There are at least 18 good reasons to have the Summerland Golf and Country Club as a member of the Peachland Chamber of Commerce.
This Aug. 26, members will be reminded why.
Spoiler alert: Chamber executive director Patrick Van Minsel has big plans for the event, staged at the South Okanagan’s best course two years running, according to Okanagan Life Magazine.
“The tournament is going to be very different from other years,” he said of the Chamber’s annual gathering on the greens. “Summerland is one of the most beautiful courses in the valley, the back nine is absolutely gorgeous.”
The scenery may be the same, but important changes for this year include an earlier start and a lunch before tee-off instead of dinner after the event, plus a new format with a variation of best ball off the tee.
Registration has been moved up to 12:30 p.m. followed by a lunch and tee-off at 2:30 p.m. for the 18 or so foursomes. A brief awards ceremony with appetizers only will close out the day with everything wrapped by 8:30 or 9 p.m.
The new format will see the teams select the best ball from the tee, but each individual play their own from the second shot on. Also, the best and worst scores for each hole are discarded.
“It’s more challenging,” Van Minsel said, “and you make the playing field more equal. Sometimes there is a team of four with one good player; other times there are three. It gives everyone a better chance at a major prize.”
Major is the correct descriptor, with just a brief glimpse offered to the View revealing there will be as many as three hole-in-one prizes of at least $5,000 each, plus more prizes for closest to the pin, the putting contest, longest drive, most honest team and a shoot-the-canyon challenge on #17.
“There will be prizes for best dressed, low score, all that, as usual,” Van Minsel said. “Every golfer gets a prize.”
The tournament is open to everyone, not just Chamber members. Typically about half the field are Peachland residents.
Deadline for the early bird registration fee of $99 is July 31.
“All of the money goes back to the Chamber,” Van Minsel said. “This is one of our major fundraisers for the year.”
The tournament is schedule for a Friday afternoon, which gives employers a convenient way to appreciate their staff with a half-day of prayer, plaid shorts and screaming at inanimate objects.
“It’s an awesome way to stay thanks to your employees and do some team-building, and you only lose a half-day.”
The tournament nearly sold out last year. Email Van Minsel at email@example.com before it’s too late.