The organizer of what was the highly successful Belleville News-Democrat All-Star Golf Tournament, Ken Bunetic thinks he knows the reason players lost interest and the event ended a decade ago.
And it wasn’t because of it didn’t have a permanent site.
“I think some of it had to do with the fact that the younger players were coming up and blowing the ball past a lot of the older guys and some of them didn’t know if they could compete any longer,” Bunetic said. “Well, it’s been about 10 years since we had the last one and a lot of these guys who played in that one are now at the age where they could compete in a Senior All-Star Tournament. So we’re going to have one.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of golfers I know and they think its a good idea. A lot of these guys are still really good players.”
Thus the Senior All-Star Golf Tournament — an event for 50-and-over golfers — kicks off on Oct. 16 at the Orchards Golf Course in Belleville.
The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. with at least four players — two two-man teams — competing. Each course can enter three two-man teams. Play is individual with the four low 9-hole totals from each course going into tabulation of the final totals.
Teams of two will be paired with twosomes from another course. No handicaps will be used and no touring professionals or club professionals will be allowed to compete. The event is open for amateurs who want to represent their home courses for the chance to win a little money, prizes and to earn bragging rights for the next year.
“I remember when we had the other all-star tournament and we used the format of where you would use your low nine-hole totals, we really has some close finishes. The last one may have even been a tie,” Bunetic said. “But I remember a few years where we had three or four courses within five or six shots of each other. Counting the low four scores is the same format they use in high school matches.
“The first year we would like to get at least 12 to 15 teams. We’re starting at 1 p.m. and it will be light until 6:30 p.m. or so and in the middle of October it shouldn’t be that warm. Just as long as we can stay away from the rain.
The cost is $65 per player and includes greens fees and a meal ticket which will be used after the tournament. First place will pay $600 with the second-place team earning $300 and the third-place team earning $240. Prize money is based on 60 players. A $500 skins game will be distributed and prizes for closest to the pin will also be awarded.
Hole sponsorships at $50 or $100 each will be accepted with the proceeds going to the ALFA Foundation (Abundant Living for All). Sponsorship checks should be made payable to the ALFA Foundation and mailed to Ken Bunetic, 700 St. Joseph Drive, Collinsville, Ill. 62234.
Those interested in playing in the tournament can call Ken Bunetic at (618) 401-7397 or email at Goodtimegltourn@aol.com. The team entry fee check should be payable to Good Time Golf, 700 St. Joesph Drive, Collinsville, Ill. 62234.
All checks must be received by Oct. 10.