This year’s annual Junior Golf Foundation Gull Lake Pro-Am tournament was a huge success, resulting in lots of smiles, laughter and fun, as well as a healthy bottom line on the financial side of things.
This year, the event was held July 14 and 15, marking the 12th anniversary of the popular event.
“The response has been unbelievably good,” said Eamon McCann, who owns the golf course with his wife, Carla. The couple were as excited about is year’s event as they were the first year they held it at their course and are pleased to note interest has been great.
“All proceeds go the Junior Golf Foundation,” said Eamon McCann. “It is great. It is wonderful to have this tournament and have the pros come back year after year.”
The silent auction for the event was held throughout the week and a live auction with announcers from Sunny 94 began at 6 p.m. Friday, July 14.
The adult/child nine-hole scramble with a pro golfer began at 11 a.m. on July 14.
Korey Von Kuster, his wife Brenda and daughters 12-year-old Kesaly and nine-year old Brynn seemed to be having a wonderful time at the tournament and their smiles truly matched the sun when they finished their game with a pro.
“It’s great,” said Von Kuster, “It’s a great family thing and Eamon and Carla are great with the kids.”
Golf pro Paul Devenport from Wellington, New Zealand who has enjoyed four Canadian tour wins, absolutely loves coming out to Gull Lake for the tournament.
Last year he was able to bring his wife and five-year-old daughter, Akaylia with him.
“My daughter just loved it,” he said. “She called Eamon, Uncle Eamon. Both him and Carla are fantastic with the kids and in the end all the money goes back to the kids. It’s fun and it’s for a good cause.”
Sam Randolph from Fort Worth, Texas is a PGA tour winner and champions tour member.
For Randolph the Gull Lake tournament is like coming home and the people who participate in it are like family.
“I have watched some of these kids grow up,” he said.
Randolph sees the event as getting bigger every year.
Although the temperature at Gull Lake was in the high 20s on Friday and Saturday, Randolph said it was much cooler than in Texas.
“It is good to come here just to escape that Texas heat.”
One of the highlights of Friday’s event was the fact that Sandra Palmer, the 1975 US Women’s Open Champion, made a hole in one.
The friendly, vivacious pro golfer smiled delightedly when asked about her hole-in-one.
“People even saw it,” she said with a laugh.
The Gull Lake Foundation was formed to provide educational endowments to past participants of the Gull Lake Junior League.
Money raised will go to the Gull Lake Junior Golf Foundation Endowment Fund.
Through overwhelming sponsorship from communities throughout Alberta and past program events, scholarships have been provided to many junior members.
The focus of junior league has always been to learn the etiquette of golf and good sportsmanship and to encourage the juniors to enjoy the game of golf for the rest of their life.
The foundation was spearheaded by Harold Lissel.
For more information about the junior golf foundation visit www.juniorgolffoundationofgulllake.ca