Mary Mahan, Staff Writer
North Greenville University’s 30th Annual Marion Moorhead Homecoming Classic Golf Tournament was this past Friday, November 3. And just like every year, it stuck with its age-old traditions, from the shotgun start to the anticipated “win-a-car” hole.
What's it all about?
The Annual Marion Moorhead Homecoming Classic Golf Tournament has always been on the Friday before homecoming. It's a perfect time to have a fundraising event around homecoming because relatives and friends are here to participate in activities and watch the big game on Saturday, so there’s more opportunity for involvement and giving. NGU professor, and assistant to the tournament director, Jeff Briggs said: “Most participants [that golf in the tournament] are friends and family of the university, businesses associated with the university, and alumni of the university.”
Along with these already associated golfers, other businesses from around the area also come to participate and sponsor the event. The main purpose of the tournament is to raise money for the Student General Scholarship Fund, Briggs said, “It is a fundraiser. It’s a charity event that raises money for the general scholarship fund. So 100 percent of the proceeds go into that fund.” The money raised is not just put toward scholarships for golfers, or even athletes, it’s for the entire student body.
Another aim of the Annual Marion Moorhead Homecoming Classic Golf Tournament is to create relationships with future donors for the university, Briggs said, “We try to cultivate relationships with businesses and entrepreneurs in the area that could be potential donors. That can not only help provide financially [to the university] but also potentially provide internships to students.”
A big part of the day is put together and ran by Brigg’s Sports Marketing class students. They help land sponsors for the event that both supply awards and prizes and donate to the scholarship fund. They also help out with things like the specialty holes and making sure everything is staying to schedule.
What goes on during the day?
The day starts out with a catered breakfast by Chick-fil-a and Einstein Brothers at 8 a.m. The golfers/teams start registering at 9 a.m. The amount of golfers usually ranges anywhere from 120-130, making about 29-31 teams of about four to five golfers each. At 10 a.m. the tournament officially begins with the signature shot-gun start. Since there are so many teams and only 18 holes on the Cherokee Valley Country Club course, teams must start at different holes to ensure that they all end at the same time.
This makes it easier to award the prizes to all the teams at once. The tournament usually ends around 3 p.m. At this time awards and prizes are given out. First, second, and third place teams all get trophies, but all the teams get awards, even last place! A donated T.V. is also raffled off before a catered barbeque dinner.
Specs of the tournament:
Where: Cherokee Valley Country Club Golf Course
How Much: It costs golfers $70 to enter and $250 dollars for a team
What are the stakes: Winning scores come in anywhere from 58-62, which is about 12-15 under par. Winners are awarded prizes, trophies, and awards.
What's being raised: the general range of scholarship money raised is about $15,000 to 20,000 dollars. All money raised goes directly to the General Student Scholarship Fund
Each year at NGU’s 30th Annual Marion Moorhead Homecoming Classic Golf Tournament, a few specialty holes are mixed into the 18 holed course:
- “Win-a-car” hole: if a golfer can get a hole in one in a particularly hard par-3 hole on the course, they win a new, donated, free car.
- "Longest Drive" hole: whichever golfer hits the longest drive on one of the more difficult par-5 holes, wins an award
- "Closest to the pin" holes: the two golfers that get closest to the pin on two designated holes on the course also get awards
- "NGU assist" holes: If golfers choose to pay a small fee, they can have an athlete from the NGU golf team to hit one of their balls for them. There is one opportunity in the front nine and one in the back nine.
Make sure to keep an eye out for next year's 31st Annual Marion Moorhead Homecoming Classic Golf Tournament.