“If anybody’s still on the fence, now would be the time to get in,” committee chairman Keith Howell said.
As of Friday, there were about 175 two-man teams registered for the event, which will be played at Anniston Country Club, Cider Ridge Golf Club and Silver Lakes. A full field is 204.
Organizers opened electronic registration several months earlier than in the past, but they’re discovering entries are coming in at about the same pace as in previous years.
Here’s hoping that doesn’t foreshadow the pace of play, which has always been a concern for players and organizers.
“We’re trying to get Arnold Palmer and Clint Eastwood to show up,” Howell said, giving a tongue-in-cheek nod to the USGA’s “While We’re Young” campaign to eradicate slow play.
Among the King’s initiatives to speed things up are double-tee starts at Silver Lakes, positioning a forecaddie on the tight 16th at Cider Ridge, providing accessible-but-competitive hole locations on all three courses and reducing the number of players in each rotation.
Sorry, boys, once again, there are no provisions for seniors to play from forward tees.
EVENTS: The Silver Lakes Championship, the fifth event on the Calhoun County Golf Tour schedule, is set for this coming weekend. Entry fee is $90 a player, $35 for RTJ Trail pass holders, and registration deadline is Thursday. Play begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Call the pro shop to register (256-892-3268).
• For those not participating in the Silver Lakes event, the annual Clear Creek Classic also is this coming weekend at Alpine Bay. Entry fee for the three-man scramble is $450 per team, and the field is limited to 60 teams. For details, call the course at 256-268-2920 or AlpineBay18@gmail.com.
Alpine Bay has gone through a rough patch lately, but club pro Valerie Vaughn says the greens are back, membership is growing and the resort business is climbing.
“It’s like a miracle has taken place here,” she said.
The course also is offering two junior clinics this summer, June 25-27 and July 8-12. They’re open to juniors 6-17. Registration fee is $100 for each camp.
• The Cherokee County Sports Hall of Fame three-man scramble has been rescheduled for July 6 at Cherokee County CC. Entry fee is $180 per team, due by July 5. Call the pro shop (256-927-5070) for details. Jack Kines, Steve Ray, Amber Wood, Eugene Weatherly and Terry Gamble were inducted into the Hall earlier this month.
RESULTS: The team of Johnny Tucker, Dan Griffin, Gary Wigington and Tanner Wells won the first flight of the Elks Lodge 189 scramble at Indian Oaks Golf Club. Jerry Eaton, Farris Crow, Terry Fields and Kevin Wells finished second.
J.A. Smith, Dennis Magouirk, Pete Morrison and Butch Thrasher won the second flight. Daniel Oliver, Warren Sewell, Billy Edds and Bob Eaton were second.
ACES IN THE CROWD: Anniston Country Club general manager Chip Howell scored his second hole-in-one when he aced the club’s fourth hole from 185 yards with a 21-degree hybrid. His shot was witnessed by club pro Kevin Daugherty, Brian Woodfin and Jaylon Ellison.
• Avery D. Smith II aced the fifth hole of the Backbreaker at Silver Lakes on Friday, using a pitching wedge on the 120-yard hole. The shot was witnessed by his brother Jordan and grandfather Gary Ingram.
• Justin Burney scored a double-eagle 2 on the fifth hole at Cider Ridge. He holed out a 3-hybrid from 215 yards for the albatross. The shot was witnessed by his father Jeff.
• Ricky Roberts aced the third hole at Indian Oaks Golf Club. The shot was witnessed by Steve Reaves, Starling Ridgeway, Rick Bussey, Bruce Crosson and Robert Landers.
• Ron Borchelt is making a habit of shooting his age. The 79-year-old Cider Ridge player beat his age in four straight rounds on his home course and needed only a par on the par-5 18th for a fifth straight 78 when rain pulled the players from the course that day.
Al Muskewitz covers golf for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.