Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club, UltraStar Multi-tainment Center at Ak-Chin Circle and Santa Cruz Commerce Center. For more information, visit www.ak-chin.nsn.us
About Troon Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club is managed by Troon Golf. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at 435-plus locations around the globe, including managing 470-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 485-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 40-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports, Green Golf Partners, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis and RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. There are currently 67 Troon-affiliated properties featuring 87 golf courses on national and international “Top 100” rankings. Troon-affiliated properties include Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington; The Virginian and Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol, Virginia; Kapalua Golf in Maui, Hawaii; Lofoten Links in Gimsoysand, Norway; and The Els Club Dubai in United Arab Emirates. For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com, or connect with Troon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Troon Chronicles, Press Room, or subscribe to Troon Magazine.