Golf can be great fun and rewarding.
But it can be even more fun and rewarding if play is for an admirable cause like the 2013 Elks Clothe-A-Child benefit set for Saturday, July 6, at Payson Golf Course.
For years, Elks tournament chairman Becky Waer and her volunteers have annually hosted a charity golf tournament to raise money for Clothe-a-Child.
The Elks sponsor similar tournaments around the state with the same goal — to make sure school children have proper-fitting, warm and contemporary clothing.
“This is a statewide program; some of our clubs do it (donate clothes) at Christmas and some before the first day of school,” said Waer. “We do it through the schools, so it is kind of a confidential thing.”
Last year, the Elks’ statewide Clothe-a-Child program purchased $142,000 worth of new clothing that was given to more than 1,000 Arizona children in need.
In Payson alone, $6,650 was raised during last year’s tournament and the accompanying benefit bingo game and raffles.
The total marked a considerable increase over the 2011 tournament earnings, which were just a little more than $4,000. Waer said the increase was because the 2012 tournament attracted a full field of 28 foursomes and in 2011 it did not.
Because the tournament is played for such a worthy cause, Waer is urging prospective golfers to sign up early and not be left out when the maximum number of teams is filled.
Check-in is at 6:30 a.m. when coffee and doughnuts will be served. At 7:30 a.m. the fray gets off to a shotgun start.
The format is four-man teams of best-ball play, and golfers who do not have a team will be assigned one.
The fee is $80 per golfer ($65 for PGC members), which includes 18 holes of play with a cart, lunch, raffle prizes and awards for closest to the pin and straightest drive.
The fee is a legitimate links bargain. The fee for the social welfare golf tournament hosted by the Chandler Elks Lodge is $115 per player and even higher at other benefits around the state.
The evening of the local tournament, July 6, a dinner, cocktail hour, silent auction, music and dancing will be held at the Payson Elks Lodge. The no-host cocktail hour begins at 5 p.m., the buffet dinner at 5:30 p.m., with music and dancing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The day before the tournament, July 5, the Elks Lodge lounge will open at noon. Live music and a silent auction begin at 5:30 p.m., with dinner served from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For those who don’t golf, there will also be plenty of activities going on at the lodge including bingo from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Non-golfers can also purchase lunch ($5) and dinner tickets ($15), which will be available at the lodge.
On Independence Day, burgers and hot dogs will be served under the Elks Lodge ramada and a horseshoe tournament held. Both begin at noon.
RV hookups and dry sites will be available at the local lodge.
The fee is $5 for a dry site and $15 for hookup. There is also a dump station at the lodge.
Visiting golfers can also reserve rooms at several local hotels and motels including Best Western Payson Inn, Comfort Inn, Majestic Mountain Inn and Days Inn.
In most years, the tournament draws Elks members and others from Kearney, Sun City, Prescott, Flagstaff, Show Low, Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.
Entry forms are available at the Elks Lodge, 1206 N. Beeline Highway.
For details, call Waer at (928) 476-3678, or the lodge at (928) 474-2572. Questions may also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.