The golfers’ blue and pink wigs and loud, (as in noisy) jangly skirts was the first clue this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill golf tournament.
This weekend’s inaugural Women’s Floral Golf Classic held at Meadow Lakes Golf Club is a fundraiser for Special Olympics Yukon.
“As part of our five-year plan, we wanted to increase our financial position with our organization so we can do more for our athletes,” said Serge Michaud, executive director of Special Olympics. “Start new programs, develop new initiatives … send more athletes to competitions.
“In order to start these new programs it takes money and time.”
The five-year plan is the result of the national organization co-ordinating with 11 individual Special Olympics chapters to develop a course of action to increase funding and thereby make it possible to offer more to their athletes.
The strategic plan simply encourages each chapter to develop their own fundraisers, to both simplify and customize the events.
“Basically we’d like to be at 100 athletes in five years, right now we’re sitting at about 80,” said Michaud. “It’s increasing the number of athletes, increasing the number of coaches relative to the number of athletes, as well as making sure we have money in the kitty to make sure we have money for things we want to do with our athletes — and what our athletes want to do.”
Of the 12 foursomes competing in the all-women scramble, Cratty’s Caddies, who finished with a three under par, took the top spot.
“It’s all a team effort; we all do our share,” said Ev Pasichnyk of Cratty’s. “I don’t think winning really mattered, it was just nice to be in this tournament. We know it’s for a good cause.”
“The trick is to get a sensible shot up the middle,” said Cratty’s member Sandy Olynyk, describing her foursome’s strategy for the scramble (also referred to as best-ball) in which members play from the best location of their team’s previous four individual shots.
“Then all the power players go for the green.”
Along with the longest-drive and closest-to-the-hole contests was a chipping contest, the finals of which captured the attention of everyone at the clubhouse.
Only two players qualified for the chipping playoff, by successfully chipping a ball into a hula-hoop at the start of the fourth hole.
After a best-two-out-of-three chip-off at the club’s practice green, 11-year-old Tijana McCarthy, from the foursome Girls of Steele, took the crown despite a slow start, sending her first shot past the hole and through the green.
“Hit the ball,” said McCarthy, the crowd favourite in the chipping contest, when asked what her strategy was.
“It was good,” added the chipping-champ, when asked how she enjoyed the tournament.
Yukon Special Olympics will be hosting another fundraising tournament at Meadow Lakes on August 8. The Special Olympics Golf Gala is open to men’s, women’s and mixed foursomes.
1st Cratty’s Caddies: Sandy Olynyk, Ev Pasichnyk, Cindy Gilday and Muffy MacDonald.
2nd Dangerous Dames: Jan Stick, Lindy Jo Aston, Sylvia McLarnon, Bev Latour.
3rd Par Tee Girls: Judy Thrower, Andrea McLaughlin, Jean Poulin, Darlene Gammel.