Annual Grizzly Open set for mini golfers

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The course is admittedly not Augusta National or Pebble Beach or even, for that matter, the Yampa Valley Golf Course.

But it does test the skills of golfers of all ages.

The Little Bear Golf Course will be hosting its Annual Grizzly Open Monday and Tuesday at the miniature golf course in east Craig on Highway 40.

"We started the tournament just to give some of the ones that are so competitive when they play a chance to compare their scores against others," said owner Joan Schneider. "It has turned into a pretty popular little tournament."

The age groups for the tournament are 6-8, 9-13, 14-18 and 19+ with the prices $2.50 (the youngest group plays nine holes), $4, $5, and $6 respectively for the age groups. Golfers can play either Monday at 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for the 6-8 year olds, 2 p.m.-3 p.m. for 9-13, 3 p.m.-4 p.m. for 14-18 and 6 p.m.-7 p.m. for the adults; or Tuesday with the time of the first tee off or would it be putt off? beginning with the 6-8 year olds at 5 p.m. and continuing in one hour intervals for each age group.

There is open registration right up until play begins. Players are allowed one round in the two-day tournament and the later times on Tuesday are to attract more adults who might not be able to make it on Monday.

"The tournament is for everybody and we hope to see more adults," Cassi Owens, a "soda jerk" at the course said. "In the past we've given away two trophies to the only two participants in the older group."

Winners of the age groups will receive a trophy and every participant will receive a scoop of arguably the best ice cream in Craig.

Going into the tournament there are no early favorites, mostly because "the game has a lot to do with luck," soda jerk Jessica Ketchum said.

"The kids that come out and play a lot have not shown that they have much of an advantage in the tournaments," Schneider said. "They might know where they should hit the ball on each hole but it hasn't always meant that they would win."

Other consolation prizes are possibly getting a picture taken that will go in LBVG's scrapbook of fame, or, if a golfer makes a hole-in-one, they will get his or her name on the ceiling in the clubhouse.

Just in case 19-year-olds might accidentally forget about a stroke here and there, each group of golfers will be officially scored by the soda jerks in order to make things fair.

"There really is no pressure when they're out there," Schneider said. "It is just for fun and we won't be out there telling people to be quite in the gallery or anything like that."

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