‘SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COURSE’

Chamber’s annual golf tournament has highest attendance in 32 years

BY VICTOR HENSLEY, News + Record Correspondent
Posted 10/28/20

CHAPEL HILL — If you didn’t have a calendar handy at the Governors Club on Monday, you may not have realized anything was out of the ordinary.

The 32nd annual Chatham Chamber Golf …

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‘SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COURSE’

Chamber’s annual golf tournament has highest attendance in 32 years

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CHAPEL HILL — If you didn’t have a calendar handy at the Governors Club on Monday, you may not have realized anything was out of the ordinary.

The 32nd annual Chatham Chamber Golf Tournament, played in Chapel Hill, was originally scheduled for April, but was moved to October due to the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the weather, you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

Morning chills aside, the sun shone brightly as temperatures reached nearly 70 degrees on the course, replicating a comfortable spring day for the 116 golfers in attendance — the largest number to register for the tournament in its 32-year history.

“The Governors Club is beautiful, it’s just such a beautiful course,” said Cindy Poindexter, the president and CEO of the Chatham Chamber of Commerce. “It automatically relaxes you.”

The tournament offered plenty of incentives to golfers, most of whom played on behalf of a business. The winning team (lowest combined score), along with the second- and third-place teams, was awarded a package comprised mostly of golf-related items.

Golfers could also win a variety of prizes by competing in three additional contests: longest drive, closest to the pin and a hole-in-one shot contest — sponsored by Siler City’s Welford Harris Ford — with the prize of a three-year lease on a Ford EcoSport.

While the tournament was primarily golf-focused, it represented a lot more.

“Our main goal was to create more visibility for our members, to support them, advocate for them and bring them together,” Poindexter said. “It’s a fun day of golf, it’s a chance for them to meet new golfers and network with them and for businesses to connect.”

Golfers were able to enter as teams or as singles, giving them the opportunity to play with people they’ve never met before.

“I don’t think any of us knew each other before this morning,” said Rafe Martin, a participant representing ComTech, one of the event’s sponsors. “We all just signed on as singles and got grouped together, so it was great to meet new people and make those connections.”

The tournament — like most of the Chamber’s events — also acted as a fundraiser, allowing it to raise the money it needs to accomplish its annual goals through entry fees, sponsorships and a 50-50 raffle.

But in the end, prizes, fundraising and networking were just perks. For the golfers, it was more about having fun on the course.

“It was better than a day at the office,” Martin said. “This course is fantastic, well taken care of and challenging, too. We don’t have any delusions that we may win. But hey, there’s always the raffle.”

The ultimate winners of Monday’s tournament were:

• First place: Schneider Electric’s Ken Kendra, Brent Elliott, Paul Trageser and Brady Moran

• Second place: Luck Stone’s Lynn Palmer, Harry Bryant and Toby Towler

• Third place: New York Life’s John M. Crowell, Ashley Berry, Grant Brown and Erich Hottenstein

• Fourth place: Welford Harris Ford’s Lynn Gaines, Howard Willett Jr., Robert Murchison and Craig Elmore

• Closest to the pin, on Hole 4: Brent Jacques (John Flynn Team)

• Closest to the pin, on Hole 21: Jeff Baker (Bateman Civil Survey Company team)

• Longest drive, on Hole 7: Lynn Gaines (Welford Harris Ford team)

And the following businesses were the primary sponsors for the tournament:

• Title sponsor: Fidelity Bank

• Gold sponsors: Mountaire Farms, Samet Corporation, Sanford Contractors, Myrick Construction

• Silver sponsors: Eco CP Partners (Mosaic at Chatham Park)

• Contest sponsors: Carolina Farm Credit, Welford Harris Ford

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