Chipping in to change lives: Plans underway for Y's golf tourney


Jean Shaw looks at the upcoming Dec. 9, 23rd Annual Marco Y Golf Tournament this way: For about the same price you’d pay to play a high-end, private or semi-private course, she says, you get a continental breakfast, lunch and the chance of attractive door prizes thrown in.

Marco Y after school students Julian Ralph and sisters Kinley, center, and Kayden show off golf balls that will be part of tournament participants’ goodie bags.

And, there’s the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the Greater Marco Family YMCA continue with its community work, charitable outreach programs and wide array of activities and programs for youth and adults.

“It’s a good deal and for a great cause,” says Shaw, who has organized the tourney for the past 5 years, and who this year again zeroed in on the JW Marriott’s Hammock Bay course about 10 minutes off the island.

The four-person scramble format, Shaw adds, is popular because players of all levels can contribute with spectacular shots. Somebody who’s not a great driver of the ball might weigh in with a great putt, or hole out a chip, for example.

Each team’s players hit from the tee box and choose the best of the four shots for the next. They all hit the second shot, and continue this way until the ball is holed.

Winning teams usually turn in scorecards in the upper 50s, while “weekend warrior” foursomes generally at least par the course because of their collective efforts.

Players can expect an impeccable course despite Hurricane Irma’s visit in October, says Hammock Bay Director of Golf, Anthony Schmid.

In fact, he says, there’s a bit of silver lining in the storm’s aftermath because views have opened up and give a somewhat different perspective to the course.

A key element to player satisfaction remains intact, Schmid says, and that is good lies on the fairways.

“The paspalum grass makes the ball sit up perfectly,” Schmid says, adding that the greens remain true.

Shaw, a golfer herself as well as volunteer for annual events like the LPGA CME tournament at Tiburon and the Champion’s Tour at Twin Eagles, says planning the Y tourney starts months ahead.

Once again, Hammock Bay is the venue for the Marco Y’s 23rd annual golf tournament.

She and a team secure a course, solicit big sponsors (Publix has this year committed to $5,000 in hard cash), hole sponsors, restaurants and resorts for prize vouchers, and of course the most vital component of all, players.

“We like to get the word out early, mailing forms and flyers explaining where the money goes,” Shaw says.

After tournaments, organizers are debriefed for possible improvements to the flow, one of which has been the time-saver of posting door prize winners while players are still out on the course.

Winners of the various flights receive prizes such as sleeves of balls, gift certificates, rounds of golf and bottles of wine.

A lunch sponsor ($3,500) is still being sought.

For more information on the Marco Y and its wide variety of activities and programs for youth and adults, visit 


If you go

What: Greater Marco Family YMCA annual golf tournament

When: December 9. Registration 7 a.m. Start 8 a.m.

Cost: $135 per player, includes breakfast and lunch, door prizes, hole-in-one Lexus paid lease

Format: Four-person scramble, assorted flights

Dress code: Golf attire

To sign up: Visit