Northeast Georgia Putting Championships
June 6 Chattahoochee Golf Course
June 13 Chestatee Golf Course
June 20 Mossy Creek Golf Course
June 27 Innsbruck Resort & Golf Club
July 4 Brasstown Valley Resort & Golf Club
Start time: 10 a.m. each Saturday.
Entry fee: $20 per player for two nine-hole rounds. $5 for additional rounds.
Every golfer has an aspect of their game they consider their strength. Some are crafty with the driver. Others are masters of the chip shot.
Then there are the golfers who shine the most with the putter. They now have a chance to put their abilities to the test on traditional courses in the Northeast Georgia Putting Championship, a six-month tour that eliminates the tees and starts the action right on the green.
The Championship, which is in its first year, competes on the putting greens at holes on courses across Northeast Georgia and South Carolina. The holes originally included obstacles, but are now unaltered.
"(Golfers) really enjoy it. It’s a fun tournament," said Tom Moore, founder of the Championship. "I thought it would be a good idea."
The Championship is made up of 20 qualifying sites, all at different golf courses in Georgia and South Carolina. Qualifying began in April and concludes July 25, before a 36-hole final August 8 at Apple Mountain Golf Course in Clarkesville.
The tour stops at Chicopee Woods Golf Course at 10 a.m. today, then returns to Gainesville next Saturday at Chattahoochee Golf Course. It then heads to Chestatee Golf Course in Dawsonville, then to Mossy Creek Golf Course in Cleveland and Innsbruck Golf Course in Helen.
At each qualifying site, golfers play two nine-hole rounds, with the lower round used for qualifying purposes. The winner and runner-up at each site secures a spot in the finals. The finals winner takes home $750, the runner-up gets $500, and third place gets $250.
Additionally, there is a drawing at the finals which will allow one randomly-selected golfer to take a long putt. If it is made, the golfer is awarded $5,000.
"The putt will be over 60 feet," Moore said. "There will be a lot of pressure."
With cash prizes at each qualifying site and a chance to win $5,000 in the finals, competitiveness among participants, whose ages range from 20-70, hasn’t been a hard find, according to Moore.
"There’s good competition," he said. "There are some really good putters around here."
Although rain has hindered some of the qualifying events, Moore expects to complete the Championship tour and proceed with the finals. Following today’s qualifying at Chicopee Woods, there are six more qualifying events before the finals.
Qualifying events begin at 10 a.m. each Saturday with a entry fee of $20 per player. A portion of the profits benefit the American Parkinson Disease Association.