Virginia has a rich golfing tradition, headlined by the likes of PGA Tour greats Sam Snead and Curtis Strange as well as Lanny and Bobby Wadkins.
Another chapter in that legacy will play out this weekend in Charlottesville during the 32nd annual Charlottesville City Golf Championship at Meadowcreek Golf Course in Charlottesville.
Approximately 60 golfers are expected to compete in one of Central Virginia’s most highly anticipated golf events. The participants range from ages 16 to nearly 80. The event is open to all male golfers and no United States Golf Association handicap is required.
All participants tee off from the same tees, even senior players.
Rion Summers, the director of golf operations at Meadowcreek, has been involved in this tournament for more than a decade and believes it’s one of the best in the area.
“Since my involvement, we’ve enjoyed competitive fields of local amateur golfers every year,” Summers said. “The uniqueness of the City Championship is that its open to any amateur golfer, regardless of skill level.”
The tournament is a three-day, stroke-play event. Summers said golfers are placed into flights following the second round based on the scores for Sunday’s final round. He said they expect to have five or six flights, including the championship flight.
The top three finishers in each flight earn gift certificates.
“From my perspective, it’s rewarding for me to watch some of the area’s best local golfers being tested to their limits on one of the area’s shortest golf courses,” Summers said. “Many of the participants play year after year and regard this tournament as one of their favorites on the local amateur tournament circuit.”
The tournament began in 1987 as the brainchild of former pro Bill Herron and local businessman Peter Reines. The idea was to have a local championship for golfers of all skill level. Reines sponsored the event for 25 years before Sean Castrina of Advantage Home Contracting took over the duties roughly five years ago.
G.L. Kirby, Summers’ assistant at Meadowcreek, is excited about this year’s event.
“We have a new turf team, Billy Casper Golf LLC and golf superintendent Graham Cairnes are now maintaining the turf, so we are excited to have them on board to experience the event and for us to get some new ideas of how we can improve the event,” Kirby said.
“Over the past couple of years, we have included this tournament as part of the Virginia State Golf Association point system, which brings in several amateur golfers from outside the area,” Summers said. “That usually makes for a very competitive championship flight on Sunday.”
This year’s field is impressive, with several formal champions in the mix including David Bell, David Passerell, Phil Mahone, Ty Grove, Wes Eklund, Nick Little, Mark Wade, A.J. Stouffer, Jimmy Casella and Taylor Ratliff.
Other notable golfers expected to participate are Greene County native Mikey Moyers, Neil Davis and recent Albemarle High graduate Jack Bruns.
“Many of these players have and continue to support this event to this day,” Kirby said. “This year’s field of 54 players right now is as strong as most of the fields in the past.”
The tournament begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday and the start time will continue through the three days of the event. On Sunday, the leaders will tee off last.
Admission to the tournament is free and Simmons encourages everyone to come out and watch this event.
“It’s three days of golf, food beverages, gifts and fund and we look forward to another successful event this year,” he said.