The inaugural Bird Golf Invitational was a huge success. Held last year at our flagship site at the Wigwam, the Invitational will surely be an important date on many people’s calendars for years to come.

Mike Luckcraft, Larry Shute, Carey Mumford, Dr. Mark & Shari Pfenninger

The Trophies

Our unique format paired 3 amateurs with one professional for 3 rounds. In each round we had a different format; day 1 a scramble; day 2 a two low net best ball and day 3 a low gross/low net best ball. Each of the Bird Schools’ senior members of staff were in attendance. Mary Mills, (US Open Champion), Sharon Miller (1989 LPGA Teacher of the Year), Larry Shute (PGA Master professional, a member of two Halls of Fame), Keith Kalny (Wigwam Director of Golf for 11 years), Jim Samsing (West Coast Director of Instruction) and Jay Ewing (Bird Golf’s founder). And a very special appearance by Carey Mumford (author of the Double Connexion and Clear Key); master of the mental game.

Carey Mumford and Tori Wright

Keith & Marcie Kalny

After the first day we had a runaway leader. Keith Kalny (married only the weekend before to Marcie) and his team of John Curzon, Bonnie Belue and Bob Ziolkowski fired a tremendous 10 under par 62 and lead the tournament by 5 shots. In second place were the Jim Samsing team of Mike (a founding partner of Bird Golf) and Tori Wright and Charlie Eickenhorst and Jay Ewing and his team of Frank Mcloughlin, Mike Smith and the 2001 Bird Golf Student of the Year: Marilyn Eickenhorst. Marilyn who only recently dedicated herself to the game has had an extraordinary year during which she has had her first hole in one and now breaks 100 regularly. She shot 98 on both the last two days of the tournament!

Frank Mcloughlin, Dan Dickhart, Jay Ewing

Day 2 (or “moving day”) produced some incredible scores. In the 2 net best ball format, US Open Champion, Mary Mills and her team of Dan Dickhart (Wigwam General Sales Manager), Ed Folkers and Terri Goodode stormed into a tie for the overall lead with a spectacular 24 under par score! WOW. Keith’s team also played beautifully shooting 18 under par and Jim Samsing’s team made strong move also shooting 18 under. There was discussion of mandatory blood tests which never eventualized.

Mary Mills and Sharon Miller

The final day proved to be a real thriller. In the end only two shots would separate 4 teams! Playing inspired golf under the inspired tutelage of Jim Samsing, Tori Wright (who broke 100 for the first time ever in the tournament) and Charlie Eickenhorst along with Mike Wright won by one stoke over Mary Mill’s team. On a “coin toss” Keith Kalny’s team won third place from the hard charging Ewing team, both only one more stroke back. The coveted Bird Golf Invitational trophy that sits in the main bar at the Wigwam will bear the names of last year’s winners proudly.

Mary Mills & Larry Shute

There were many memorable moments from the Invitational. It was the first time that all our senior staff had gathered together in one place. It was an enormous thrill to see all the hard work that our students have put into their games ….and the results that they are now having. It was a gathering of friends old and new. And a celebration of golf. The afternoon fireside chats that Carey Mumford hosted, and the dialogue from those who attended will be unforgettable.

Marilyn & Charlie Eickenhorst

This year’s event is scheduled for December 12 – 15, 2002 at the Wigwam. We will have the same format and this year play the Gold and Blue courses at the Wigwam and the Arthur Hills Championship course at Palm Valley. There will be a different pro with each group each day (a drawing will be held each afternoon).

For pricing (similar to last year) please contact us at 877-424-7346. Entries will be limited to the first 60 entrants. For all those who attended last year…. THANK YOU! To all of you thinking of coming this year… WE WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO JOIN US!


THE CHAMPIONS
Charlie Eickenhorst, Mike Wright, Jay Ewing (will do anything to get himself in a picture), Jim Samsing & Tori Wright.

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