Course preparing for Senesi Golf Classic

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Philanthropic golfers looking for a day on the links and a good cause have only a few days remaining to register for the 8th Annual Dino Senesi Classic.
   The Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course will host the Senesi Classic with dozens of players from across the Tri-Cities.
   "We get a lot of calls of people trying to get in on it and we are glad to host it each year," said Steve Howard, general manager at Elizabethton Golf Course.
   "If you want to treat yourself to a day off, this is the day to do it," said Johnny Mills, one of the tournament organizers.
   With only a few spots left in the 144-member field, Mills said prospective players should sign up soon. Participants can bring members for their own team or be paired up with other participants on the day of the event. All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club.
   Howard said the winter weather had proven difficult early in the year but had picked up with the onset of warmer weather.
   "We had a bad winter like everybody else did," he said. "The raining has helped. The cool weather has helped everything grow; we've been mowing constantly."
   He said the course hosts more than 30 tournaments each year ranging from churches to private companies. He added roughly 31,000 rounds were played on the course last year.
   "The warmer weather could help our fairways, and we know that's coming," Howard said.
   Participants can enter the Senesi Classic through three sponsorship opportunities. The corporate sponsorship comes with a $1,000 entry fee. A corporate sponsor receives free play for two players and allows the sponsor to bring the organization's banner and display it on the golf course. A major level sponsor requires a $500 fee while a tee sponsorship comes at a $250 fee. Players can also enter the tournament with a cart sponsorship for $50. All sponsors have signs displaying their business or organization at one tee on the course during the event.
   Tournament golfers will receive a polo golf shirt and a baseball hat as part of their participation as well as lunch from the Outback Steakhouse.
   Golfers will also have a chance to win $10,000 and/or a new car if they succeed in making a hole in one on two designated par-three holes.
   The event also includes a silent auction where participants can bid on items including University of Tennessee sports memorabilia from the Big Orange football team as well as the men's and women's basketball teams.
   To participate, entrants may contact the Elizabethton Golf Course at 543-2946 or pick up entry forms at Dino's Restaurant in downtown Elizabethton.