Keith McElroy, who is nearing 15 years as a member of the PGA, is working to reestablish a golf program at Hiwassee College and hopes to get a little help moving in the right direction by hosting a golf tournament to raise funds.
"The program itself is just really getting started back up," McElroy said. "I've personally taken the challenge on of rebuilding and getting it back to where it needs to be. It needs a little help to make it go that way. We're looking for those players, high 70s, low 80s, kinds of players, who would have a chance to go onto college and we can help out with their college."
The tournament will be held Wednesday at Rarity Golf Course in Knoxville with a 2 p.m. shotgun start. Teams of four will compete in a select-shot format with the top three teams receiving awards at the end of play. Players will also have a chance to win prizes by hitting a hole in one on any of the course's par three holes, including the chance to win a car from Lenoir City Ford.
McElroy hopes to raise between $3,000 and $5,000 with the tournament but will need a late push to do so. With 10 teams registered heading into the final days of preparation, organizers would like to see several more groups join.
Adding a few more tournament sponsors is also on the agenda, with hole sponsorships still available for $100.
The tournament was originally slated for earlier in the year, but a lack of preparation time swayed McElroy to push it back.
In addition to coaching Hiwassee, McElroy recently coached West Valley Middle School of Knoxville's boys' golf team to a state championship.
"It's fun to see people get better and do good," McElroy said. "I just like to see kids have an opportunity to go on."
His love of golf extends beyond coaching as well. McElroy operates Bailey Links Golf Course at Cedar Hills in Lenoir City as well. He said he plans to have "a lot of junior activities and stuff like that going on" throughout the summer months.
For more information, contact McElroy at 865-659-9103. Registration cost is $75 per person or $300 for a team of four.