Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Suns invite local golfers to play for kids

May 26 tourney will raise money for junior golf


Chris Benson Photo by Willy Cook

Mark your calendars and start planning your Memorial Day weekend around the first annual Sun Valley Suns Golf Classic set for May 26.

The Suns Foundation Inc., which runs the Sun Valley Suns men's hockey program, is extending its outreach into the community by putting together a fund-raising golf tournament for junior golf.

Suns head coach Chris Benson, who is directing the golf tournament with Reamy Goodwin, said, "We want to help keep John Kearney Jr.'s Ketchum Junior Golf Program going, develop a Wood River Junior Golf Association and mainly open the door so more kids can play golf."

The first annual 18-hole tournament will have its shotgun start at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 26 at The Valley Club. It will be followed by a 7 p.m. no-host cocktail hour and buffet dinner at The Valley Club. Cost is $125 per player, or $500 for four players.

Benson said, "We'll take the first 88 golfers who register and pay."

The five-person modified best ball format will resemble the format used for the Wood River Community YMCA Celebrity golf tournament held each August, Benson said.

Current Suns players or alumni, and local celebrities will be the captains for the fivesome format, where teams pick their best drive and then play their own balls all the way into the hole—picking the best two scores on handicap. "That way everybody is playing the golf course," he said.

Tournament organizers will put together the teams, or accommodate foursomes wanting to play together.

During the buffet dinner there will be a live and silent auction for items like professional hockey memorabilia, golf rounds at prestigious courses, sightseeing trips, vacation packages and fishing trips, golf and tennis lessons, landscaping, dinners, artwork and auto detailing.

The Wood River Junior Golf Association is in its formative stages but it has a mission statement.

With the cooperation of local golf courses and the Idaho Golf Association, organizers hope to develop junior golf in the Wood River. Efforts will be made from the outset in recruiting kids to play the game.

Teaching golf rules and providing quality instruction will hopefully lead to creating a local golf league, hosting a junior golf tournament and sending the best off to state, regional and national-level tournaments.

Benson and Goodwin, whose father was golf coach at Stanford University, are in the process of signing up sponsors and hole sponsors and nailing down the list of silent and live auction items for the May 26 event. Auctioneer is Pete Prekeges.




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