When: Championship flight starts 2 p.m. today; other flights start at noon Saturday. All flights end on Sunday
Where: Chattahooche Golf Club, Gainesville
A tradition that goes back to 1962 resumes at 2 p.m. today with the start of the 51st annual City Championship golf tournament at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
It’s an event that many of Gainesville’s best have been waiting for all year.
“It’s a big deal to the locals; it’s basically to determine the best players in the city and county,” said tournament director Rodger Hogan, head golf pro at Chattahoochee. “A lot of the locals gear their golf to the city championships.”
Defending champion and Gainesville High grad Will Peeples will look to not only defend his title in the Championship flight, but join the ranks of the three-time winners against a field of around 40 golfers.
His competitors are some of the best golfers in the area.
“There’s a lot of good local players in it,” Hogan said. “There’s a pretty good, strong field.”
That field includes a four-time winner and fellow Gainesville grad in Sam Hulsey, who played at Georgia Tech, as well as a host of Red Elephants golfers recently removed from winning a Class AAA state title last season.
Current Gainesville golfers include Pep Brown, Jackson Bishop, Grant Lasseter, Nathan Williams, Webber Wycoff, Reeves Bell, Lawson King and Spencer Ralston in the Championship flight, along with Tanner Peacock and Davis Brown in either the blue or white tee flights.
The 2012 Class AAA individual state champion, Gainesville grad Parks Brown, will also be competing, along with his twin brother Carson.
North Hall High golfer Hunter Young is also in the running.
And even though Hogan added that the Championship flight, playing from the black tees, will have to play Chattahoochee at its toughest, its a course most of the players know well.
Chattahoochee is the longtime home course for Gainesville High, and hosted the Region 8-AAA tournament last season and the state tournament the year prior.
There will be golfers from other courses though, including competitors from Chicopee Woods, Royal Lakes and Chestatee golf courses, said Hogan, who will be running his eighth city championship.
Golfers in the Championship flight will play a total of 56 holes today-Sunday, while golfers in the other flights will play a 36-hole tournament starting at noon Saturday and Sunday.
Peeples defeated 2011 runner-up finisher Pep Brown by five strokes last season to take the title, while Jimbo Wilkins won the Championship A flight, Gene Weschler won the first flight and Clay Hoffman the second flight.
Wilkins also won the overall net division.