King Collins Design’s renovation of the nine-hole course includes the George Cates children’s putting green and a new, separate chipping area. The City of Memphis assisted in funding a complete irrigation system, something the course had always lacked. The City has also hired Rob Roy to fill the newly created position of Golf Course Superintendent to work alongside long-time manager Patrick Canale.
The redesign is full of clever touches meant to make the course a subject of endless discussion and strategy. Hole #4 is an unusual par 3.5, offering players a decision of how to approach the serpentine 192-foot green. The very next hole features a bunker nicknamed “The X-Box,” a mound that hides a punchbowl green on the other side. Golfers will have to hit a blind shot over the bunker and anxiously wait to see whether their ball has hit the green or if they must negotiate the humps and bumps with a chip shot.
You can begin signing up for tee times starting June 18, with play beginning on June 25.
Overton Park Junior Open returns July 11
At one time billed as the nation’s largest junior match play golf tournament, the Overton Park Junior Open returns to a rejuvenated OP9 in July. This year’s tournament, presented by Nike, will welcome up to 200 golfers from ages 8-17.
A volunteer committee has been working for months to resurrect the tournament, which has a long history of helping young Memphians fall in love with the game of golf. Dwight Drinkard, Sr., who co-chairs the committee with Vince Alfonso, Jr., says that the OPJO differs from most other junior tournaments in Tennessee because it is a true open, appealing not solely to high-level participants. Registration is free of charge.
Most other tournaments are medal tournaments based on stroke play, where a player’s cumulative score across all holes determines the winner. The OPJO is a match play tournament, where golfers play in flights of eight based on age group, and the winner is determined based on how many individual holes that player won. This type of scoring is less daunting for less experienced golfers, giving them a greater chance at excelling.
Registration is now open! For information, registration, and sponsorship info, visit opjunioropen.org.