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Golf tournament for the blind needs volunteers

By Staff | Jun 26, 2015

Volunteers are needed for the first-ever golf tourney for the blind and sighted in Cape Coral.

Hosted by the Florida Council of the Blind, the Blind Miniature Golf Tournament will take place on July 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park. Open to everyone, the competition will feature prizes for first, second and third place, as well as a a hole-in-one contest.

“It’s open to the blind and the sighted alike,” Mike Ulrich, the event organizer, said.

Sighted participants will be given a blindfold to wear while playing.

The tourney will feature 18 holes and a shotgun start.

“At each hole, we’ll have a sighted coach,” he said. “They’ll basically spot for them.”

The teams will likely be made into foursomes, with a sighted guide.

“We have first, second and third place ribbons,” Ulrich said.

The winning teams will also receive gift cards in varying amounts.

“We have prizes to go with those,” he said.

The hole-in-one contest will also feature a prize for the winner.

“A gift certificate for a pizza party for 10 at Stevie Tomato’s (Sports Page),” Ulrich said.

There will be a 50/50 raffle as well, with tickets for sale on site.

The entry fee is $10 per person and includes a blindfold, putter, golf balls and wristband.

After the tournament, the wristband will entitle participants to 2-for-1 domestic drafts and a food special at the Dugout Sports Bar and Grill. It is there that all of the winners will be announced.

Pre-registration is requested.

No one had signed up as of Thursday, but some have voiced support.

“We’re expecting up to 30, but we can go over that,” he said. “Really, there’s no limit.”

What Ulrich is pushing right now is the need for volunteers. He estimated that he is going to need 18 sighted coaches – one for each hole – plus about a dozen sighted guides to walk with the teams.

“We’re in dire need,” he said, adding that he only has one volunteer.

The coaches should have some golfing experience, but the guides need none at all.

“As far as any experience with the blind, that’s not necessary,” Ulrich said.

“I’m trying to get the youth involved,” he added.

Taking part in an event like can help bridge the gap between the blind and sighted communities.

“It’s just a great way to gain some insight on blindness,” Ulrich said.

If the tourney is a success, he hopes to hold it annually.

“If it all goes well, absolutely,” Ulrich said.

Proceeds from the golf tournament will go toward the Annual Blind Fishing Tournament.

To pre-register for the event, or to offer to be a volunteer, contact Mike Ulrich at (239) 540-7431 or (239) 565-5845, or by email at mulrich@centurylink.net .

“We’re still in need of prize donations,” he said. “And if somebody wants to sponsor the tournament, we would gladly accept that.”

Mike Greenwell’s Bat-A-Ball & Family Fun Park is at 35 N.E. Pine Island Road.