The beginning of golf season is just around the corner, and Graysburg Hills will be the center of the local golfing universe.
The weekly Tri-Cities PGA pro-am series starts Monday at the Rees Jones course in Chuckey. Graysburg Hills will also be the site of the annual BASH tournament, a popular event which uses a unique format.
The two-man tournament got its name from the format: five holes of best-ball, four holes of alternate shot, five holes of select shot and four shots of high ball. The high ball portion, where the golfers play their own ball and count their worst score on each hole, is where the real fun lies.
“For some reason, everybody really likes that tournament,” Steve Munson, Graysburg Hills’ head professional, said Tuesday. “It’s a fun format, a two-man tournament, it’s early in the year and nobody’s game is really fine-tuned yet. It’s just kind of a fun thing.”
Handicaps are used. A team must have a minimum combined handicap of 6.0.
The entry deadline for the BASH is Monday and Munson says he’s already had a “pretty nice field” register. The entry fee is $45 per player and includes golf, cart and lunch. Call 234-8061 for more information.
- The second Tri-Cities pro-am will be played March 19 at the Country Club of Bristol. The series runs every Monday, with the exception of holidays, until the middle of October.
- Blackthorn Club will be the site of another Tennessee Golf Association championship this summer when the Tennessee Senior Amateur comes to town Aug. 22-24.
Ron Waters, the Maryville College golf coach who plays in a lot of Tri-Cities events, is the defending champion.
- Want a chance at winning a million dollars on the golf course? The sixth annual Keystone Dental Care tournament, scheduled for April 30 at Johnson City Country Club, will give golfers that shot — a chance at a million-dollar hole-in-one.
Before the tournament, 20 golfers will be selected to participate in the million-dollar challenge after play is completed. They will all take a whack at a 170-yard shot. The five who come closest to the pin will compete for the big prize, where a hole-in-one gets a golfer a payout of $25,000 annually for 40 years.
Entry fee for the four-person scramble is $350 per team.
- Mark your calendar for the annual Red Cross tournament, scheduled for Friday, June 15 at Crockett’s Ridge Golf Course in Kingsport. The entry fee has been lowered to $75 per person for the four-person scramble. Prizes include a round for four at The Virginian and tickets to the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley is forming a new golfing destination with a twist — packages combining rounds of golf and visits to a winery.
The Yadkin Valley is about 45 minutes northwest of Winston-Salem and has more than 30 wineries and a number of highly rated golf courses.
“When people think of this area, they think of fine wines and lush vineyards, but really it’s a great destination for golf too,” said Surry County tourism director Chris Knopf.
Three courses will be involved with the getaways: Cedarbrook Country Club in Elkin, Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy and Olde Beau Golf and Country Club in Roaring Gap.
Packages include golf, lodging and a voucher for a winery tour/tasting at one of the participating wineries. Additional winery tours — or passes to the Andy Griffith Museum in the actor’s hometown of Mount Airy — can be added for a nominal fee.
“We’ve actually seen quite a bit of interest from couples, where one is interested in golf and the other is interested in the Yadkin Valley wine region. And maybe they’re interested in the Mayberry attractions too,” Knopf said. “It’s a well-rounded trip for everyone in your group.”
Shelton Vineyards in Dobson headlines a quartet of participating wineries, with more expected to come on board. Shelton features the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina.
Grassy Creek Vineyards of Elkin is also in the rotation, along with Old North State Winery and Round Peak Vineyards, both in Mount Airy.
Golfers have the option of choosing one of two pre-planned packages or creating custom packages tailored to their particular desires. The pre-planned packages start at $305 per person, based on double occupancy. They include three rounds of golf with cart, two nights lodging, winery tour, gratuity and tax.
For more information, call (855) 398-4653 or visit www.YadkinValleyGolf.com.
Joe Avento is a sports writer for the Johnson City Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.