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Changes Make Easley Classic Easier To Join

Sat., May 11, 1996

Now in its fourth year, the Kenny Easley Celebrity Golf Classic continues to alter its format and site.

The current incarnation is scheduled for June 7-9, with about the only similarities to previous editions being Easley himself and the charities that will benefit (the Wishing Star Foundation and the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth and Family Outreach Center).

This event has taken place at MeadowWood and The Creek at Qualchan in the past, but this time it will be a three-day, 54-hole, medal-play test at three courses - Indian Canyon, Downriver and Qualchan.

“Spokane has the greatest fans, not to mention the greatest golf courses,” said Easley, the former Seattle Seahawks star. “And I’m proud to be associated with an event that gives so much to kids.”

The tournament, which will again feature the likes of James Worthy, Jacob Green, Mike Haynes and Dwight Hicks, has raised more than $60,000 for charity in three years.

“We used to have a team best-ball event and we had fun with that, but we decided to go to a more competitive golf tournament and involve more people in the community,” said tournament director Ellen McNair. “We lowered the entry fee and opened it up to more players; we decided if we wanted to make it a competitive tournament, we wanted to go ahead and really make it stand out.

“Eventually, we want the tournament to become the most exciting amateur golf event in Spokane.”

Starting at Indian Canyon on Friday, play advances to Downriver on Saturday and Qualchan on Sunday.

This year, the celebrity field has been trimmed to 13, and play will take place in various flights: celebrity, championship, first, second, etc., depending on players’ handicaps.

The $285 entry fee includes three rounds of golf, carts, tee prizes, dinner on Friday, and lunches on Saturday and Sunday. Total prize money surpasses $8,000.

Admission and autographs are free to the public. The prime sponsor is Xerox Pacific Northwest.

Trailer parks

Anybody out there getting a little tired of not finding a parking spot at a golf course lot because all of the spaces are taken up by cars pulling cart trailers?

It’s become a problem at places like Liberty Lake and Hangman Valley, where golfers occasionally have to park some distance from the clubhouse or on the side of the highway.

“It looks like a boat ramp out there sometimes,” Liberty Lake pro Bob Scott said of the parking lot covered with trailers.

One day this week, Scott estimated that the course had rented four or five carts, but had more than 50 on the course.

Owners of private carts pay dearly to use them: $80 for a season pass or $5.50 a day at county courses.

A trend nationally, though, Scott said, is to not allow private carts on courses.

“(Parking) is a problem at a lot of places,” said Steve Nelke, pro at Hangman Valley. “We’ve got a little sign up on top (of the parking lot) and we try to direct cart traffic up there.

“It would be nice to make sure that people were being considerate about where they do park their trailers, though.”

Hangman back to par

The damage by winter floods that crippled Hangman Valley is now repaired.

“We’re back to normal; Mother Nature took a swing at us, but we’ve rebounded,” Nelke said. “The work to repair our bridges is done now.”

The course will host the Hangman Valley Amateur Tournament on June 1-2.

Entry fee is $65 and the event is open to any amateur with an established handicap.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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