E.A. Sports Today

Local golf notebook

Pine Hill, Cherokee County offering events to spread Christmas cheer

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Two local golf communities that battle it out on the course with one another once a year are holding competing tournaments this weekend with a common goal.

Pine Hill Country Club and Cherokee County Country Club both are hosting events Saturday to help brighten Christmas for children in their areas.

Pine Hill CC has its seventh annual Toys For Kids tournament, while Cherokee County CC is holding a Toys For Tots event. Don’t worry about any conflict between the two clubs that play in the annual Highway 9 Challenge; there is plenty of joy to go around.

“You’re drawing from two different areas, but when it’s for a cause like it is, people will support it,” Pine Hill’s Cory Etter said. “We try to show our support and love for these kids. This tournament means more to me than any tournament that I have.”

Talk about support. The tournament at Pine Hill goes off rain or shine and nobody bails when the weather turns bad. Two years ago, a full field braved the elements when it was snowing sideways. Fortunately, the forecast this weekend is projected to be more favorable, increasing the odds of another successful event.

“We play no matter what,” Etter said.

The concept is simple. For a modest entry fee and an unwrapped toy of at least a $10 value, players get a day of golf and the satisfaction that comes with knowing they’ve made a difference no matter their score.

Both events are four-person scrambles; at Pine Hill it’s a blind draw, while at Cherokee County you bring your own team.

The Pine Hill event is full and has more than a dozen on the waiting list (which Etter hopes to accommodate if he can secure additional golf carts). Cherokee County has a limited number of spots still available at $40 per player.

“It really shows a lot about the communities when two competitors can both have such great projected turnouts for the same day,” said Jake Minnix, one of the organizers of the Centre event. “We were able to vary the format from Pine Hill to offer a little difference for the players but we knew they would support either way for this great cause.”

The toys donated at Cherokee County CC remain within the county. In fact, it has partnered with Toys R Us to deliver and match its donated toys. As a formal partner in the Marines’ Toys for Tots campaign, it will have a Marine Color Guard presentation of the colors and brief primer on the program for the players prior to the start of play.

Pine Hill has partnered with the HEARTS Foundation of Cleburne County to distribute its donated toys, while proceeds from more than 30 tournament sponsorships go towards clothing to be distributed within the Calhoun County school system.

For more information on either event call the respective pro shops at 237-2633 (Pine Hill) or 927-5070 (Cherokee County).

FIELD OF HIS OWN: Before he puts the finishing touches on his tournament, Etter will be playing in one of his own. He leaves for Biloxi today to play on the Dixie Section team competing in the PGA Apprentice Cup matches against opposite numbers from Mississippi and Louisiana.

The teams play scramble and best ball matches Monday and individual matches Tuesday. This will be Etter’s third start in the matches; his team won each of the previous two he played.

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer for East Alabama Sports Today. To report golf news, contact him at musky@wrightmediacorp.com

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