Johnson City Country Club gearing up for 13th annual Tillinghast Invitational

Joe Avento • Apr 24, 2018 at 4:07 PM

As spring stubbornly approaches, golf season is about to begin in earnest. That means the folks at Johnson City Country Club are getting ready for the Tillinghast Invitational.

The 13th annual event is scheduled for June 2-3 at the A.W. Tillinghast-designed course.

The tournament, sponsored by General Shale Brick, is a 36-hole medal-play event and it’s part of the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour as well as a points event for the Tennessee Golf Association player of the year award.

East Tennessee State golfer Trevor Hulbert, son of three-time PGA Tour winner Mike Hulbert, is the defending champion. He beat Lawrence Largent in a playoff last year.

“The amateurs in the Tri-Cities are getting a lot better than they have been,” Johnson City Country Club assistant pro Jeremy Beachner said Tuesday during a news conference announcing the tournament. “It attracts players from Knoxville to Kentucky to West Virginia, and when they come here they are essentially members for the weekend. The hospitality is great for them and they can play in a great event against other amateurs.”

The “members for the weekend” aspect has made this tournament one of the most popular events on the local schedule, annually getting around 120 entries. Players and their families get to use the club’s facilities during the tournament.

“They can use the pool, stay here close to the golf course and get to enjoy 36 holes on a Tillinghast golf course,” Beachner said.

The course is short by today’s standards, but that doesn’t make it easy.

“People think going in they can make a bunch of birdies, and maybe they do, but they make a bunch of bogeys and others,” Beachner said. “It levels out. The main thing is you have to work your golf ball around … left, right, low, high. It’s a great shot-maker’s course. But you also have to putt and there are great big bunkers and small greens.”

In addition to the championship and senior divisions, there will be flights based on handicaps to allow players of close to equal ability to compete against each other.

The entry fee is $145 for non-members and $105 for JCCC members. That includes two rounds of golf, a practice round and lunch both days of the tournament. Carts are available to rent as well for $22 per day.

For entry information, call the pro shop at (423) 928-5161 or visit the club’s website at www.jcccsite.com.

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