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Celebrating its third decade, annual golf tournament benefits all Richard Pena | Fri, Sep 03 2010 12:00 PM

Well, August is gone and there goes 31 days in which we expected warm weather. Uncharacteristic of that summer month which, as a general rule, brings out the hottest days of the year. It went out like the proverbial lamb that leaves in April. August merely waved, as it made its exit and parroted the professional baseball teams, "Well, better luck next year."

Those of us who have been around here for any length of time can take heart. With the entrance of September we have a number of things for which to look forward, the weather and its temperature being the least of them. We think about pleasant things. And what could top a good golf tournament, particularly one in which we participated and came in near the top?

One of our favorites is the annual Bonitafest Golf Tournament staged each September at the Bonita Golf Club.

For the past 30 years or so this tourney has been the principal fund raiser for the Bonita Kiwanis Club. It is sponsored and staged by the club and has had the reputation, because of its longevity, of being the grand daddy of all local tournaments in South County.

I sat and talked with Bill Sears the other day about the Kiwanis Club and the golf tournament. Sears is a long-time member of the club and will be the incoming president, starting the latter part of this month. We agreed that this is the 30th anniversary for the staging of this event.

I think that I am one of the few who were around at the beginning. Before it became a Kiwanis affair it was part of the many programs sponsored by the Bonita Business and Professional Association at Bonitafest.

In those days it wasn't much of a tourney. It was played at the Chula Vista municipal course, and if we could field 10 to 15 foursomes we thought we were big time. There were no cash or other types of prizes given for doing anything great on the course. The only honor was a traveling cup, one of those things that is engraved with the winners name and then passed on to the next year's winner.

It was a huge, multi-colored, grotesque object that only a mother could love. The winner of the cup probably used it for a door stop in his hen house, if he had one. The last anyone saw of it was in the Bonita Winery. It mysteriously disappeared and, to my knowledge no police report was ever filed.

A new innovation in golf tournaments came along about that time. This is the one called the shot-gun start. The object of this is to disperse all the golfers to previously assigned holes. When all are in place a shotgun is fired (or a bell is rung) and a foursome tees off at each hole. And, just like magic, if everything goes according to plan, some four hours later everyone walks off the course.

Another gimmick used to speed up play is the "Texas Scramble." To explain it here would take more space than I am allowed so take my word for it, it works. Why they call it a Texas Scramble? I haven't the faintest idea.

Chula Vista municipal, thinking that they could make more money from the general public, did not allow shot-gun starts. No problem. Right up the street was the brand-new Bonita Golf Club so the tournament was moved there. The officials at the Bonita Club have graciously received the Kiwanis and its tournament each year. We might say that the golf course and Kiwanis tourney have grown together.

The tournament, in the past few years, has been played the week before Bonitafest. To keep up with the annual community celebration, this year, it has been moved to the 24th of September, the day before the Bonitafest.

According to Sears and the general chairman of the affair, Dale Godfrey, they are expecting 144 golfers. The chairman has lined up major sponsors consisting of Allied Waste, Glen Abbey and Sharp Medical. Individual hole sponsors are $200 with an individual entry fee of $95, a modest sum indeed.

Festivities after the tournament will be the awarding of prizes along with an after-golf supper.

Tournament proceeds benefit the community.Entry in the tournament may be obtained from any Kiwanian and at the Bonita Golf Club.

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