Steamboat golf tournament to benefit church expansion |

Steamboat golf tournament to benefit church expansion

— Mary Effinger isn't about to let snow-covered greens and fairways at the Haymaker Golf Course stop her from getting a jump on the upcoming golf season.

The longtime local, who understands that the traditional start of the golf season in Steamboat Springs is still more than two months away, plans to host the Cabin Fever Golf Classic March 19 at Haymaker. Proceeds will benefit the Holy Name Catholic Church's expansion project.

Effinger is hoping local golfers will flock to the tournament, which is the only golf tournament planned in Steamboat in March. That's not a surprise in a town that is still dealing with 2 to 3 feet of snow on most fairways.

Effinger said the nine-hole tournament will consist of two "traditional holes" using the fairways at Haymaker along with seven shorter skill challenge holes, or simulated holes, using practice nets set up inside the clubhouse.

"We are still not sure what to expect because we've never done anything like this before," said Tom Taylor, one of the professionals at Haymaker. "It's something new, and it should be a lot of fun."

Golfers will trade their golf shoes for snowshoes and use tennis balls instead of golf balls while on the two actual holes. Golfers will head out one hole and then back to the clubhouse on the other.

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The skills challenges will be set up around the clubhouse and will include holes where golfers must chip their balls closest to the pin, hit golf balls at targets with a snow shovel and, if the weather cooperates, putt on an ice-covered green.

Effinger said golfers would receive points for pars, birdies and eagles, using something similar to the Stableford scoring system. The players also will earn points for the skills challenges. At the end of the tournament, teams will tally their points to determine the winners.

Teams of two players will compete in men's, women's and mixed divisions. Teams can register for the tournament for $70. Golfers also can sign up as individuals for $40. Organizers will put those players on teams.

"We wanted to encourage people to sign up as two-person teams, so we gave teams a price break," Effinger said.

The entry fee includes registration, lunch and a long-sleeve T-shirt. Players can check in starting at 11 a.m. with play scheduled to begin with a shotgun start at noon.

Effinger said prizes, including private lessons from top local pros, will be awarded to top teams, and there also will be giveaways for other items.

"We think this will be a great way to escape the long winter," Eiffinger said. "It's a chance to come out and have a good time."

Players can register online at Effinger said players also can call her at 970-879-3378 with questions.

— To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209 or e-mail

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