By Rob Ketcham
The Cullman Times
Summer is quickly coming to a close, but the end-of-season schedule for local golf courses is just heating up.
In fact, director of golf Ches Harris and his staff at the Cullman Golf Course are ramping up to host two different events just this week. The Elks Junior County Championship is scheduled for Wednesday-Thursday, while the Parent-Child Scramble is slated for Saturday-Sunday.
“It’s always a busy couple weeks for junior golf,” Harris said of the end of July and early August. “We enjoy seeing the youth out here playing.”
The golf pro said about 20 kids have signed up so far for the Elks event, including local prep standouts Layne Rice (Cold Springs), Sylas Elliott (Cullman), Colby Sandlin (Cullman) and Cole Pearson (Good Hope).
Fairview No. 1 Trey Hanvey, who won last year’s tournament by a comfy six-stroke margin, had yet to enter by late Monday afternoon. However, Harris said the deadline for him and other interested golfers will be Tuesday at noon.
The 15 parent-child combos prepped for this weekend’s scramble can rest a bit easier knowing the pairing of Elliott and Mike Pitts will not be in the field. The duo claimed the crown in 2012, putting an end to Tommy and Jennifer Byrd’s two-year run.
“We call it a parent-child event, but there’s no age limit. We’ve had ‘children’ in their 50s,” Harris said with a laugh. “That’s the one we always look forward to. It’s one of our favorite tournaments of the year.”
TP Country Club has already been awfully busy this summer and will be even more so in a couple of weeks — Aug. 13-14 to be precise — when it hosts the Alabama Junior Golf Association’s Open Championship.
The popular tour churned out a massive field of 101 golfers for last year’s competition, which ended with a win for Elliott in the 16-19 boys division. The Bearcat No. 1 also won the AJGO’s season-ender at Point Mallard in 2010.
A lot will be on the line for Cold Springs’ Rice, who will enter the 36-hole tournament with a slim, 10-point lead over Phillip Fitzgerald for AJGO Player of the Year in the 16-19 boys bracket. Rice finished in a tie for 13th at last year’s event and more recently tore up the country club course en route to a low-medalist performance at the Eagles’ sub-state tournament.
Not to be left out of the summer madness, Chesley Oaks Golf Course is set to hold its 16th annual open tournament Aug. 17-18.
Registration isn’t cheap at $125, but the expected payout is huge. Prizes for the top-five golfers include a driver, a fairway metal, golf shoes and a wedge.
Local business owner J.J. Adams eked out the 2012 title with a one-shot victory over Kevin Byrd and Kenny Miller.
Other local events to keep an eye out for include the inaugural Jeremy “Smurf” Young Golf Tournament, Aug. 10 at the Cullman Golf Course; the Cullman County Championship, Aug. 24-25 at the Cullman Golf Course; and the CRMC Foundation’s 22nd annual Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Extravaganza, Sept. 9 at TP Country Club.
% Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 138 or at email@example.com.