The 32nd annual Buck Shear Memorial Tournament is set to get under way this weekend at Cullman Municipal Golf Course.
And Ches Harris couldn’t be more excited about it.
The longtime director of golf looks forward to this particular tournament each and every year for a simple reason — it brings together a great sport for a great cause.
“We’re thrilled about it,” he said. “As much as Buck did for the game, it’s just really exciting. This is the biggest tourney we have every year typically. It should be another good one.”
Shear played a large role in bringing golf to Cullman County and the surrouding areas. For golfers like Harris and the ones teeing it up for the two-day event, it’s not really hard to see why the annual event is so successful.
“We’ve been able to have a really good tournament here,” Harris said. “We’ve been busy. The course is in really great shape. We can’t wait for them to play on it.”
Joining this year’s field are Sylas Elliott (last year’s champ), Patrick Drake (a three-time winner), Layne Rice, Eli Marty and Todd Lindsey — among 40-45 golfers. The first wave of golfers will tee off Saturday morning. The tourney will then be flighted before Sunday’s final round.
Although Drake has played just three rounds since October, he didn’t have to think twice about making an appearance at the tournament he’s been a regular at the last few years.
“What the Shear family has done for golf in Cullman County has been awesome,” he said. “It’s the tournament everybody wants to win. You feel like you’ve accomplished something in this one. Hopefully I can put two good rounds together.”
The kind words and participation in the tournament haven’t been lost on the Shear family, either.
It’s been a tradition for both Buddy and Joey Shear (Buck’s son and grandson) to come up from Destin, Fla. to join in the fun in celebration of Buck’s memory.
However, due to an expectant first child, Joey will not make the tournament this time around. Despite that, he knows that Harris and Co. will put on another great event.
“It’s all in good hands,” he said. “It’s a tremendous honor for our family. It’s great for the community. I’d like to play but we can’t really put a price on this (laughs.) My dad is planning to be there, but he’ll be on standby duty because this one will be his very first grandchild.”
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at email@example.com.