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Get ready for the tournament Richard Peña | Sat, Aug 24 2013 12:00 PM

I had dinner at two golf courses this past week, visits that make me realize how much I miss playing the game. The occasion was the attending of a couple of functions with Roy and Carol Hammond on two separate evenings and since they involved a meal prepared by someone else what could I do?  When it comes to dinner invitations I show no shame.

One evening was at the Bonita Golf Club – where I have been many times – and the other at the Coronado Golf Club, a place where we go only periodically.  Both of these places have excellent dining facilities and those other items that go with them the food, the service and the ambiance.  A major part of the latter is the view of lush fairways and the well-cared for foliage.

On Thursday evening at the Coronado course I was watching a group of young golfers practicing on the putting green as we had dinner.  This was the part that reminded me of the many splendid hours I spent on golf courses everywhere and regret no longer being able to play.  Of all the tasks that I have had to set by the wayside because of advancing years, the giving up of golf is the one that would have to be number one.  As near as I can tell I played the game – off and on - for some 65 years with more groups than I can remember.  How many rounds of golf that encompassed I would have no way of knowing.  I would aver, however, that none of them were regretted.

In spite of my absence from the field of play I still follow the game, local and professional.  I was, in fact, speaking with Bill Sears the other day and he reminded me of the Bonita Kiwanis Golf Tournament that is coming up Sept. 27 at the Bonita Golf Club.

A couple of years ago I wrote of this event and made the statement that this tourney is probably the oldest one of its kind in the South Bay, probably more than 33 years.

In the beginning it was not much.  It was part of Bonitafest and it drew little interest.  It was played at the Chula Vista Municipal golf club.  The muni course was not too kind to outside tourneys so the tournament was moved to the new up-and- coming Bonita Golf Club in 1980. It has been played there ever since.

Actually the tournament of 1980 is when it started hitting big time. The BBPA enlisted the aid of the Kiwanis Club of Bonita and the club has run the tournament ever since.  In those early years the Kiwanis Club was able to obtain the sponsorship of  the San Diego Trust and Savings Bank, a local institution and this partnership remained intact until the bank went out of business a few years later.

Much of the success of the tournament is due to innovations that club members made in the beginning.
The idea was to sell hole sponsors and to limit the number of players to 144.  There would be two foursomes on each hole that would tee-off simultaneously on a signal known as a shotgun start.  The idea, of course, was to have everyone finish at the same time, something that seldom happened but no one seemed to care.

As anyone might guess the object of the tournament is to make money.  Funds accrued from the tournament are used to finance the many philanthropic endeavors of the Kiwanis club.  Over the past few years the emphasis has been primarily on the young persons of the community but, in general, worldwide.

It is anticipated that the golfer at this September’s affair will not only enjoy a pleasant round of golf followed by a pleasant dinner and ceremony afterward with all kinds of prizes being meted out.

And he will have the satisfaction that he is doing something good for someone else.  Further details may be obtained from the tournament chairman, Willie Harris at 271-4144.

I intend to attend as an observer, only.  I will stay away from the tee-boxes.  But as Patty Andrews used to sing, “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”

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