Space still available to play in Central Oregon’s most popular team tournaments
Not long ago the Central Oregon Shootout was a small tournament that was barely a blip on the Central Oregon golf radar.
Fourteen years and a lot of hard work by the three participating golf facilities, including Aspen Lakes Golf Course, and the 54-hole tournament has formed into prized tradition and the second-largest golf tournament in Central Oregon.
The Central Oregon Shootout will tee off again on April 21-24, 2016, in what will again be a full field of more than 300 golfers, and there are precise few spots still available to amateur golfers of all skill levels.
The two-golfer team tournament features one round of scramble, one round of best ball and a final-round Chapman spread over three weekend days. The tournament also includes one gross division, four net divisions and ladies net and gross payouts. And each round is played at a different course: Aspen Lakes, Black Butte Ranch’s Big Meadow course, and Eagle Crest Resort.
This unique team format has helped turned the tournament into a success. Groups of teams, representing Oregon cities such Astoria, La Grande, and Portland, as well as Seattle, travel to Central Oregon each year to participate in the tournament.
“It really is about the camaraderie,” said Rob Malone, Aspen Lakes’ director of golf. “We have a number of groups that come from different cities and come with a lot of teams. For them, the tournament is a chance for a group of buddies to come and enjoy the team format. It really is about the camaraderie and the fun that they have golfing together.”
The character of the tournament has evolved in its 14 years. For instance, the tournament has hosted an increasing number of mixed-gender teams, including married couples playing together.
Otherwise, not much has changed in recent years.
“The players enjoy the way the tournament is, and we’ve been told by those players to not make any significant changes because we might mess it up,” Malone said.
For a $300-per-player entry fee, each competitor plays three rounds of golf with cart at three of Central Oregon’s most coveted golf courses. The entry fee also includes tee prizes, merchandise, as well as continental breakfast and lunch each day. And the prize payout is expected to be more than $20,000 in kind, meaning a third of the field can expect to cash after the tournament.
The deadline to enter is April 16, if space remains available. Already more than 120 teams have signed up. All entrants need is an official handicap (maximum of 36 for men, 42 for women) and a maximum six-stroke differential between partners.