The Putra Cup is a golf competition envisioned by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj under the Malaysian Golf Association (MGA). It was started with the aim to emulate the Eisenhower Trophy at the World Amateur Golf Team Championship for the Southeast Asia countries.
A golf competition for friendship
The Tunku donated a cup for this purpose with the hope that there will be a good response from the nations around the region. It was done with the hope to further foster better relationships and sportsmanship among the members while promoting the game of golf to a higher level. That was when the inaugural event was held in 1961 at the then Selangor Golf Club). The trophy cost US$10,000 made from rose gold. During the first championship, 6 out of the 11 nations participated. This was played in the attendance of His Majesty the Yang di-Pertua Agong.
Changing with the times and developments of the game
The initial idea was to have Malaysia (then Malaya) play host each year, building up its stature and recognition of the Putra Cup. However, it would, later on, be decided that the venue will be rotated. The Philippines joined the competition in 1963 and became host to the Putra Cup in 1965. The venue was then rotated to Thailand and Singapore and then other nations starting in 1969. 10 years after that, Papua New Guinea became the latest member of the tournament.
The involvement of the Philippines has elevated the Putra Cup and it would continue on win the cup the most times. Thailand too has been very successful in this tournament having won it more than 12 times. Today, it remains as one of the hotly contested events of the golfing calendar in Malaysia, attracting some top golf players each time.
Other golf categories in Putra Cup
The Putra Cup remains the main event of this tournament, pitting the teams from the respective countries together. The trophy has been passed on from champion to champion each year. However, new categories were added in recent years to provide more challenges and competition among the nations. This includes:
- Kartini Cup – The trophy was donated by Indonesia for the junior girl’s category
- Santi Cup – Donated by Thailand, this category is competed by ladies
- Lion City Cup – This trophy is competed by junior boys and was donated by Singapore.