Kiwanis Tournament shoots for scholarship goals

When Kirk McKey and his son Caleb started playing the annual Kiwanis golf tournament four years ago, they came in dead last. Over the years, aided by a little practice, and the three mulligans (which they bought before the tournament), the father and son duo have nearly worked their way to the top, finishing second in net score this year.

"It used to be I carried Caleb through the rounds, now he's carrying me," Kirk said. "If he had his driver's license, he'd probably have a different partner."

Saturday marked the seventh year the Kiwanis Club has hosted a golf tournament at the Yampa Valley Golf Course, and each year it has grown in size. This year's tournament turned out a bumper crop of 35 golfers, only 15 away from event organizer Steve Grandbouche's ultimate goal.

"I'd like to get the numbers to up around 50 to 60 a year," he said. "That way we'd really be able to supplement our scholarship fund."

The tournament is a fund-raiser for the Kiwanis Club scholarship fund. It is one of two fundraisers the club hosts each year, the other being the mid-winter Kiwanis Play, which finds most Kiwanis members donning high heels instead of golf spikes.

"In the past, we've raised around $700 to $800 from the tournament, but since we've had such a good turnout this year, we'll be up in the $1,000 range," Grandbouche said.

Unlike most golf tournaments, the Kiwanis don't stick to one game. Instead, they split the course into three different games.

Holes one through six are played as best ball, in which the lie of the best hit ball from a twosome is used in approaching the hole.

Holes seven through 12, are played as a game of Champman. In the game of Champman, each player of the twosome tees-off, then hits his or her partner's ball for the second shot. After that, the game is played like best ball.

The final six holes going into the clubhouse are played as a worst drive scramble, where the worst tee shot must be played for the second stroke. The rest of the hole is played in scramble format.

"The way the tournament's set up, with the three different games, makes it fun and it gives you a good chance to stay in the running for the prizes if you're not a good golfer," McKey said.

Besides shooting their way through three different games in 18 holes, the tournament's linksters were given a margin of error actually, up to three margins of error. Before the tournament started, players could buy up to three mulligans, for $2 apiece, or three for $5.

Players said the mulligans were a welcome addition to the game, especially when prizes of duffle-bags and blankets are on the line.

"Oh yeah, I bought and used all three mulligans," McKey said. "Anything to help win."

Door prizes such as tournament cap and golf ball were also awarded to those who attended the tournament.

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