CULLMAN — The folks at the Cullman Regional Medical Center don’t use the term “extravaganza” loosely when it comes to its foundation’s annual golf tournament.
With a four-man scramble, putting contest, long drive competition, helicopter ball drop and chance to win $1 million in a hole-in-one shootout, the CRMC Foundation Million Dollar Hole-in-One Golf Extravaganza has no problem living up to its name.
The latest version of the event, which is in its 21st year, will be Sept. 10 at the TP Country Club, beginning with registration at 11:30 a.m. and a luncheon at noon.
The helicopter ball drop will take place at 12:55 p.m., and golfers will hit the course with a shotgun start at 1 p.m.
A total of 32 teams competed in last year’s tournament, raising nearly $50,000 for the CRMC Foundation. As of Tuesday, CRMC Foundation Director Maria Stanford said only 21 foursomes had signed up for this year’s event. But with registration still open, she’s confident the tournament can at least match or surpass its number of participants from 2011 by Sept. 10.
“The Foundation golf outing is a great way to build relationships among local businesses, area residents, physicians and volunteers,” Stanford said.
Those interested in entering can contact the CRMC Foundation office at 256-737-2565. The cost is $500 per team or $125 per player.
All proceeds from the extravaganza will go directly toward the hospital’s “Refresh-A-Room Capital Campaign,” according to Tommy Warhurst, a CRMC Foundation Board Member and Golf Committee Chairperson. He added that the campaign, which involves the renovation of patients’ room, began this May and is expected to cover updates to “all areas of the medical center over the next three years.”
“We appreciate the support of those who participate and give back to the Foundation to strengthen their local hospital,” Stanford said.
It takes a village to run the tournament with so many different events going on throughout the afternoon and early evening, and Stanford is appreciative of each and every person who contributes in any way to making the extravaganza an annual success.
“The event would not be possible without the support of the sponsors, golf teams and volunteers giving their time,” she said.
The chance to win $1 million is clearly the highlight for all participants when it comes to the golf portion of the event. TP Country Club features four Par-3 holes, and the four golfers with the closest shot to the pin at each one during tournament play will qualify for the final hole-in-one shootout.
If any of those final four golfers sink their shot at the third hole, they’ll walk away with a $1 million 40-year annuity.
Steve Miller, Sen. Paul Bussman, Skipper Estes and Kathy Schuman were the finalists in last year’s shootout. Though none pulled off the hole-in-one, Sen. Bussman came the closest.
Another fan favorite is the helicopter ball drop. All the balls purchased — the cost is $5 a piece — by golfers and spectators alike are dropped above a hole on the driving range. The person whose ball lands closest to the hole will receive $500. If the ball happens to fall into the hole, the prize doubles to $1,000.
Nell Dunlap was the ball drop winner, while Mike Manning was the victor in the putting contest in 2011. Barry McGriff, Jeff McGriff, Burt McGriff and Patrick Drake are the defending four-man scramble champs.
‰ Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.