“It’s a bird! It’s a plane!” It's… a golf ball sailing lithely through the air at the Whitecourt Petroleum Association Oilmen's Golf Tournament, which was held at Whitecourt Golf club on Aug. 12 and 13.
It almost didn’t happen this year which would have broken a nearly four decade long tradition. This year the Whitecourt Golf Course partnered with the Petroleum Association and made it happen.
The Community Lunch Box Program was on hand and offered a side game in which golfers were given the opportunity to try their luck at winning a prize. For ten dollars participants were given three balls and the objective to shoot the balls into a mini water-filled pool.
Many tried their hand and remarkably, a few expertly sank all three.
Tara Baker said “I’m always thankful for everyone’s kindness and generosity. It’s fantastic to see everyone having so much fun.”
Long time CLB volunteer Bonnie Howton lent a helping hand both days and was a major help.
“I like to keep busy and am always happy to help out in our community.”
Mouth savouring food was on hand, egg and ham Denver’s for breakfast, zesty and tangy chicken fajitas for lunch, shrimp on a stick for snacks and a steak dinner supper and of course refreshments that certainly helped on the sweltering days the tournament was held.
Kristina Mcauley helped provide breakfast and was at the golf course bright and early at seven in the morning to help set up. Her favourite part of the weekend, she says is “all the fun and actively being involved in supporting the Whitecourt Community.”
“Twenty-nine teams partook in the tournament this year, that’s down from forty eight last year,” says Steve Roche, co-ordinator of the tournament. He’s been involved for the past 25 years. He added that his favourite part of the Oilmen's tourney is getting to spend time with the people he doesn’t get to see very often.
Roche said two of the biggest changes he’s seen is how the golf tournament format is played and for nearly a decade now, the inclusion of women being allowed to participate in the tournament.
Previously the tournament format was called “match/stroke play” it has been now changed to what is called “A scramble” which is golf lingo for a tournament format in which all players in a group (foursome or otherwise) hit a shot from the tee, and each subsequent location, always playing from the position of the best or preferred ball until the ball is holed.
With little more than a month till fall begins, this long time held Whitecourt tradition was widely successful, full of golf ball twanging and uproarious laughter in a positive and happy atmosphere.