Golf Games

Deerpass offers a Senior League on Mondays. A weekly “skin” costs only $18 for a full 18 holes. Included in the cost is the use of a motorized cart and a meal that includes a hot dog, chips and can of pop. Martin boasts, “We have the best rates in the state!” Deerpass was built in 1998 and is a short but challenging golf course with a par of 71.

Family Golf

Mt. Lebanon Municipal Golf course offers the families of Pittsburgh, Penn., “Family Golf Day” every Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. Children ages 12 and under may golf with their parents for only $4. Class A PGA Professional Shane Rice says this program is held then so golfers “don’t have to worry about (the children) holding up traffic” the rest of the week. Rice adds every day is “One Price Day,” which means adults can play the nine-hole, par-35 course for $32. It includes a golf cart and a sleeve of balls.

Theme Golf

For 20 years, Apple Orchard Golf Course in Bartlett, Ill., has held its annual “Arctic Open Golf Tournament” the first Saturday in February. Purchased in 1974, the nine-hole course–part of the Bartlett Park District–offers many theme-based golf outings. Previous themes have included Pirate Adventure, Western OK Corral (where the contest includes cork guns), Golfing in the Land of Oz, Around the World in Nine Holes and Elvis. At the Superhero event, contestants have to do something in a phone booth, like change into a superhero costume. The Carnival has the “sledgehammer thingy.”

Of the nine holes, three are “themed,” and include a variety of obstacles. The winners are awarded with reduced strokes for winning “challenges.” Included in the registration fee are a personal photo, plenty of coffee, bagels, chili and drinks. Winners are awarded prizes.

Another theme event at Orchard Valley — Freedom Fore Youth Golf Tournament — is held on the Fourth of July for boys and girls ages 9 to 15. Participants play in age groups (9/10, 11/12, 13-15), and trophies are awarded for the low-net and low-gross scores in each age group using the Peoria handicap scoring system. Additional prizes are awarded for longest drive and longest putt, along with numerous door prizes. Participants also receive an activity bag and coupon for a soft drink. Friends are encouraged to register together and contact the clubhouse to reserve a tee time.

At the Twilight Golf Outing, Apple Orchard lights the greens with glow sticks, and each participant is given a glow-in-the-dark golf ball. This benefit theme outing provides funds for the Bartlett Parks Foundation. Other theme events have included couples and grandparents with their grandchildren.

“We’re always looking for ways to serve our body in better ways,” Apple Orchard’s Marketing Manager Stephanie Anie FitzSimons says of the popular theme-based golf tournaments. “We continue to try to make it fresh.”

Enjoying Games Of Golf

From the earliest form of the word, “kolf” has been transformed from a club-swinging, male-dominated sport to a pastime that encompasses glowing golf balls, pirate hats and computers. Though the meaning has changed over the years to include variations of the game, the original intent of enjoyment and leisure has not been lost.

Melanie Minch is a freelance writer in Medina, Ohio. She can be reached via e-mail at gardens@zoominternet.net.

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