A pair of new tournaments that have incorporated female players into the events surrounding the 18-year National Father & Son Team Classic have been slow to gain popularity, but organizers are sticking with plans to make them a permanent part of the annual Father-Son event.
The Mother & Daughter Team Classic has just four two-person teams entered and the Father & Daughter Team Classic has 14 teams that will be competing next Thursday and Friday at Arrowhead Country Club and International World Tour Golf Links, according to tournament director Brad “Greenie” Greenstein.
The sister tournaments will coincide with the first two rounds of the 54-hole Father-Son, being played on eight area courses, and the three tournaments combine to form the newly termed Family Golf Week presented by PGA Tour Superstore.
“We were hoping for more, but we’re happy with it,” Greenstein said. “At this point we laid the ground work and next year we’re hoping these events will take off.”
Greenstein said the parent company of the events, Robert Harper’s Southern Dunes marketing and events company, plans to work with organizations including the Executive Women’s Golf Association and PGA of America to increase participation, and organizers will count on this year’s participants spreading the word.
“Word of mouth, really that’s how the Father-Son got so big,” Greenstein said.
The Father-Son has 342 teams entered, and registration is essentially closed. Participation has dropped in each of the past couple years from nearly 800 players in 2013, though Greenstein said the tournament has perhaps the most new teams in its history, with about a 50-50 split between returning and first-time participants.
“We have gotten more new teams this year than we’ve ever had,” he said. “People get older, so it’s encouraging to me because of that new blood coming in, the young crowd coming in. We’ve got those new teams so we’ll keep building on it, whether they’re hearing it through word of mouth or national and regional branding we’re doing throughout the year.”
Renovations at Rivers Edge Golf Club have dropped the number of Father-Son courses to eight: The Thistle, Tiger’s Eye Golf Links, Grande Dunes Resort Course, Myrtle Beach National West Course, Shaftesbury Glen Golf & Fish Club, Legends Resort’s Moorland Course, Barefoot Resort’s Fazio Course and Prestwick Country Club. Legends Resort is tournament headquarters.
Registration is next Wednesday at PGA Tour Superstore locations.
The Father-Son has three divisions – National (to age 59), Senior (60-plus) and Super Senior (70-plus) – and juniors 12 and under can play super senior tees.
The three tournaments will play best ball using 80 percent of handicaps on July 16 and conclude with a captain’s choice format using 30 percent of the total team handicap. The Father-Son will play at modified alternate shot format using 40 percent of total team handicaps in the July 17 second round. More information is at www.familygolfweek.com.
Sr. Open at Tidewater
Tidewater Golf Club & Plantation is hosting its largest competitive tournament since reopening after renovations last summer with the Tidewater Carolinas PGA Senior Open next Monday and Tuesday. The event is for pros and amateurs age 50 and older.
The tournament is one of a series of eight CPGA Senior Opens at different locations this year. Nearly 100 players are entered, and the entry deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The entry fee is $150 with an optional $10 skins contest and both rounds tee off with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Practice rounds are available July 12 for $30.
Divisions are professional, amateur, super senior (63 and older) and Legends (70 and older), and the two older divisions are for both pros and amateurs.
Fifteen Grand Strand residents are registered including pros Jim Fellner of Little River, Jim Merriman of North Myrtle Beach and Eddie Young of Conway, and amateurs Lance Trent and Rick Mitchell of Myrtle Beach, Dennis Adkins and Charlie Moore of North Myrtle Beach, John Stokley of Longs and Marco Lardi of Pawleys Island.
Aces wild for Munn
Jack Munn, 51, of North Myrtle Beach, has played golf nearly his entire life and had never made a hole in one until June 5. Within about 24 hours, he had two.
“I still can’t believe it, two holes in one in two days,” Munn said. “Who does that happen to?”
The 7-handicap and Barefoot Resort member first aced the 150-yard fifth hole on the Bay nine at Sandpiper Bay Golf & Country Club using an 8-iron on his mother’s birthday. He said it landed 15 feet from the cup with a slight draw and curled into the hole.
Munn celebrated with about a dozen friends, running up a $300 bar tab at Putters Pub at Barefoot. “I was really excited,” Munn said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for one to go so it was worth every penny of it.”
Before he teed off on Barefoot’s Norman Course the next day, friend and bag drop worker Brandon Lavin warned him that they come in bunches. Sure enough, on the 150-yard 10th hole, Munn flew a 7-iron directly into the hole.
“There was no bounce and roll, it just dunked right in, and there was a loud ‘clink,’” Munn explained. “I was playing okay that day. I was actually a little hung over. You never think you’re going to make another one.”
Another dozen or so revelers ran up a tab exceeding $200 in celebration of the second ace, though Munn’s friends wouldn’t allow him to pay that tab.
Barefoot employees broadcast Munn’s second ace across the bottom of the screen on the cart GPS units. “It was kind of nice. I felt like I won a golf tournament,” said the former owner of a software company outside Atlanta who has had a home in NMB for 14 years and became a full-time resident five years ago.