The Oaks to host annual fundraiser

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- To call the Andy Bowman's 16th annual Christmas fundraiser a tournament doesn't do it justice. It is more of an event.

"It's the most unusal round of golf played in America," Oaks Course superintendent Dick Schulz said. "The whole thing is to have a group of people out. It doesn't matter how much fun you had or how well you played or how poorly, I've never had anyone come to me and say it was a crummy tournament.

"It actually started out as a group of guys that Andy, a Georgia Southern graduate, went to school with. The group came out and played golf with him around Christmas and they played things differently. So we expanded that concept into customer appreciation day, fundraiser, fun Christmas event. I think it's been very well attended and everyone has a good time. It's not terribly expensive."

The event will be Dec. 11 with an 8 a.m. check-in and a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start for $220 per four-person team or $55 per person.

"We play rain or shine; we actually played in the snow one year. We got a bunch of golf balls and painted them red," Schulz said.

The money raised will benefit the Miracle League.

"We need to do everything we can to get that project going, especially in the hard economic times we're going through," Schulz said.

"With the Miracle League being the charity, we'll have some holes that will have a baseball team to them which will be new and unusual."

Some of the baseball-themed holes include teeing off with a little league tee and bat, throw your tee shot and teeing off while wearing catcher's equipment. Also keeping with the baseball theme, there will be a raffle for a game-worn Tim Hudson jersey with an autographed picture and a baseball and bat in a shadow box. Tickets for the Hudson raffle can be bought at the Oaks Course and at the Newton County Recreation Department for $10 each or three for $20. Participation in the event is not required to purchase raffle tickets.

There will also be a putting contest for $5 per try and a closest-to-the-pin contest for a yearlong free cart fee card.

The best thing is that scores do not matter, it's all about having fun. Besides a fun day, there will also be various door prizes and goodie bags.

"The big thing is that it'll be fun for the group of people that play," Schulz said. "They'll have a fun day of unusual golf, you get and everybody gets a prize. There's everything from gift cards in the golf shop to goodie bags with things like flags from Augusta National. There's door prizes from Bridgestone and Titleist. Barry's Tree Farm is giving us trees for bidding and wreathes; the Chamber of Commerce is giving us ornaments, Patrick's is giving us candy platters, the Arts Association is giving us tickets. We'll have a good crowd. I'd say of the 120 prizes we'll give out I'd say there may be one or two slackers."

Bowman, the Oaks Course golf professional, will also have various free-golf cart cards ranging from three months to a year long.

Following a good day of golf, each golfer will also be fed.

"It's usually a good meal when its cold. Last year we had soup and we should've made a lot more soup because it was cold," Schulz said.

"No one will leave hungry," Oaks Course food and kitchen manager Kevin Ekiss said.