MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point’s commanding officer opened his course to air station personnel and community members for the Commanding Officer’s Spring Invitational Golf Tournament at the Sound of Freedom Golf Course June 10, 2014.
Col. Chris Pappas III, commanding officer of the air station, opened by welcoming participants and spectators to the event and wishing all the teams the best of luck. Nearly 50 participants toted clubs of all sizes in bags and carts down the fairway as a shotgun start signaled the beginning of the tournament.
“Just being out here with people we work with daily and some people we may not see as often makes these tournaments enjoyable,” said Maj. Gen. Robert F. Hedelund, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “Being on a team and encouraging each other really builds camaraderie between the military and the community. As we continue to share events like this with community members, we are building a stronger relationship and showing them that we are here for them.”
Golfers pre-selected their desired foursomes for the tournament, said Jim Ferree, course manager and primary organizer of the event. Those who did not pre-register with a specified team were placed on teams with open slots.
“This is the first year for this tournament, and I think the format we chose is really great because golfers have the choice to sign-up on a team or they can sign up as a single golfer and get out to meet new people for the day,” said Ferree.
Players of all ages and skill-levels teed off on the 18-hole course for a chance to earn bragging rights and win one of several prizes.
“We thought it would be fun to host a one-day tournament to give another chance for the community to get involved with the military and to have chance to really get to know each other on a relaxed and fun level,” said Ferree. “The social atmosphere of the event makes it a really enjoyable time. The tournament is great for people who love golf, have a competitive nature or just want to spend the day enjoying each other’s company in the sun.”
The tournament was played in a mixed format. Participants played the front nine holes in a best ball format, then the back nine holes in a team super ball format. Best ball is when all four players for every team would play their ball and the team would take the lowest score on each hole. Super ball is when each person on the team tees off, chooses the best lie and all players play from that spot.
“Our team decided to play in the tournament because it was a great opportunity to put a face on all of the units we work with aboard MCAS Cherry Point,” said Matthew Lindauer, tournament participant and member of Marine Aircraft Group 28. “It is constantly impressed upon us how great these events are for creating camaraderie across the station and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing in order to accomplish all of our missions.”
The top two teams won gift cards to the ProShop. Prizes were also awarded for contests throughout the tournament like the closest to the pin, longest drive, longest putt and straightest drive.
After the teams sunk their last ball, they made their way out of the hot sun into Miller’s landing for an awards dinner where they cooled off and enjoyed music, food and prizes.
Matthew Lindauer, Eric Forestiere, Hart Smith and Jimmy Hicks, all of MACG-28, took first place in the tournament and claimed their prize during the ceremony.
“Representing MACG-28 was a great feeling, win or lose,” said Lindauer. “Winning just made the catered meal by Miller’s Landing taste that much better.”