The schedule was jam-packed, the weather accommodating, the golf challenging and all on perfect tracks for the annual Member Guest tournament.
Golfers numbered 130 and were welcomed with gift packages, including a custom shirt and jacket along with the schedule of events. Guests came from as far away as Wisconsin, California, Washington, Ohio and North Carolina.
Flights were based on total team handicap, with each team playing seven 9-hole matches within its flight. Teams accumulating the most points in the seven matches are the winners. USGA match play rules applied.
Sept. 27 began with a shootout on the DeSoto course with 2016 flight and shootout winners vying for first place. Competitors were greeted and accompanied throughout play by the Fountain Lake High School Cobra Marching Band under the direction of Patrick Combs. Light hors d’oeuvres and registration followed.
Official tournament play began early Thursday with breakfast and tee times starting at 8 a.m. A casual dinner party followed themed “tailgate night” as attendees were encouraged to wear their college football jerseys.
Isabella was the designated track for Friday’s rounds, again beginning with breakfast and early tee times with lunch between matches.
Saturday’s final matches were played at Granada, including shotgun starts at 9 a.m. and noon. There was a “ping” shootout following play. Dinner party at Johnna’s at DeSoto concluded the festivities, plus awards, music and dancing.
“We’ve been so fortunate to have so many players these past 17 years,” said Tom Heffer, director of golf. “It is amazing to see guests come for the tournament and in a short time, they’ve moved here and are now residents who are inviting guests to join them.”
Closing the event, players and spouses enjoyed dinner at Johnna’s including salad, surf and turf, grilled asparagus, loaded baked potatoes and cheesecake.
Prizes were awarded to the top three places in each flight and the winner of the shootout was the overall champion. First place in each flight was awarded $400, second $300 and third $200. Flights were named after sports legends and the following teams won in their particular flight: Frank Broyles by Yu Chong and Lee Babovec; Bear Bryant by Jim Faurot and Fred Steffers; Knute Rockne by Robert Pinson and Lon Rogers; Steve Spurrier by Dennis Faulk and Ty Whitmer; Bobby Bowden by Kenny Hall and Wayne Johnson; Woody Hayes by Richard Brown and Dave Vandehey; Barry Switzer by Paul and Daniel Rohnke; and Bo Schembechler by W. Frank Rodgers and Thom Brown.