Sports Staff Writer
The 2018 Bulldog Athletic Association Charity Golf outing was a remarkable success for the sixth consecutive year. More than two hundred golfers turned out this year to make more than 50 teams of four.
Annually this event raises roughly $100,000 in scholarship money for UNC Asheville student athletes, including $106,000 in 2017. This event was held on Aug. 27 and 28 and was hosted by the Country Club of Asheville, just a few minutes down Merrimon Avenue from UNCA.
Playing in this tournament not only presents an opportunity for Asheville golfers to play a competitive round on a well regarded golf course, but also a chance to give back to their local university.
Though the event focuses on helping UNCA student athletes, it is still a competitive event. Some teams play just to help UNCA student athletes, but most teams still want to compete to win.
Tom Bowles, a member at The Country Club of Asheville, plays the course quite often, giving his team a slight advantage over some of the other teams.
But, the real advantage his team had was their star player, Ericka Schneider. Schneider is the new head coach of the women’s golf team at UNCA and a fantastic golfer.
“We had a really good team. We played with Ericka, who’s a professional golfer,” Bowles said.
Most golf tournaments are stroke play, meaning each player plays their own ball for the whole round. This tournament was a scramble format, in which all four players hit their shot, and the team picks the best of the four and hits their next shot from that spot. Under this format, having a great player like Schneider on your team is a big advantage.
“Ericka is an amazing player, so we just picked her ball (her shot) almost every time. There are so many great coaches at UNCA, Ericka is a great addition and we had a lot of fun playing with her,” Bowles said.
Some people like golf tournaments and some don’t, but there is a lot of organization behind the scenes that goes into planning a one. Chris Finke, an assistant golf pro at the Country Club of Asheville. He played a large role in coordinating this event. “I would say both days went well. Everyone seemed to enjoy the course and all the work that went into making it a successful event,” Finke said. A successful golf tournament requires a full staff of employees and more importantly, a full staff of volunteers.
Each year student athletes from UNCA come out to this event and help players in a variety of ways, whether bringing box lunches to players on the course or simply directing them in the right direction. Volunteers are how golf tournaments are successful and run smoothly. This year the baseball team came out to volunteer and were a big help. Betsy Blose was one of the main organizers of the event.
“It’s a team effort, we have a lot of volunteers. Thanks to some our student athletes for coming out and helping. The baseball team was very helpful with unloading players golf bags and helping them put them back in their cars. Blose also spoke about the success of the event saying, “This is the biggest fundraiser to raise scholarships for our student athletes. We have raised around $100,000 each year of this event for scholarships. We had over 200 golfers this year for the two day event.”
This charity event has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for UNCA student athlete scholarships in the last 5 years. We hope to see continued success for this golf tournament.