Things are heating up in the Coulee Region. And, I’m not just referring to the warm and humid July weather.
Yup, the La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships are once again on the horizon, and on the minds of perennial golf competitors in La Crosse County.
This year the Seniors' is Saturday, July 29 at Forest Hills Golf Course in La Crosse. The Women’s tournament is also July 29 at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek in Onalaska.
The Men’s County Am, a two-day event, is scheduled Saturday, Aug. 5 at The Golf Club at Cedar Creek. The final round is set for Sunday, Aug. 6 at Drugan’s Castle Mound Country Club in Holmen.
Every year is special in Tournament Director Bob’s eyes as he prepares for the tournaments (Men’s, Women’s and Seniors'), and the field of competitors he enjoys being involved with.
This year marks the fifth year since the County Am lost it’s signature sponsor, the La Crosse Tribune. However, Pepsi-Cola Bottling of La Crosse quickly stepped in and picked up the slack. It has proven to be a winning combination as the County Am continues to be as popular and strong as ever!
On May 8, 2015, Bob was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The 2015 tournaments were difficult for him. He was battling cancer with the strongest chemotherapy available, making him very weak. On Saturday morning of the men’s tourney, he took a tumble and had to miss the morning tee times. He rested and felt well enough to attend both Saturday afternoon and Sunday’s competition.
Then, there was another cancer-related crisis last year in mid-July. After a 911 call where Bob was taken to emergency by ambulance, we learned he had developed a large ulcer caused by chemo and the effects it has on the body. Again, things were testy because it was at the height of prepping for the County Am.
But in a strange twist of fate, Jackie Kaiser, County Am board member, was admitted to the same hospital as Bob. Not only were they at the same facility, they were there at the same time, on the same floor, and in the same wing! While Bob was being treated for the ulcer, Jackie was there for an eye disorder. It was downright convenient for Jackie to cross the hall to Bob's room where the two of them worked on County Am preparations...a definite first in the County Am books! LOL!!
Jackie commented, “Frankly, I look back on it and giggle ... we didn't need matching County Am shirts ... we had matching hospital gowns instead!”
With the steadfast backing of the board, including Jackie and Bruce Kaiser, who are also the official score keepers, the 2015 and 2016 tournaments went off without a hitch.
Hats off to Jackie and Bruce, who have been an integral part of the County Am since it’s revival in 1991. Their support throughout Bob’s cancer battle has been nothing short of exemplary and unwavering.
For these reasons, Bob recently named the couple associate directors, as they continue to do what they do best in keeping the Co Am Championships first class.
County Am 2017 brings with it a stronger, healthier director, who is excited for the challenges and rewards this year’s tournaments promise.
Don’t forget to fill out your entry form, ensuring a tee time to experience the thrill of competing in the challenging 2017 La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships!! Deadline for Seniors and Women is midnight, July 17. The Men’s deadline is midnight, July 24.
For thrill-seekers who love golf but are not into the competition aspect of the game, make plans to be a part of the 2017 County Am gallery. The crowd gets the players’ adrenalin flowing and puts them on top of their game. It’s fun and it’s free to follow your favorite local celebs and cheer for a winner!
I already have mine in mind!!! How about you?!!!!