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Mini-golf tourney invites particpants

By Staff | Jul 10, 2015

The city’s first-ever golf tourney for the blind – and sighted – takes place this weekend.

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

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

The sighted players will be given a blindfold to wear while playing.

“Because the sighted are invited to participate, we kind of want to give them a little taste of what it’s like to be blind,” event organizer Mike Ulrich said. “Just kind of walk in our shoes for a little bit.”

The tournament will feature 18 holes with a shotgun start.

“We’re going to put everyone into foursomes,” he said, adding that each group will be paired with a sighted guide. “We’ll also have a sighted coach at each hole to spot for the golfers.”

The first place winner will receive a $50 gift card to WingHouse, a WingHouse swag bag and two box seat tickets to the July 25 game between the Fort Myers Miracle and Tampa Yankees in Fort Myers.

Second place will score a $50 gift card to Mike Greenwell’s and two box seats to the same Miracle game, while third place will win a $50 gift card to Walmart and again, two box seat tickets to the game.

The hole-in-one winner earns a pizza party for 10 from Stevie Tomatoes Sports Page.

Players will be given tickets at the start in case no one hits a hole-in-one.

“We’ll just pull a ticket and whoever gets the prize,” Ulrich said.

There will also be a “Rodney Dangerfield” Worst Blind Golfer Award handed out to one person.

“I came up with that idea because I suck at golf,” he laughed.

The lowest scoring player will take home a WingHouse swag bag and two game tickets.

“All these businesses that donated the prizes, we’re really thankful,” Ulrich said.

As of Thursday, about a dozen people had signed up to take part.

“A lot of people haven’t pre-registered, but they’re indicated they’re coming out,” he said.

The famous WingHouse girls will be on site.

“There are a lot of blind golfers that compete in a lot of blind tournaments,” Ulrich said. “Some of our local hacks, so to speak, they can kind of see what it’s like for themselves.”

After the tourney, the event wristband will entitle players to 2-for-1 domestic drafts at the Dugout Sports Bar and Grill, as well as a food special. The winners will be announced at that time.

Proceeds from the tournament will go toward the annual Blind Fishing Tournament.

“I just hope it’s a successful event, that it shows enough interest,” he said.

For more information or to register for the Blind Miniature Golf Tournament, contact Mike Ulrich at (239) 540-7431 or (239) 565-5845, or by email at mulrich@centurylink.net.

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