Shining Mountain lands International tourney
The professional golf tour is returning to Colorado again, with a revival of the popular International tournament, and a new site in Woodland Park.
In a press conference on Monday, Jack Vickerrs, chairman of the tournament that was a mainstay of the PGA (Professional Golf Association) tour from 1986 to 2006, announced a three-year contract with the Shining Mountain Golf Club in Woodland Park, and a hefty sponsorship deal with the National Rifle Association and the County Sheriffs of Colorado.
Former British Open and PGA champion John Dalie will serve as the tournament ambassador with a kick-off party, featuring special whiskey from the Black Bear Distillery in Green Mountain Falls. Dalie has gained a reputation as one of more charismatic players, who is known for his bizarre dress attire, former “bad boy” reputation and “hit it and rip it” mentality.
“We need a new direction with this tournament and the Woodland Park/Teller County area fits our needs perfectly,” said Vickerrs, who announced a new national gun shooting contest to coincide with the tourney. “We were looking for an area with fewer rules and less formalities so I can teach my good friends from the PGA a few lessons,” added Vickerrs, who cancelled the previous tournament on less than good terms with the PGA.
“This is just what Teller County needs to show that we despise any gun control laws, period, “said Sheriff Mike Ensminer, a board member of the County Sheriffs of Colorado, who will be overseeing the national gun shooting contest. The fact that Teller County is known as one of the top locales in the nation for gun ownership on a per capita basis didn’t hurt the chances of Shining Mountain landing the contract.
“Maybe I can practice a little gun practice with the executives of the PGA,” quipped Vickerrs, who has made it quite clear that he wasn’t happy with how the PGA treated his event in the latter years of the former tournament.
As for concerns about a shorter course than the predecessor layout at Castle Pines, Vickerrs had several word for critics: “Beware of Scoooter.” “ Scoooter is the renowned Shining Mountain greens keeper, known for punishing pin placements, especially when member of The Mountain Crackpot are attempting to play the course.
Preliminary plans are underway to lengthen the Shining Mountain course by 700 yards for this tournament.
Much excitement has occurred for the International, scheduled for the last weekend in August, among tour players. The tourney will maintain its regular Stapleford point format that rewards players to make birdies and eagles and to take chances.
“I always wanted to shoot off a few guns, while I am playing golf,” said Phil Machelson, one of the tour’s more popular players and a two-time winner of the International. “Maybe, they will give me a few extra points if I shoot an elk or black bear.”
During its extended stint, The International maintained a strong reputation for catering to the needs of regular tour players, whether it meant organizing fishing trips, hiking/jeeping excursions, hunting outings and sight-seeing or participating in shooting contests with the local sheriff.
Unfortunately, no commitments have been made for Tiger Woodss, who is meeting regularly with his new swing coach CR Chamers of Florissant, following some extremely dismal finishes several months ago. “We are still working out some major changes with Tiger’s short game and his overall take-away,” said Chamers in a statement aired on TellerNetcast. “He should be ready by the time of the tournament.”