34th Senior Center Golf Tourney Huge Success


Last updated 2/25/2022 at 2:55pm

8-time Tournament Chair Barb Stephenson presents hefty $30.7K check to Senior Center Executive Director Leslie Greathouse, with (left to right) RRC Gen. Mgr Rich Pinel, Men's Golf President Mike Rodgers, Tourney Chair Assistant and 1st Hubby John Stephenson, and Ron Neu, sponsor-sign designer/fabricator.

With an eye to a semblance of normalcy for what we all hope is near the tail-end of the COVID-19 pandemic, 124 happy, maskless golfers and 73 generous hole sponsors, plus wildly extravagant tippers for food and drinks, all combined on Feb. 9 to raise $30,723 for the Borrego Springs Senior Center. 'Twas a thing of beauty on just another beautiful day in Borrego on the RoadRunner golf course, and our seniors will benefit with healthy meals, including free deliveries, and lots of activities at the Center.

Senior Center Executive Director Leslie Greathouse was on hand to receive the check (usually a lot bigger in physical size, but hey, it's the amount that counts, right?). It all required a massive team effort, spearheaded by the tournament director (for eight years running) Barb Stephenson. "Thanks to all the volunteers and participants," she said, "and a special thanks to the Park Owners and Management for all your support."

Assisting Stephenson was her hubby John, with input also from Men's Golf President Mike Rogers, RRC General Manager Rich Pinel, and sponsor sign-maker Ron Neu, who also directed their placements around the course. The grounds crew did a great job of preparing the course, and volunteers helped set everything up and provided food & drink stations around the course, where the most popular stop was on the 10th hole.

Fred and Jana Cate served hot dogs and chips, right next to Randy Budd's highly popular "Coffee with Liquid Additives" to keep folks on the move yet relaxed. Let it be known that a record $1,348 was raised from tips alone for food and drinks, and since only 9 strokes separated 1st place and last, Cate hot dogs and Budd additives had to have helped set that record.

The 31 teams used a scramble format, where it was best shot all the way to the hole. No handicaps, no mulligans, no chip-ins. With only 18 holes to accommodate 124 golfers, it was only a three-hour tourney, as opposed to one requiring lights for night golf.

We all knew it would require a sub-par performance to win, place, or show in the tourney, but the winning team of Kenny & Marian Gosling and Gary & Dustie VanWinkle blew away the field with a 6-birdie, no bogey 48 on the par-54 course. Tied for 2nd Place at 50 were the teams of Bruce Kelley/Paul Sweatman/Daryl Vossler/Greg Winterowd and Jim & Pam Garrison/David Currid/Art Avilla; tied for 3rd at 51 were Oz & Jane Oswitt/Mike Douglas/John Ross and Jerry Sorensen/Cathy Schalkle/Bob & Susan Garrison.

OK, now, who really cares about 4th place?! Perhaps 5th place finishers robbed of the glory? Or that my 30-foot putt on the last shot of our last hole kept my team bogey-free? Only my teammates cared about that. Sure, we cinched a 4th place tie with three other teams! But we shall not dwell, so you'll have to check the chart with the Goslings and VanWinkles pointing to their 48 if you really need to see 4th place scoring.

A Hole-in-One is rare at any time on any course, but to ace one during this tournament, and on a hole I regard as the second toughest to par due to significant slope challenges, Brenda Little pulled it off on the 12th. Using a hybrid club, she hit the green, rolled uphill towards the pin about 120 yards away, and then, "I saw it go in the hole!" she said with appropriate excitement.

They say it doesn't count if you don't see it go in the hole, but that's now a moot point here. Her teammates also saw it disappear into the cup, and the foursome on the adjacent 11th hole shared in the shouting and hollering. Congrats on that ace during tournament play, Brenda!

Our goals for this tourney were to 1) have fun playing golf with significant others and friends, and 2) raise funds for the Senior Center. So, from the smiles on all the faces throughout the day, and the size of that check, we achieved our goals.