Would you like the challenge and excitement of high-level competition on the golf course, perhaps even play with a pro or a celebrity? It could happen if you enter a tournament dedicated to charity. Not only are these tournaments generally played on spiffy golf courses, but many name players, in addition to celebrities who are ardent golfers, are willing to take part in order to help a worthwhile cause.
Robert de Vicenzo, an international champion on the senior PGA tour who recently celebrated his 50th year as a pro, says: "I've always enjoyed playing with amateurs at charitable events. They bring enthusiasm to the game and make important contributions to community causes."
Although there is no guarantee that you will be in the same foursome as a leading money winner, a well-known politician or a movie star, listed below are 10 charitable tournaments to be held in the next few months on Southland courses. Entry fees generally include use of a cart, food and beverages during the day, admittance to an awards dinner and tee prizes. (At some events, you don't even have to play golf; a special contribution will assure you a seat at the awards dinner.) Call for early registration and handicap requirements.
Monday--Fourth Annual Ronald McDonald House Charity Golf Tournament, 11 a.m., Industry Hills and Sheraton Resort, 1 Industry Hills Parkway, City of Industry, (213) 666-6400 or (714) 532-8690. Entry fee $225. No spectators.
So what if you don't shoot eagles, birdies or a hole in one. You're welcome to come and play for this charity, which aids children with cancer and extends a support system to their families.
May 9--Jack Youngblood Celebrity Golf Tournament, 11 a.m., Los Coyotes Country Club, 8888 Los Coyotes Drive, Buena Park, (714) 220-2958. Entry fee $225.
All-Pro (and former Los Angeles Ram) Jack Youngblood's support of this tournament always brings out many celebrities. Such football stars as Vince Ferragamo and Don Meredith have played in previous tournaments. More than half a million dollars has been raised by the tournament on behalf of the Orange County Guild for the John Tracy Clinic, which works with deaf children and their families.
May 14--18th Annual Los Angeles Police-Celebrity Golf Tournament, 10 a.m., Rancho Park, 10460 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 485-3281. Entry fee is $3,500 (most of these sponsorship openings were filled at the time of writing).
Spectator admissions: adults $4, under 12 free. Spectator tickets available at police stations around the city, also at Rancho Park on day of tournament. Special parking on Motor Avenue (east of park) and Patricia Avenue (west of park) south of Pico Boulevard. Bus shuttle stops at posted signs.
You will see at least 80 celebrities at this event, including Jack Lemmon, Muhammad Ali and Charlie Sheen. There will be designated areas for autographs and picture taking. Funds support the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, which aids officers and families of officers who have experienced a death, injury or illness.
May 16--Fourth Annual Andy Sacks Paralysis Project Golf Tournament, 10 a.m., MountainGate Country Club, 12445 Mountaingate Drive, Los Angeles. For details, telephone Jim McFaul at (213) 476-2809 or Allan Sacks at (213) 235-2156. The entry fee is $250. No spectators.
Volunteers for the Paralysis Project Inc. hope to raise $100,000 at this tournament. The goal is to support research to find a cure for paralysis and to establish a centralized research facility. O. J. Simpson, Gary Collins and five members of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team will join other celebrities swinging their clubs on the fairways overlooking the city and the San Fernando Valley.
May 16--San Diego Princess Annual Golf Tournament, 11:30 a.m. Participants meet at Princess Hotel, 1404 W. Vacation Road, San Diego, (619) 274-4630, Ext. 57. Board a bus and head for Singing Hills Country Club, 3007 Dehesa Road, El Cajon. The entry fee of $125 includes refreshments, prizes and an awards banquet. Spectators are admitted free.
Making wishes come true for terminally ill children is what this tournament is about. The Make A Wish Foundation of San Diego invites golfers to come out and score for the kids.
June 17--South Bay Charities Golfathon, 8 a.m., Los Verdes Golf and Country Club, 7000 Hawthorne Blvd., Rancho Palos Verdes; call (213) 375-7040. Entry fee $80. No spectators.
A course with a view of the ocean and Catalina Island has to be a great place to play the game. In its first two years, this tournament netted more than $15,000 for these local organizations serving children and adults with developmental disabilities: the Assn. for Retarded Citizens-Southwest, Autism Society, Harbor Foundation for the Retarded and Social Vocational Services Inc.
June 16-18--Party June 16 at 6 p.m. Golf June 17 and 18 at 8 a.m. Duffy's Duffers All-American Golf Classic, Montecito Country Club, 930 Summit Road, Santa Barbara, (805) 964-4724; ask for Dale Olsen. Entry fee $600. Spectators allowed.
Golf buffs, this may be your most memorable game. One in your fivesome at this fifth annual duffer's tournament will be a sports celebrity. Proceeds will support the Bone Reconstruction Assn. for Care and Education (BRACE).
June 22--Davey Lopes Inland Hospice Assn. Benefit Golf Tournament, noon, Marshall Canyon Golf Course, 6100 Stephens Ranch Road, La Verne. Telephone (714) 593-8211 or (714) 596-0835. The entry fee is $80.
Sweeter than the shots you make will be the knowledge of what your participation means. Money raised at this third annual tournament will benefit the terminally ill and their families served by this Inland Empire hospice. Trophies will be awarded to each player of the three lowest-scoring teams.
Sept. 22--Pro-Am Day starting at 7 a.m. precedes the LPGA Santa Barbara Open held Sept. 23 to Sept. 25 at the Sandpiper Golf Course, 7925 Hollister Ave., Goleta, and at La Purisima Golf Course, 3455 State Highway 246, Lompoc, (805) 968-1541. Entry fee $600. Spectator fee $5 per weekday, $10 on Saturday or Sunday or package spectator pass for entire tournament, $39.
Jan Stephenson, Amy Alcott and Jane Geddes are among the pros participating. A pro (names will be announced at a party held the eve of the tournament) will join your group. Two courses will accommodate 400 participants in a day of golf to benefit MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Oct. 3--Second Annual Norm Crosby Celebrity Golf Tournament, 9 a.m., MountainGate Country Club, 12445 Mountaingate Drive, Los Angeles; telephone (213) 626-4611, Ext. 250. Entry fee of $300 includes prizes and awards banquet. (Banquet-only tickets are $75 per person.) No spectators.
Norm Crosby is the City of Hope's "ambassador of good will." He will be on the golf course, at the microphone or just kidding around. Sponsors for this event will be the Merchants Club for the City of Hope.